mental health and travel
I’d never been to Scotland before and though my uncle, auntie and two cousins live there and have shown enthusiasm in conversations for the place they love, I didn't know anything about Scotland apart from kilts, bagpipes and a wee bit of dram. But stepping onto Princes Street (the main road) in the centre of Edinburgh from the train station, the first view was spectacular. An instant panorama of huge stone buildings on the hill skyline including Edinburgh Castle. It wasn’t like other cities that are often flat with buildings obstructing any ground level panoramas. The view from the station on the left stretched at least a mile of grand structures on the hill that runs east to west. In between the station and the hill was Princes Street Gardens. On the right was no hilltop skyline but massive department stores and hotels, that looked a bit like Harrod’s. I was surprised and impressed.
It was the best holiday I’ve had since childhood holidays.
I love airplanes and airports, though I get vertigo quite badly. But I wasn’t nervous about the flying until we actually took off so I was able to enjoy the shopping and sights at Heathrow, with my mum, uncle and auntie. The flying itself was slightly better than I expected and the sense of joy, partly because of all the anxiety just falling away, was fantastic as we landed in Milan. We stayed at an airport hotel that night and the next day we drove in a hired minibus (there would be more joining us) south to San Gimignano, near Florence, a five hour trip.