Well, I’ve made it to Dundee. That bit of news has less to do with this blog than it has to do with assuring friends that I am fine. The blog is about my book, Dream. Invest. Live., and part of Live is social. Hi, folks. I’m fine.
We don’t live in isolation. Seclusion happens, and I am coming to realize that seclusion is easier in the States than in older, more crowded countries. I am glad for my community. They’ve been the most supportive group I’ve known in decades. America was founded on individual liberties, which makes separation and personal independence more attainable; yet, it was community that made that independence possible.
The other day one a hotel clerk asked me if I get lonely doing this; i.e. walking across Scotland alone. Here, community is much more apparent. The pub and the church are persistent presences in each town. Neither is glamorous, and both are obviously integral and persistent. I suspect the churches tend to be older than the pubs, but sometimes I wonder.
For me, alone time is good and necessary. Many people don’t understand why I do what I do, so taking a vacation along lonely roads and trails sometimes means not having to spend much of the day explaining myself. It took me a long time to realize that such independence is uncommon.
My appreciation of my uncommon independence is also why I don’t expect anyone to mimic my lifestyle or investing strategy. I talk and write about them, not to explain myself, but to provide an example from which others can take lessons. (Okay, I guess I do like to explain myself, but I gave up expecting comprehension long ago.)
I ran into a fine gent, tie and all, when my walk to Glencarses temporarily coincided with his lunchtime walk away from work. He was part of a team, probably the head, possibly a CEO (buy Macallan Whisky). A work team is community, and even with some element of control over the situation, he found the benefit of time alone. I was glad for the company. I think he was glad for a conversation that was completely different.
Scotland has wonderful community, especially if you are established into the pub’s crowd or the church’s parish. The people are very tolerant of tourists, and definitely warm to each other.
America works. Scottish culture works. The diversity in the world is proof that many cultures work, but they don’t work for everyone. It is up to the individual to find the culture that works for them. And I feel sorry for those that are in situations that they can’t escape or change. Lifestyle has more flexibility.
I am fairly frugal, but not as frugal as some. I like my investment strategy, which some consider risky and others consider conservative. I like my approach to life, that of a chicken advneturer (my adventurous friends consider me a chicken, those more likely to stay at home consider me an adventurer.)
I am heartened to meet others who’ve asked the questions and found their own answers. It is one of the reasons I enjoy travel. Yes, the scenery is nice. But I remember more the couple who built an awesome B&B because they wanted to. I remember the cyclist who was headed to Capetown (South Africa I believe). I appreciate those who have marvelous gardens or are smiling as they play with their children.
There are lots of answers out there. They aren’t all found by travel, but they are easier to find through exploration. And after it all, it is good to have community to return to.
For me, that’s next week. I have several more days of walking. I’ve made it coast-to-coast, so now I may just saunter more than walk. As here’s to hoping that I find that perfect pub, beside a great B&B, close to a library, and a view, and an easy route home.