Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost


Crossroads at Edinburgh Castle

It’s been a while. So long in fact, I don’t really know where to begin. I half expect to hear an echo once I cast this blog post into the mysterious infinite universe otherwise known as the World Wide Web.


Is anybody out there?

For those of you still here, hi! I’m sorry for the extended absence and sporadic posts of 2012. Life got in the way of creating, and blogging spent an unfortunate season on the backbench. I’m hoping (demanding) that will change in 2013.


Here we are. A new year full of wonderful potential and undiscovered adventure. I’m feeling particularly optimistic about this year. Not only did I survive last year’s Mayan Apocalypse (What, you too? Go us!) but I decided this was going to be a year of change. A year where I follow my instincts, take risks and try something new at every opportunity. A New Year’s Resolution, of sorts.

Some of you may remember my A-Z of Europe posts from this time last year. If you do, you may also remember me swooning over a certain castle, falling in love with a certain city, and being inspired there by the great writers who have come before me.

In light of my new found resolution to take life by the horns and ride it all the way to my own little corner of Utopia, I did something a little bit wild. A little bit spontaneous. Perhaps even a little bit crazy.

Last month I quit my job, packed my bags, said farewell Australia and bought myself a one way ticket to Edinburgh, Scotland. Yes, the place that so captured my heart last year has for the last couple of weeks been “home”.

The opportunity presented itself in a lovely series of coincidences that together shouted “KATY! THIS IS YOUR CHANCE! TAKE IT!” Everywhere I looked Scotland was wooing me. And every step I took to make it happen made it feel more and more like the right thing to do. Even as I waited at Launceston airport, indulging in a moment of self doubt, panicking at the last minute that I’d forgotten something important, my mum started quoting from The Hobbit, “Katy. Remember Bilbo and his handkerchief? You will have to manage without pocket-handkerchiefs, and a good many other things, before you get to the journey’s end.” Apart from this highlighting once again just how awesome my mum is, it also made me realise that an adventure isn’t an adventure without a little risk taking, a lot of daring and a few things left behind. Like Bilbo, I was going on an adventure.

I now live with one of my best friends from Italy who I have known since I was 16, in a flat I stayed in when I visited last year, just a stone’s throw from the castle that so inspired me on my last visit. I’ve swapped Vegemite for Marmite, swimmers for scarves, routine for adventure.

It’s been just over two weeks since I arrived and I’ve already joined a 300 person community choir, been to the castle on more than one occasion, attended a contemporary dance class, learnt some Gaelic, browsed in a kazillion bookshops and spent a week in bed battling the bacteria party that was a Northern Hemisphere cold/flu.

I don’t yet know what the year will bring. Perhaps by the end of it I’ll be penniless and hitch hiking my way back to Australia. Or perhaps I won’t. All I know is I’m here, and I plan to make the most of it while I am.

To adventure! x

My new home

My new home

44 comments on “Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

  1. “It’s a dangerous business, …going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

    But seriously, that took a serious amount of courage and perhaps a not insubstantial amount of madness.Go you!

  2. I had a feeling you’d be back – it’s THAT kind of place isn’t it! As Billy Connolly says: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes”!

    • Rob! I’ve been meaning to contact you! One of the first things I did on arrival was head to the Edinburgh Arts Gallery and purchase two of your prints to put up in my new room. They are, as always, amazing. I need to go back and buy Rear Window to make a set, me thinks. I’ll have to send you a photo.

      And Billy Connolly was right!

  3. Sounds like you’re in for quite an experience! I love all Tolkien’s work as well and have always been inspired by his books. I’ll follow your blog and look forward to reading more of your adventures, cheers!

    • Thanks Stephanie. It’s always nice to hear from fellow Tolkien aficionados! Look forward to checking out more of your blog also – it looks amazing!

    • Hey Hannah! I still have one semester to go, which I’m thankfully able to do via email. 20,000 words to go…eek! Am anticipating Edinburgh will charge the creative battery and help me along the way :)

  4. Oh my God, Katy. OH MY GOD. That is one heck of an announcement! Congratulations on what sounds like a marvellous adventure!

    (Yours is the second blog by a young Australian woman I’ve read recently in which an overseas trip has been made. Let’s just say it’s making me a little bit jealous! I need 2013 to wrap up quickly; Honours will be studied, and freedom shall await!)

    Best of luck with everything, and I look forward to more (Scottish-inspired!) posts. :D

    • Thanks Jess! It seems like us Aussies are taking over the world – every second person I talk to is jetting overseas. We’ll have them all Vegemite converts in no time ;) All the best getting started on your Honours. I remember those days with no small amount of rancour. It’s a hard slog, but in the end it’s all worth it, even if it’s just knowing you stuck with the bloody thing! And adventures await on the other side! Yippee!

  5. Katy, this is fantastic news!

    Edinburgh truly is the city of creativities. It sounds gushy, but Edinburgh is where I felt like a proper writer for the first time. The city lives on literature.

    I’m living in Geneva for work at the moment, but I go back to Edinburgh every few months to see the boyf and catch up with people, so it’d be great to meet for a drink sometime and hear all about your adventures and stories.

    Best of luck with it all,

    Amanda xx

    • Yes, please do let me know when you’re next in Edinburgh! I’d love to catch up for a drink and a chin wag :) I’ll also take the opportunity to pick your brain over all the best places to go, play, eat, write! x

  6. Wow, I could never do that, but I’m happy that you’re embracing your adventurous nature. Those are two gorgeous photographs as well. I hope that all goes well for you in your new hope – and that you keep blogging! :)

    • Thank you Miss Alexandrina. I think when the right opportunity comes along you’re prepared to do anything (at least, that’s what I tell myself anyway!). Look forward to checking out more of your blog too :)

  7. Congratulations! That’s a wonderful experience. Edinburgh is an amazing city (and am so very jealous, I moved from Edinburgh back to the States in mid-January). Take advantage of your time there!

    Definitely make the trek to the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building at the Glasgow School of Art. A worthy day trip (and go in June during the end-of-the-year show with all the fourth year students’ work).

      • I leave Edinburgh in very good hands.

        If you ever need suggestions for things to do or places to eat, let me know and I’ll give a suggestion (and if you want to meet cool nerdy people, go swing dancing at the Counting House on Wednesday nights).

      • You should, it’s not as ‘pretty’ as Edinburgh but very charming, and my University is just stunning (apparently it was inspiration for Hogrwarts) also it’s only an hour away. If you wanted I’d be happy to show you round.

  8. Yaaaay! I was so excited when I say one of your blog posts pop into my inbox. A great post as always and I hope you will have a lots of adventures in Edinburgh, it looks like a fantastic place. :D

  9. Yeay you’re back and in a new city no less! Great to read your posts again and honestly I am a little jealous right now…. here’s to your 2013 adventure hope the UK weather doesn’t send you running for warmer climates x

    • Thank you Lotti :) I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s posts again too. So far so good with the weather. Was treated to a little snow on arrival and ever since have had a plethora of sunny days, which I hear is unusual (but you won’t hear me complaining!). I’m also mastering the art of layers. As such, I remain optimistic weather-wise!

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