And then everything changed. #Scotland

If you’ve been reading here you know that I’ve been dealing with a rather severe depression for more than a year.  A few months ago I had 36 transcranial magnetic stimulation sessions to try to snap out of the anxiety and depression that were making me a prisoner in my own head.

And it worked.  Not entirely, I mean.  I still deal with depression and anxiety and I’m still on medication but it reset my head enough to let me leave the house.  In fact, the week after my treatment was over we spent a week in Europe, something I never would have imagined was possible for me before.

I probably didn’t do as much as most people do and certainly I missed lots of things that I wanted to do but I got out there and I only had one day of anxiety severe enough to make me hide in my room.  I can’t even tell you how impossible that would have sounded to me only a few months ago.

I’ll tell you more about the trip in my next book (BECAUSE I’M WRITING AGAIN) but so many of you asked me to share some of our itinerary so today I’m doing a photo essay of the trip.  If you follow me on all the social medias you can totally skip this:

Day one:  A new Pope was elected on our first plane.

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Video: This seems like an ominous sign.

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Our second plane ride was a bit better:

WE GOT UPGRADED FROM ECONOMY TO BUSINESS. WHAT.

Landed in Glasgow.  Tried to go to the Necropolis but it was scary as shit driving on the wrong side of the road in heavy traffic and suddenly A PARADE BROKE OUT so we just drove away.  So, we started with fear and failure and less corpses than anticipated but at least the corpses weren’t our so it’s a fair trade.  Plus we had breakfast:

Beans on toast, haggis, blood pudding, lorne sausage, tattie scone. All weirdly delicious.

 

ASK ME HOW I KNOW.

 

We’re staying in the 800 year old super haunted Dalhousie Castle. It’s beautiful but there are 8 live spiders in the bathroom and now Hailey refuses to open it again so we’ll be pooping out the window like the classy people we are.

Is that a goddam owl? Yeah. It is.  YOU’RE A WIZARD, HARRY.

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Made an unexpected friend. #scotland

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That tiny owl? It’s called a “little owl” and it’s adorable but also we had to keep it away from any other little owls because IT EATS OTHER OWLS. Cutest cannibal I’ve ever snuggled in my life.

Pretty much every building in Scotland looks like Hogwarts but this is Rosslyn Chapel. There’s a black & white cat who sort of owns the place and I spent time snuggling him on a pew today. If more stray cat snuggles happened in random churches I might actually go.  Get your shit together, Christians.

Day 2:

Spending a few days at Neil Gaiman’s house in Scotland and thinking that young me would never believe this is real. Sadly, Neil and Amanda aren’t here but when I was in the library after midnight a crow tapped on the window to come in and I’m pretty sure I’m in a short story now.

Day 3:


 

But turns out the everyone not Scottish pops all their tires in Scotland so the mechanic had a ton of spares on hand and was able to fix it.  SUCCESS!

We explored Isle of Skye, which feels haunted but in the best possible way.

We walked The Quiraing, which was breathtaking and watched out for Highlanders.  We didn’t get to the end because it was long and Hailey sprained an ankle and I’m lazy but it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced in my life.  Also, there were sheep.

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The Quiraing. #scotland

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Here’s where I almost fell to my death. #WORTHIT

We went searching for ruins. We found cows. Probably they ate the ruins. I don’t know how Scottish cows work.

Also, all the ground in Scotland is so crazy soft you sink into it when you walk.  It’s like standing on cats.

I stole fruit.

Saw the countryside. Stepped in feces. (Probably not human.)  Spent time with family.

Day 3:

Eilean Donna Castle. Everything looks like a movie here.

Loch Ness. The monster did not show herself. DEEP SIGH. SCOTLAND.

But we stopped at Loch Lochy (which seems a bit too on-the-nose and I assume was named in an internet contest) and totally found something:

Then I found another monster.

Caught a Mr. Mime. I screamed a little. Don’t judge me.

Found a giant castle knitted out of yarn in the mall. You can’t get away from castles in this country, y’all.

Overall, it was amazing.  I actually miss Scotland and usually when I leave a place I feel relief that I’m gone.  I cannot recommend it enough.  But maybe bring a raincoat.  And a spare tire.

Holy shit, this post is getting long.  Let’s do London next, okay?

202 replies. read them below or add one

  1. We are so happy for you! What a wonderful trip. Also when does your book come out? counting the days

  2. Love, love, LOVE this for you and yours, Jenny. So much.

  3. Is it wrong of me to be proud of you? I genuinely am, and so happy you enjoyed as much as you did. Well done!! 😁😁

  4. Love the family photo, despite the feces… looks like a fab trip, we’ll deserved!

  5. You stayed at Neil’s house. I’m stupid-jealous.

  6. PLEASE help our community by getting this grant to continue to offer free/low cost mental health services!

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  7. Scotland looks amazing. Bucket list for me!

    Liz recently posted Introducing MOD Pizza's newest seasonal pizza, the Isaac {& giveaway!}.

  8. 8
    Anne Zavalick

    I love this, so VERY much. The fact that you were able to go is just so fantastically fantastical that I can’t stand it!

  9. YES!!! I’m so glad you loved Scotland!! I loved following your travels on Instagram. <3

  10. 10
    Kathy Anderson

    What software are you using to edit your photos? They look just gorgeous!

    (Mostly snapseed but I didn’t need it very much since the scenery was so gorgeous. ~ Jenny)

  11. Yay, you! This made my day! I think you should be a travel writer now.

  12. The fact that you’re writing again makes the deepest part of my soul smile. I cannot wait to read what’s coming.

  13. Yum, I love black pudding and Haggis. Wonderful photographs of your trip Jenny. Driving on the left side of the road is easy. It’s the other side that’s deadly (at least here in Australia) 😃 along with everything else.

    Gaz recently posted Yummy Lummy Pumpkin and cream of coconut soup.

  14. You are amazing! Glad they were raspberries! Lol!

  15. Everything about this is so excellent. I fell completely in love with Scotland when I was there in May, and I didn’t get to Skye or the raptoring or AFP’s yard. I’m so glad you gave me more “next time in Scotland” places…except maybe for the Gaiman/Palmer house, which sadly I would not be invited into unless Neil’s looking for another corpse to add to the closet on the left. Just another reason you’re the coolest, Jenny.

    Jess@NoPithyPhrase recently posted Make America Educated Again.

  16. You are amazing, this post was amazing and I’m not crying….. you’re crying.

  17. Wonderful! Thank you for sharing your journey!

  18. I love everything about this post. And kudos to you for getting out of the house! I wish I was as courageous as you!!

  19. Scotland transformed me as well. What amazing experiences you had!

  20. Congratulations on conquering so much to achieve this family trip … and welcome home!

  21. Those owls are the best ever. So proud of you, and so happy you had a wonderful trip.

  22. Owls! What a hoot! (no, I could not resist saying that).

  23. Way to go, Jenny! I’m so happy you had this adventure with your beautiful family!

    D.S. Lucas recently posted Locked Out of a Walmart Dressing Room.

  24. Congratulations on getting out of the house, braving falconry, monster(s), and haggis. My travels are more: Spent time with family. (Probably not human.) Stepped in feces. Didn’t notice the countryside while I blamed family for smell. <3

    Kristine @ MumRevised recently posted I Fly (Board).

  25. You look radiantly calm and I am overjoyed to see you out in the world. Depression and anxiety are twin assholes, and when one person beats them back, it is a win for us all.

  26. 26
    Major Bedhead

    Some day I’m going to get back to Great Britain. I lived there for a year and it was the most magical year of my life.

  27. I love Scotland too! Skye is amazing. When you go back (and you will) visit Doune Castle where they filmed Spamalot. You can roam about freely but when they do tours, there are coconuts to clop &make hoof noises.

  28. Just wondering how you didnt become SpiderWomen after facing 8 spiders in the bathroom

  29. 29
    Rosalie Wallis

    This was wonderful and you are fabulous! You bring tears of joy to my eyes.

  30. I’m so happy you’re writing again, and your trip sounds amazing! ♥

    Mamacita recently posted Stress Dreams.

  31. Yea Jenny! What an amazing summer vacation story. Can’t wait to read and see more about your adventures. You are still doing great!

  32. Once I asked for a side of ranch in a restaurant. They brought me horse radish. It was only after I smothered my french fry in it and took a bite that I noticed.

    It’s burned in my brain, now.

  33. 33
    Julie O'Connell

    This totally made my day – so glad you got to enjoy Scotland. What’s not to love? Do you say ‘och’, and ‘aye’, and ‘bairn’ in every sentence now? Or ‘noo’? 🙂

  34. I am so happy for you and your family, Jenny. Thank you so much for sharing your stories! ❤️

  35. What a great trip! Thank you for sharing your pictures – Scotland has always been on my list of places to visit. I’m glad you felt well enough to go on the trip and to enjoy it.

    samatwitch recently posted National Pet Day.

  36. I was following along on Twitter and Instagram and Scotland looked like a dream! So glad to hear you did so well and that you are WRITING A NEW BOOK!!!!!!!!

    There are not enough exclamation points in the world to adequately convey my excitement over this. 😁

    romcomdojo recently posted First Time? No, I’ve Been Nervous Lots of Times..

  37. 37
    AJ ( the short one )

    So proud of you and a bit jealous, too! Trip of a lifetime, of my dreams…someday. Thanks for sharing. Love.<3

  38. I’m so proud of you, you little cannibal cuddler!

    aliaselle18 recently posted Planning for Your First San Diego Comic-Con: A How-To Guide (Part 1).

  39. Girl I am THRILLED for you. I seriously got all teary. And driving through Scotland looks like driving through the French countryside only with less trees. I never realized my decision to go for the cheap compact rental probably saved my life a few times.

  40. Watching your IG posts made me incredibly silly happy for you and your family throughout your trip. I’m so glad you were able to go out and make these kinds of memories with Hailey (and Victor, too, I guess. LOL). <3

  41. Lovely. Every bit of it. Thanks for sharing. p.s. It occurs to me that the “fish” in the loch video could be an actual baby monster. Monsters surely start as infants just like anything else, right?!

  42. YES! I’m ecstatic for you. We did a falconry day in Wales 2 years ago and loved it. And castles…so many castles. My eldest is now planning our next family trip, which is apparently going to be to Scotland, since we “only” had time for Ireland and Wales last time. =)

  43. OMG, Jenny! What a wonderful adventure! I desperately wish I could have been there. I wouldn’t really be able to hike around, but the scenery is to die for. I’m so glad you were able to experience this. Now maybe you would be up for a JoCo Cruise with all of your friends? We can always pretend not to see you when you are having an anxiety attack and the staterooms are large enough not to make it worse.

  44. This is the most amazing post. Your pictures and videos are breathtaking! BTW you and your daughter are beautiful! Thanks for sharing and congratulations on your wins (all of them).

  45. Tickled pink for your successful, fantastic trip. Loved the pics!!

  46. This was beautiful I’m so freakin proud of you and that horseradish story made me spit out my dress no in the break room at work and people looked at me weird so thanks I blame you

  47. How wonderful such happy beautiful memories for you all / love following you and look forward to next book👍👋😀👏🏻😀😃😄😁😆

  48. I also popped a tire in Scotland. I did not know that was thing, but now I feel like part of a special club. I also did not see Nessie and I held an owl. It’s like we are twins.

  49. I’m thrilled that you’re not only out of the house but that you went to Scotland. I have times when I can’t open my email for fear of what I might find, so I’m a wee bit closer to understanding what you’re going through (just a wee).

    Then, to read down and discover that you know NG and AFP, and I really wish you’d had told me in person because I’m letting off Portugalized-wave sized squees and tearing up and all that energy is doing is scaring the cat down into the cellar. I was totes not expecting that you know one of my favorite authors who I’ll never meet in real life no matter how many books I’ll write.

    I really hope you can feel in full what an amazing vacation you had. The memorable times in our lives are created by those highs and lows, and you have to go out and work to get them (the highs, anyway; life throws us plenty of lows without us having to work at it).

  50. I love that you “miss” it! My mam is from Scotland and it feels like a second (or third since I live in a different state than I grew up in) home. I miss it terribly. It is so beautiful–everywhere! If you return, go to the Shetland islands. You will be BLOWN away! Potentially literally but definitely figuratively!

  51. What does it feel like getting the treatment?

    (Like getting hit in the head with a woodpecker. But you get used to it. ~ Jenny)

  52. I am so happy for you and for your family. I really enjoyed seeing all your pictures. Thank you so much for sharing your trip.

  53. 53
    IceBearNinja

    No exaggeration here. I almost cried when you tweeted the pics of you and Hailey withe birds of prey. You both looked so happy and it means such a lot to me that you were able to go do these things. Keep on with your bad self, and congrats on not being poisoned by Neil Gaiman and winding up in the room on the left.

  54. 54
    A Nony Mouse

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! It’s so good to see you get out and have fun and in SCOTLAND!! Wow, lucky you, it’s so beautiful and love the falcons and owls and (maybe) lake monster. Or fish or eel. But hey, you’re doing it! You’re out there among people in new places and enjoying it. So very, very happy for you!!!

  55. You look tres natural with a hawk landing on your arm.

  56. I met William the cat at Rosslyn Chapel two years ago. Good to know he’s still keeping an eye on the place.

  57. 57
    Karyn Doherty

    I. AM. SO. PROUD. OF. YOU!!

  58. Wow..that is so AWESOME.

    I wanna go.

  59. 59
    retrogradeorbiter

    You have the most beautiful smile.

  60. I feel vindicated by this post and the fact you’re still playing Pokémon Go. My friends make fun of me for it. Losers.

  61. Everything about this is amazing.

  62. It’s just amazing what you managed to do.So happy for you.

  63. My mom and her friends popped a tire in Scotland, too. Apparently, that’s a thing now.

    emilypageart recently posted Weekly Tattoo Wrap-up #12.

  64. Most excellent adventure!
    My father’s family is from Scotland and it’s on my bucket list.
    But…but.. Haggis?
    You’re my hero.

  65. 65
    Suzanne Smith Henley

    Just so effing magical and lovely for y’all. Thank you for letting us be happy for you.

  66. Among my general happiness at your trans-Atlantic success, I admire your “limited” itinerary. In the many-layerd book “A Room with a View” they mock a tourist whose memory of their travels is “Rome is where we saw that yaller dog! Ha ha!” For a trip where you were still soliciting suggestions, this one sounded like just-enough places. Hailey is a trooper for not letting her sprained ankle dim her smile.
    I am longing to know what the wilds of Scotland smelled like? The libraries? What did those old places sound like- those lovely stairways and doors?

    We’ve seen all the pets (#teamrolly) except Dot. Is she having a spa weekend with your folks or-?

  67. oh my, Scotland. My dear, you chose wisely. Well done for getting out there and I can’t thank you enough for the laugh. That convo with the palmer/gaiman household is pure gold.

    Meisje van 50 recently posted [:nl]Overgang en Alzheimer: is er een verband?[:en]Is there a connection between Alzheimer and Menopause?[:].

  68. So so happy for you and frankly jealous! Many hugs and high fives!

  69. Scotland is sneaky that way. You fall in love with it, when you go home you’re like what the fuck I’m homesick for Scotland. How is that possible? For me it was always well it’s in the blood(grandparents were born there) but I know people who have no Scottish DNA at all who feel the same. JAlba gu brath! (Scotland forever.)

  70. You should be proud! Loved all your pictures and comments! Lovely!

  71. Thank you for sharing you adventure with all of us. Scotland looks wildly wonderful and beautiful.

  72. Glad you enjoyed your trip here. Feel free to come back anytime. Like for book signings? We feel all left out.

    Did you try some tablet, Edinburgh rock or macaroons?

  73. I think catching a Mr Mime is the best part

  74. You’re married to Norm McDonald?

  75. You should be very proud of yourself. You fought the good fight and were rewarded with the trip of a lifetime! Congratulations!

    Kat recently posted I Survived Childhood In The 70’s.

  76. So happy the treatment was a success – even if a small one. You all look great.

  77. You all look radiant! And nice video of Loch Lochy McLochface!

  78. I caught my Mr. Mime on the last day of our honeymoon. #goals.

    Chrissy Woj recently posted 1979. Or melancholy and infinite sadness.

  79. 79
    Debra Crosby

    I love this post more than I can say. But the English major in me REALLY loves the William Carlos Williams-inspired bit. Well done! And I, too, am proud of you. This post made my day!

  80. 80
    Kellee Repko

    I’m so happy your are better. I’ve read both of your books. I actually bought your second one at Sea Tac airport. You see I’m looking for answers for my daughter that is so messed up. I read a lot of books like yours searching for answers. My daughter is on her own since she was 16 1/2. She emacipherself from us. It’s a long story but, you are so fortunate you are better. I feel like you struck gold. I don’t know much about your treatment or if it’s new I must research it. My best to you.

    Kellee Repko

  81. Scotland is one of the most amazing places EVER. So proud of my people! 😉 (also? that drive? my husband and I did that in Ireland and O.M.G. I think I lost a year or two of my life – between roads the size of sidewalks with 5′ high stone walls or hedges, constantly chanting “stay to the left stay to the left STAY TO THE LEFT!!”, and driving stick shift, it was like the worst rollercoaster dark hall of mirrors carnival ride – but with beautiful scenery. And sheep.)

    And congrats to you for DOING IT. The world is a big beautiful place, and its so wonderful you got to see some of the best of it.

  82. This post makes me insanely happy. You sound great. You look fabulous. Your daughter has become a gorgeous adult. You’re writing again! Woo Hoo!

  83. 83
    Alecia Ramsay

    Ahhhhhh Dalhousie Castle is my family’s castle! I mean, ostensibly. Our last name is Ramsay, at least. Ora et Labora, bitches (uh, that’s our family motto…we also have a plaid or two).

  84. 84
    Briona Allen

    Your trip looks amazing. So very happy for you.

  85. Have I told you how proud of you I am? I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!

  86. Wow! Way to go! So happy you are feeling better and got to see SCOTLAND! So jealous! You looked so happy in all of the pictures!!

  87. Thank you Jenny, for the beauty and the humour.

  88. I am soooooo proud of you!

  89. Breathtakingly beautiful!! I must go there immediately. Also, sticky toffee pudding is freaking sex on a plate with toffee sauce. I have a recipe. This is life.

  90. You are a huge inspiration to me. Seeing you brave another country while facing so much makes me believe I can too (on a smaller scale though, like a fair or something). Thank you for sharing your story and making me happy everyday.

  91. You met the Rosslyn cat? I met the Rosslyn cat! I think this means I’ve met you indirectly now.

  92. It’s all too amazing! And you are amazing! Thank you for including us in your journey and family adventure. Speaking for myself, I am happy for you and the strides you have been able to make in your life. You are truly remarkable!

  93. I am completely in touch with that emotion about Scotland. I went last year for three weeks and stayed with my stepfather, who had rented a house for a month there, and they’re there again this year right now. I didn’t save enough to go this year, but trust me, having to stay behind this year has taught me to never do that again (not save enough I mean). Scotland was amazeballs. I can’t wait to go back.

  94. Loch Lochy is noted for being the last refuge of the Scottish aquatic owl. That’s probably what you saw.

  95. Glad you had such a great trip! Wishing continued contentment ❤️

    Andrea Gillies recently posted Finally— remission.

  96. Deliriously happy you got to explore part of Europe. It’s fabulous. Also a wee bit proud of how far you’ve come.

  97. Wow, how wonderful!

    Kirk Kathleen recently posted The Towns.

  98. Thrilled for you, in fact deliriously happy you have made this trip! What an experience. Be brave, be proud, be fabulous!

  99. I’m so glad you were able to feel well enough to go and to actually leave your room each day. You give all of us hope!

  100. So glad that you had a good time in Scotland. I followed your trip on Twitter and it was wonderful to see you looking so happy in your photos. Well done for pushing past the anxiety and getting out there. Come back soon, we have plenty more to see 🙂

  101. I’m so proud of you too! I’ve been reading your blog for years (since 2011, I think??) and what a journey you’ve been on and to watch you go to Europe is just amazing. I also think that last photo of you on this post should be the back cover in your next book. Love it! xoxo

  102. 102
    Barbara Sullivan

    Best travel writing. Best photography. I can’t wait for your new book.

  103. Scotland feels like home to me, so I totally understand not wanting to leave it. Thanks for taking me “with” you. And you took my advice for Rosslyn, so we’re basically best friends now right? 😋 But seriously hope you loved it!

  104. 104
    kip courtemanche

    Love the family photo, feces and all. Glad you had such a great time in Scotland and shared. Look forward to London. Are you doing a book of your travels?

  105. Yaaaaaaaaah! I’m so glad you got to do this, take these amazing pictures, and share this story!

    Ben recently posted Life update: August 2018.

  106. 106
    T Macdonald

    Ditto everything everyone above wrote. But also, I’m totally coveting Hailey’s pink pullover with the musical notes!

  107. I want to see Scotland. But mostly, I just want to land in Heathrow Airport with $1000 in my pocket so I can shop until I die in the Harry Potter store.

    becomingcliche recently posted The Introverted Activist: Be the Light.

  108. Happy for you that you had such a lovely time. (Scotland is one of my all time favorite places.) Happy for me that you included your interactions with Neil and Amanda in this post. Absolutely dying!

  109. 109
    Rebeca Ramirez

    Thank you for taking us along for the ride Jenny! Cant wait to see where you will go next.

  110. I loved re-living Scotland through you, thank you. I visited in 2012 with my mom and we both fell in love so hard we were actually looking at real estate before we left. But we came home to our families. I’ve told mine that when my time comes cremate me and scatter me in Scotland. I feel like it’s where I belong. Would move the world to live there.

  111. 111
    Lisa Arbour

    ❤️❤️❤️

  112. I only spent two days in Scotland and it felt more like home to me than anywhere else I’ve traveled. Your pictures only confirm that I have to go back! I am so glad you had such a wonderful adventure and saw so many glorious things!

  113. I am so happy for you! As always, your family is beautiful. Loving the look of triumph on your face. You rock, Jenny!

  114. Part of me is a bit jealous, as I’ve never been, but I am also so very happy that you felt well enough to not only leave your house but the country entirely. Looks gorgeous. (Also I kind of feel a bit creepy for scoping out the pics on your IG though rock that Mr Mime)

  115. I am so glad you enjoyed Scotland! It was a total dream for me too! And there is no such thing as too many photos of Scotland’s Beauteous scenery/landscape. My only complaint about anything there for the 2 weeks is that the coffee leaves a bit to be desired. Food was good, people were wonderful. Scenery was even more wonderful.

  116. 116
    theotherjdk

    Beautiful pictures! As fellow depression sufferer I am so happy the transcranial magnetic stimulation provided you with enough relief that you were able to take this trip AND enjoy it.! And who wouldn’t want to poke around Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer’s closets?? Do they have cellar?? Is the door barred and guarded?? I bet it’s filled with dark, glitter fabulosity!

  117. Loving the pics! And I know how it goes, it’s pretty much impossible to take a bad photo in some places, they’re stunning even if you’re the worst photographer ever. Just got back from 2 weeks in Switzerland and people don’t believe I actually took the photos I did, they look too good. I haven’t even had a chance to do my normal photoshop tweaking yet that I do to get rid of washed out colors or cropping to take out the boring bits. Congrats on getting out of the house to experience it!

  118. 118
    AinOakPark

    I didn’t KNOW that I wanted to go to Scotland!

    I am glad things can be magical for you. It must make it worth it. So happy for you.

    Sheep shit is still sheep shit, though. Did you have trouble coming back to the USA having tramped through farm country?

  119. Thank you for sharing!! Also, kudos on getting out & going – very cool!

  120. The brain stabbing really looks like it worked — your face seems so different — especially your eyes. They sparkle again! SOOOOOOO excited for you, and a little teary (happy tears, of course!) that you’re out there again!

    Also totally jealous. Of the bird thing. And the Neil Gaiman thing. And the sticky toffee pudding thing. Oh, hell, of the whole Scotland thing. 😉

  121. The Viking and I invaded Europe for 7 glorious weeks, driving through 9 countries and arguing our way through several Wonders of the World. We stayed one night in an honest-to-Gawd German Castle that scared the shit out of me. I’m so glad you were able to go to Scotland….you’ll never be the same again. :o)

    Mrs. Completely recently posted Annual Health Review.

  122. How amazing! Good for you!

    Thank you for sharing your trip with us. Scotland looks lovely.

  123. What a happy post! I loved it and got to see what Victor looked like 🙂 You looked so wonderful and that falcon………what a trip!! Lucky you.

  124. I had such a shitty ass day and this made me giggle and hug my iPad and say “I love this woman so much, and I m so happy for her, and we’ve never met.”

    Thank you thank you thank you…..

    vtaluna recently posted Synchronicity or just weirdness?.

  125. I am delighted to read and see and giggle at this. You so totally rock. Would you ever have thought you would see a picture of your wonderful self holding (mounting? supporting?) a real raptor on your arm? THIS WAS CAMP, LOIS, AND FOR CHRIST’S SAKE YOU GOT TOUGH AND YOU DIDN’T DIE.

  126. 126
    fictionfiend

    Look at you living life! So happy for you! FUCK YEAH! GO JENNY!

  127. Writing again ! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏
    Welcome home. ❤️

  128. See?! I told you castles and lochs and nature walks are the best ever in Scotland! I still have fond memories of visiting my friend in Edinburgh and we took a cheap £55 bus tour in the highlands and when it stopped at a tourist trap cafe for lunch we grabbed our sack lunches we premade and climbed up a hill into the sheep pasture and ate lunch with the sheep. I have pictures, but this is a blog comment so I can’t put them here.

  129. Everything looks fantastic!

  130. 130
    Danielle E.

    Those pictures and videos were incredible!!!! I’ve never been out of the US, but your adventures make me want to go sooner rather than later… You conquered so much and looked so serene. I’m so happy for you!

    PS- that has to be a baby Loch Ness monster. It really is the only logical conclusion. 🙂

  131. Omg I am so stupidly happy for you. And I laughed so hard over the Twitter convos re Gaimans house and bodies and berries, the dogs were disturbed but the toddler started laughing delightedly with me which after the POS day I’ve had was so needed so thank you for that. Also is it weird that I’m kinda going “omg I’ve shaken handsaw a womanwho stays in Neil Gaimans house for funsies!!” (Not that shaking your hand for your own sake wasn’t completely awesome but this is somehow like bonus awesome by association. If that makes sense toanybody but me.) Ya know how most people are about movie stars? I’ve met several and I’m totally chill bc they’rejustpeopley’all but Authors?? Omg. Watch me fan girl and high five myself if I don’t squee in The Presence. Bc me.

  132. Scotland is my favorite place on planet Earth, and I’ve been to a shit ton of planets! Plus, it’s my island!!!!

  133. So happy you had an awesome trip… and now Scotland is on my bucket list… thanks for sharing your vacation with us! Amazing that you were able to go and ENJOY! So very very happy that you, Hailey, and Victor had such an amazeballs time!

  134. Wow, just wow. I am so happy for you and now I want to go to Scotland 🙂 Happy trails!

  135. I’m Scottish (but now live in Illinois. Yeah not much difference 🙄) and I’m happy your enjoyed my homeland, even the coo’s. Now I want square sausage and sticky toffee pudding 🙁 Midnight snack time?

  136. Ummm…how do you know what standing on cats feels like? Asking for my cats.

  137. So, so, SO hugely happy for you, Jenny! You are amazing and such an inspiration. Love and hugs.

  138. Beautiful photographs

  139. 139
    Andy in Thailand

    You don’t know me and I don’t know you except through your blog….but, I haven’t felt as happy for someone this much in a long time. Congratulations on making the trip….who is the new pope?

  140. Sorry if this is a lame suggestion, but have you ever tried EMDR therapy for the depression and anxiety? 💗

  141. Sorry if this is a lame question, but have you ever tried EMDR therapy for your depression and anxiety?

    (I’ve done the reframing and refocusing therapy – which was helpful – but not the eye movement stuff. ~ Jenny)

  142. I didn’t know you were dealing with depression.
    None of my business, just wondering, have you had a screening for bipolar disorder?
    Because many people (in about 60% of the cases) are misdiagnosed as depressed while being bipolar. While depression is part of the bipolar disorder, taking anti-depressants won’t change a thing, which I assume is the case with you, because one year is one hell of a long time to be dealing with depression.
    Another pope, fuck me, I’m pretty sure that’s the last thing this world needs.

    http://www.thedialoguesofkrisandvlad.wordpress.com

    (According to my shrinks I do have some indicators for bipolar but they don’t think I have it. ~ Jenny)

  143. I’m sure Google will be more than happy to share that dreadful news with you 🙂

    http://www.thedialoguesofkrisandvlad.wordpress.com

  144. Yeah she is, she’s braking this ridiculous taboo there’s around opening up about our mental health issues. Personally, I’m pretty sure everyone has them others just decide to ignore them or hide them deep inside them. And ironically initially many people think that the ones opening up are the week ones. Lol.

    http://www.thedialoguesofkrisandvlad.wordpress.com

  145. Wait, you’ve never tried it? It’s like rollerskating but slightly more slippery.

    http://www.thedialoguesofkrisandvlad.wordpress.com

  146. Midnight snack? Fuck that, I want it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And of course, midnight snack.

    http://www.thedialoguesofkrisandvlad.wordpress.com

  147. Jenny, this is kind of off topic (though vaguely related due to the mr mime), but did they raise the friend list limit with the whole add three new friends for celebi? I’m not sure why they keep pushing introverts to be social, but if you’re maxed out seems like that is in the same boat as not having people to add

    (They didn’t up the friend limit so I had to delete some people I’ve never interacted with to finish the research. Argh. ~ Jenny)

  148. So thrilled for you, Jenny!

  149. Is it too weird to be so happy for someone that I don’t even know? No, it is not. I am so ding dang happy for you.

  150. I’m so so glad that you had a wonderful trip!!

  151. Sticky toffee pudding is the greatest thing in the world! I have to order it specially in the US so I can get my monthly fix.

    And isn’t Scotland amazing?! So glad you liked it 🙂

  152. 153
    Sharon Vann

    To the Whole Family: I am so jealous! That is the best way to see anywhere – together. (The first time. The second time, each person gets to have a day or two to do what they liked the most the first time.)

  153. That made me smile (a genuine why-is-that-lady-smiling-at-her-computer-screen smile). 🙂 I’m so happy for you! Scotland looks beyond beautiful… and how cool that you stayed at Neil Gaiman’s house! AND played w/ adorable cannibalistic owls. Win!

  154. My brother passed away unexpectedly in February of 2017. My husband, daughter, and I already had plane tickets to Scotland for that spring. After the horrible ordeal of dealing with everything that comes with death, Scotland was like balm for the soul. I finally was able to stop, sleep, and reflect. Decompress a bit. We had one day on the trip where I swear my brother was sending me a message telling me it would be ok. There were so many crazy coincidences, that I ended up crying my eyes out, but also feeling like he was over my shoulder.

    Scotland is magical. We are going again next spring because we never got to Skye, and because it kind of feels like home. Glad you had a similar experience. It’s a beautiful land full of beautiful people.

  155. You made me want to go to Scotland even more than I already wanted to. Thanks for helping us see it through your eyes.

    Jenny Bristol recently posted Personal Responsibility.

  156. Wonderful smiles! Looks like a lovely, lovely visit.

  157. Let me know if you come to Cambridge. I’ll show you around. It’s only 50 miles north of London. You can get a train from Platform 9(and three quarters) at Kings Cross.

  158. 159
    Margaret Flint Suter

    Lovely to see all these places once again. Lived in Scotland for 6 years in the late 70’s early 80’s. Marvelous to see not a great deal has changed, especially the rural roads that are so fun to drive! I actually still have a valid British driving license that does not expire until 2025! So happy for you to have felt like you could make this trip, and it was surely worth it for me to see you enjoying it! Especially enjoyed seeing the falconer at work and SO JEALOUS of you and your daughter being able to have them come to your fist, booyah!!

  159. I am just completely blown away. Not only did you go to Scotland, you stayed at NEIL GAIMAN’S house?!?! And you ate his raspberries?!? I am seriously almost in tears. That’s just too perfect. So thrilled for you. Also, where did you get the grey long sweatery thing you’re wearing in the hawk pictures, because that looks like something I need to put on my body, STAT.

  160. The reason you missed Scotland is that you are awesome and Scotland is awesome and you belong together. Luckily Scotland comes with, when you leave.
    Oh and BTW read Slade House by David Mitchell, if you haven’t already. Nothing to do with Scotland, I just finished the book. Inventively scary. He wrote Cloud Atlas also, not scary but way inventive. Sorry for the side-alley.

  161. I’m so incredibly happy for you and the fam! Puddings! Pictures! Owls! And Neil G and Amanda P.! Let’s hear it for tiny little zapping magnets as well as for your courage and humor!

  162. So very happy to hear that you’re writing again. It’s been a life-saver for me and I can’t imagine my life without words 🙂

    Mona Andrei (aka Moxie-Dude) recently posted Back to school. Midlife (with a reluctant ‘ish’). And a writer’s retreat..

  163. Amazing trip! Currently dying with jealousy at your accommodations, cursèd though they may be. I lived in Scotland for a few years and pine for it constantly (not the single-track-with-passing-places roads though, I’ve seen my life flash before my eyes many times thanks to trips in the Highlands), I’m so glad you enjoyed your visit.

  164. What an awesome trip report! Thanks so much for taking us along on your trip to see the sights (and the laughs!) I’m so happy you enjoyed Scotland, my homeland and favourite place. (Not that it matters, but it’s Eileen Donan Castle, rather than “Eileen Donna” 😉)

  165. Is it weird that the thing I’m most jealous [in a good way] of is your Mr. Mime?!

  166. 167
    Jennifer Quinlan

    your trip looked amazing. you looked amazing. H looked amazing, her style is incredible. you did exactly enough

  167. 168
    Remy Tankel-Carroll

    Your pictures are fantastic! I’m so happy for you and your family that you’re getting to experience the wonders of Europe. And I’m super excited you’re writing again. Can’t wait til your new book comes out. Looking forward to your London pictures. Have a wonderful time!

  168. I’m so glad that you were able to take this trip because all three of you looked so happy. What great memories for beautiful Hailey. You can never have too many pictures of cool stuff. I loved following the photos on Instagram. Scotland was gorgeous and you totally saw the stuff in Paris that I would want to see now versus when I was a clueless teenager following my French teacher and the Internet was not a thing.
    https://possumscatsthingsgnawingatme.wordpress.com/2018/08/21/olivia-wigglebothum-vs-the-bee/

  169. 170
    Michell L DuBose

    Your whole trip gives me hope and was inspiring. If you can do it, I can conquer my anxiety and do it too. Can’t wait for your next book!

  170. Jenny, you rock. Can’t wait for the book!

  171. I didn’t know Mila Kunis was a professional falconer. Who’s Neil?

  172. 173
    cherylnoble

    I am written from Nairobi. I am a retired social worker with a career helping anxious, depressed and mentally ill people. You job now is to find things that work for you when anxious . No one ever died from anxiety, even panic attacks that make you feel like you’ll died. They are miserable but always pass. Xanax is a circle that’s hard to get out of. I’ve seen people go off it and withdraw for 3-4 days. Things that haves worked for others and me too are: meditation, yoga, having a conversation with yourself reminding that you will always get through it, ride out the misery because freedom is what you’ll get afterward

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  173. 174
    goosefairy

    Knowing what you’ve gone through then seeing this made me cry. Happy tears though. Happy cry for you.

  174. I am so so sooooo happy for you!!! I follow your Instagram but don’t often check Twitter so some of that was new, totally laughed at the pudding posts. I’ve only met you once, briefly, but I feel so very excited and happy and proud that you were able to do this, to visit such amazing places and actually have fun.

  175. So many have said this already, but YAY for you, so happy that you are feeling better and able to travel. I enjoyed the photos on Instagram as you posted and I enjoyed the total recap here. It looks like an amazing trip for your family.

  176. Glad to see you’re enjoying your trip to the U.K. as much as I’m reading about it. You should try and squeeze a visit in to Wales and enjoy the merriment and scenery it offers you. Happy travels.

    Trev Jones recently posted Afternoon Visiting Presteigne.

  177. After first reading Harry Potter, I wanted an owl and am so envious that you went for a walk with one! But a friend adopted one for me here: https://www.arc4raptors.org/adopt-a-bird.html

  178. This post is everything. That last selfie is the face of contentment. So happy for you! Cannot wait to see London.

  179. 180
    M.E. Powers

    There’s nothing like snickering in the doctor’s office to make people who like to sit too close – get up and move. You are my hero. Glad you had a grand adventure and survived!

  180. 181
    Linda Whitworth

    Loved that look of joy on your face when the falcon landed on your arm! Amazing pictures- you’re a star for taking the risk and having those experiences as a result.

  181. Love this, but have to ask, WHY are you comparing yourself to “most people?” – Most people aren’t published authors who’ve influenced thousands and thousands of people who are leading the way for change in the way our society thinks about/talks about mental health. You are a rock star – don’t forget that.

  182. Eilean Donna Castle…When I say it out loud, it sounds like “I leaned on a castle.” Of course, I could be mispronouncing it. But I still find it amusing!

    Scotland looks amazing, and I’m sooo jealous that you got to stay at Neil Gaiman’s house!

  183. Holy shit, Jennie…. castles, haggis (love it!), hawks and owls, NEIL FREAKIN’ GAIMAN’S HOUSE?!?!?! I’m officially jealous. So glad you got to see Castle Eilean Donan… that’s the castle of my ancestors, Clan Macrea!

  184. Jenny, knowing all that you have gone through with depression and anxiety, your obvious happiness was even more exciting to see than the beautiful vistas of Scotland. So glad to see that beating the crap out of your brain was worth it!

  185. 186
    Gabriela Tobal

    OMG. This post made me so ridiculously happy. I share a lot of your writings/drawings/posts with my friends, but this one is simply THE.BEST on the happiness scale. Yay!!!!!!!!!

  186. 187
    LeAnn Woodward

    I followed your trip via IG and was so happy for you! I’m so adding this to my bucket list.

  187. I truly enjoyed the pictures that you shared from your vacation. And I am thrilled to learn that you are writing again! WOO HOO! And that we’ll read about it in the next book. I so want to see Scotland now. You are the second person who has posted vacation pics from there. It is a breathtaking place!!

  188. Scotland is my favorite and I am so happy for you!!!!

  189. […] via And then everything changed. #Scotland […]

  190. In case anyone else thinks the “white smoke” on the plane is ominous, it’s just condensation from the AC. Happens a lot when they first turn the AC on when it’s humid. Never fails to freak a nervous flyer out something good, but it’s totally fine!

  191. So I don’t usually cooment #causeanxiety but I’ve been following you online for years now and I just needed to tell you that I am so happy for you and so, SO fucking proud of you!!! Tearing up right now. This is so huge and so incredibly full of hope. Much love.

  192. Aaaaand I fucked it up… *comment

  193. I’m so happy for you.

  194. I so enjoyed following your trip on Twitter. I’ve bookmarked so many places that either you went to or others recommended, especially as most of them were of the ‘quirky, off the beaten track, off the tourist map’ variety. What an incredible trip, I think you packed so much into just one week! And thankyou for helping us all to feel just a little bit braver.

    The Lockwood Echo recently posted Glitterati; The B Side.

  195. You got to visit Scotland?!? I AM SO JEALOUS.
    Glad you were able to go and had a good time. Also, depending on when you went, we may have been in London right around the same time!

  196. 197
    tanya munroe

    what an adventure and such gorgeous pics!! i was in scotland w the hubs in june and i was the driver and we foolishly went from isle of skye to appleton via the ROAD OF PANIC ATTACKS AND DEATH aka The Bealach and it was horrible and stunning and of course we got a flat on the way out and almost ran out of gas but i was so selfishly happy that you also had a bum tire so i could show the hubs it was not just me who gets a flat in scotland. AYE : )

  197. I can not say enough how much this post meant to me. I leave tomorrow for a solo trip to Scotland. Which is probably the biggest test my anxiety has ever gone through. I’m so fricking scared but I’m so excited too. You’re photos reminded me of why I am going.

  198. Mr Mime!!
    My sister in law has been in Europe for over a month, and tried and failed to catch me one on my account!! Lucky you!
    Also yeah, family, depression, owls, etc…

  199. What awesome pictures, so proud of you!!!!!

  200. I flew that owl at Dalhousie! I left a piece of my soul in Scotland and I can’t wait to go back. The people and the country are just amazing. I’m so glad your treatment allowed you to visit!

  201. It’s lovely to read such glowing comments about Scotland… just a few constructive comments…
    “Eileen Donan Castle” isn’t really called Eileen, I’m afraid… it’s Eilean Donan Castle.
    And there’s far more whisky than whiskey in Scotland. I appreciate that this is an American blog, but we seem to be suffering more and more from US spelling here in the UK – it’s bad enough that most people in England don’t know that Scotland is a completely different country with its own civil and criminal justice systems, etc., etc.
    Well, except those that didn’t know until it was too late that the drink/drive limit is much lower here, and get caught and banned… 🙂

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