On the last day of our trip, I stood at the top of Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh. Everything had come full circle. My journey through the United Kingdom both started and ended with a stellar trek up a mountain that tested my physical and mental endurance. 13460879_10207823028826325_1895972710_oIt all began at Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland. I had veered off the beginner’s path from the rest of the group and chose to take the path less traveled by, and in this case it was the advanced hikers trail. If it meant hiking an extra mile up an insane incline to get the best view, I knew that was the only option for me. After I was half way in to the advanced section of the trail, I started to notice my fatigue and my underwhelming state of fitness. But I could see the top of the mountain. My goal was clearly visible and I refused to let myself stop there. For some unknown reason, my instinct was to finish the last leg by running up the mountain. I instantly had flashbacks to running the mandatory mile in gym class as a kid. I recalled the physical feeling of exhaustion as well as the refusal to accept the mental defeat of quitting just before the finish line. So I pushed, and I pushed myself some more. At some point, I completely stopped feeling the pain and found myself standing tall and proud at the peak of Giants Causeway. IMG_7090As I got half way up the mountain at Arthur’s Seat in Edinburg, I started to feel the burn in my thighs and shins. Again the pike was within sight. I refused to let the incline defeat me and I once again found myself running up the hill towards victory. When I mounted the top, I was greeted by greeted by a three hundred and sixty-degree view overlooking the city of Edinburgh. I stood at the top of Arthurs Seat in Edinburgh Scotland and inhaled the smell of fresh grass and I was gently sprinkled with the cool Scottish mist. Standing alone at the top, I took it all in. The way the wind struck across my damp skin. How my legs trembled as I tried to catch my breath. The stiffness in my fingers from lack of blood circulation and the crisp wind that struck against my digits. I want to channel every sense and engrave it in to my memory. I don’t want to forget this moment. Or any other second of this trip. I sat at the top of the mountain and reflected on the past five weeks. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to have experienced this moment and go on this trip. There could not have possibly been a better way to close this chapter, but at complete and total peace.

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