Happy Thursday, and welcome back to your shelter-in-home virtual tour! Just want to check in really quickly - How are you doing? You hangin' in there? I'll admit that I'm doing fairly well, but I definitely have good days and some not-as-good days. We're all going through it, and I'm here to help any way I can. Sometimes I think a virtual tour is a bit silly, but then again, silly is wonderful and we're all stuck outside of normalcy. So, basically, I'm really happy you're here and that you keep coming back. And if this is your first visit, welcome! Pull up a chair, and kick up your feet - I'm so happy to have you! If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post on my trip to Pompeii - “bus singalongs and the okey dokey karaoke origin story” - you can click here to catch up! That post also includes links to all the previous European tour posts, as well (which is also in in the P.S. section of this post) in case you want/need to catch up! So, now that you’ve gotten used to the sights, sounds, and tastes of Italy (or me blabbering on about virtual tours), let’s bop off to somewhere a bit less warm but with some of the best people I’ve met: Scotland! I decided to write about Scotland because I recently completed a course from The University of Edinburgh, which gave me so many warm and fuzzy feelings since I loved the city so much (and also, who else watches Outlander? Where my Outlander ladies at?!)!
When I sat down to write this post, I’ll admit that I was a bit overwhelmed. I actually visited Scotland on more than one occasion while I lived in Ireland because I absolutely fell in love with Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands. The first time I traveled to Scotland, I ended up in Edinburgh to perform with the International Ensemble Team in the (first ever!) Edinburgh International Improv Festival. My team, The Special Relationship, was made up of so many talented people from the US and the UK that I think about so often and miss so much! We ended up getting invited back to perform in year 2, but I was working on set of HBO’s Mare of Easttown so my schedule wouldn’t permit. More on those amazing funny, warm talented cuties in an upcoming post.
How did I end up performing at the Edinburgh International Improv Festival (EIIF)? Funny you should ask! I had performed in Improv Fest: Ireland a few months prior (in another post to come - isn’t it fun that I'm doing all of this out of order? lol) and right afterwards realized that there were probably other improv festivals in Europe to which I could apply to perform. I sent out a few emails to various festivals even though I’d missed the deadline on most of them! For the EIIF I actually heard back about it while I was home visiting family over the Christmas holidays. I’d received an email from the event organizer who put the entire thing together, asking if I was still interested since a member of the Ensemble team had dropped out and a space had opened up. As it turned out (no big surprise here if you know me), I was extremely interested in performing comedy and visiting Scotland for the first time. And as fate would have it, the head of the festival was close friends with one of my former Garage Band teammates who I absolutely adored. That one connection discovered via email was enough on its own to hype up my excitement-meter to 20 (on a scale of 1 to 10 obviously).
Now all I had to do was figure out how to make it work with my Masters Degree class schedule since attending the festival would mean missing both a Friday performance class and a Monday evening Strategy/Analysis class. But I was excited, and nothing was going to hinder that excitement. I reached out to the appropriate professors, handing in the assignments due and informing them about the opportunity. They were both incredibly supportive and told me to break a leg. Thinking of my professor of my Performance class and how supportive and encouraging she was to me in my journey (and still is when I talk with her) makes me tear up a bit. At some point, she will definitely have her own post; she put forth so much light and shared so much wisdom that she, alone, would have made the Masters experience entirely worth it had there been no other components to the academic journey.
So now that I’d informed my professors and the festival head that I’d be in attendance, I pulled up RyanAir (thank god for RyanAir and all its inexpensive magic that allowed me to fly all over Europe) and booked myself a round trip ticket to Edinburgh. Let the adventure to Scotland truly begin... in tomorrow's post!
If you enjoyed something from my time in Rome or can relate to any of the stories I've told about Italy, moving to Europe, or finding your way in a new place, I truly want to hear about them! So please subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Instagram or Twitter, or reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been getting a lot of really great, fun-to-read stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe. The stories of other people’s travels that I’ve gotten to read recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! Especially during this time of uncertainty and pandemic, it's important to surround yourself with good and find/do things that bring you joy; we're all in this together. I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.
P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):
1. Won't you join me?
2. grateful for starbucks and sandymount strand
3. Once Upon a December in the National Gallery
4. plant a smooch for that gift of gab
5. may the 4th be with you: Dingle style
6. cinco de mayo: the best Mexican food in Dublin
7. pizza in roma
8. mussolini’s window and the philosophers’ metro stop
9. father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife
10. it's the vatican, not the vatican't
11. spoiler alert: i did not lose my hand
12. more pizza and gelato and Neptune, oh my
13. craft beer, romper season, and volcano magic
14. bus singalongs and the okey dokey karaoke origin story