I had been in Scotland for about 9 months before I came home in May 2014. I will set out for Scotland again in about one month. While in Scotland, I marveled at the beauty surrounding me, about how great it was to discover new things and places, and basically about being away from home. A few weeks ago, I took a hike in the hills near my house in California with my mom, sister, and dog, and marveled not at the newness, but at the familiar beauty of my home. The hike reminded me again of how wonderful the place I come from is, and with that reminder came a message: going off to explore the world is a frightening, amazing, and exhilarating thing, but exploring my home is equally important and rewarding. Wherever life may take me, I will always have my home to return to.
Here are some of my favorite photos from the hike: