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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Wowk


Glimpse. A piece inspired in a cozy London pub.

She peered out the train window as it slowly picked up speed. Her beloved castle, the tip of the Scott Monument spire, and Princes Street Gardens all quickly became a blur. She sighed, sat back in her seat and closed her eyes.

"What's wrong?" he asked. Eyes still closed, she replied, "It just wasn't enough. It was only a glimpse." Only a glimpse, she thought, just like being here with you. "It would seem a traveler wants to have her cake and eat it too," he teased. She opened her eyes, and smiled at him. "Exactly."

Turning back to the window, she shook off giving into the small ache she felt in her heart. And instead remembered how lucky she was to be back in the country she loved. Bonnie Scotland. "You're going back so soon?!" they'd gasp. "But you're just getting settled in NYC." So soon, she thought, is entirely a matter of perspective. It'd been exactly 3 months since she begrudgingly packed up her happy Edinburgh life. The blessing and the curse of time - it flies by either way.

A few days earlier, as her plane from New York to London prepared for take off, she took in the view from her window seat -- a showcase of one of man's greatest inventions. Wings. There's strength in these wings, she thought, and every time I fly, I strengthen my wings. With each flight she took, she felt it that much easier to stay up in the air, and conversely, that much harder to settle in. What's so good about settling in anyhow, she thought. As the plane lifted off the ground she couldn't help but smile, "... you're up, above it. You're free." Freedom now. Adventure ahead. Wheels Up indeed.

Wheels Up was the promise she had made herself during her very first week in Edinburgh. Say yes to everything, give it all a chance, and for goodness sakes - don't get in your own way. But Wheels Up wasn't her only promise. Heart Open was too. Wheels Up; Heart Open. Taking on adventures proved the easy part. Keeping her heart open presented quite a challenge at times. Nevermind keeping it open, some days she wasn't even certain that she'd brought it with her. In truth, it wasn't always easy to be so very much on her own. She loved it at times, and the freedom thrilled her - but the situation afforded a lot of space for fear to creep in. Fortune favors the brave, she knew. And on the brink of 2014, among others, she made one resolution built from that knowledge - don't let fear win. It carried her through the first few months back home. She heeded those words to make big changes. To move cities. To be on her own, again. To take the first step. In the whirlwind of change, she somehow managed to be patient. To trust herself. To remove what she hid behind and to open herself up to all kinds of beauty. To get out of her own way (again). To collect what she could in between, experiences that would become stories, to be shared in time. To find that just a glimpse was better than losing sight of it all.

But the real gift this glimpse gave her was this: in seven months of whirlwind Wheels Up travel, excitement, and magic - she was never truly sure about Heart Open. Looking back now at the week she'd had -- turns out, her heart most certainly had been open all along. As her plane bound for the States readied for takeoff, she looked out at those wings again, and this time, released the need to know what was next. For a good traveler is not intent on arriving, she thought, and it was a traveler's heart within that was beating just a bit stronger now.

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