Journey...now there's a word. So much happened on this Journey to Scotland that to put it into words would be nearly impossible. First off, the airports alone were a Journey. Baggage check-in, customs, agriculture, baggage claim, yah not so bad if it’s just you, but when you're traveling with 24 other people that’s 24 pieces of luggage to check-in. Then there's the extra luggage for costumes and gifts which brought the grand total of 31 check in bags leaving and 34 coming back...Crazy!
London is an amazing and beautiful city. With its giant architectural buildings and statues it makes you feel like you're back in time. You literally see all the history that London has been through as you walk down the streets. We were only in London for 4 days so our days were booked back to back, non-stop. Each day we were touring, seeing shows, visiting people and places, and shopping. There was never a down moment in London except for when we were sleeping and even that wasn’t for too long since we would come back late and leave early. Some people thought we were crazy because we were always on the go, but if you think about how much money went into this trip and divide that up between the hours you had in a day it gave deeper meaning to “Time is Money!” and I didn’t mind because I felt like I got my moneys worth.
It was so exciting and we were moving as fast as the city around us so it really made the experience genuine so much so that I planned on moving to London one day. My first Broadway show that I ever seen in my life was at London’s West End and it was Wicked and I got to say that’s pretty great! It was everything I thought it would be and more. But it didn’t stop there. We also got to see Blood Brothers and Jersey Boys, and met with the cast of South Pacific, which was the cherry at the top for me. That was also where I caught my first cab and let me say that that in itself was an experience. The cab rides were fast and crazy it felt like I was on a roller coaster and some drivers weren’t so friendly either but hey they got us to our destination so it was good. Got my first taste of some UK fish & chips in London and it was so golden crispy and buttery it just melted in your mouth. Some more touring spots and then we were on a train and off to Scotland.
I noticed right off the bat that next to London's vibrant and busy city, Scotland was the more peaceful country side and what can I say, once a country boy always a country boy. I immediately fell in love with the openness of it all. The fields, the trees, the farms, the lochs (lakes) were something straight out of a painting that always look so tranquil from cottages on the cliff side over looking the ocean to cabins up in the mountains surrounded by giant trees.
Although we were moving at a slower pace than London there was still much to do in Scotland. We got to perform on the Royal Mile as well as pitch our show along side of hundreds of fellow performers. We got to visit Edinburgh and Sterling castles as well as meet Hamish, the Highland cow, and his family. We also met other performing arts groups from across the states and got to see a couple of their shows, a lot of genuinely nice and talented people. My food spot of choice while in Scotland was this little shop called Clamshell. It sold pretty much deep fried anything. I love deep fried anything! Of course we did some more shopping in Scotland and also got to see the Military Tattoo show which are military bands from around the world. The stadium is built around the entrance of the Edinburgh castle so that the castle is the back drop with lights and fireworks sitting that close to a castle, listening to the bands beautiful music was magical in itself.
Walking across bridges in London, riding in double decker buses, going to Jane Austen’s house, Winchester cathedral, Stonehenge, Westminster Abbey, Abbey Road, Trafalgar square, Piccadilly circus, watching Broadway shows at West End and catching a train at the famous Kings cross station through the wondrous pastures of London England just to arrive at Edinburgh Scotland and seeing Edinburgh castle, Sterling castle, performing at the royal mile, witnessing the Military tattoo show, and meeting Hamish, Heather, and Honey. Food, shopping, and sites to see but the one thing that stuck with me was..."I'm in Europe!"
I mean don't get me wrong all of those things were amazing to see and do and made the trip so awesome, but when I stepped back and realized where I was and all the countless people that helped to get me there, that’s when it changed my outlook on life.
I mean here is a boy, born and raised in Waianae, working two minimum wage jobs, a striving student at the local community college, feeling like his dreams are so far away and yet he's there, in the cold and rain, with a snow jacket, scarf, earmuffs, and gloves (things you definitely can't get in Hawaii), freezing his butt off in Scotland fulfilling his dream, and if that dream could come true then why not the rest? Performing on Broadway, traveling the world, the list is endless. With hard work, the right support group, and the drive, passion, and heart needed to succeed in anything in life...anything’s possible.
The lessons learned, opportunities given, and exciting experiences is what truly made this trip...a Journey. And I thank all our supporters and the Kitsu family for that!