Home Again… For the First Time

Chelle Honiker
Jul 31 · 3 min read

There’s something a little spooky about visiting a new place and feeling like you’ve been there before. It’s been more than a little unnerving to have deja vu multiple times a day while I’ve been in Scotland for the last 2 weeks.

The question begs, am I a reincarnated Scottish Princess (probably), feeling the effects of a genetic link to a mother country (definitely), or maybe it’s just wishful dreaming on my part to deeply love a place that I’ve dreamed of visiting all my adult life.

It’s more than likely a little of each. I come by the ‘princess thing’ honestly.

My Grandad Honiker was the keeper of our heritage as Clan MacDougall. His sister Rosemary Leila was the compiler of the knowledge and was a real-life ancestry.com before it existed. I was a daughter of divorce and didn’t have a real connection with this side of the family until I was married and in my 20s.

But as soon as I did it was an epiphany. I was close to my Grandad until he passed away and soaked up his stories like a sponge. He told me of Oban, and the Highland Games. His stories were detailed and fantastical and I’ve forgotten more than I remember.

It laid the foundation for me to dream. It planted a scene in my head of the place of my ancestors just three generations back. Those dreams dulled as dreams inevitably do when raising a small family and trying to keep up with the modern rat race — but now that my small family has grown and gone off to fulfill dreams of their own, my own dormant wishes of seeing Scotland were stoked back to blazing life.

Two weeks ago I landed in Edinburgh and made my way north to Dundee. The surreal became real. I was here. I heard the brogue accent everywhere. I felt the soft rain overhead and the cobblestones underfoot. I paid for coffees in pounds and pence and tried to process the sensations and sights. I felt home.

That feeling has deepened in the last few days. I’m finishing my time here and heading to Oban in the morning to connect with my kin. I’m exhausted from an authors conference, but I’m giddy with excitement too. My hope is that this feeling continues and it’s not a one-off or manufactured event. My hope is that I really have found where I’d like to land on my nomadic adventure for a good long time.

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