There are times when we think we know things, times when we do know things, and times when we definitely do not know things. I'm realizing after this most recent trip how much I was guilty of the former, because although I knew Scotland was a special place, it had fallen fairly low on my list of places to return to. I knew from my experiences as a fifteen year-old that I loved Scotland. I knew that its geography, its history and people are all truly unique amongst the places I've been to. But sometimes it takes a refresher course to rediscover your appreciation for a place.
Take that refresher and add to it a good dose of old friends, new (to you) islands, and a change in travel companion - and there you go! You have successfully created a virtual re-discovering of a place you love. You will know this when: the sensations of beans and mushrooms for breakfast, flat beer, whiskey you don't-quite-fully enjoy, strange money and barely-comprehensible car-rental agents wash over you like a mix of deja vu and strange dreams. It's wonderful. It's exciting. It's familiar... Almost.