Mandie Stevenson: Never giving up my dreams

Mandie Stevenson and pug Frank with friend Nicole at the top of Ben A'an as the trio enjoyed a Sunday morning in Scotland's countryside
Mandie Stevenson and pug Frank with friend Nicole at the top of Ben A'an as the trio enjoyed a Sunday morning in Scotland's countryside

The last of my birthday celebrations included an overnight stay to Blythswood hotel which is a place I had wanted to go for a while and I am very lucky to have finally got there.

It was such a lovely couple of days, chilling in the spa, shopping at Buchanan Street and dinner and drinks all in the fantastic company of my good friend Debbie.

It really was the perfect combination for me and certainly a place I will go back to. Thanks Debbie, Barry and Jack for such a special birthday.

I could be doing with another spa day after the drama I managed to give myself when I realised I had completed my ESTA application incorrectly which resulted in having to delay my dream trip to the Big Apple – New York.

I must hold my hands up and confess that ticking on the eligibility question that I am a terrorist is the most embarrassing and silliest thing I have ever done in my life.

READ MORE: Immigration mix up postpones columnist Mandie’s dream trip to New York

A lot of people can’t understand how this was even possible and the only explanation I have is that when I scrolled to the end of the application I nudged the check box to yes incorrectly. It’s a lesson learned on my part and I will be cautious in the future.

However, I have now resolved the mistake after a trip to the US Embassy in London and if anything it was comical for the people who had a good laugh about it. I eventually even managed to have a giggle at my own expense upon receiving my visa. A few people have mentioned to me that I am a little terror but definitely not a terrorist which I am hoping they really mean a fun loving cheeky chops.

My story last week written by The Falkirk Herald went viral reaching as far as Australia, America and Portugal and I am sure it will highlight the consequences of my error.

The silver lining is that after changing my trip to a few weeks later I managed to attend my friend Gemma’s 30th birthday party which was lovely to be part of.

READ MORE Happy times in August for Mandie

I do believe in everything happens for a reason and that my trip was destined to be rescheduled to October.

After the stress of September I’m holding out for a positive month in October where I am hoping to have a stable CT scan result which will mean no return of my unwanted cancer, followed by a fantastic week exploring in New York. I will never give up having hope and dreams and ticking off new holidays around the world.

I managed to keep myself out of trouble for the remainder of the month, thoroughly enjoying my Ben A’an climb with Nicole and Frank on Sunday. Coffee in the car, chocolate and plenty of catching up with my friend while travelling to Ben A’an.

I am determined to continue my mission bagging Munros in Scotland and as much as this climb was not a Munro it is a good starting point to get me back into the swing.

The weather was glorious and the views at the top are beautiful. I love the feeling of peacefulness while out climbing.

Frank in true style was being a diva and had my friend Nicole wrapped round his paws, picking him up and carrying him over muddy puddles and lifted over rocks he could simply not be bothered jumping over. The hill was packed with tourists who had picnics with them, their kids on the other hand seemed slightly exasperated to be dragged up a hill on a Sunday morning.

Nicole and I laughed and agreed it’s a hobby they will probably grow into.