A 12 hour flight away from my homeland, on Sunday night I settled in a bar at 11pm Hong Kong time and sat with a group of friendly strangers to embark on what every Scotsman and woman knew was going to be a difficult viewing. The last Northern Hemisphere team in the quarter final, it seemed the hopes of many were lying on the shoulders of our 15 men against one of the world's most talented rugby teams. And this year, Scotland had shown that we should not be afraid to hope.
I don't think my hands left my mouth for the entire match. Usually glued to my phone, I could seldom look at it and when I did it was to manically text my siblings who had no desire to engage with my profanity and downright unnecessary updates. My voice, today hoarse from yelling, often reached a pitch I did not recognise. When Scotland scored the final try of the match, what was 2 hours earlier a group of strangers transformed in to a team of buddies hugging, cheering and embracing in pure joy, tainted only by our hopeful nerves.
Alas, it was not to be. Although the referee made what I consider to be an near unforgivable set of errors, we cannot guarantee that a Scotland win without these would have been inevitable, and that is perhaps both the most exciting and cruelest trait of rugby, or indeed sport at all.
My heart is undeniably broken. As a Scot, this was the biggest, most emotional moment in Scottish rugby I have experienced in my 25 years and we were painfully close to physically and visually proving that pure grit and self-belief can defeat even the toughest and most talented of opponents. Greig Laidlaw led his men the best he ever could have and Scottish willpower never did waver.
I sit today undeniably proud to be Scottish, but also extremely proud to be British. I have read so many articles, so many tweets, so many Facebook posts, texts and messages of support from the Welsh, English and Irish, who all rooted for the boys in blue. It is this unity that makes me extremely proud to be part of a union where people can put aside politics for the admiration of pure courage and fight.
Of course, we did not receive support purely from the British Isles. Reading the reactions today, it feels global and indeed, even our extremely gracious Australian counterparts have passed on their regards. I think I speak for many Scots when I say we wish them well in the rest of the tournament.
The beauty of sport is that it brings people together. We are reminded that our culture, society and sense of values, so often seemingly dictated by the powerful few, whether it be politics or royalty or A list celebrity, is fundamentally actually formed by the human spirit. I have never been prouder to be represented by a team of men who never stopped fighting and showed that anything is possible.
Sitting amongst some disheartened Welsh, Irish and English, to witness the same genuine excitement and hope that so deeply resonated in Scottish hearts was extremely humbling. There is no doubt that the British people have a common bond, even if it does sometimes take a great game to truly show this.
Scotland will always have my heart and Britain will always be my home.