When I moved to London in September, I hadn’t envisioned spending all that much time in Scotland. I had known that I would be in Edinburgh, but thought that it would probably be my only Scottish experience.
As it tends to go, nothing went the way I thought it would.
I have now been to Scotland three times. Once to Edinburgh, once to Glasgow and, this past weekend, to St Andrews.
As an aside: after putting my things in the trunk of my ride share at the airport in Edinburgh, the driver told me to go around to the front so the married couple also using the service could be together in the back. I walked to the right side of the car only to look in and find the steering wheel-- I guess three months of UK cars can't shake two decades of driving on right side of the road.
Over the course of my time here I’ve come to admire Scotland for its spirit and pride and feel incredibly lucky to have worked alongside those who champion these things on the national level. As I mentioned in a previous post, Edinburgh is a dream. And if Edinburgh is a dream, Glasgow is waking up just before you get to the good part. You’re not particularly mad about it though.
Glasgow is wonderfully gritty in a way that felt similar to Philadelphia, with an industrial flare and it's own unique charm. The biggest difference, though, is the weather. Glasgow, which is about 400 miles north of London, is notoriously cold.
St Andrews, though, is another animal. A posh university town, it feels much like the country, meanwhile it is actually a coastal town.
Though I worked while on these trips, I was able to get a real feel for life in Scotland, visiting Cupar, Perth, and Falkland along the way.
As I’ve said before, if you'd told 14 year old me that I would be living abroad by the age of 19 I absolutely would not have believed you. I'm not even sure I would have believed it at 18, either. And yet, here I am, a temporary Londoner, an acting Scot and global citizen, as I look towards 21.
On my last morning in Scotland for the foreseeable future, I woke up early to say my sunrise goodbye to Scotland (for now anyway). Sunrise in St Andrews is blessedly at about 8 in the morning this time of year, so I didn’t have to exert myself quite as I did in Sarajevo.
As I watched the light change, I became melancholy. I’m going home soon. I don’t know when I’ll next be in Scotland or anywhere else in the UK, for that matter. But I do know that when I make it back to this side of the pond, Scotland and the sea will both be here waiting for me.