Made it to the other side of the pond!

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Thanks to my wonderful family, I’ve survived my first full day in Scotland! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t homesick or that I felt fully acclimatized to my new environment, but it’s been nice to stay with family and get over the jet lag in a familiar house.

I arrived yesterday after a long (long!) day of travel; an eight and a half hour flight to Heathrow followed by a four hour layover, then an hour and a half to Edinburgh, getting lost in the airport and trying to find my aunt, and finally driving the hour to Hawick, where my dad’s family is based.

Today I slept in (thanks, jet lag) and eventually wandered around, taking advantage of the lack of rain. It’s been nice to visit with the family – we don’t make it over here very often, so even just sitting down for coffee and a chat feels like a luxury! Part of me wishes we lived here, but there are so many things about my life in Vancouver that I miss when I’m away for too long, and although I’m unsure of where I will end up living as an adult, I know that Vancouver will always have my heart.

I’m here in Hawick until next weekend and don’t have extensive plans; I’d love to see as many relatives as possible and make it to my grandparents’ graves at some point this week. Aside from that, I am hoping to kick the jet lag in the butt before I have to be in school mode, getting up for 9am classes and such.

I’m still left with a lot of questions about my impending exchange; the situation in Edinburgh is not anything like what I’m used to at UBC! I feel like the communication is lacking, particularly since UBC sometimes sends me multiple emails a day, and I don’t know what to expect really. This feels kind of ramble-y, but essentially there is so much about university life over here that’s not the norm in Canada, so even though I’m a fourth year (how did this happen) I still feel like a newbie in terms of re-learning a new system.

I’m excited about moving into residence and meeting new roommates and other friends, but as with any unknown situation, there are a lot of different emotions, and sometimes the excitement is taken over by worry and uncertainty about what things will be like over here. I am not really a bag of nerves, but I have mixed feelings about jumping in at the deep end over here!

If anyone has encouraging words about exchange or moving away from home, they’re always appreciated! More updates later, hopefully with pictures included 🙂