Reflection #3: a love letter to Scotland

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Dear Scotland:

I have fallen in love. Your rolling hills, your fields full of sheep and cows and horses, your cobbled streets, green grass, even the rain and wind (if only because the rain is the reason for the green-ness of the grass).

When I first saw you, it was like coming home, like being reunited with an old friend. I doubted my parents when they said I’d start to remember things, but now I know they were right; it’s surprising how much comes back, even fourteen years later.

I have seen Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Borders, and everything between Edinburgh and Skye. I have sung ‘Loch Lomond’ on the bonnie banks themselves, I have posed for cheesy photos by the Three Sisters of Glen Coe, I have fangirled over Eilean Donan Castle and other filming locations, and I have appreciated the beauty of Edinburgh as the seasons changed.

Having lived in Edinburgh for six months and having come back to the Borders every few years to see my dad’s family, I’ve always felt like Scotland was a part of me. But now I feel it more than ever; the cold air and surprisingly brisk wind have gotten under my fingernails and seeped all the way into my heart.

I had a lot of doubts about feeling at home in a city I hadn’t properly visited in fourteen years and about making friends and taking advantage of opportunities as a non-first year North American exchange student. I didn’t think I’d fit in, and now I can’t believe I had so many concerns. I pushed myself outside my comfort zone and told myself to seize the day; the fact that my time here always had an expiry date certainly helped with that, but I also believe that I got really lucky with the people I’ve met and the opportunities I’ve had.

I know now that after spending three and a half months here, although Vancouver still feels like my ‘forever place,’ I will always treasure the memories of my time in Edinburgh. I have had an unimaginably great experience, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but I miss my family, my city, my university, my friends, my work, and my ‘home.’

Goodbye Edinburgh; goodbye Scotland. I’ll be back. In the words of fellow Canadian Michael Bublé (who also hails from the Vancouver area): “It’ll all be alright, I’ll be home tonight, I’m coming back home.”