“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
I’ve been in Edinburgh, Scotland for a week now and I have to say that it still feels like some sort of intangible fantasy that I’ll eventually have to wake up from. This city is an absolute dream.. every building is like something out of a either Disney fairytale or one of the many Harry Potter movies (Harry Potter was, after all, written in and inspired by Edinburgh). I’ve never been out of the country (other than Canada.. but does that really count??), so I guess you could say I don’t have much to compare Scotland to, but I have to say it has met and exceeded my expectations more than I could’ve ever imagined (and I had some pretty high hopes).
Also, the national animal of Scotland is the unicorn so I’m just going to put that out there (that’s kind of awesome).
I’ve always been a pretty self-sufficient person and I pride myself on independence, but I won’t lie and say that I didn’t want to turn back around and go home when I got to the airport to leave my little suburb of Connecticut. I almost cried and begged my mom to come with me, although the adult side of me ultimately won in composing myself. Anyone going abroad, I will insist that, yes, leaving the country on your own is terrifying, but totally worth it. You gain a sense of freedom that is unimaginable, and one I can only imagine is possible when you’re young and free of extreme responsibilities.
I’ve moved into my dorm at Robertson’s Close near what they call the Cowgate and I could not be happier. I’ve got incredible roommates and am close to the city center as well as the university, so going to class isn’t much of an issue (although I do have to readjust my sleep schedule a bit, hehe). Cowgate is also where all the university bars and clubs are which is convenient (It’s nice to be legal), however, I will tell you that the kids of Edinburgh DO NOT SLEEP. Pubs are blasting, bottles are being broken, and Scottish chants are being sung at all hours of the night and all days of the week. I have bought and used earplugs but they have failed me on multiple occasions. All I can tell you is to embrace the spirit of the Scots. After all, how can I not appreciate hearing a beautiful open mic night rendition of “Riptide” by Vance Joy from my window? Also, I’m not a fan of stereotypes, but believe me when I say that the people of Scotland really do love whiskey, kilts, and beer just as much as you might think.
Anyway, me and my friends here have spent about five hours figuring out our trip to Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day (we thought three months in advance was plenty of time….. nope) so I am absolutely exhausted but I will continue narrating my adventures in the land of the Scots as I get some free time.