I’ve been back in New York for a week now so I have had some time to think about my experience in Edinburgh. I have come to the conclusion that this semester was unbelievable. I got to live in a foreign city for 4 and a half months—a city full of cobblestone streets, charming cafes, and incredibly friendly people. Every time I walked down the street that my flat was on I discovered some new store or observed an odd interaction between passerby. Every time I walked to school past the Meadows, I smiled to myself because I was so happy to be there. And every time I went to Princes or George Street I admired the view of the castle and told myself how lucky I was. But the actual city was only part of why my experience in Edinburgh was so great. It’s hard to say what it is that I loved about Edinburgh. It was more of a feeling than something concrete. It was the old men standing outside of The Grapes at 10AM. It was the ever permeating smell of popcorn on the streets. It was the constant flow of buses around the city. It was the Bary wrap at East Nile, the Vespa at Rotato, the scones at Kilimanjaro Coffee. It was opening doors in South Clerk Street, walking the three blocks to take the overflowing recycling out, and the way there were always dirty dishes in our sink. It was the view of Arthur’s Seat from the kitchen, the view from the top of Arthur’s Seat, and the feeling of being in a movie while walking down Arthur’s Seat. It was the insanely friendly cab drivers, the funny Scottish accent, and the strong usage of the word “cheers.” It was the xx at the end of every text message, the frequent trips to HMV, and snake bites at the Library bar. It was Call me Maybe, Titanium, and Wild Ones. It was Flat 25 parties, having to dry my clothes on a drying rack, and pasta dinners. It was having a love/hate relationship with the International Student Center, the ridiculous amount of castles, and a weird fascination with whiskey.
This trip was full of travelling- I got to see Paris, Barcelona, Dublin, Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna, Tel-Aviv, Munich, Budapest, Prague, and let’s not forget Scotland. They were all unique in their own way and as someone who constantly has the travel bug, I feel that my appetite has been satisfied (for now.) There is nothing like wandering the streets of a new city, trying to understand a foreign language, eating odd foods, and being an extreme tourist. I enjoyed every second of trying to figure out maps, hoping our hostels weren’t sketchy, and trying to figure out what the deal with tipping was. I loved travelling with friends, old and new, and got to learn more about myself as a traveler and as a person.
This past semester has felt like a fantasy life and I couldn’t feel luckier. Thank you Edinburgh, it’s been lovely. xx