English and Art Major
Non-WMU Program- The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Summer I, 2018
It’s a little weird finally being in a place you’ve fantasized about for years. You step off the plane and you’re there. Just eight hours got you to this place you’ve always wanted to go, and it’s all there in front of you. It feels so much closer than it ever did, as if you always could have come here, as if it actually exists now outside of your mind.
It takes a minute to adjust, and then before you know it, that fantasy becomes the new normal. You get used to the long walk to class, passing buildings that have been there since 1200 A.D. and listening to the chatter of other languages as people pass you by. You grow accustomed to the food and start enjoying even the little inconveniences that come with a foreign place. But before you know it, It’s all over and you’re gone. Your definition of old goes back to the 1800’s and idea of walking to a class or the grocery store is out of the question. Suddenly, it’s weird NOT to see a castle or two a day and you wonder if you’ll ever get back to normal, or if you’ll always miss it.
So far I’m happy to be home, I missed my family, my dog and my fiancé. As I came home to everyone though, that list became things I miss from Scotland. I miss the little things and every day I seem to remember something else. Some things are silly or almost entirely inconsequential, but I can’t help it. I miss it. The sound of bagpipes that seems to weirdly always be in the wind, and the view of Arthur’s seat from my window. I miss the way public bathrooms have REAL doors so you don’t have that odd gap and make awkward eye contact with someone outside the stall. I miss the rain and the breeze in the air that never reached 80 degrees and the friends that I made, from all over the world. Even now I find myself planning to go back. On my honeymoon, or after I graduate, or maybe I could retire there? It’s a bit like having a crush and trying to convince yourself that you’ll get to be with them. Someday.
Maybe I won’t stop missing things. I don’t know. I’ll probably always miss it in some way or another and I think I want to. I guess it isn’t really about that though because I’m not sure what getting back to normal is to me now. I’m different than I was when I left for Scotland. I’m more independent than I ever was, and a little more confident too. I’ll always be grateful for the experience and now that it feels within reach, I know I’ll be back.