Autumn is my favorite time of year, without a doubt.
The colors of the leaves like gemstones. The salty sea air, no matter where I go. The blustery wind, nearly knocking me over (no joke). And of course, now that the time has changed, it’s getting dark just after 3 PM.
But it’s all for the love of living in another country.
I knew before moving to Scotland that celebrating this glorious season would be beautiful here, and it has proven true.
We have traveled so much in the past three months, it all blurs together. From the Scottish Borders to the Isle of Skye to the Highlands. Scotland may be small compared to other countries, but there is so much to see. Vast open landscapes to towering mountains that take you back in time. There is so much ancient history and lore, I find myself lost in it.
We are finally living in our *actual* home, now, in the heart of Edinburgh instead of bouncing around from rental to rental. The cats have adjusted to their new way of life — not much different than it was in the U.S., just worse quality litter. (Seriously, U.K. cat litter suxxxx.)
I’m two months into my Creative Writing Master’s program and it’s wonderful so far. I love being able to geek out about writing with other people, because for the most part, writing is a solitary profession. Between working full time, school full time, working on a PhD proposal, and writing a brand new book — life is pretty intense right now. But it’s temporary. And, it’s what we came here for.
We’ve had some family come to visit, which was so much fun. Friends are already booking their plane tickets for next summer. My grandpa is coming to visit this Friday.
It’s hard to believe we have *only* lived here three months, because so much has happened. I feel like a new person in so many ways. A new culture will do that to you. Shake you from your bones and make you reevaluate everything.
When we first arrived to this city, fresh off the train with our luggage and two cats in tow, I was having such intense endometriosis pain I had to lay down in the street. Right on the dirty concrete outside the train station while people wove around me. Our rental car company had screwed us over and after a very angry phone call from my husband, they sent a car to pick us up, because I literally could not walk. I remember thinking, “why the fuck did we do this? I will never find my way around this city.”
It was all so big and overwhelming. Plus, it was in the midst of Fringe so there were 100x more people in Edinburgh than there are today. I feared we had moved to New York City.
But now, the tourists have dissipated. I have my local farmer’s market every Sunday to get the best produce and sun-dried tomatoes. We have a local pub and organic wine bar. The people at the library know me. We have people to hang out with. And the city isn’t so big, after all. I actually am starting to really know my way around.
Most surprising of all, it’s starting to feel like home.
Of course, I still miss things from the U.S. Mainly people. And Whole Foods, if I’m being really honest. (Hey, it’s nice to get all of your vegan stuff in ONE place. Though lugging a grocery cart around cobblestone streets does have its charm.)
One of my girlfriends back home asked me the other night how I feel about living here and I said, “I am more homesick than I would have anticipated, but at the same time, I couldn’t imagine ever going back.”
Overall, our autumn has been hectic and full of new trials.
There have been nights I have found myself sobbing into a margarita.
But there have also been supreme moments of happiness and feelings of freedom I know I have only because we moved here.
Wherever you are, I hope your autumn is treating you well.
Where are you from? What adventures have you been up to this autumn? Let me know in a comment below!