The last week of the semester blew through rather quickly; I stayed up writing essays, studying for my exams, and bidding farewell to friends. Before I knew it, I was packed and making my way through the cobbled streets to the Airlink service bus to the airport. I knew this day would come; I didn’t realize the utter finality of the situation though.
I remember it like yesterday when I first arrived here, in Edinburgh. The weather was serene, humid even. I wandered the streets to find stores to get bedding for my new accommodation, amazed at the archaic buildings and busy-bustling roads. I had never commuted in such close proximity to the inner city – though at first scary, I came to enjoy how it took only ten minutes to walk down to the grocery store, or to get to my classroom. I made friends, met interesting people and forged everlasting memories. I sat in both dull and riveting lectures. I ate food that made my taste buds dance. I saw magnificent sights that I had only seen on laptop wallpapers. In Edinburgh, I had fallen in love.
Basically how I felt conveyed through physics:
The months came by quickly, but the days seemed to linger. With each passing day, I tried harder to hold onto the moment, to embrace the different lifestyles carried out in this town. I wanted to take notice of everything – of faces, of architecture, of the general feel of being here. I didn’t want to forget it.
My last day in Edinburgh was a bittersweet one. I would be going home to my family and friends whom I’ve not seen for four months; but I would also be leaving this wonderful country.
One last look at Edinburgh before I go…
As I sat in the airport with my boarding pass in my hands, I thought about how much I’ve grown from this experience. I thought about what I would say to my friends and family when they asked how Scotland was. I couldn’t help it; my heart felt heavy, and my hands began to shake. I knew there wouldn’t be any way I could have described this experience to anyone else who hadn’t been there. For a moment, between leaving Scotland and going back to the States, I felt so alone; like waking up from a dream, you want to be able to relay to someone else the events of something so surreal and fantastical but you know that words will fail you, and that the audience may not grasp completely what you want to fully convey to them.
That was what it was like coming home. I didn’t know where to start when people asked me about my study abroad experience; it was too much to be fully encompassed in a few mere words and hand gestures. I gave people the highlights of my study abroad experience, hoping I could impart to them how meaningful it was to me, difficult as that may be.
Even though I had a grand time in Scotland, it was good to be back. My friends excitedly began to make plans to reconvene and meet up; my family eagerly welcomed me back just in time for the holidays and I myself enjoyed a return to familiarity that I have not seen for a long time.
I will miss Edinburgh, no doubt. I will think fondly of my time overseas, but for now, I will return to my life in Minnesota.