I talk about Newfoundland a lot. I can close my eyes and count the pieces of gum wads encrusted in the sidewalk before Atlantic Place on my way to work. I get wrapped up in my own place.
Then I go back through old Facebook photo albums and I realize I had a whole previous travel life. One that cost me a shitload of cash I didn’t have, but one that changed my entire existence forever.
Four days was all it took for me to fall in love with Edinburgh, Scotland.
My long-weekend getaways were a whirlwind of activity when I studied in England. We hopped the bus to Stansted from Harlow at 3 a.m. on a Friday morning, flew into a new city, and stayed there until Monday evening. We were bloody exhausted, usually hungover and our workloads suffered. I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Edinburgh is one of the few cities I felt comfortable in while abroad. I’m still surprised by how populated the area actually is â€“ to me, it felt small. Intimate. I mean, there’s a freaking castle and a mountain in the middle of the city, and nobody else seems as impressed by this as I am.
I’m also surprised by how many people skip over Scotland entirely. Most of my friends who travel seem to pay no interest in the country.
But the moment you step into the city and there’s a bagpiper tootin’ his little heart out, you can’t help but grin. The rough accents, the architecture, the Royal Mile, the Highlands just beyond the city…it feels like Newfoundland and Ireland all rolled into one.
The details are a little hazy now. I remember karaoke and a house party. One night, after visiting a bar, my classmate Kat and I left early because I was still feeling ill from the plague I caught in Dublin. Crossing along one of the streets, we turned to see Edinburgh Castle all yellow and lit up above the city. I remember thinking if I could find a home abroad, it’d be somewhere close to Edinburgh.