I’ve had a fair share of travelling experience in my life, solo and with family, but one that holds a special place in my heart is Scotland (Alba in Gaelic). It has continued to do so since my first trip in 2013.
I might have mentioned this in my blog in the past – when I returned from my 6-day trip in Scotland, bedazzled, I wrote on my bucket list to ‘study/live in Scotland’. Those are the precise words. I would never have imagined that I would cross off the achievement 7 years later.
My time in Edinburgh was nothing short of living THE dream. Hands down, it was the best experience of my life! Although it might have been my first time away from home, but doing what I wanted (nothing sinful, ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ) whenever I wanted gave me the freedom and peace of mind I had been longing for.
From hikes, to taking the train to a new city, taking a trip a day before lockdown, to crossing the same paths everyday, there was always a vibe to everything in the city which was calming and fulfilling. I found amazing friends and lost the ones that weren’t meant to be. The city broke me in some ways but made me in many others.
Leaving the city was like letting go of a loved one. I wished for myself to never have to leave. I long to go back and I wish that I get to revisit soon.
In 2013, I left a piece of me in Scotland. In 2020, I left my entire soul.
We’ll unite again, oh dear Edinburgh. I patiently wait for that day to arrive.
“This clingy, nostalgia-inducing attachment shouldn’t be something to avoid or ignore. Accepting it as a building block of your perspective, a cornerstone to your identity, can help enrich the time you spend away from home.
Homesickness is inevitable; we all come from somewhere. It’s as certain as the color of your eyes and size of your feet. It stays with us because we know where we hail from and who awaits us back home.”
This is the only way I can share Phil’s post. I stumbled upon him a few weeks ago at work while searching for blogs that were not too technical, easy to read and somewhere I could find inspirtation for my own blog. In other words, blogs that are written concisely yet not too fancy.
This post speaks for all those living away from home. I myself can relate to each and every word of it. I also believe no one could have written it better than Phil.
I won’t apologise for not writing in the last three months, but I had certainly not forgotten about my blog this time. My master’s kept me busy with assignments and submissions – mainly due to procrastination – and so did my part-time work as a dental clinic receptionist on the weekends.
To be honest, the move did not come so easy to me. I had to take a decision for myself to either pursue higher education for better career opportunities or just do with my then-current state of joblessness. (I wasn’t jobless per say, I was running my small calligraphy business and had good amount of work every month to keep me busy). I was pretty confident that I wanted to build a career in the field of Tourism and so began my research. I was sure I did not want to move to USA, Canada and Australia because 1) they are too far, and 2) I wasn’t ready to completely isolate myself from my family. I still researched for courses in those countries, but did not find a course that appealed to me.
Actually, from the beginning I knew I wanted to either go to Scotland or Wales or some place in England not close to my sister’s place in Surrey (am I a bad sister?). Europe was also on the cards, more specifically the Nordic and Scandinavian side. I found a lot of courses in UK which were tourism related, many of them in Scotland. Therefore, I narrowed my research to Scotland and a few universities in England.
In between all of this convincing my dad for letting me study tourism was the most difficult part of the process. My second eldest sister backed me up and agreed to convince our dad with me. I am not a confident person in front of my dad so convincing him was a moment of victory! I really don’t know if I put up a strong argument for him to send me to the UK to study tourism, but he finally agreed. At this point I had shortlisted 4 universities in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Winchester and Loughborough – two courses related to tourism marketing/management, one in sports marketing and one in curation. The one in Edinburgh also did January intakes, while the rest did September intakes only. It was already too late for me to apply for the September 2018 intakes: choices of January 2019 or September 2019 were the only remaining options.
My father and I agreed that I visit these universities in October 2018 and meet course coordinators to finalise one. And with that, my other sister and I flew to Glasgow to visit the first campus of University of Glasgow.