Saturday, 2 December 2017

20 Years in Scotland

Taken on my run this morning at Inverleith Park, Edinburgh

Today marks 20 years since my family packed up our bags, left our Surrey home in the south east of England and moved 500 miles north, to a house surrounded by nothing but fields near the small village of Laurencekirk in the north east of Scotland. 

Even at the tender age of 7, I still remember how angry I was at my parents for turning my life as I knew it upside down. 

Life in Scotland started out rocky. I was the new girl with the strange accent and was teased often. I grew up being so painfully aware that I was ‘different’ from my Scottish peers. My family moved a lot, and I attended three primary schools and two secondary schools as a result of it. It was tough always being the ‘new girl’ and feeling like I stood out just because I had a different accent to everyone else. 

However. 

All of the above made me a hell of a lot more independent and able to adapt to change. It grew my confidence. It gave me friends all over the country. 

And when it came to applying for university, there was no question over what I would do. I would move to another city, and study abroad too. 

For years, I held onto the resentment of moving to Scotland and feeling different to everyone else, and promised myself that as soon as I was finished university I’d move back to England where I would feel 'normal' - I would fit in. But somewhere along the way (most likely my first year at university) I started to understand that being different is actually interesting. I started to embrace where I was from, proud to be English living in Scotland. And when I moved to the States, people loved my accent - I couldn’t believe it! 

I came back home to Scotland with a fresh perspective. I started to appreciate just how beautiful this country is, how amazing my childhood was - mainly spent outdoors with my family making the most of the incredible surroundings - and feeling grateful for the lifelong friends I've made along the way.

Fast forward a few years, and I'm writing this in my Edinburgh home. No, I didn’t move back to England. I chose to stay. I also chose to live in a beautiful city filled with people of many, many nationalities. And guess what? I feel right at home. 



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