On my first day back in Edinburgh last May, I took one look at the blooming cherry blossom trees – a wispy spectrum of pink and white blanketing the city – and instantly declared spring to be my favourite time of year here.
After one year, and all four seasons, I can confidently say spring is still my favourite season in Edinburgh.
A lot has happened in the past year. I fell in love with Budapest and spent a gluttonous week in Berlin. I conquered my first munro and experienced the magic of Skye. I road tripped around the Isle of Mull and celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland.
As monumental as these experiences were, it’s the time I spent in Edinburgh, the ordinary, fleeting moments that really defined the past 365 days of my life. The afternoons spent wandering aimlessly among the city’s cobbled streets, camera in hand. Catching a glimpse of the fiery sunrise over Arthur’s Seat on my way to work, the sky ablaze with hues of amber and violet. Waiting for the bus on Princes Street beneath the imposing silhouette of the castle in the darkness.
Before I came here, I worried Edinburgh’s beauty might become typical, mundane even. But my feelings for Edinburgh haven’t waned – I’m more enamoured with it each day.
One year later and I still stand in awe of the castle, perched on that jagged cliff in the centre of the city. My heart still flutters when I walk the winding Old Town streets. I’m still captivated by the views from Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat, the city’s skyline akin to a painting. I still smile when I hear the staccato melody of bagpipes echoing throughout the city.
These quirks and sights and sounds have become part of my everyday life here. Edinburgh’s moody skies, verdant hills, and brackish seas have coloured the past year of my life, the contrasting greys and blues and greens an ever-imposing backdrop.
And yet, I can’t quite articulate what Edinburgh means to me, what it has become.
It’s a place that makes me smile and leaves me in awe. It’s a place that makes me feel alive and inspires me. It’s a place that moves me, that makes me feel so lucky to live here.
But most of all, it’s a place that’s come to feel like home.
As I see the cherry blossom trees in full bloom once again, I can’t help but think back to the person I was when I arrived a year ago: excited and nervous and wide-eyed, my uncertainty masked by an enthusiastic smile.
This year, however, I’m feeling a bit more assured, more confident with the trajectory in which I’m headed, and I have Edinburgh to thank for that.
Has moving abroad changed your life in any way?