Edinburgh Expat Life Musings

When Everything Comes Together, Then Falls Apart: Why I’m Leaving Edinburgh

Apr 04

It’s funny – not too long ago, I thought I was fated to stay in Edinburgh. Between applying for an EU passport and getting sponsored by my work, I was presented with not one, but two potential avenues to remain in the UK. Personally and professionally, everything in my life seemed to fall together in an almost serendipitous way over the past two years here.

I thought the EU passport and sponsorship were a certainty – if not one, at least the other. But then suddenly, both options fell through: my work wasn’t able to sponsor me, and my Hungarian citizenship application required documentation that I didn’t have. Just like that, my dreams of staying in the UK, and the life I’d built for the past two years, began to disintegrate.

It’s amazing how quickly your entire life can unravel.

The past few weeks have been tumultuous, to say the least. I’m finding it really difficult to accept that, in less than a month, I’ll have to lose a job I love, say goodbye to amazing friends, and leave this city that I adore.

I’m not done with Edinburgh yet – although I doubt I’ll ever truly feel ready to leave this city. And, to be honest, the thought of moving back home terrifies me. It wasn’t until I moved abroad that I realized how unhappy I was there, how unfulfilled I felt in various aspects of my life. Edinburgh changed me in many ways, and I don’t want to go back to being the person I was two years ago.

Read More: On One Year in Edinburgh

For the first time in my life, I’m filled with a sense of dread and fear at the thought of the future. I didn’t expect to build a life here, or progress in my career, or establish such good friendships. I never guessed I’d end up wanting to stay longer than two years, I never imagined it’d be this hard to leave.

I’m trying to focus on the positives of moving back to Canada, trying to relish in the excitement of the unknown and the possibilities, but I’m really struggling at the moment. Only one recurring thought has been dominating my mind lately: what the hell am I going to do now?

Have you ever been scared to go back home?
How did you adjust to life at home after living abroad?

8 Comments

  • Reply Jen Apr 05 at 2:50 pm

    😭💔

    • Reply ashleywanders Apr 10 at 7:49 pm

      <3

  • Reply LC Apr 09 at 5:05 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about both the visa and passport falling through, Ashley. That’s an incredibly cruel thing to go through.

    If it’s any help (and although my situation was quite different from yours, in that I wanted to come home), I’d worried that the transition back to Australia would be stressful and horrible, filled with “ohgoodnesswhathaveIdone?!” type moments – but have no regrets. I think moving to a new city went a long way with helping, as it has been an adventure in itself.

    I hope the move goes okay.

    • Reply ashleywanders Apr 10 at 7:28 pm

      Thanks, LC! That’s definitely a help – I’m also having those fears right now, so it makes me feel a bit better to hear that you’ve been happy in your decision to move back to Oz. I’ll most likely move to a new city when I get back, so hopefully that’ll help as well!

  • Reply Jordan Apr 09 at 9:11 am

    Oh no, Ashley! I feel so horrible for you. Sending you lots of hugs and good thoughts <3

    • Reply ashleywanders Apr 10 at 7:31 pm

      Thanks, Jordan! I appreciate it 🙂

  • Reply Hayley Simpson Apr 09 at 4:45 pm

    Keep travelling! Having something to look forward to always helps when stuck in that unknown place. At times like this, I always just repeat to myself, everything happens for a reason. Best of luck!

    • Reply ashleywanders Apr 10 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks so much, Hayley! You’re so right – and I do have some travels planned before I head home, which is the only thing keeping me sane right now I think.

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