Edinburgh, I Still Love You

When I finally took the plunge and purchased a one-way flight to Edinburgh – a place I had been longing to revisit for years – pangs of nervousness and doubt overshadowed my excitement. As much as I was ecstatic to return, I knew there was a possibility I would feel differently for the city, that the sense of awe and wonder I once felt so strongly would no longer exist. After all, it had been nearly three years since I first visited, and I felt like a different person in many ways.

But as I rode the bus into the city centre on my first day back, the familiar Gothic spire of the Scott Monument came into view, and those old feelings of excitement and elation came rushing back with full force; Edinburgh’s beauty once again left me feeling overwhelmed.

I wandered around the city, losing myself within the cobbled streets and labyrinth-like lanes. I strolled along the Royal Mile, admiring the medieval architecture that I fell in love with three years ago. I stood at the top of Calton Hill and marvelled at the magnificent view of the city below. I sat in Princes Street Gardens and revelled in the peacefulness. I stared in awe every time I caught a glimpse of the castle looming in the distance – even more beautiful framed by flowering cherry blossom trees.

Every street I walked down – whether new or familiar – made me smile a maniacal grin. I was still completely smitten with this city.

I lingered at the top of Calton Hill, staring out at the distant sea, trying to comprehend the fact that I was indeed in Edinburgh and not back home, lost in a daydream. During that moment of silent reflection – with the warm sun lending momentary respite from the cool wind – a feeling of peace overcame me, and I knew I had made the right decision in coming to Edinburgh. All the fears of abandoning and missing my family and friends, stressing about finding a job, and all other insignificant worries were whisked from my mind, swept away with the blustery breeze toward the sea.

The maniacal grin remained on my face all the way back down Calton Hill, along Princes Street, and on the bus ride home.

Have you ever been hesitant to return to a city you love?


  1. This all looks so beautiful! I will have to explore this lovely gem when I plan my trip abroad! I’m happy you still had the feelings of when you first arrived to Edinburgh! I’m sure they will be even stronger now!

  2. I did it once before where I was hesitant to return to a city I loved – Quebec City. I went my first time for 5 weeks, loved it, so I decided to return 2 years later for 3 months. I loved it that much more the second time around, because I had another opportunity to see and do all the things I loved from my first visit, but I was there for a longer period of time to actually go out and further explore and experience the city to its fullest. You will enjoy Edinburgh during your “round 2” without a doubt! 🙂

    1. I’m glad to hear to loved Quebec City even more on your second visit! That’s exactly why I wanted to return to Edinburgh: to experience the city to its fullest! And I’m definitely enjoying “round 2” of my visit 🙂

  3. There’s a definite hesitation to return to a place you loved, and I think it’s because once we leave it, we have trouble figuring out if we are looking at it with a heavy layer of nostalgia over it. It’s great to return and realize you actually did feel so strongly about it.

    1. You’re so right, Marni! Luckily my nostalgic memories didn’t ruin Edinburgh for me – I still love it as much as I did the first time I visited!

  4. Hi Ashley,
    I love your blog! This is perfect for me as I am currently considering a move to Edinburgh. I would love to hear more from you about your experience and I will surely be following your story. You will see more of my comments on your other posts for sure. Please let me know if I can reach out to you directly as I would really love to get a first person view on how the whole thing has gone down for you.

    1. Hey Ivan, thanks so much! I would definitely encourage you to move to Edinburgh if you’re considering it – it’s such an awesome city! Feel free to send me an email via the ‘contact’ page on my site and I’d be happy to answer any questions and provide additional info on my move here! There have been instances where I haven’t received some emails, so if you don’t hear a reply from me, just leave a comment and I’ll give you my personal email address. Glad to have you following along 🙂

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