It appears that I was preparing to travel to Edinburgh my whole life, but I never knew it. My whole life I was moving farther and farther away from home, the big move (I thought) moving 3 hours away, but now I’m moving time zones away. Typically, one always hears about adventures once they are finished, and the exciting details of each place visited, not about the preparation for the adventure. Well this is a true story of my preparations for Edinburgh.
Once I informed my friends and family that I was going to Edinburgh for school they were a little more than sceptical that I would ever return, however getting to Edinburgh was testing. First, there was all the paper work. It felt like I was constantly writing to someone or applying for something. Applying for my UK visa was a long, intimate, and intense process.
To ensure I would get the most out of Edinburgh and bring the most of Canada with me, I had to purchase a bigger suitcase. For something that’s nature is to pack things into, deciding on what to fill the suitcase with was hard. Weeks prior to even booking my plane ticket I was scrambling around the house collecting my quirky essentials and practical items so as to not forget them. Items like my knee high, yellow rain boots, travel gnome and electrical current converter. Another essential item is my family’s tartan, the Murray tartan. For Christmas my family bought a scarf in the Murray tartan as motivation to connect with my Scottish roots.
After purchasing travel books about Scotland, specifically Edinburgh, I began making my “to do” list. I purchased the exact same travel book for my mom so she could mark off all the places she wants to go when she comes to visit me. I am especially, interested in seeing the Scottish Parliament buildings since I am moving from Ottawa, where Canada’s Parliament buildings are. I want to compare the two cultures as I move from one capital to the other.
To prepare myself for the cuisine of Scotland I booked a reservation at an authentic Scottish restaurant, The Caledonian. After researching I found that the name ‘Caledonia’ was a name given by the Romans to the Northern area of Scotland. Also, the name had been modernised and has taken on a romantic tone and had been incorporated into many songs. I have yet to attend the reservation, but perused the menu which included such items as haggis fritters, Scotch egg, and sticky toffee pudding.
Even though “goodbyes” made up a large part of my pre-departure, I know they are going to be replaced by many more “hellos”, once I arrive in Edinburgh.