As a “third culture kid” – I was born in Canada, then moved to Philippines, the United States, went to high school in Thailand, and am now a university student in Canada – I’m quite used to traveling and moving. Yet, this move to Edinburgh is different. This is the first time I’m moving on my own and handling everything by myself now that I’m finally considered an “adult”. And even though being considered an adult is thrilling (you finally have some independence and respect), the expectations and responsibilities that accompany it are terrifying. I’ll be moving to a new place where I know almost nobody (similar to when I moved to university), except now I’ll be halfway across the world compared to just two hours away from my family. But this new experience is so exciting that these fears and nervousness kind of just melt away.
A couple of weeks ago, I experienced the nerve wracking experience of applying for a visa on my own for the first time. Sure, I’ve had to get visas to be able to live in Thailand or the United States, but those have all been handled by my parents. Now that I’m an “adult” though, I have to handle these things on my own. And although the visa process really isn’t all that scary, it gave me a lot of anxiety, because everything was basically out of my control. Even though I’ve already been planning my whole year at the University of Edinburgh (and have paid for school and accommodations) I could have gotten denied entry. Once the process was done though (I got my visa approved) I realized it was actually not that frightening, and that I would have to be able to handle these situations on my own. This whole experience of starting off in a new place, reflects this – I have no idea what is going to happen and no control over what is to come, but I have high hopes for this upcoming year. I expect to make new, lasting friendships, and explore Scotland and new cultures in Europe with my new friends. I can’t wait to immerse myself into a new experience that is different than anything I’ve ever done before. And now I’m going to be on my own, in a totally new culture, and yet even though I’m a bit terrified, and (very) nervous, I also couldn’t be more excited for the next year.
After travelling around Eastern Europe with my family this summer, I’ve already fallen in love with Europe. I loved experiencing all the different cultures traveling from one country to another, that are so different from my own culture (which as a third culture kid is already a complicated thing) and yet I feel like I fit right in. I’m a travel junkie, so I can’t wait to move to Edinburgh and get to immerse myself in this new culture and the awe inspiring landscape. I’ve already been researching and making plans of all the places I want to visit and things I want to accomplish while there. I’m thrilled to get the chance to truly explore Scotland (a place I’ve always wanted to go to but have never visited!), the UK, and basically as many new places as I can afford to venture to!