First of all – a rough introduction. My name is Minna and I’m a 21-year-old Social Anthropology student from Tallinn, Estonia. I’m currently in my second year of uni and decided to spend that year in no other place than….bam bam bam… EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND! So I’ll be spending the next 9 months in this gorgeous city taking the most out of it academically as well as socially. And(!) I’m going to share it all with you! The good, the bad, the exciting, the terrifying… everything. I really hope that you enjoy reading about it all as much as I enjoy writing about it. So without further ado, here’s the first chapter of the story about an Estonian girl with an amazing disease called wanderlust, trying to figure out what the city of Edinburgh is all about.
First off, I’ll copy and paste my so called “sample blog” I wrote a few weeks ago back in Estonia when I applied for the “job” as an official blogger for the University of Edinburgh. It’s a short review of what I was dealing with before jumping on a plane and leaving my comfort zone.
The idea of doing an Erasmus exchange has been with me ever since I started university. Or maybe even before that. I always imagined my degree-getting would consist of three years of studies at my home university, which is by the way in the capital city of Estonia – Tallinn, and one year abroad. Somewhere where the school system, the people, the vibe and everything else, would be totally different from what I’m used to. So here I am, done with my first year of university in Tallinn and ready to board a plane to Edinburgh – the “place which would be totally different”, in less than a month. I’ve completed almost all the emotional stages one goes through before moving to another country: initial excitement, confusion, doubt, fear, PANIC, and finally excitement again. That’s where I’m at now. And the excitement grows with every new flatmate I (virtually) meet, every new event that’s announced on our ‘Erasmus 2015/16 Edinburgh’ Facebook page and every time I open Google Maps to scout and try to remember routes like “dorm to university”, “university to gym” or “dorm to The Hive”. My to-do-while-in-Edi list is growing longer every day (so is my needs-to-be-done-before-Edi-please-don’t-procrastinate-just-do-it-!!! list, but let’s ignore that for now). I’ve never been there but from what I’ve been told the city should be absolutely gorgeous. I just hope I find the time to do all the things and travel to all the places during my time there.
I’m a keen believer in destiny and the whole “everything happens for a reason” thing. I must admit – Edinburgh wasn’t my first choice when I started to plan my exchange, but I trust life and I know it is where I needed to end up. I can’t put to words how excited I am to start school (yep, never thought I’d say that but kids, that’s what happens when you decide to study something you’re passionate about!), to meet my fellow Edi-buddies and to take 100% out of everything this next year has in store for me! Let the countdown to September 12th begin!
Okay so. First things first – Edinburgh is ab-so-lu-te-ly breathtakingly gorgeous. You guys, it’s even better than Google Images tells you. I can’t stress enough the fact that no other city in the whole world has ever made a better first impression than this one. Sure, the bus ride from Cape Town airport to the city centre, watching how the city lights slowly unravel between huge mountains and the ocean, was quite something, and sure, landing in Nice in the South of France for the first time, not being quite sure if the airport runway was going to start soon enough or if we were actually going to land in the crystal clear Mediterranean Sea (turns out that’s the particularity of the airport there), was amazing, but there hasn’t been anything like the arrival to Edinburgh so far. No matter where I looked from the cab window, all I saw was cathedrals, churches or cute little houses that seem old even if they’re not. Edinburgh has this unique historic look – no skyscrapers, no huge apartment complexes in sight. Everything is so well thought through, there is not a building that doesn’t fit in perfectly. That first glimpse of the city (along with the brilliant Scottish accent of the cab driver) had me realising that there is a very big chance of me falling in love with this place forever.
I’ve been here for four days now. So far I’ve wandered around the gorgeous Old Town, gotten lost too many times (I look at it as a good thing though, because in my opinion getting lost is sometimes the best way of discovering a new city! And especially if it’s such a beautiful city as Edinburgh), made so many new friends, attended a few parties (it is Freshers Week after all) and I even managed to climb the Arthur’s Seat and admire the panoramic view from the top on my second day here. Honestly, I could not be happier. Every single experience so far indicates that it’s going to be an absolutely amazing year.
I’ll leave it like that for now. I hope I managed to paint a decent picture of my expectations and the reality. Just in case, I’ll add some photos so you can see for yourself. Stay tuned, because there are many more stories and adventures to come! This is just the beginning and oh boy am I excited!
Until next time,