What does it mean to be home?
I’ve lived in Edinburgh over a year now, and I’ll be leaving permanently in just under three weeks. When I left the US last August, I didn’t really want to go. I was just getting comfortable in Wilmington, but perhaps it was because of this sense of complacency that I felt the need to move. I told myself it was a temporary move, that I’d just be getting a degree and coming home. What I didn’t count on was falling in love with Edinburgh. I feel connected with this city in a similar way that I feel connected to all the places I’ve lived for long periods of time. It’s funny to look back on the year I spent in Montreal and to remember the blog post I wrote just like this one a few weeks before I left for good. But I was 23 then. I felt little desire to settle down and little pressure to determine my career or life path.
Now, at 26, it’s a different story. As I face an uncertain year ahead, with career-track friends moving up in their companies and others getting married and having babies, I feel the need for some stability. But how do I do that on the path I have chosen?
Finding a community
Getting involved with the travel-blogging community over the past few months has made me realize that it’s possible to find certainty in uncertainty. There is a global community out there of people just like me who don’t necessarily define home as a place. The more I travel, the more I realize how small our planet is and how liberating it can be to experience places other than my birthplace.
But still there’s that nagging feeling: I need somewhere to grow roots. I need a community.
It’s ironic, actually, that I left Montreal without looking back and that I leave Edinburgh feeling as if I’m ending a good relationship prematurely. Ironic because I’d moved to Montreal intending to stay forever and I’d come to Edinburgh intending non-permanence. Funny how that happens, no?
Truthfully, though, I think it has a lot more to do with how I view friendship and community now. I’ve learned the value of good friends, and I invest time and effort into my local community. I have begun to find this sense of community among the permanent travelers and bloggers I follow, and this is a community I will never have to leave behind. Maybe this is the answer to my dilemma.
And now for less brooding and more excitement: Edinburgh bucket list
There are still a few things I haven’t done here yet that I’d like to check out before my departure on 11 December.
- Writer’s Museum
- Edinburgh International Climbing Arena (EICA — Ratho)
- Sheep Heid Inn, oldest pub in Scotland
- Stockbridge Market
- Cramond Island
- Forth Bridge
- Scotch Whisky Experience