When I first arrived in Edinburgh, everything felt foreign to me. The people seemed different, I didn't know how to navigate the city, and I didn't have a place to call my own.
Since arriving in Edinburgh, I have been incredibly lucky and have been able to travel to Germany, Ireland, and France. Each of these countries was incredibly exciting and new. I fell in love with Germany's people and vibrant culture. I reconnected with old friends at Oktoberfest, sported a dirndl, and drank local beer. I visited a farmer's market on a Sunday and tried German cheeses and pastries. I fell in love with Ireland's green hills and raucous streets. I was breathless on the Cliffs of Moher and took too many pictures for my phone to hold. I wandered around Temple Bar, in awe of the vibrancy of the people and the lights on the pubs. I bought gelato and a bracelet in Galway while wandering under brightly colored flags hanging between brick buildings. I drove hours in a bus through green pastures and saw sheep, broken down abbeys, and a rest stop dedicated to Barack Obama. I fell in love with France's architecture and romance. I climbed to the top of a tower and looked over all of Bordeaux. I walked through a cathedral built in the 12th century and was incredibly impressed by the size of the organ. I ate pizza on the steps below the Miroir d'Eau at night and gazed up at the lights. I truly loved my experience in each place. And each time I returned, I slowly started to realize that Edinburgh was feeling like home.
In the plane on my way back from these countries, I found myself dreaming of my tiny bed in my tiny room in my messy flat. I found myself picturing the comfort of doing homework with a cappuccino in Black Medicine Coffee and the burst of joy that comes with passing the brightly colored shops on Victoria Street and walking under the castle in the Grassmarket. When I unlocked the door to my flat after a long and exciting weekend, I breathed a sigh of relief and smiled. I imagined the comfort of waking up the next morning, walking to my favorite cafés, listening to my professors talk about Scottish politics and the history of the bagpipe, and reconnecting with friends over homemade pasta and roasted vegetables.
It seems like Edinburgh is finally feeling like home.