Saturday, May 9, 2009

This is what I do at 3 am.

Okay, first I'll start with the good news: Kristine, Abby and I have finally figured out our schedule for the month of June. It goes something as follows:

May 31-Paris
June 1- Paris
2- Paris
3- Bruges
4- Amsterdam
5- Amsterdam
6- Berlin
7- Berlin
8- Prague
9- Prague
10- Prague
11- Vienna
12- Vienna
13- Vienna
14- Budapest
15- Budapest
16- Budapest
17- Salzburg
18- Salzburg
19- Munich
20- Munich
21- Zermatt (Switzerland)
22- Zermat
23- Nice
24- Nice
25- Fly from Nice to Edinburgh
26- Fly from Edinburgh to Boston

That trip is the only thing keeping me sane right now. Yeah, it'll be exhausting, but it'll be the greatest adventure I'll ever have. I am beyond pumped.

Now the sad portion....

The thought of leaving this country, this city, is unbearable. I can't do it. If someone magically gave me the option of staying here forever, with the same people and the same lifestyle, I would accept it without even having to think. I wish. My experience here has been one thousand times more than what I could have ever expected...why must it end! Of course, I don't mean any of this against my family/friends at home, and it will be wonderful to see everyone again and get life back to "normal." But, if I could somehow combine the two...well, what more could I ever ask for? Basically, I just don't want to leave, ever. I am not ready. 5 1/2 months is not long enough.

Before I was even accepted into this program, I attended a study abroad seminar sponsored by Northeastern. They gave us a chart displaying when people are typically most home-sick (thankfully I never suffered too badly), and spoke to us about "reverse-culture shock." Now it's true that Scotland isn't drastically different from the US, and technically I probably won't have that much adjusting to do. But the hardest part, I'd imagine, will be walking out of my front door and not seeing the Royal Mile, not making elaborate family-style dinners with our group of friends, no more late night drunchies at Palmyra, not hearing the accents, not seeing the Castle as a backdrop to the city, not hearing bagpipes in the distance, no more kilted men, the lack of veggie-haggis, not seeing the gorgeous old architecture along every street, as well as being subjected to constant sprawling shopping centers and Wal-Marts, being once again bombarded by television adverts and flashy billboards (being TV-free was so liberating!), the rude and unfriendly people of Connecticut, and all of the other day-to-day differences that will be felt the most. Then, of course, the regular life problems that we have all been able to escape for 6 months! Living here enabled us to live separate lives...and it was a great break. I'm not all that interested in returning to reality.....

It was much easier to leave Boston because I knew that I'd be returning soon enough. My good-byes were only temporary, more along the lines of "see you later!" than anything else. Leaving Edinburgh is completely different. There is no returning. Assuming I do come back, it could take me years to save up enough money. Even so, it won't be the same. I won't be with the same friends, I'll have no flat of my own, places will have changed...everything will be different. Living here is so different from vacationing here. There is no coming back to what we have now, and I guess for me, that's the hardest part of it all. I love what I have now, and I know that once I leave on May 25th, it will never return. Perhaps I'm being overly dramatic, which is possible. We'll see, but somehow I doubt it.

I could go on and on, but it's 3 am and I have to wake up early to study. I'll be back hopefully tomorrow or the next day to post pictures from the Beltane Fire Festival, I promise those will be much more interesting/fun than this post. I just needed to get it off my chest I suppose.