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I’ve decided to move to Edinburgh. After a week here, I have no doubt this is the place for me. I’ve fallen in love with this city and Scotland in general, and I don’t want to leave.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to always reside here permanently. I plan to get registered as a British Citizen and then have Edinburgh as a base from which to travel from. With the Scottish name Skye, I think this was always my destiny!
The first step will be coming up with the initial £1000 to pay for it. I’m looking for work I can do in Edinburgh for the next few weeks to subsidize this, but there’s not much I can do without registering first. What a Catch-22. If anyone wants to sponsor me, I would be eternally grateful and would follow through with all the rewards and exchange I mention on that page.
Once I get my registration I will be able to get my UK passport, giving me unlimited access to the EU and other places which are more tricky with my American passport. It will also give me the ability to work in Edinburgh and throughout England, which I plan to do for a month or two each year to help with my travel expenses. I need to look into it, but I might be able to work anywhere in the EU as well.
I will also get a room or flat to let for a month using Gumtree.com, unless someone has a better recommendation for me. I found it amazing that this morning I was walking along the Meadows and saw a beautiful house that looked like a castle overlooking the park. I thought about how amazing it would be to live there. Then tonight, not only did I see the house listed on Gumtree, but it was one of the cheapest listed at only £75 a week!
Here’s what my first week in Edinburgh has been like. Unfortunately I don’t have many photos to add here as I lost my camera on a bus tour. Aside from having to pay for a new one and losing a week of photos, it could hardly dampen my spirits in this amazing country.
I arrived on Wednesday, April 30th at 7:15 AM from London on the overnight Megabus. As soon as I arrived, I ran 2 km to drop my bag off at my host and then back to the Royal Mile to get my bus tour, the Hairy Coo. This free tour (tip basis only) travels all around southern Scotland to see the Wallace Monument, Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle, Hairy Coos (Scottish highland cows, which we got to feed and pet) and finally Monty Python’s famous Doune Castle. We also made a stop at Loch Katrine where I went for a run along the lake and a small detour to see a waterfall. Unfortunately that’s where on the trail my camera fell out of my pocket. I know almost exactly where it is and this Friday I’ll go back to take the tour again, get some (more) photos and hopefully recover my camera.
We got back in town around 6 PM. Then it was back to my host to shower, change and head up to Calton Hill for the world-famous Beltane Fire Festival. What an event. In truth, my point-and-shoot camera would not have been able capture the glory and fun of the event. The news later said there were over 5000 in attendance, but I could have sworn it was at least three times that. Especially when it took nearly an hour to get in through the line. The festival lasted nearly four hours and every moment of it was fantastic. Obviously it was lots of fire dancing and performances, but it also had a great aesthetic quality to it. Got home just before 2 AM.
I spent the next three days simply wandering around town, meeting new friends, taking the free walking tours and feeling really at home. Despite the UK being quite expensive in general, and a horrible conversion rate from the dollar to the pound, I found places to eat and shop in Edinburgh for quite cheap. Really good food too. But the best is the scenery. In addition to Calton Hill where the festival took place, there is also Holyrood Park with Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano offering a beautiful panoramic view of all Edinburgh. Then there are The Meadows and all of its culture, a canal running for miles, the sea close by and the center of town with the castle on the crag. Need I go on?
Edinburgh is also the home and inspiration of Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling wrote the books just off the Royal Mile in the Elephant House coffee shop. Many (or most) of the schools around Edinburgh were the model for Hogwarts. You can even find many tombs in the cemetery near the coffee house with characters in the book, such as Tom Riddle, although Rowling says that was just a coincidence. Did you know Hogwarts Express is real? That’s probably the best part. Just Google the Isle of Skye (yeay!) and the bridge and train should be one of the first photos. Of course, the rest of that island is just stunning.
The people in Edinburgh are great too. I’ve already made some fantastic friends here. Yet another reason to call this home.
So now I just need to get my registration process started. This week I will visit whatever office I need to and get the specifics on the application. I have the added benefit of my dad being a British citizen so hopefully I won’t have any snags. Didn’t think I’d find a place like this so soon into my travels, but considering all of the above, I’m not surprised.
Oh, one final comment to mention. Don’t judge Scotland by Braveheart, and definitely don’t mention the name Mel Gibson! You’ll just have to come here to find the real story.