One whole year ago, I did the greatest thing I could have ever imagined. I studied abroad in Europe for 6 months from January-June. To commemorate this time, I wanted to share a picture story. Basically, I will be using the pictures I took there to describe the story of my life in Glasgow, Scotland, the experiences I had there and shared with many, glorious others, and the times that I will never forget.
So, without further ado, here goes Scotland Saturdays:
This picture was the first one I took of myself. It was a prelude to my adventure. It’s so odd looking back at it now because at the time, I had no idea what lay in store for me. Yet at the same time, I look so happy and hopeful — and tired, to be honest. This was taken at about 5.30 A.M. But I was rightfully so. Look at all my bags — you would think I had packed my life away. What I didn’t know at the time was that it was only when I had to pack for the return trip that I really did pack my life away.
As soon as I got off that darned plane (it was the last leg of a 10 hour journey), I rushed out to the lobby. Funny thing is that I couldn’t quite seem to figure out the luggage carts and how to work them, so I ended up pushing about 100 pounds of unnecessary weight through the whole Glasgow airport. Safe to say I was fairly sweaty in all my winter gear after that. It was January, after all. But as I sat here and stared, I couldn’t help feeling welcome, despite the oddly ironic “No Entry” sign. The airport Welcome sign seemed to ring deep in my core, though I figured that the sunshine was fabricated and fake.
As soon as I got into the hotel, I was all over my camera. I took ridiculous shots of myself and my excitement; I ran to the window and took shots of the outside world. Everything about this image gives me peace. You can see the beauty, class, and personality of the buildings, the leftover pieces of snow on the roof grass, and the rain-streaked sky and road. I saw this from the window and realized that I never wanted to leave.
Then of course, I saw the Irn Bru. I figured it was complimentary and opened it. I had fallen in love with this stuff years ago, when I had come to Europe for the Olympics in the summer of 2012. Next to it lay a wee tea cake. It was all so very Scottish that I couldn’t help but laugh and snap a few shots. Like this one here. Nothing brings me more pleasure than the simple things in life. Like when I went downstairs to the lobby and asked if the Irn Bru was complimentary, which sprung the desk lady and I into an amazing conversation about Irn Bru itself, and Scotland, and how I was the only American to notice or even care about this stuff. But that’s where she was wrong. Already I was beginning to feel my American-ness leave me; fade away for something else. Something true.
As soon as this engaging and encouraging conversation was over, I took a shower to wipe off all the gunk of plane and proceeded to paint the town blue. The concierge offered me an umbrella and I took it, but realized quickly that you couldn’t actually use it due to the vicious wind. So – I tucked it under my arm and strode down the street with my head held high. I remember thinking that the rain was glorious, that the wind was refreshing, and that the scenery was beautiful. Here, I had stopped in a cafe and watched as people continually walked through the same puddle and nearly tripped in it every single time. You would think they would learn from their fallen comrades.
Part 2 will come next Saturday.
Peace. Cheers. Love. xx