ONE YEAR IN EDINBURGH!
It’s been one year since we packed up our life in Sweden and moved to Scotland, and wow- time has flown by!
Moving to a new place in the midst of a pandemic has definitely been tricky; between obtaining all the right paperwork/covid tests, bringing the cats, putting our things in storage, and quarantining only to go into lockdown 2 weeks later, it was like nothing we expected! Although it hasn’t been easy, this year has given me the chance to practice being flexible over and over again, and keep an open mind. Scotland was in lockdown for the first 4 months of us moving (which we were not expecting), and while we may have envisioned a different way of starting out in a new city, it allowed us to see Edinburgh in a whole new way.
For the first eight months, we rented a furnished flat on the Royal Mile; the heart of Edinburgh’s tourist area. Stretching from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile is normally one of the city’s busiest spots, and for eight months we essentially had it all to ourselves. During a time where going for walks was really the only thing to do, it was amazing to be able to wander this part of the city alone.
In January and February, it snowed a few times – something that isn’t very common in this part of the country. Living so close to Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh’s resident extinct volcano, gave us the perfect opportunity to join with our neighbours in using this popular hiking spot as the ultimate sledding theme park.
In the spring as lockdown restrictions began to ease, our attentions turned to finding a flat to purchase. It wasn’t an easy feat, but after viewing over 20 places and making 3 separate offers, we found one that we loved! We received the keys in June, and quickly started on renovations. MacKenzie has taken over as project manager, researching and organising all of the work and people coming in an our of our place. I have taken over as queen of painting and wallpapering – not something I particularly saw myself mastering, but hey, these skills come in handy.
With a slight increase in temperature, summer arrived in Edinburgh. Shops and restaurants opened their doors once more, small events started up again, and residents began filling every green space with picnic blankets, music, and food. In July, after almost 2 years away, I was able to finally return home to the US for a few weeks, and shortly after, we received our first international visitor to Edinburgh, MacKenzie’s mom! We love hosting guests, and it’s always so fun to take people on tours of our city, and experience it from a new perspective!
Autumn came to Edinburgh in full force, and upon our return from Italy, we were greeted with the most glorious colours of red, orange, and yellow throughout the city. This autumn has been all about feeling settled for me. Finishing up renovations, finally being able to decorate our flat, investing more time in friends, finding new cafes, bakeries, and shops in our new neighbourhood, and making an effort to establish some sort of routine has been so helpful in making me feel like I really live here.
As the holiday season approaches and Edinburgh is now covered in twinkly lights and Christmas markets (not to mention a light dusting of snow this weekend!), it’s hard to believe we’ve experienced an entire year in this city. While sometimes it’s been tough and confusing, other times it’s been amazing and so much fun. But throughout it all, I’ve been incredibly thankful to live in and continue to explore this beautiful city.
So cheers to an entire year in Scotland, and here’s hoping the next year is filled with more adventure, travel, and maybe a bit more haggis? (kidding!)