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One of the biggest questions I have gotten since telling people I was moving and from locals who find out I am from Canada is, “Why Scotland?”. I usually give them some generic answer on how my husband and I wanted to move abroad and how he wanted to do his master’s degree, so this is where we ended up. After some thought, I realize there is so much more to that answer than what people realize. Steven first brought up the idea of doing a master’s degree in early 2019 and was looking at some of the universities in the United Kingdom. He had a friend complete one in London, and Steven has always had a fascination with going to an old university with lots of cool architecture. At that point, I was still feeling pretty bummed out because we were going to move to Australia for a year, but Steven had gotten an excellent job offer and needed some work experience. So we stayed in Alberta for an additional two years. When he brought up that he was thinking about pursuing higher education, we instantly started looking up universities that offered his course. Since he only had two years of work experience, it limited our search results. He was looking at the universities in England first, but then I was like, “Why not Scotland?”.
Prior to moving here, I had been to Scotland twice for short amounts of time, and I had not yet seen the highlands. I fell deeply in love with the culture, castle ruins, bagpipes, and the rolling green hills. The Scots are fierce and tenacious people. They have a rich history of fighting for their rights and independence. Pop culture that intrigued me about Scotland even further included; Disney’s Brave, Braveheart, and Outlander. If I were single, I would have loved to have found me a Jamie Fraser (sorry Steven). The weather is pretty mild all year long (yay no snow), and it was not somewhere that is a complete culture shock to us.
Aberdeen was the first university to get back to Steven, so I figured it was fate. They had a solid international base as Steven wanted a global perspective in his schooling, and I got to go back to Scotland. Many locals find it weird how we wanted to move to Scotland, but I guess when you have lived somewhere for so long, you take for granted what you have. I would laugh at people who would migrate to the prairies.
So, “Why Scotland?” has both an easy answer and a hard answer. One is solely the fact that this is where we were accepted, and one dives into a deep appreciation and love for a culture. Scotland is both a dream and a reality. It was not effortless getting here, but we did it. It could be a stepping stone for something else that has yet to unfold. It has been an inspiration for us that we can achieve and stretch out of our comfort zones. Who knows where life will take us, but in the meantime, we will absorb as much as Scotland as we can. So far we have had a magical time here. We have been meeting people from all over the world, seen some amazing sites, learned a few things, and are excited to be able to explore more places around us. We have been living simpler as we have less room (especially in our fridge), and have been relying on the bus or our own two feet to get us places. Hopefully Scotland is one of those places on your list to visit or move too. You will not be disappointed!