The dogs are sleeping--Islay curled up on the bed and Nala laying on the cold spot under the window--and Reese is interviewing people for his dissertation at his desk. I am working at our table trying to finish a short story I started this summer so I can send it off to literary magazines. I haven't written a word in an hour and a half. Instead I've stared out the window watching the mist cover the leaves in flowers in a thin layer of moisture.
In 23 days Reese and I and the dogs are moving back to Seattle.
I struggle writing that sentence because, even as a writer, there's very little you can do with punctuation to evoke bittersweetness that is this transition period. Of course I'm elated to go back to Seattle and see family and friends, to live in our house again, to drink really good cider again. But going back to Seattle means missing the life we built in Edinburgh.
This past year has been a constant unknown. As a planner, it's been a year-long life lesson in patience and flexibility. It's also been one of the best years of my life. For both Reese and I it's been a big life shift. This year started out as a goal, as a dream to live abroad somewhere. We wanted different life experiences and opportunities. And when moving costs, living expenses, and tuition is cheaper than staying put, take the opportunity!
And what an experience it's been.
Over the course of the year, Reese has worked towards his MBA which he's been finishing up this month and I've been writing a collection of short stories, working on a novel, and preparing for my masters program that starts in a month(!!!).
In between all of our academic goals, we took advantage of being so close to so many wonderful places. Since we've been here we've visited:
I don't think I can pick a favorite. Tromsø will always hold a special place in my heart. Watching the Northern Lights dance above us while we lay in the snow was one of the most magical experiences of my life.
That being said, living in Edinburgh and getting to spend time in the Highlands was magical in a different way. The gothic architecture will always make me swoon. The rugged richness of Highland terrain will always captivate me. The whisky will always be delicious. The storytelling will always be enchanting.
And of course, there was a lot of park time with the doggos. I think they'll miss being able to run around off-leash all the time and chasing golf balls at the park. We'll find a way to make it up to them.
Scotland will always be my second home. I am so grateful for all of the wonderful friends we made while we were here and for all the experiences they brought into our lives.
Moreover, I'm grateful to have had this experience with you, Reese. Thank you for getting into your program so we could have this adventure. Thank you for being my forever travel partner. For being my life partner. I love you.