From the moment my plane landed on the sprawling tarmac of Edinburgh’s airport, I felt a tingle of excitement rushing through my stomach. It had been a little over two years since I was last in Scotland and seeing it’s familiar face felt surreal at that moment. The trees, the cloudy sky, the crisp air — it all held a delicious familiarity I welcomed as I exited the stale cabin. Despite the exhaustion that often accompanies international travel, I felt a spring return to my step as I made my way toward the baggage claim where my good friend Barbara was waiting to greet me.
It’s now been a week since my return and the excitement has remained strong despite a few hiccups (I won’t bore you with the details). I’m living in Bridge of Allan once again and it’s held on to its charms. Some shops along the main street have remained the same while new names have popped up among them. The evening air is still thick with the enticing smell of fish and chips rising from the Allanwater Cafe and the Allanwater Brewhouse is still nestled comfortably in its corner. In essence, it feels like coming home, though it’s missing some important people who made this place so special during my last visit. Some are back in the states and others in London and Germany. I miss our little tight-knit friend group, but that’s what visits are for. I’m even living in the flat we all spent so much time in. What are the odds?
Even though things are a bit different this go around, some things are still the same. Academia is what brought me here the first time and that’s what has prompted my return. However, this time I’ll be pursuing a Ph.D., which I’m very excited to get started on. My love for publishing grew while I was attending the University of Stirling as a masters student, and I see it flourishing even further as I take on my research beginning on Monday, October 1. Many people have asked me why I want a Ph.D. and why I had to come back to Stirling to get it. I don’t really know a specific answer. I think this degree will open more doors for my career. I want to use my research to make a positive change in the industry. There are no options for this Ph.D. in the states. It just feels right. Take your pick. I’ve had some doubts about coming here along the way, especially since I’ve yet to find a job and often overthink everything to death, but it still feels like the right decision. So, here’s to new beginnings in my home away from home. The possibilities are endless and I’m hopeful for the future.
Stay tuned for the adventure.