[view from my hotel room above – the picture doesn’t give it half its justice]
Today was the first day of my journey across the pond. Naturally, it was a day full of traveling and little else.
One flight is enough to wear a traveler out, so those three today were a bit of a hit to my energy. Oddly enough, however, I couldn’t manage a wink of sleep despite my weary eyes. Perhaps it’s because I can never sleep on planes to begin with, but I think I was more-so anxious and excited to get to Scotland. I haven’t been able to sleep the past few days anyways, so what’s one more, really?
If you know me well, you’d know that I have a near-obsessive love for New York. Although I would usually be upset that I didn’t really get to spend much time in New York before I left the states, I think I was running around too much to think about the city of Manhattan just a cab ride away. Well, running around, plus the fact that once I finally did arrive to my gate, I was immediately face-to-face with a group of fellow St. Andrews students, which was really nice. I think things are off to a great start in terms of making friends in my home away from home.
Leaving New York was easier than any previous trip, not only for the people, but the place I’ll be for a whole semester! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and New York will be waiting for me when I come back .
Flying into the United Kingdom on the eve and into the start of my birthday is definitely a first, but also a unique gift that doesn’t come around very often. Do I wish my loved ones were here to celebrate with me on my birthday? Of course, but I’d like to think that you can still celebrate with warm wishes and a kind word despite the miles! Besides, it’s the feeling that counts, right? And to be honest, this has got to be the first time since I was a kid that I felt that birthday feeling. I mean, how can I not be feeling like a little girl playing dress-up again when I’m going to a real-life far-far-away fairytale? There are castles, there’s a queen, there are princes and princesses and for Merlin’s sake there is HARRY POTTER. So yes, a very happy birthday to me!
Arriving in London after the longest of my three flights was a big pat on the back and an accomplishment for the day. Heathrow airport was…intricate to say the least, and took a bit of navigation and to get to the next gate. No matter; the flight to Edinburgh was the last stretch of the trip to finally arrive in Scotland.
At this point, I’d love for a two-hour nap just to get me through the day until I can gain a full night’s rest tonight (which, as I mentioned, I haven’t had in three days), as well as a shower and change of clothes before the first dinner this evening.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not feeling my best in health, but looking around I have noticed there are a couple that are in about the same shape as I am. Maybe it’s due to a lack of sleep, or maybe just traveling and going through not-so-sanitary spaces, but I need to catch my immune system back up, ASAP.
I felt a little better once arriving at the hotel, and while waiting on my room, I walked around a bit in Edinburgh to see what’s in town. I felt a little better a little later this evening.
A large group of us met in the lobby and walked about a quarter into the Royal Mile, before realizing how tired we all really were. We made a couple pub stops, shared a drink or two, and I ate my first Scottish meal: vegetable pie with chips and peas on the side. After a Guinness and making my way through at least half of a hearty meal, I felt well enough and sleepy enough to recoup tonight.
For now, I must say goodnight, however, as I haven’t slept in days and I’ll have more to write about tomorrow. Goodnight!