What No One Tells You About Coming Back

When you’ve had an awful day, nothing is going right and you just need to get away, where do you go? What do you see when you close your eyes in moments like that?

I discovered, as I sat on the bus after the worst week and closed my eyes just for a moment, that I go back to Edinburgh.

I haven’t really discussed how much I miss Edinburgh. I’ve mentioned it in passing in the occasional blog post, and I complain about it a lot in the real world, but I don’t think I’ve actually, properly discussed it.

Edinburgh felt like home. It felt familiar and safe and comfortable from the first time I arrived. Everything just made sense – I never felt lost, or out of place. I immediately felt like a local. I belonged in Edinburgh. It was my place.

It still is my place, only I’m not in it.

It’s been months now since I left Edinburgh. And yet I still feel as though I’ve just returned. Things that should be familiar just seem odd – Australian words, Australian brands, Australian TV.

I feel like I’m on exchange here, like it’s all temporary and soon I’ll be getting on a plane to go back home to Scotland.

No one tells you about this part of exchange. The part where you come ‘home’ only it’s not home, and you spend every day wishing you could just go back.

I love being back with A, only I wish we were in Scotland, not here.

I wish it was almost winter instead of almost summer.

I wish I could go to Tesco or Sainsbury’s or Scotmid instead of Woolies or Coles.

I wish I could shop on Princes Stree instead of Rundle Mall.

I wish I was there, instead of here.

But I’m not. And it’s another year until I will be. So instead I guess I have to be content with just closing my eyes and imagining I’m there.

Imagining I’m home.

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