Today I realized that I only have 31 more days left in Glasgow. This gave me really mixed feelings. On the one hand, I feel like I have so much left I still want to do. 31 days doesn’t seem like enough time to see all the museums, visit all the places I still want to go. It takes me a while to get into the groove of a new place, and I am finally starting to find my place here. Plus, with all the traveling I’ve been doing, I feel like I haven’t had the chance to experience the city of Glasgow as much as I wanted to. I’ve spent so much time traveling around Scotland and Europe, I kind of forgot about the city I live in. As I only have one more trip planned (a field trip to visit the European Parliament in Brussels with one of my classes), I’m making it my goal to get out there and explore Glasgow beyond the University and City Center in these last few weeks.
On the other hand, 31 days seems like forever. While I have really enjoyed my time abroad, I have moments when I really miss my friends, family and especially my boyfriend. Being in a relationship while on exchange is hard. My boyfriend is also on exchange in Asia. Him literally on the other side of the world from me means we have not seen each other (other than via the computer screen) since August 22. I am so glad I chose to have this experience alone rather than us go on exchange together. I would advise anyone in a relationship to do separate exchanges rather than going it together. I think being on my own has pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to try new things and be more outgoing. That being said, I will be one very happy girl when we’re finally together again on December 22.
I’ve been keeping myself really busy with school and traveling to somewhere in Europe every weekend. This weekend will be the first that I’ve spent in Glasgow since the beginning of October and it feels a bit strange. Without the rush to get papers done so I can get on the plane in time I don’t know what to do with myself. That, coupled with the fact that it’s been almost 3 months since I left Canada for Scotland, means that homesickness is starting to set in. (It doesn’t help that Glasgow’s downtown has been covered in Christmas lights. Christmastime always makes me feel like I should be with my family…) I suppose that is one of the benefits (though it doesn’t feel like a benefit sometimes) of being on exchange. Since coming to Glasgow I’ve realized just how much I value my friends and family back home.
But don’t worry readers, the news isn’t all bad from here across the pond! I’ve had some really lovely time these past few weeks as well. There are definitely worse places to be spending the weeks leading up to December 25th! I didn’t know this before I arrived, but Europe is the home to a ton of Christmas markets. One can’t help but feel the Christmas cheer walking around brightly lit stalls with mulled wine and Churros (weirdly, Churros are the Christmas pastry of choice at the Paris Christmas market I was at last weekend).
While in Paris last weekend I also got the chance to go up the Eiffel tower! It was so cold, but so worth it!