(Aber)dream: making the move

The past three months have flown by; from dashing from a close friend’s wedding to the airport to now I’ve had delightful and uncertain experiences, made great new friends, and found another place I feel at home.  I’ve got a few more detailed posts about Scotland queued up but wanted to reflect on how my trans-continental move went. Continue reading

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Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal

I kid, I kid, you’re all wonderful people…but it’s Christmas Eve if my laptop’s 7 calendar reminders are anything to go by!  This is my first Christmas away from my family which is pretty surreal.  For the last 7 years or so we’ve had separate Christmas celebrations–my brother and I have been known to attend between two and four different events in any given Christmas Day–and with my mom, dad, brother, and me living decently apart from each other, not seeing at least one family member on Christmas is something I’ve gotten used to.  But being away from all of them?  I don’t know if it’s actually sunk in yet.

I knew pretty much from the time I accepted my place at University of Aberdeen that I wouldn’t be coming home for the holidays; plane tickets from Aberdeen are notoriously expensive even without the Christmas-New Year price jump.  So I planned on what any graduate student studying north of the wall would do…taking a trip south to see my cousins in Spain.  However, once I got to talking with one of my best friends from home we realised the b̶e̶s̶t̶  only time for her to visit would be just after New Years, and flying to Spain for one week was a bit beyond my means as well.  With that in mind I wasn’t sure what I would be doing for Christmas–aside from Skype and FaceTime with the parentals and brother bear.  Also, mom, if you’re reading this remember to turn on your webcam next time we Skype 🙂

Fast forward to Fraser and I decorating my mini-tree a few weeks back.  He saw the presents my parents mailed me and asked what I would be doing for Christmas; when he found out I had nothing planned he and his parents offered to have me for the holiday.  So while it will be strange not seeing any of my relatives, I’m excited to spend the time with him and his family.  I know I’ll miss opening stockings and drinking tea with my dad in our bathrobes (shoutout to Beth for finally getting him one that isn’t fifteen years old), but I look forward to seeing how Fraser & co. spend their Christmas.  It’ll be a lovely change of pace to get out of the city, as well.  Fraser’s hometown is about an hour outside of Aberdeen and anybody who knows me knows that I’m a sucker for country air every now and again.  Living and working in the city comes naturally when you’ve picked the performing arts as your industry of choice, but I do miss fresh air and walks in the woods when my daily commute is accompanied by the rushing of buses and beeping crosswalk signs.

For me Christmas and the holiday season have always been about tradition.  Midnight church service, the fireplace aglow, wreaths, relatives stopping by…that’s Christmas to me.  And while it’s certainly not an easy time of the year for me, it’s always a reminder to take a step back and look at how lucky I really am.  I miss my family and friends, and not having my father’s help stringing the tree lights up this year was a somber moment, but I look forward to discovering my own traditions and incorporating them into future holidays for years to come.

If there are any traditions you and your family have for this time of year, let me know-I’d love to hear about them!

Holmenkollen and local gems

Throughout our time in Oslo we were fascinated by the sight of Holmenkollen, the famous ski jump just outside the city centre.  Sara and I kept saying we would find time to visit but between our excursions around the city and unexpectedly cloudy weather we had pushed it to our last day.  Unfortunately it was rainy when we made our way to the ski jump, but it cleared up a bit as we looked through the museum and around the grounds.  I would love to return to watch either a ski competition (up to 70,000 people can watch on-site) or just to see the views of Oslo from the jump on a clear day.

The original ski hill was opened in 1892–it’s strange to think it was already 100 when I was born but there you have it!   Continue reading