An ode to Scotland

Scotland is the place that will always feel like home, says Laura Menéndez

I vividly remember the day I stepped on a plane to change my life forever. After a year of university in Spain, I knew it wasn’t for me. I accepted an offer to study in Scotland. And off I went. A big suitcase and a lot of hope accompanied me in my journey to my new life. I said goodbye to my parents for the first time in life.

My flight landed in Edinburgh late at night on a late August evening. The cold breeze hit me as I was leaving the aircraft, a cold breeze that from then on became a reflection of calm and stillness, of peace. I took the bus to the city centre, and Princess Street will always hold a special place in my heart. The big lights and the business of it welcomed me straight away.

It comes without need to highlight the beauty of Scotland and its spirit. I feel in love with Edinburgh straight away. There’s a certain magic surrounding the city, a sort of fairy-tale atmosphere that wraps you like a big hug, especially being a tourist who sees it for the first time.

My four years in university left me a feeling of wanting more, and if there is one reason I’d have to explain it is the people of Scotland. Rarely have I encountered in other placed the warmth of heart of its people and its landscapes. The big hills and the way they change colour throughout the season is something I will always remember. Scotland can feel like a daunting place because of its weather, the grey winter, and the rain.

I have experienced Scotland in its prime summer sunshine, an ocean of green and yellow flowers, and as much as I love it there is always something remarkable about its gloomy rainy winter days. Again, like a fairy-tale.

Leaving a shop, whether it is after purchasing an on-the-go cup of coffee, mascara at boots or having visited a local shop is something that very rarely fails to exist without a ‘have a nice day’ from whoever is on the other side of the counter.

It would be extremely complicated to describe Scotland in one single piece, but if there something that defines it, to me at least, is its warm heart. The warm heart of its people, who will, almost without a doubt, help you with a smile in their faces.

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