If you haven’t realized yet, I’m back in America. I’m so happy to be home. I love being surrounded by friends and family and getting to wear shorts, dresses, and sandals daily.
Even though living in Edinburgh was really hard for me, there are some things that I do miss about it. Here are 10 of them.
1. The Dogs
Edinburgh is a super dog-friendly city. Dogs are welcomed at many pubs, a lot of restaurants, certain stores, and at at all the parks and beaches. I loved seeing so many dogs walking around. It makes me smile when I see cute doggies. Andrew and I literally point out every dog we see when we’re outside. I totally think the dogs in Scotland are way better behaved than dogs in the US. So many dogs get to run free (off-leash) and nobody has a problem with it. Also, there are a lot less mean dogs barking at you from the fence when you walk pass them.
Lastly, Blue is there. I miss him a lot.
Even though I complain about having to walk in the rain and cold, living in the city and being able to walk everywhere is very nice. I like knowing how long my “commute” is. If you walk, you have almost total control over how long it takes you to get somewhere. Traffic doesn’t affect you that much. If you’re running late, you can just walk faster (or RUN!).
It’s also great not having to worry about a car and not having to pay for gas. Health-wise, I’ve been able to get about 10,000 steps in a day without having to go running or the gym. Now, I have to go out of my way to be healthy.
3. Grocery Delivery
Getting food brought to your door is pretty awesome. The delivery fee can be as low as £1 (way cheaper than Safeway’s), which is totally worth it if it’s cold outside, you have to buy a lot of things, or have heavy or bulky items (like juice or toilet paper). I just open my door and it’s there.
The best part is that you’re paying the same prices as it is in the stores (unlike some of the grocery delivery apps in the States) and sometimes, you’ll even be able to get things you can’t even get in the store.
Andrew and I didn’t utilize this as much as we probably should have, but this is definitely something I will miss.
4. A Simple Lifestyle
Our life in Edinburgh was very simple. I went to work, got groceries, cooked dinner, watched Netflix, and went to sleep. Andrew would go to the gym, read, write, wash dishes, watch Netflix, and then go to sleep. If we had a day off, we had an open itinerary. We could take the train somewhere. I’d find a restaurant that looked interesting. We’d take Blue out for a walk. Or, we’d just stay home. Those were the best days.
I had so much time for myself. It was great.
We also lived like minimalists. We only brought 2 larges suitcases, 2 cabin size suitcases, and our backpacks with us so we just lived on way less clothes (and things). Also, normally when I see things I like that are on sale, I’d buy it and we’d have more “stuff.” Unfortunately (and thankfully), our budget didn’t allow for it so I’ve been learning how to live with less. Now, I find my closet (in the US) very distracting.
5. Cheap Travel
Andrew and I got to travel to 10 different countries in less than 2 years.
Yes, it does add up, but all of our flights have been ridiculously cheap. We flew to Norway for less than $15 USD each way and pretty much always spend less than $50 USD for any other flight. It also helps that countries are just so close together. In less than 2 hours, you can fly to a good number of different countries. 2 hours flight time from San Francisco will barely get you to Denver. You need to add another 3-4 hours to get to New York. I’m pretty much traveled out, but it’s still nice to be able to go to cool and interesting places for the price it costs for dinner.
6. Feeling Safe
I felt super safe in Edinburgh.
The city itself has a pretty low crime rate and I could walk home at night by myself at 11pm and feel completely comfortable. I definitely wouldn’t be walking around by myself in the city at 11pm here. People just mind their own business and the homeless people aren’t as crazy. The police officers in Edinburgh don’t even have guns. I’ve also seen a lot of just honest, kind people there. When I was working at a hotel, people would find a credit card on the street in front of the hotel and return it to us. I’ve had coworkers that would find people on Facebook and try to return their items to them. I’ve even seen a sign on a bus stop telling the public that someone found a nice brooch at that bus stop and to call them if it was theirs. Yes, a brooch.
7. 29 Days of Vacation
I think this is self-explanatory. Who doesn’t want more days off?!? The US really needs this.
8. Universal Healthcare
While we did pay a health surcharge in our visa application process to the UK, it’s been nice to know that we had healthcare. Thankfully we never had to go to the hospital or anything, but it has been nice not having to pay it or worry about which plan to choose. Now… back to reality.
9. No Crowds
The locals complain about the crowds, the tourists, and how busy the city becomes in the summer (and especially August). However, I personally never thought it was that crowded. Disneyland is way worse than Festival Season. Trying to buy groceries in Chinatown is way worse than Festival Season. Another thing is that places just aren’t that busy, even the good, highly rated spots. There is only 1 restaurant in Edinburgh that Andrew and I have ever waited longer than 5 minutes to eat at (if you’re wondering, it’s Dishoom). The fishmonger that we go to, which also sells fish to a lot of the best restaurants in Edinburgh isn’t even busy. Where is everybody?!
If we were in San Francisco, that type of spot would be all over Yelp and lines would be out the door. I realized though it’s because the city just has a lot less people. The population of California is 29 million. The population of Scotland is 5 million. Edinburgh’s population is around 500,000. San Francisco alone is already 900,000 (and the Bay Area is 7 million!). The Bay Area already has 2 million more people in it than the entire country of Scotland. So when I wait 2 hours to eat chicken wings at San Tung, it’s literally because there are a ridiculous amount of people here.
Yeah, I miss him. Look at him. Ugh.