My suitcases are full and sitting by the door, just waiting for all those last minute items, the walls are completely bare, and my room even smells empty. It's a very weird feeling...it kind of looks like I was never here. But, thankfully, I have more than enough picture and memories of all of the fun times I've had while studying abroad in Scotland and of all the great people I've met. It's definitely a bittersweet feeling. I'm so excited to do some more traveling and ultimately get home and be with my friends and family again, but saying goodbye to Stirling is also hard. I took my last morning walk around the back of the castle this morning, and kept repeating that this was the last time, but even with my "remember this moment" mantra playing in my head and my empty room staring me in the face, it still hasn't really sunk in that I'm leaving. I honestly don't think it will until I'm out of Scotland.
The next few days play out like this: tomorrow morning I leave Stirling and head to Edinburgh for the day. I'm really happy that it worked out like that, because Edinburgh is my favorite city in Scotland by far, so it's important to me that I get to say a real goodbye to my favorite places there.
Then, on the morning of the 3rd I fly from Edinburgh to Trondheim, Norway for a few days, then to Hamar, followed by Oslo. I'm really excited about seeing Norway for the first time and visiting family members there! Some of them I've met before and some I've never gotten the chance to meet before, and I just know it's going to be an awesome time. My family's heritage has always been important to us, and so the opportunity to go to Norway is a real treat!
On the 9th, I fly out of Oslo to Florence, where I meet my aunt Janece for ten days in Italy! We will start in Florence and then move on to Rome! We may also take a day trip from Rome, but those details will be worked out later :)
Very early on the 19th, I will begin the trek back to the US. From Rome I fly to Zurich, then to London where I get to spend about six hours waiting for my flight, but then I'm on board to Seattle where my parents will be meeting me!
A very packed few weeks, and I can't wait! It's going to be a blast :)
Tonight I'm going to Chico's, my favorite Indian take-away place with Grace and her family who are here visiting her, and then Amanda and I are going out for our last cider and black at our favorite pub Molly Malone's.
I think saying goodbye to the people I've met here is the hardest part, but those who know me know I have a slight obsession with Sex And The City, and Carrie sums it up pretty nicely with this:
"After all, seasons change. So do cities. People come into your life and people go. But it's comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart. And if you're very lucky, a plane ride away."
So instead of saying goodbye to my favorite people and places, for now, let's just say "see you later"