0 In Expat Life

My Return to St Andrews in 10 Photos

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Last week I mentioned that in my first week back in Scotland I returned to St Andrews. If you’ve been reading and following this blog, you’ll know that I loved St Andrews with all my heart and that it was home. When I had to leave I was heartbroken. This feeling stayed with me for months – lets be 100% honest here, it still is right there inside my heart. This pain at the knowledge that I’ll never get this life back.

I thought that returning to St Andrews would be a joyous affair – that I’d be reunited with that love of my life, the second home I felt so completely myself in! Sadly, it wasn’t the case. I arrived and even though it felt so right to be back, it also felt all wrong. I couldn’t just stroll up to my flat and sit there quietly waiting for the rain to stop. I couldn’t call my best friend to know if she wanted to grab coffee. I didn’t have books to read or work to do. I didn’t see familiar faces across the crowds at the union or on Market Street. None of that. I was a stranger in a town I once knew so well.

Thankfully I was with S and we were both sharing the nostalgia and feeling of being outsiders. We headed to have lunch at the Grill House with the amazing A. It was a super awesome lunch that made me feel for half a second like I was back home in St Andrews – just having an ordinary lunch with one of my best friend, chatting away, catching up and laughing.

As we got up to leave, I was reminded that I had nowhere to go. It was pouring outside (pouring like I have rarely seen it in my time in Scotland) and I couldn’t head home to hide and change clothes, put my wellies on and grab tea. I decided that I wasn’t going to let the rain deter me from enjoying this visit in St Andrews. As I mentioned on Instagram – it might have been pouring, but it’s still home and it still warms my heart. I walked around town, taking the occasional photo, stopping at the occasional charity shop and marvelling at the new shops that had opened and the sad news of others that had closed down (rip Bibis).

I finally made it to North Point – one of my favourite stops whilst living in St Andrews. You could tell the weather was crap because the usually crammed cafe was almost completely empty. I sat and ordered some warm tea, before choosing to also order a slice of delicious blueberry cake.

Then the fatal moment that gave a blow to this already emotional day – a girl from my course (who is still there doing her PhD) walked in and saw me. We chatted quickly before she headed out, back to the School of English. Right there – it reminded me of being in St Andrews. Of being in a coffee shop and having about 98% chance of seeing a friend walk in. I literally almost cried right there on the spot. S then arrived to join me again and we both chatted and drank/ate for a little while, falling back again in this nostalgia.

At about 5pm, with the rain having stopped, we headed out to walk around the cute little streets, taking photos and making our way toward the bus station where we would board our bus back to our new ‘home’. That was a weird feeling because usually boarding the X59 to go home meant arriving in St Andrews, not leaving it.

All in all it was a lovely day, but a difficult one as well! Especially that we realised the paradox in wanting to go back to St Andrews. While I would do anything to go back, I don’t really want to go back without all the people that made this place special and I don’t want to ruin my special memories of this place!

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I mean I look pretty happy, right? — Photo courtesy of the lovely S.

Do you ever get a sense of nostalgia toward a special place like this?xx

Welcome to the Travel Tuesday linkup! Glad you’ve joined us! Make sure to check out the pages of the other girls: the host Bonnie, and my fellow co-hosts Jessi and Amy.

THEME PROMPT — > Next week has theme prompt again! You’re welcome to join, but it’s not mandatory, so don’t worry if you didn’t! You can still link up with us and have Travel Tuesday fun! For next Tuesday, October 28th, the theme prompt is ‘City vs Country‘ – do you prefer a city break when you travel, or to get out amongst nature? Or combine the two? We would love to hear your stories of either your best city trips or outdoor adventures or perhaps even what you love the most about one of those types of trip?

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