Moving to Scotland during Covid… Was It Worth It?

In the summer, it became clear that my dream of moving to Scotland wasn’t going to be exactly as I’d envisioned. My master’s programme was going to take place almost entirely online for the first semester and perhaps the second. I was even given the option to defer study for a semester or whole year, but here I am in Scotland. So, was it worth it?

Since my arrival, covid-19 restrictions have come and come again, especially in the Central Belt. Now, my area is classified as a Level 4 zone where we’re in the midst of a three-week lockdown.

Despite the restrictions, I’ve done my best to go out and meet people over the past two months. I’ve met a handful of people from my programme and a few from others. When restaurants, cafes and shops were open, we met there, and it felt good to experience and support the local community.

Still, there’s a lot I’d hoped to do by now. My flatmate and I had discussed trips to Edinburgh, St Andrews and the Highlands which are no longer possible. It’s hard to constantly be told ‘no’ when there are so many new things to explore.

I’m trying to stay optimistic, especially knowing that effective vaccines are in the works. While I can’t deny that the situation is less than ideal, I’m trying to be grateful for what I have. After all, I’m still American, and Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I’ve made valuable friendships, gone on invigorating hillwalks, hugged Scottish trees, discussed capitalism and the climate crisis with my brilliant flatmate (please shop ethically/sustainably this Christmas) and discovered the delicacy of Scottish macaroni pie.

At the end of the day, I realise that everyone everywhere is struggling through this pandemic. If I wasn’t in Scotland, I’d still be dealing with restrictions and other challenges elsewhere. I’m incredibly lucky to have had this opportunity at all, let alone during a pandemic, and I have security that so many are without. So, the answer is yes! Scotland was and is completely worth it (emphasis on the macaroni pie)!

Fun fact: ‘Scran’ is a Scottish word for ‘food’. Example: Macaroni pie is the best damn scran known to woman or man.

Thank you!

This week, I’m thanking The Zero Waste Guide for their constantly awesome content. They share eco and low-waste tips, including ways to save money and time (ah-hem!). My favourite posts are their ‘Old Me vs New Me’ posts which show sustainable alternatives to simple activities and products. For example, they advise putting lemon juice on avocados to prevent browning. Reducing food waste is part of sustainable living, and it just makes sense! They recently shared some ideas about giving consciously this Christmas from Conscious Life & Style. Go have a look!

The featured image was taken by my flatmate at Callendar House in Falkirk (before lockdown). She’s always so easy-going when I ask her to snap a photo! Thanks, Anya!


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