On being home for Christmas

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I’m guessing the few weeks before Christmas were fairly stressful for exchange students across Europe – I spent my last evening in Munich dividing my time between Edinburgh Airport twitter, the MUC airport homepage, BBC weather and the ‘refresh’ button. Luckily almost everyone I know got home for Christmas, and those who didn’t managed to get flights on Boxing day (still gutted for them, but at least it wasn’t very long to wait).

The feeling of arriving home in St Andrews for Christmas after the Edinburgh University winter exams was always pretty good, but nothing quite beats the feeling of landing in Scotland in a slightly battered Easyjet plane after a few months away home. Edinburgh airport, not that I’m a particularly seasoned traveller, has never looked so good. The excitement of travelling home started well before I touched down on Scottish soil – I met a Glaswegian family at the airport and had to tell them how good it felt to hear Scottish accents again (this particular family gave me a wide berth when it came to choosing seats).

Although I tried to hug my Dad at the airport and he instead berated me for not managing to find the drop off point we agreed to meet at (despite spending 3 months navigating Germany’s 3rd largest city, my sense of direction is still appalling), the high of being back at home lasted a good few days. During my first trip to the pubs with friends from home, I think I tried to hug around 9 people at once (my memory is a bit hazy – one of the things I missed in Germany was cider/cheap drinks and I think I made up for lost time). Other than catching up with friends from home, I’ve been attempting to study, watching Twilight movies with my mum, and wandering around St Andrews wishing I had more time in Scotland.

 During my few months in Munich I somewhat idealised coming home as a few blissful weeks in the homeland with no worries, doing nothing but decorating the house with imports from the Christmas markets and consuming about 3000 calories per day from mulled wine, mince pies and turkey leftovers. As it turns out, being back in Scotland is kind of bittersweet – 2 and a half weeks just doesn’t seem like nearly long enough time to spend in Scotland, and the trip home’s basically just served as a reminder of why it was so hard to leave for Germany back in October.

 Despite looking forward to seeing my favourite city/German people/exchange students again, leaving Scotland is going to, for want of a better word, suck. Especially as I’m basically heading back for a stint of crash-revising (I’ll admit that it’s pretty nerdy that my idea of ‘crash’ revising is starting to study a month before an exam). My New Years resolutions include studying more in Germany and making the most of being abroad, but for the moment I’m going to enjoy being home. ‘Til Munich.

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