Well I've moved on again. I spent the summer in Copenhagen and loved every minute of it, but my time on my visa is running out so I had to leave the Schengen Area. As my time ticked down I needed to figure out where to go next - the whole world is open to me. I'm still pretty partial to Europe though, and thankfully the UK and Ireland do not partake in Schengen visas. I spent part of the spring in Dublin and considered returning, but I want to try a variety of places, so I set my sights on London for the rest of the year. I've only visited the city twice, and I had a great time on both trips.
My entry into the UK was a bit rocky, but after wrangling with immigration for 30 minutes, they finally let me in. That was a stressful encounter indeed and so I changed up my plans about staying the rest of the year. I'm headed to Vietnam for vacation in November so I'd have to leave and reenter the UK. I'm really not in the mood to deal with it again and they scribbled all kinds of nasty notes on my entry card so I think coming back so soon I may not be so lucky.
I was shaken by my struggle to get in the country and then finding a place to live in London for the limited time I'd be here, in a location I wanted, for a price I wanted to pay, ended up leaving me a bit frustrated. I decided to look at other places in the UK that I'd like to explore and immediately focused on Edinburgh. I had visited there as a teenager and remembered it quite fondly. In short order I found a great place to stay for a good price. Everyone I've spoken to here about Edinburgh thinks it is just great, so I'm pretty excited to be heading up to the land of the Scots next week.
I really like London quite a lot and I will probably always want to come back for visits, but it is definitely a bit too big for me to feel settled (7.5 million people). It just takes too long to move around (one hour and I'm still just in the city!) and I'd need to be here for a year to get a real feel of the whole city (if that's even possible). I'm just a small city kind of girl. Copenhagen and Dublin were much more my speed (both around 500,000 people) and I settled in there quickly, so I think Edinburgh will be a good match for me. And gawd Edinburgh is beautiful. I predict many, many photos over the next month.
I'll be in Edinburgh for one month and then I'll be ending my UK stay earlier than originally planned. After my vacation in Vietnam I'll be going back to the US in early December and sort myself out from there. I have many friends in the US to catch up with and I can leave my visa annoyances behind for a while. This is more bouncing around than I wanted but hopefully after the holidays I'll be able to pick a spot and stay with it for longer than a month. South America, here I come! ;-)