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You cannot change the direction of the wind, but you can always adjust your sails to reach your destination

This quote was in a note left at my house by a friend a couple of months ago…apropos words as a bitter wind had just blown my plans entirely off course.

I have neglected things here at the Selkie…posting was just one of the activities sacrificed in favor of all of the paperwork and planning that was going on. I had, however, been looking forward to making the big announcement: that I would be writing from Edinburgh this winter, not the coast of Maine. I was going to have the opportunity to temporarily live and work in the city while covering a friend’s maternity leave. It was to be a once in a lifetime, grab-the-brass-ring kind of moment…a six month trial to taste another life.

What followed was 5 months of learning, planning, communicating, dreaming and scheming. I educated myself in what I needed to do to be able to practice veterinary medicine in the UK, visa requirements, passage for my dog, finding a flat, opening a bank account, etc, etc, etc. It was a little bit overwhelming at times, but always exciting. And there was soul searching too…it was an opportunity to look at who I was, where I was, and where I wanted to be. By September, I left for Scotland on a holiday that had been planned months before the winter locum was even considered. I came back thinking that I’d be making the return trip in mere weeks. Everything was moving forward, pieces fell into place…it was meant to be.

And then it all crashed to a halt. The visa sponsors had made mistakes on their paperwork. Delays ensued, my proposed start date passed, and commitments were not honored. The reality was that I wasn’t going to be able to go for a six month period. The best that I could hope for was a one month extended holiday. To say that it was a disappointing turn of events would be…a huge understatement. It was more than a career opportunity lost. It was to be a chance to live another version of my life…a version I may want to make permanent in the future, but can’t quite manifest now. I had viewed the opportunity as unique…how often does a “overthinker/planner” get the chance to take a plunge without a commitment?  Regardless, the situation was now either make the most of one month, or spend it moping over what could not be changed. I chose to spend four shining weeks in Edinburgh.

There are so many thoughts and emotions swirling in my head in the past two weeks since I have returned…and so many words at my fingertips…stories, musings, travel tips… there’s much to share. So…with the holidays ended and the cold long winter stretching ahead, this Selkie will be riding the currents once more…sliding between these two shores of Maine and Scotland….thank you to all who joined me last year, and if you have just stopped by, won’t you join me? Let’s see where the tide takes us!

I’ll leave you for now with some parting holiday photos of the village of Culross, Fife and Edinburgh at Christmas- the Old Town, the German Christmas Market, and the grand tree in Jenners (Edinburgh’s original “department store”)

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