What its Really Like Moving from England to Scotland
It's been nearly 3 years since I moved from Birmingham to beautiful Edinburgh, and lately I've been reflecting a lot on how it's changed me and my lifestyle. It was a huge culture shock, more than I had originally thought, but I think I finally feel more at home than ever despite being the kind of person that never likes to settle in one place, mentally and physically, for too long. I thought I'd do a list of 4 things that moving to Scotland changed in me or that I found interesting, which may be relatable for other ex-pats out there!
1. Och Aye! Personally I am a huge lover of Buzzfeed articles like this one that humorously describe the differences in language and dialect! In fact, when I did my final year of High School up here, I had to ask a classmate to write me a mini-glossary of Scottish slang as I had no clue what anyone was on about, plus moving to Aberdeen for university last year brought yet another onslaught of new words and phrases. When I go back to England, friends and family often laugh at me for saying 'wee', 'aye' and other little Scot-isms! I never thought I would catch on so easily.
2. Diet and Exercise. Despite all stereotypes, I swear that Edinburgh residents exercise a lot more than you think. It shocked me how little my friends drive or take the bus, and after a while I found myself walking nearly everywhere, whether that be a trek up Arthur's seat, or to a nightclub! In terms of food, I couldn't believe how much meat Scots consume, with just about every cafe serving bacon, haggis, lorne sausage, scotch pies and black pudding. Also, I had to adjust to getting 'salt n sauce' on my after-party chips and try the dreaded Irn Bru. But I've also discovered a huge vegan community here as well as loads of lovely organic cafes and health food stores!
3. Lack of diversity. I can't deny that I was truly shocked at the contrast between my old and new cities in terms of racial diversity. Moving from multi cultural Birmingham, I couldn't get over the blanket of white Scots that inhabit Edinburgh, and I know that other Scottish towns, particularly in rural areas are even less diverse. In fact, only 4% of Scots are of minority ethnic origin, compared with around 14% in England.
4. Creative Community. From Scot Street Style to the Edinburgh Bloggers, from Scotland Redesigned to The Scottish Design Exchange, from Ed Fashion to LS Productions, and all the other wonderful Scottish people and organisations involved in the arts and fashion industry; I can't get over the amazing momentum that is happening; moving away from London-centric projects and towards a focus on locals. I have loved being involved in so many fantastic movements and opportunities that I wouldn't have got back home. Less competition, more support and more community-spirit!