Stories from Scotland: New adventures
Kirkcaldy, Scotland — It’s the end of the year, and I’m sad to say, it’s also the end of my column. This is due to several factors — other projects that I need to focus on when I have a moment of free time away from my now very active 9-month-old baby, said 9-month-old baby, and the fact that we’re having another baby in a few months, so for the foreseeable future, I will either be busy or exhausted.
As with the end of anything, I’ve been reflecting on everything that I’ve written over the past two and a half years.
There were hilarious stories from Italy, of navigating the culture, the language and all of Italy’s unspoken rules that people are expected to “just know.” There was our move to Scotland where we figured out haggis, kilts and what the Scots were saying (finally). We had a baby, another one is on the way, there was lots of hockey, we came back to Steamboat for the summers, and we always kept adventuring no matter what kind of adventures they turned in to.
A few years ago in Italy, I thought it was an adventure to go to the grocery store and use my new Italian vocabulary to speak to the butcher, asking for prosciutto and the best kind of mozzarella he had. Now I think it’s an adventure to go to the grocery store and try to get my son to sit down in the cart for 30 minutes while I shop.
In six years living abroad, there have been two times when I have been terrified. One was when we were lost in Palermo (which is not a city you’d choose to be lost in, if you had your pick) in the early morning. We were trying to figure out how to get to Sciacca, a tiny fishing village in Southern Sicily. We had very vague (surprise, surprise) instructions from an Italian friend, the gist of which was “ask anyone and they’ll help you.” But at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning, no one was interested in helping us, except for the owner of a café we stumbled into, although his idea of helping was to offer multiple coffees and a beer or two.
The second time was when I had to take my brand new, days old baby into Edinburgh to get his passport so that we could take him home to the U.S. when he was only a few weeks old.
We’re just having different adventures now.
While it’s the end of my column, I know the adventures will continue. I’ve learned some important things over the past few years in Europe — how to cook spaghetti properly; how to drive a manual car; how to pack light; and all joking aside, how to rise up to challenges, be open to change and most importantly, to accept and tackle whatever life will throw at you, whether you’re abroad or not.
Ryan and I have always prided ourselves on being adventurers, whether that means visiting a new city, climbing a mountain or having a baby in a foreign country. In Scotland, when you’re waiting for something, you say “roll on [insert whatever you’re waiting for…sun…the summer…a vacation…]. So, roll on 2017 and roll on adventures.
Sophie Dingle is a freelance writer currently living in Scotland. Dingle’s husband, Ryan, is a Steamboat Springs native and professional hockey player; you can follow their adventures online at sophiedingle.blogspot.com.
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