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Whether a person, a pet, an object, or a place, write about something or someone you connected with from the very first second.

For those who have read by blogs previously this will be boring. Scotland is the answer, specifically St. Andrews. In 1967 I went to the University of St. Andrews for my junior year abroad and I loved it from the very first moment I got off the train. The dorm I was assigned to was created from the old Grand Hotel, and the bones of the structure were wonderful — a grand staircase, high decorated ceilings, tall windows, beautiful wood floors, and a gracious dining room with lovely chandeliers. The furniture was the only incongruous element, since it was exactly what you expect to see in a dorm. All the rooms I lived in were on the outside of the building, so I had views of both the sea and the Old Course.

Perhaps halfway through my year there I realized that this is where I wanted to stay and finish my degree, which meant 3 years there. Not all of the classes I had taken at my college in Ohio were transferable, so I did have to spend 5 years in university instead of four, but I have never regretted the choice. I majored in medieval history in a place where it sat on my doorstep. The University was founded in 1411, and the town’s history is recorded as far back as 800 A.D. and people have lived there longer than that.

The town still looks medieval in areas and more Victorian and Edwardian in others, but it features a distinctly Scottish architectural style. Because of the university and the tourist industry, the town has been well-preserved and is generally affluent.

I can’t explain why I had this instant connection with the place, but besides just liking the town and the surrounding countryside, I had a soul-connection. While I’ve never had a sense that I lived there in a past life or anything so outlandish, I have always felt like I belonged there, that everything, particularly the sea, fed my soul in a way no other place ever has before or since.

 

 

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