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Why Edinburgh? The border guard asked me that when I arrived in London, papers from the Home Office in hand.

In the four months I’ve lived here now, I get asked that a lot.

The short answer is “life adventure,” but that doesn’t really explain what drew me to Edinburgh specifically.  

I worked in London for the 2012 Olympics and was jealous of my colleagues who lived there full-time: “I went to Paris for the weekend.” “I went to Amsterdam for the weekend.”

In Canada, I can’t even go to most parts of Canada for the weekend.

I discovered I was eligible for an Ancestry Visa which allows me to live and work in the UK, so I’ve had that in mind for the last five years. When the timing felt right, a question remained: where, exactly?

I googled “best places to live in the UK,” and Edinburgh came up. I knew people who had lived here and visited here, and they loved it. I knew about the festivals; I grew up in Edmonton which has the second-biggest Fringe festival in the world. I knew Edinburgh was a city that valued literature, theatre, arts, history. I knew it had a castle on a rock overlooking the city centre. I knew it was beautiful. I knew I could move if I didn’t like it. So why not Edinburgh?

I tried to explain much of that to the friendly border guard, knowing I was rambling, knowing it didn’t sound like much more information than “life adventure.”

“So you closed your eyes, pointed to a map, and Edinburgh was it?” he asked with a laugh.

Ok, yeah, that’s a better story.