Life has switched gears for us in the past month. And until I sat down to write this post, I honestly thought it’s been pretty uneventful. When people have asked what we’ve been up to, I haven’t had much to say. But I couldn’t be more wrong! So with the arrival of September, we’ve said goodbye to summer and hello to a whole new life in Aberdeen. One that is quieter, perhaps not as exciting, but still filled with memorable moments, life lessons and a prince!
September Sun in Portugal
One of the benefits of moving to Aberdeen was the fact we’d still be close enough to Portugal to holiday with family. Even though the flight route is not direct and includes a 6 hour layover in Frankfurt airport, the trip to sunny Portugal to spend some quality time with my parents and grandparents was still worth it. We had one simple goal: to lie on the beach every day. And that is exactly what we did. The weather was just perfect and we had the beach practically all to ourselves.
David brought his newly purchased kite. I read and listened to podcasts. We ate a lot of BBQ. Stopped for an espresso and pastel de nata every afternoon. And squeezed in some runs.
David left a few days to return to work and I continued on the rest of the week loading up on Vitamin D with a quick day trip to Aveiro. It was the perfect way to say goodbye to summer and mentally prepare to shift gears. David returned to long hours at work including working weekends. And for me…
Starting my Masters program
September has not meant back-to-school in a long time… 9 years to be exact. When we were given the offer to move to Aberdeen, I immediately started brainstorming on how I could best use my time while living here. I came across the Digital Marketing Master’s program at Robert Gordon University and it sparked my curiosity. I applied, got in and before I knew it, I had committed to 12 months studying all things digital marketing, SEO, social media, design and eventually, a 15,000 word dissertation. Some days I still don’t know what I’ve gotten myself into but 3 weeks in, I’m really enjoying it and excited to see where this leads. It really warrants a full blog post, but for now, my life lately has been consumed with lectures, lots of reading and assignments. And it’s only just the beginning.
Running into Prince Harry
Seeing the Queen is on our bucket list and little did I know when I wrote it that I’d be just a few feet away from Prince Harry. I went to University one day to pick up my student card and decided to grab a coffee in another building on campus. The cameras and crowd of people perked my interest, so I peeked over a cameraman’s shoulder. There he was on stage presenting some awards. He then walked outside for some more pictures and a gaggle of girls with smartphones in hand (me included) followed him. He casually walked to his car, shaking hands and waving and then was out of sight.
I must say it was pretty exciting to see a Prince in person and up close. And although I’ve always been fan of Prince William, I can’t deny he exudes charm and charisma. So if nothing else, my Master’s program was worth it just for this moment with Prince Harry. 😉
A walk in the woods and runs by the beach
I complained a lot about the rainy, miserable weather when we first moved but this past month has spoiled us (relatively speaking) with sunshine and clear skies for the most part. I’m more observant of this fact now that I’m biking back and forth between university and around town. And I’ve only been caught in a downpour once, which I consider a win. Even though I didn’t think so at the time. (If you follow on Snapchat you would have seen it all first hand.)
But back to the sunny weather… we went out to the country one morning, to nearby Tyrebagger with David’s coworkers for a little hike. It felt like for a moment, I was back in Canada.
Runs on the beach promenade have been a really nice way to start the weekends and finish off the evenings. We’ve usually seen surfers and SUPs out in the waves which really makes me want to check off one more item off the bucket list before the wrath of winter is upon us.
Unprepared. Not quite fit enough. High winds. Rainy weather. That didn’t stop us from a fun afternoon with some new friends at the Banchory Beast, a 10km obstacle course race with 25 obstacles that included crawling through mud and dunking in frigid lake water. It absolutely exhausted us! And I can’t believe we forgot the ‘after’ photo. We were pretty muddy and soaking wet and just wanted to get to the hot showers as quickly as possible. If you were there, you’d understand.
Oh I really wish I had some cool northern lights photos for you. And it wasn’t for lack of trying. They have been strong a few times in the past month but not strong enough to see from “down here”. We spent a few evenings driving around to find dark areas with a good view of the north. One night we did see a very faint green glow on the horizon and the camera picked up more than the eyes could see.
All in good time however, as it’s still early in the season and I’m sure we’ll have a colourful show here one day. If it’s as good as the one we saw in Edmonton a four years ago, I’ll be quite happy.
Well so much for an ‘uneventful’ month! Even though we aren’t jet setting across Europe as much, haven’t gone on a road trip lately and have spent the weekends working/studying, I can’t say it’s been completely boring.
Living here has really taught me that life is what you make of it. You can find the beauty and make the excitement wherever you are. I won’t say I don’t sulk every so often, wishing I was living back in Paris, but Aberdeen isn’t so bad afterall. Besides I don’t have time to sulk and wish for things that won’t happen.
My plate is full these days and I have a lot to be grateful for. Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers!