What to do with your life?

What to do with your life? —

— I think there is hardly a question more difficult to answer than this one. But it was only a year ago that I was really struggling to find an answer. I had gotten to a point where my Berlin life – working from home, writing about stuff that I in fact didn’t know anything about – simply wasn’t enough anymore. I was longing for a change. But what to do? Then it hit me: I can work from wherever I want. Being a freelance journalist writing for websites gave me the freedom to go anywhere. The moment when I realised all the opportunities is still very vivid in my memory until today. I have had a lifelong passion for the UK so it was decided instantly; I was going to live in the UK.

I had been studying in North Wales for a few months and I really enjoyed myself back then. This time I was thinking about going to the South of England. So I spent three month living in Exeter last year. It was a quest for King Arthur, it was an incredible time of my live. When I got back to Germany I thought, well, that’s it, I’ll settle back in and have my happily ever after right here. But as you might guess that wasn’t the end of the story. For some reason I wasn’t done over here and I couldn’t deal with the idea of never going abroad again. I know I caused a lot of pain back then and I still feel sorry about that, but I felt – and I still do – like this was the way I had to go.

So I was going to live in Scotland. I have loved Scotland from the very first moment. I must have been ten by the time we first came to Scotland for a holiday and I kind of lost track of how many times I got back until this day. I have read every book about Scotland that I could get a hold of and I was absolutely fascinated with the country’s history and its stunning countryside. People who know me will agree that I was absolutely crazy about Scotland. So moving up here was the fulfilling of a lifelong dream – and at the same time it was really scary. Reading all the books I had set up a picture in my mind that was far too beautiful to be true, I thought. Being confronted with reality now could as well be a great disappointment. We all know that sometimes reality can just not catch up with the dream pictures in your head. But I thought it was worth a try, because let’s be honest: There will never ever be an opportunity like this again. So I took the chance and here I am, sitting in the kitchen of the old town house in Inverness city centre overlooking the River Ness. So if Nessie went for a swim in the ocean, she would pass my door.

I am still amazed by the fact that I am allowed to live in Scotland, travel around, read all the books about local history in the library and just deal with all the things that I love. And so far it hasn’t been a disappointment at all.

Ulrike

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