Who says you can’t go home
There’s only one place they call me one of their own
Just a hometown boy, born a rolling stone, who says you can’t go home
Who says you can’t go back, been all around the world and as a matter of fact
There’s only one place left I want to go, who says you can’t go home
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright, its alright.

-Bon Jovi

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Well as I right this article I am 2 days away from taking off and making my way back to Scotland. It has been almost 2 years since I have been there, since I have seen friends and family, since I have seen my hometown and set foot in my home church! I remember when I first moved to America, that waiting 19 months to go back to Scotland seemed like such a long time away and now I sit and I can’t believe that all that time has already passed.

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When I titled the blog “Going Home”, it is at least true in part. I am very much still Scottish at heart and Scottish in many, many ways but my home is also very much in America too now, and I will always be at a place of continually being at home while away from home.I have fallen in love with America and I love living in Virginia, I have gotten used to life here. I love the Virginian people (except on the roads but that is a rant of it’s own) and Americans as a whole, they are a very passionate and loving people. I love the variety of foods that are served here from good American burgers and fries, to Pizza and Pasta, to Chinese restaurants, to good sports bar foods like burgers and wings, to American Dinner food. And the weather was the stuff of my dreams while I was in Scotland. I can get used to 80-90 degree summers. And the man that returns to Scotland is definitely a changed man from the one that left Scotland. Apart from the changes in my life of living in another country, getting married, having a new job and living in our own home, God has also been working in my life personally as well as in and through my fairly new marriage as we make our way to our 2nd anniversary later this year.

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But as much as I am becoming Americanized, which isn’t a bad thing, the title of this article also suits perfectly. Because no matter how many years I live in America, a part of my heart will always be in Scotland and I am proud of that. I am proud of my home country and heritage, I am proud of where I come from and as much as I love america, part of me knows it will never compare to Scotland. As great as America has been to me and my wife, there have been negatives to being here. Whether it can be their culture of taking offence as apposed to Scotland’s culture of you insult the people you love more and joke about it with them, or the grocery store food full of chemicals compared to farm fresh in Scotland and the sense of humor being so different. And my accent, as much positive attention as it can garner, will always be a reminder that I am different and an issue in communicating and I can’t wait to speak at Scottish speeds with Scottish slang words and without having to annunciate everything. To talk and people know what I am saying without repeating myself multiple times to no avail.

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I miss Scotland so much, and I think things have been such a whirlwind lately with getting married, getting a job and getting a home and on top of that saving PTO in order to visit Scotland that I haven’t allowed myself time to think and fell just how much I am missing Scotland and how excited I am to be going back. How much I miss my parents and getting to see them in person and not via Skype. Getting to go out with my friends and have fun laughing and joking with them. Getting to see my home church, Living Waters, and all the people there who really are like family to me, including the youth that I got to teach and mentor for so many years. I am excited to walk the streets of my hometown, Bellshill, again as well as the streets of my favorite city, and in my opinion the most beautiful city in the world, Glasgow. As much as I said I loved American food I also absolutely love Scottish food. I really can’t wait to eat a Greggs sausage roll and steak bake, to have real fish and chips, with salt, vinegar and sauce.

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Looking at the pictures of my home country for this blog honestly brought me to tears and made me realize how much I miss being there. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Don’t get me wrong, I love being in America and for everything that I could say bad about the country there are many, many more things that I can say that are good and I love living here. but I am excited to be back in Scotland. The old saying, ‘you can take the boy out of Scotland, but you can’t take Scotland out of the boy’ rings true as I know I am Scottish at heart and I always will be. It will always love coming back whether I have been away for a few weeks or many years and I will always love being immersed in the culture and with my friends and family.

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I get to have 2 whole weeks off to see my friends and family and with no stress of work, or planning and preparing about how to get there, no bills, no planning ahead for things that are to come, just rest and enjoy. And what makes it all even more worth it is that I get to see my best friend getting married and get to stand by his side as his best man. My heart is crying out for Scotland and I need a top up and cannot wait to be there again if only for a little while.

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This is just a small blog to get my thoughts and feelings about the upcoming trip out there and I will write a more in depth blog of my trip either during it or once I get back to Virginia.

Thanks for checking out my ramblings and I hope you will come back next time. (And just to brighten your day here is a picture of a Highland Cow.)

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