Strangers, Pt. II: Argentinians and Australians… in Edinburgh?

**I have decided to dedicate this month to them–the strangers I have met along the way. Perhaps they may find these posts one day. Perhaps we will never cross paths again. But may these glimpses into my travels inspire and remind you that beautiful experiences surround us all.**

We were staying at a hostel in Edinburgh. It wasn’t the nicest place ever, but as far as hostels go it was pretty nice. In an effort to make the most out of our day, my roommate and I got up and ready as quick as we could. We went downstairs for breakfast, and I felt like I was back in a college dorm (of sorts).

When we sat down to breakfast, I had to do a double take. There was a guy sitting in front of us that looked exactly like someone I knew in college. I mean, exactly like him.

Hair, stature, skin tone, glasses, everything.

An extremely short-haired Kristen in Edinburgh. October 2019. Taken on film.

It caught me so off-guard that I almost said hi to him as if I had known him for years. I continued to stare at him somewhat sneakily, slightly bewildered, while I ate my yogurt and fruit. My roommate and I were discussing our plans for the day, and somehow we started talking about books. The guy heard us and looked up from his own e-book.

“That’s a good book,” he said about my roommate’s copy of Lord of the Rings. I felt relieved. He hadn’t noticed my gaze.

My roommate smirked while eyeing me, “She hasn’t even read the books or seen the movies!” I smiled nervously. “It’s true.”

(Don’t worry, since then I’ve begun the journey and I’m obsessed too!)

We struck up a conversation and found out he’s Argentinian. As soon as he found out we were Americans, he looked surprised and asked what we were doing in Edinburgh.

“What are you doing here?” We laughed.

Turns out he was living there for a little while. “I don’t really know how long I’m going to be here, but I came here for a concert.”

Wait wait wait. “You came all the way to Scotland to see a concert?” And here I thought traveling to Florida for a concert was a little extreme…

He told us about how he had lived all around the world, working practically any job that came his way. He had really wanted to see this band, whoever they were, and decided to stay for an undetermined amount of time. I remember being so bewildered by the thought of wandering as aimlessly as that, but now I’m slightly jealous.

I don’t remember his name. I don’t know how long he ended up living in that hostel. But I do know that he proved to me that dedication and determination are qualities worth cultivating.

But wait, there’s more!

My roommate, Kylie, on the train in Scotland. October 2019. Taken on film.

That day was full of adventure.

By the time evening rolled around, my roommate and I hit up a well-known and loved pub in Edinburgh called Finnegan’s Wake. So many people had suggested it to us, so we just had to check it out. There was live music, sports on the television, and pints of beer everywhere. We decided to try and blend in with the locals, so beer it was.

The live music began and we heard covers of Simon and Garfunkel and John Denver; I felt like I was back in Tennessee. During a little pause, two guys approached us.

Great, here we go.

I was preparing myself for the worst, but they were actually pretty chill. (As chill as wannabe musicians hitting on women can be, that is.) One was a start up musician and the other his “manager” trying to get him gigs around the various pubs in Edinburgh. We chatted about where we’re from, what we do in life, and what music we like.

Music is my go-to conversation. It’s easy for me to talk about, fun to ask questions about, and even leads to the occasional argument about bands/styles/genres (which I can’t say bothers me. I actually love it.).

As soon as we started talking about music, the manager picked up my phone off the table and opened my notes app. “I’m going to give you some great Australian bands to listen to. You’d be surprised about how much good music comes from our country.” Proud of his people, the guy began writing out some bands. Some were really well known, others not at all. I smiled and thanked him, and we got up to leave.

Moral of the story?

I never quite figured out what they were doing in Scotland. But then again, what were any of us doing there? Americans, Argentinians, Australians, enjoying a pint or two in Edinburgh. Cheers to that.

 Stay tuned for more; I can’t wait to share more of my travels with you! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for all my latest posts!


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