It’s was nearly 36 days, 200 miles walked, and a lot of money spent since I left Missouri. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Am I ready to be home? Definitely. However, I know I will miss Scotland and all the wonderful people I got the chance to meet. I have always read about how studying abroad is a life changing experience, but I never really understood it. I thought just by being in another country I was somehow suppose to changed for the worse or for the better. I have been thinking more and more about what it is that I got out of this trip, and I have decided it was not the act of traveling but the process of it that has changed me.
Anyone can take a ten-hour road trip, but it’s how you react to each little event within the travel that defines you as a person. Traveling in the capacity of study abroad forces you to not only to be accountable to yourself, but also to a group of strangers. You actively make the choice if you’re going to adapt or remain stoic, if you’re going to be optimistic or complain the entire time. For example, at one point during this trip there was a two-hour ferry ride followed by about a nine-hour bus ride. Did I complain? Yes. But I also chose to find the good. I would not trade that bus ride for anything because it allowed me to see the Highlands.
Being back in the States is a bit stranger after a month abroad. Honestly, I kind of miss using the compost bin. I also keep forgetting to lock my car and look the correct way before crossing the street. It is weird to see so many cars and not as many buses. It is also weird to not be around the same fifteen people I’ve been with the past month. The one thing that was definitely a life changing experience was getting to meet such amazing people. I was a little nervous at first to be with a bunch of strangers, but living in close proximity quickly forces everyone to get to know each other.
Samantha Bradfield is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Psychology and Art History. Samantha is spending the summer abroad with the UMKC Honors Summer Program in Scotland.
Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.