Romanticizing Atmosphere

It’s been seven days and two instances of falling irrevocably in love with Scotland since I first arrived.

It’s the kind of love you didn’t know you had room for. The first time my heart brimmed with a yearning so strong it seemed to buckle under the magnitude was against the backdrop of a church and the bagpipes.

Thick rain clouds had scattered while the evening set in, opening the sky to the call of the bagpipes. The church bells chimed, almost answering the lament. Surrounded by towering masonry and the echoes of the past, I could not help but swell with the atmosphere around me.


I felt the tug of false nostalgia again when stepping into the Jedburgh Abbey. Founded in the 12th century, the Augustinian abbey captured my heart again. It was the same bone crushing feeling as looking up into space: there is more than just me.


Standing in the middle of the towering abbey I couldn’t help but imagine the people that had passed through these walls. I couldn’t help but imagine what this abbey had witnessed. There was an underlying sense of energy to the ruins, something begging to be remembered. Yet again I felt myself sink deeper in love with Scotland.

My affinity for ancient artifacts has always caused me a great deal of emotion. I’m easily swooned by the Nelson-Atkins, and I’m in a very serious committed relationship with every Egyptian gallery I’ve stepped into.

There is just something unmistakably magical about objects surviving thousands of years. Being with the object in its own context is beyond a powerful interaction for me. I look forward to encountering more overwhelming sites in the next few weeks!







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.