Trains, Planes, and Scotland. OH MY!

Currently, I am staring at my complete mess on the floor of my bedroom. I am beginning to pack for my trip to Scotland, and I am struggling with the issue of “Do I really need to pack seven pairs of shoes when I know I will only wear two?” The answer is no, but my heart keeps telling me yes. I can’t help but chuckle at myself because I know that my shoes will not matter once I am there. I have never traveled before and when I say that I am not being dramatic. I have never been on a plane or a train before in my entire life. I have seldom ventured outside of my small town and I am about to embark on my first journey across the ocean.

Am I crazy!? I think the answer to that is a definite yes.  By the end of my five weeks I will have taken seven trains, two planes, and countless taxis. The stress I feel is incredible; I have never done this before. What made me think I can do this for the first time in another country!? However, with this stress comes excitement as I am finally exploring the world! I will see countless places such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Iverness just to name a few! I guess I am writing this to show everyone if I can study abroad, anyone can. I come from a small town of 424 people, so when I came to Kansas City I felt overwhelmed and shocked. Now, I am about to go to another country and experience all that it has to offer and then some. It is okay to be fearful and hesitant to travel abroad. It is not okay to allow those fears to keep you from experiencing everything the world has to offer you. The packing alone is enough to drive you crazy and call it quits (but don’t let it!).

What do you need and are considered the essentials? Coming from a girl who has never traveled here is my advice: less is more. Do not drag yourself down by over packing and worrying what outfits to bring. I am sure once you get there the main thing you will be worried about is exploring new places, trying new food, basically just doing anything new and exciting. But with that being said, exploring means a lot of walking. So be sure to pack comfortable shoes that you can walk around all day in (and I know you’re thinking about bringing your cutest, but least comfortable shoes, but seriously leave them at home!) Also, bring versatile things like a pair of pants that will match several shirts. Or a shirt that can be dressy with a necklace or dressed down with some leggings. Try to be realistic on your packing and the climate where you are going. For instance, I do not need to pack several pairs of shorts because where I am going it is cool almost every day. I hope you pack the right things, but if you don’t or forget something the beauty in going abroad is spontaneity. They have stores where you can buy this stuff and get a souvenir or a funny story out of it too. I hope that everyone takes the chance to go abroad as it really is a once in a lifetime experience. If a girl from a town that has more cows than people can do it, you can too. Good luck and may adventure find you.


Kylie Wilson is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Nursing. She is spending the summer term abroad with the UMKC Honors Program in Scotland. Kylie is from small town Helena, Missouri and hopes to be a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit nurse in the future. She has a pet cow named Betsy whom she loves dearly.

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.