My experience in Scotland has made me extremely excited to see the world in the future. I’ve always wanted to travel abroad, but I never really thought it was an option for me. There was always something holding me back, such as money or being afraid to travel alone or not having time to fit it into my hectic schedule. Scotland was definitely a great place for me to go for my first travel-abroad experience. There were many barriers that I didn’t have to overcome because of our similar cultures. Both speak English, we eat similar foods, and we have similar values to some extent. Although Americans share a lot in common with Scottish people, it was very refreshing to experience the culture and ideas that make us different. Looking at the world from their point of view has made me rethink different aspects of the environment and the way we live our lives. I don’t know if I will change my habits completely because of this experience, but I will definitely have a greater appreciation for different ways of thinking and different practices that I didn’t agree with before.
Adjusting to life at home was a bit difficult when I first got back to the U.S. I felt very sleep deprived because the trip was so exhausting (in a good way, of course). On top of my sleep deprivation, I had to adjust to the 5 hour time change and study for a Genetics test the week that I got back. The week I got back my family and friends all wanted to hear about my trip, but I didn’t know where to start. We did and saw so many exciting things while abroad. My parents have never traveled abroad before, so they were thrilled to hear about my many adventures and look at my pictures. I would say this trip to Scotland has been one of my best life experiences thus far. It is easy to get into the mindset that “my ideas are right” or “my country is the best”. This experience has shown me that there is so much more for me to see and learn about the world and that my ideas and way of life may not always be the best for everyone. I truly appreciate the opportunity that I’ve been given to travel abroad and it was definitely the highlight of my college experience overall. I can’t wait to travel again and explore other regions of the world to spread my horizons even further.