Morocco was not the only study abroad I was able to participate in this summer. I also had the opportunity to do the Scotland: Youth Engagement in Agriculture. The Morocco study abroad program ran from May 14 to 28, and the Scotland program ran from June 4 to the 18. The couple of days in between I stayed with family in Spain.
I was anxious when I decided to commit to both programs because that meant I would be traveling on my own, and I would be abroad for a little over a month. However, I was excited because I have dreamt about doing both of the programs and did not think I would be able to do either of them.
After accepting both programs and attending orientation, I became even more nervous because Dr. Rubenstein, who leads the Scotland program, told us that we could only travel with hiking backpacks and not rolling suitcases. I did not know how I was going to manage having a month’s worth of clothes in a hiking bag especially when the climates for Morocco and Scotland would be totally different. Morocco was going to be in the 90s almost the whole trip and Scotland would be in the 70s.
However, I did manage to pack a month’s worth of clothes in a hiking backpack, but my backpack was lost on my way to London on June 3, and I did not receive it until June 18 when I arrived in Georgia. I had to buy new clothes while in Scotland. I did not have any clothes for teaching which is the main assignment for the program. I was not prepared at all besides knowing the itinerary and the lesson plan for teaching. Luckily, my roommate, Madison, and I had the same shoe size, so she let me borrow a pair of shoes for teaching.
I was not prepared for losing my backpack, but honestly, who would be. I was so excited to wear some of the clothes I packed for Scotland, and I had a rain jacket specifically for the Scotland study abroad. Buying new clothes was definitely not something I was expecting to do in Scotland, but I needed to do it since I had nothing but the clothes I had on and another set.
Losing my backpack, having to buy new clothes, and trying to figure out where my backpack was is something I never expected to do during my study abroad in Scotland, but it happened. I prepared so much for this trip, and made sure I had clothes that worked for both programs; however, I didn’t end up using the clothes that were packed in my hiking backpack for Scotland. I had to go with the flow, and figure things out as I went. Something I learned is that no matter how much I prepared for Morocco and Scotland, there was something that came up that I did not expect to happen. The itinerary was different or was not going as planned, or my luggage was lost and not knowing where it was. Life happens in mysterious ways, and you have to roll with the punches.