After coming down with food poisoning the second day of our trip, I unfortunately was not able to join in 100% for our hike up Grey Mare’s Tail in Moffat, Scotland. Consequently, I joined a smaller group who travelled back into town to spend time at a local coffee shop.

The roads back into town were winding, but the once lengthy ride seemed to breeze by as we made our way back. Partially because of the less full van,but mostly because of the conversations we were able to have with faculty from our cooperating university.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a chronic planner, I plan out everything from my daily activities to my meals literally every day. When I am at home, I definitely am guilty about living my life by what is jotted into my calendar. So making the spur of the moment decision to leave our group majority and adventure elsewhere was not something I would typically do.

As we passed through the winding hills, our conversations became more profound. When we arrived back into town, we found a local coffee shop. Once we sat down, we began to discuss what life is like in America, we moved the discussion to how do we manage work-life balance. After lengthy discussion about daily life and anxieties surrounding it, that professor told me advice that will always ground me. He talked about how at this point in our lives, we have the capability to truly live – travel, pursuing new hobbies, experience everything we can, try something new everyday, etc. Our life, our experiences are one of the only things we can get back. Take every chance, and make the most of it.

This conversation made our entire study abroad trip more intentional for me. I realized the importance of living a life for myself, rather than one filled with expectations. Breaking away from our majority led me on one of the greatest adventures I had on the trip – one that shaped how I viewed intentionality, relationships, work, school, and so much more. When we made it back to Grey Mare’s Tail that day, I returned with a solidified friendship, a new lifelong friend, and two mentors who within 2 hours will forever be imprinted into my heart.

Three Students – Grey Mare’s Tail