Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Me and Going Places

When I left Amherst in May  to go back home to New York, I was truly overwhelmed by the new environment All the oreo cows I had been surrounded with by had been replaced with loud cars. There were no scenic mountain ranges to walk past, and no woody bike trails to walk on. I was in the home I grew up in, but somehow it felt small and unfriendly. It felt like I was visiting middle school and the hallways seem too narrow and the lockers too short. When I went to my internship in the city, everything I liked about Amherst was thrown further out the door. On my first day to work, I didn’t appreciate being packed like sardines on the subway, nor sitting on the blue seats of the bus,  avoiding eye contact with tired bodies and expressionless faces.

But over time it grew on me, I learned a lot about myself, about the city, and the people of the city. I discovered hidden thrift shops and explored coffee shops. Through my internship I realized how bikeable the city was. On my own, I realized that I got to see so much more by traveling on foot. Buildings didn’t blurr by, I could walk behind a flow of conversation, and I could see all the transitions between streets, buildings, people. On a single walk down the street I was walking with the business people in suits, past the hunched over plastic bottle collectors, a model in a light blue dress, running kids and yelling mothers. I guess it’s kind of, you see what you want to see.

I’m not sure what the story with Scotland will be. But I know I want to experience it all. I want to be immersed in it, quietly. I want to learn from it, be curious, explore (on foot!), and draw insights. I’m sure there will be things that will take some getting used to, but I can’t look at the pictures of the beautiful highlands and castles and imagine not falling in love with the place. But for now, goodbye to Amherst, New York, and all the places I’ve called home.

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