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

Why I haven’t left Scotland to Travel part 2

I went and explored some Isles, and it was great. However, before we get to that, I would like to stress how /awesome/ it is to have friends that are from around here. My number 1 goal for this semester was “meet Scottish people,” and I’m not going to lie to you, it was kind of difficult at first. You don’t really get to meet people during classes, so you have to put yourself out there. That’s why you’ll hear everyone from the IFSA Scotland office stress joining clubs, or some other kind of organization, instead of just hanging out with the other international kids, which is fine too but… anyway. I’m not much of a “join your local organization!” kind of person, (I know you won’t believe me but I’m actually kind of shy) but luckily I’m a going to church kind of person, which is a great way to meet the locals of all ages! (Becoming friends with older couples is A+, they adopt you as a grandchild and feed you food, highly recommend) The point of this MEET PEOPLE!!! rant is that if you make local friends, they can show you all of the things they like to do, and in return, you can take them to go explore the tourist traps of their country, because I can promise you they haven’t seen them.

For example, I convinced my friend Rachel to go on an absolutely ridiculous adventure. 1 day, 2 islands, 3 modes of transport, 16 hours of travelling all together. We explored the Isle of Mull and the Isle of Staffa. It required driving, ferry rides, and a boat ride, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her, which would’ve been a shame because I’m low key obsessed with the Isle of Staffa?

staffa-on-arrival fingals-cave-calm

Rachel asked me “Ellie how did you even find this place?” (it was really remote)

I’ll tell you how.

The internet is an amazing place, and I happened upon it like… a year ago, and obsessed over it, and spent a good long time trying to find it again. So anyway, here we are, on this tiny Isle, amazed by how cool the earth is.


Then a storm started kicking up, so we all hightailed it back to the tour boat and made our way back to the Isle of Mull, to go do some more exploring!


Next we drove to Tobermory, a town that featured in a kids show called Balamory, which Rachel grew up watching, so of course we had to go see it. We travelled along some incredibly tiny roads, passing sheep and cattle along the way, listening to some traditional Scottish songs because we are cheesy, and ended up in one of the cutest ocean side towns I’ve ever seen?

coos tobermory rachel-tombermory

Everything here is kind of magical and picturesque?

I wouldn’t have experienced these things if I wasn’t friends with Rachel. I might’ve made it to Staffa, but I wouldn’t have gone to Tobermory, and I would’ve had to explore Mull with a tour group, which takes the fun of a spontaneous road trip away. Bottom line, make friends that are from wherever you are. Get a perspective other than tourist.

As the IFSA group we get to go to some pretty cool places in Scotland, but they can’t take us everywhere, and there is /so much/ to see. So while most everyone else is checking the Eiffel Tower and the Roman Coliseum off their list, I’ll continue exploring the beautiful little gems Scotland has tucked away. (Up next we’ve got castles, pictures don’t do them justice so I apologize in advance)



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