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    What Traveling Abroad Taught Me About Life

    This post has been long overdue. I’ve had a sticky note with a rough draft of the key points written out for about four months and have been home for three and a half. So like I said, long overdue.

    Plus, I wasn’t sure if people were still interested in my study abroad experience since it ended months ago, but a quick Twitter poll convinced me otherwise. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter to have a say in future posts!

    So as the title of this suggests, I’m going to be talking about what I learned while studying abroad. And honestly, it’s more general than that, and all that I’m going to talk about could easily be applied to any trip abroad I’d think. So whether you’re going to be living in another country for a week or for four months, reading this post might help you prepare for the mindset you’re going to be in while there, when you’re back and what to expect in general.

    Since I have had a lot of time to think about what’s going to go into this post, it’s going to be long. And maybe a little emotional. You’ll just have to keep reading to find out.

    WHAT TRAVELING ABROAD TAUGHT ME ABOUT LIFE | College with Caitlyn

    Going to Europe, going outside the country for the first time, or studying abroad, whichever you want to say caused it, changed me and made me want to make some changes to my life when I returned to the states. Some of these changes were good and affected me positively, while others made my mental health take a dive either while abroad or when I came back. Other things I learned didn’t want me to make changes to my life, they just shifted my outlook and view on life.

    We really are the same

    Everyone obviously has different traits and personalities and ways of doing things and accents and ways of life and appearances, but as cheesy as it sounds, we really are just human.

    Having never been out of the country before, anytime I would meet a foreigner or study abroad student, I was always fascinated by them. And I remember my classmates being the same in high school – always fawning over the new kids from Europe, Asia, Australia or where ever they were from. Read more…

    5 Travel Tips from a Pilot’s Daughter

    If you haven’t noticed, but I’ve been doing a lot of traveling since I began my study abroad journey back in January. And if you really haven’t noticed, then feel free to pop on over and read about my day in Liverpool, trip to Edinburgh, and a round-up of some of my other smaller travels.

    I have plenty more trips planned and in the works of being planned, too. I’m always scouring other blogs and Pinterest looking for travel tips and places to visit. The thing is, I always find tips and tricks I’ve heard a million time over. So needless to say I was very intrigued when Veronica reached out to me about writing some travel tips for her point of view.

    But what makes Veronica’s point of view different? Her father’s a pilot! So does this girl have some good tips for you! Keep reading to find out all the advice Veronica is dishing out for us!

    And a huge shoutout to Veronica for writing this piece for my blog!


    To become a successful traveler you have to find that sweet spot between having a plan and being spontaneous. Too much planning takes away from experiencing new things as they come, but not enough and you’re sure to miss out on a few must-sees, plus you’ll likely spend more money.

    If you book your reservations with the right companies at the right time, pack smart, and keep a few pointers in mind along the way — with a suitcase in hand you’ll be unstoppable.

    5 Travel Tips from a Pilot's Daughter: Insider tricks on how to make the most out of any trip by Veronica Baas | College with Caitlyn

    Booking

    Don’t limit yourself to hotels. Especially if you’re traveling with a buddy or in a group. Hostels and Airbnb are usually the best ways to go, but there are hotel search engines to help you find reasonable prices. I usually stick with Priceline, mostly because I use it for rental cars as well, so my points stack up and I get coupons fairly often.

    Rumor has it the best day to book flights is Tuesday, I don’t know if I fully believe that but I have noticed flights are cheaper earlier in the week. If I need to be somewhere at a specific time and it’s important I don’t travel standby, it’s too risky. When I book a flight I’ll usually bounce back and forth between Google Flights and Skiplagged, there are other decent flight search engines these ones are just my favorites. Be sure to open a new incognito window or turn on your private browsing feature so reservation sites don’t hike their prices up after they see you’ve been looking. Read more…

    Two Days in Edinburgh Solo: A Travel Diary

    This post has been a long time coming. Meaning I literally went to Edinburgh a month ago and I’m just now getting this up. It would have been up way sooner, but I got annoyed that I had hundreds of photos to go through and just put off editing them for two weeks. It’s casual.

    What matters is that I am here now to tell you all about the beautiful and historic city of Edinburgh!! A city I really want to go back to soon because I didn’t get to do everything I wanted. Plus, Edinburgh is so much more my vibe than Glasgow is. There. I said it.

    2 Days Solo in Edinburgh: Everything I did in the historic city over two days as a solo female traveller

    Getting to Edinburgh

    Lucky for me, getting to Edinburgh from Glasgow is super easy. There’s a bus to Edinburgh that runs literally every 15 minutes from the bus station across the street from my school. How convenient right?

    I left a little after noon since I had a class that morning, and got to Edinburgh in just barely over an hour. I spent most of the time listening to music and watching the countryside flash by out the window. The bus even had wifi so I could listen to music that I didn’t just have saved on my phone, too! That wifi worked a gazillion times better than the wifi on the train I took to Liverpool!! Like Virgin Trains, you need to step up your game!

    I made sure to have the walking directions to the hostel I was staying at pulled up on Google Maps before I got off the bus. No one wants to be lost in a foreign city.

    Where I Stayed

    I had a reservation at St. Christopher’s Inn hostel right across from Waverly train station. It was the very first hostel I had ever stayed at and I was very impressed!!

    I stayed in a female dorm with four three-bed bunkbeds. There were lockers for each bed, and we all shared one bathroom. But of course, there were other bathrooms in the hostel, just on different floors. The shower looked nicer than the one I have in my flat, but the temperature sucked! The water was either freezing cold or scalding hot and nothing I did changed that.

    For one night, I only paid like £10 so I’m not trying to complain at all. I actually loved the hostel and can’t wait to spend nights at some more across the UK! Maybe I’m just weird, but I sleep best when there are other people near me, so being in a room with like 11 other girls made sleeping a dream.

    Day 1

    Since I had to check into the hostel, it was already past 2 p.m. before I could start exploring. I had a faint idea of where I wanted to go so I just headed down the west end of the Royal Mile, which was only a block south of my hostel. Read more…

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