What a week it’s been, full of excitement, frustration, and lots of adjustments! Unfortunately, my tripod broke right before I left for Scotland (and it didn’t fit in my bag anyways) so I am currently tripod-less and photographer-less… which means no new outfit photos for the time being. But, thankfully, my dorm closet did come with a full-length mirror on the door, so I can still share my outfits of the day—even if the lighting/quality isn’t the best. I’m hoping to get the photo-taking situation figured out soon so that I can get back on my posting schedule! But until then, here are my outfits and all the fun exploring I’ve been up to in Glasgow for my first week here.
Monday, January 3
Today was extremely frustrating and stressful, as I tried to navigate the rather unclear Covid-19 requirements and guidelines necessary to fly internationally and to enter the United Kingdom (I would also like to point out that for once I did not procrastinate—I actually was not allowed to start this process until 48 hours before my flight). I got a Covid PCR test in the afternoon and then tried to photograph this cute outfit with the help of my dad, but we couldn’t find good lighting anywhere… How is it that other bloggers always seem to have the perfect lighting wherever they go? Grrr. Anyway, my day turned around when I went to one last family dinner at my aunt’s house to say goodbye to all my cousins and their lil’ babies.
Grey Sweater: JCPenney, $24, last worn here | Black Leather Skirt: Scout and Molly Boutique, $105, last worn here | Black Knee Boots: Clarks via DSW, $100, last worn here | Green Scarf: Gift, $25, last worn here | Green Felt Hat: Craft fair, $50
Tuesday, January 4 – Wednesday, January 5
I woke up at 4 a.m. one last time to head into the office before my flight, only to realize I left my hairbrush and all my snacks at the house… I’m glad I noticed with enough time to go back home and grab them! Afterwards, I said goodbye to my grandpa and the folks at the office, and then my parents took me to the airport… Eek. It was an emotional, yet exciting, goodbye! Security surprisingly went really quickly, so I waited at the airport for a few hours before catching my first flight from Las Vegas to San Francisco. I had another few hours of layovers and then flew Lufthansa for 10 hours to Frankfurt, Germany. I watched two movies on the plane and slept a little bit—I was SO lucky to have nobody sitting in the two seats next to me!
Once in Frankfurt, I had an even longer layover before flying the final two hours to Glasgow (again, with nobody sitting next to me). Thankfully, the University of Glasgow arranged for a free taxi ride for arriving study abroad students, so I took a taxi to my dorm. After checking in and unpacking, I ventured out to grab a pizza and a few essential toiletries before retiring to my room for the night. It was such a long day (or two days, I guess?), but I am beyond grateful and amazed that I had such a seamless travel day… no delays, no problems with Covid requirements, no surprises going through customs. Amazing! The only downside was that the Lufthansa crew made me check my bag, even though it was no bigger than anybody else’s… so after all that, I could’ve packed way more since I had to check a bag anyway (eye rolls). But I’m lucky that was the worst of my problems. The travel was by far what I was most stressed about for study abroad, so I slept very well knowing I could rest easy now.
Thursday, January 6
I slept in a little longer than I intended and then headed out to start exploring in the pouring rain! I made my way to campus and walked around the free Hunterian Museum, which had some amazing collections of gems, fossils, and—my favorite—body parts (there was a full human hand with a tumor from the 1800s preserved in a jar). There was also an intriguing section with deformed animals, including several attached twins.
In the evening, I forced myself to go to a bar nearby to try and meet people. I awkwardly sipped my beer by myself until finally, right when I was about to leave, I was invited into a conversation. I ended up drinking and chatting with a handful of locals until wayyy past my bedtime! It was such an amazing experience, and I gained some really valuable insights into Scottish customs and the way of life here.
Friday, January 7
I didn’t love the leopard boots with this outfit—I prefer to keep my greys and browns separate—but the rain boots were a necessity in the dreary weather today. I went to a virtual Q&A for study abroad students and ventured onto campus in the afternoon to pick up my ID card… and to pester a nice student with all my questions. I have received virtually no communication from the University of Glasgow and basically have no idea what’s going on (even though classes are supposed to start on Monday). I was so grateful for this girl’s help! In the evening, I attended a virtual event where a famous accordion player from Glasgow graced us with some traditional accordion music and Scottish songs.
Grey Cropped Sweater: Hand-me-down, last worn here | Maroon Quilted Vest: Francesca’s, $45, last worn here | Black Skinny Jeans: Express, $42 | Leopard Rain Booties: Ralph Lauren via Macy’s, $60, last worn here | Grey Beanie: Love Your Melon, $30, last worn here
Saturday, January 8
This is my new favorite sweater! I absolutely love it and think it is so preppy, yet still sexy with the v-neck and crop. My friend got it for me for my birthday, including the most thoughtful gift ever—a set of letters containing ghost stories of haunted buildings in Glasgow that I am supposed to go explore. I spent the afternoon today going to two of the locations and reading the ghost stories she found and the tips she left for me! For example, one of the locations was a bar, so in her letter she included the backstory of the ghost that haunts that bar as well as some traditional Scottish drinks I should try while here. Such a cool gift!
On my way back from exploring, I picked up some groceries and bought a pretzel, jelly-filled donut, and chocolate croissant… For those of you who don’t know, I am allergic to wheat (or at least, I am while in the States). When I went to Spain three years ago, I could eat allllll the wheat and bread products without getting sick. I very quickly tried it here and was ecstatic to realize I don’t get sick from Scotland’s wheat, either! So naturally, I had to stock up on all the delicious bread items I can’t eat at home. I haven’t eaten a donut since 2011, which is when I found out about my allergy. Europe is the best.
(While I don’t know for sure, I have read that the difference in my allergy is likely due to either preservatives that are used in the U.S. but not in Europe, or an entirely different strain of wheat that is used here and not in the U.S.)
Argyle Collared Sweater: Gift | Skinny Jeans: Express, $42 | Black Knee Boots: Clark’s via DSW, $100, last worn here
Sunday, January 9
Today, I walked 45 minutes to explore the Glasgow Cathedral, which is the oldest building in the city (built in 1197) and one of the only churches here whose architecture survived the Protestant Reformation. Right next door was a massive cemetery on a hill, so I wandered around there for a while as well. I think I want to make it my goal to explore one new thing or attend one event each day, although I’m not sure how realistic that will be once classes start tomorrow—we’ll see.
Overall, it’s been a very exciting week, but I’m not going to pretend it hasn’t also been very overwhelming. I am stressed about what classes I am supposed to be taking (who knows!), how I will maintain my blog while here, what I am going to eat (I still have no utensils or cooking supplies), and what my top priorities are for places I want to visit while abroad. There is so much to see and do but not enough time or money for it all… so I really need to consider what is most important to me. Phew! Lots to figure out, but I know it will get easier. I’m excited to meet people this coming week and attend lots of fun events on campus.
Thanks so much for following along on this crazy journey! I hope you had a great first full week of the new year.
Miles of smiles,