What I Learned Traveling Abroad

Monday, January 21, 2019

Sweater: Thrifted | Trousers: Target (WhoWhatWhere) | Shoes: Target 
 Jacket: Thrifted | Beret: Amazon | Purse: Gamiss

So I did a thing....I booked a trip to Scotland, I hopped on a plane, changed to another plane, flew over the Atlantic Ocean, then hopped on another plane, then arrived in a new country (actually 2)! 18 hours of travel later and 12 hours in a plane I was half way across the world(ish) in Scotland (then in Paris) ! 
I didn't realize it until I was at a family gathering and was filling in everyone on the details of my trip that I suddenly heard "Man, you are brave, I don't think I could have done it", and suddenly realized OH MY GOSH WAS I CRAZY?!?!? 
I think I just wanted to go on a grand adventure and visit Scotland and Paris sooooo badly that I didn't even think about HOW CRAZY it really was! I just booked the tickets, hopped on a plane and suddenly I was in another country. When I take a step back to look at the big picture I realize how crazy my trip was.....and how crazy it sounded  to most people when I told them that by the end of my trip I had taken 7 planes, 4 buses, 5 (or more) subways, 4 trains, and at least 6 Ubers. 
5 Years ago I would have probably passed up the chance at a trip like this all because it involved taking an airplane (an airplane over the ocean no less) and meant being very far away from the comforts of home. However, my perspective on travel and new places has changed through the last couple of years (especially after visiting New York) and I realized that if you don't do the things that scare you then you will always wonder "what if" and you will never learn the valuable lessons that come with those crazy plans (or risks) and you most definitely will loose out on learning who you are and what you are capable of. 
Maybe it was because I wanted to see other parts of the world and experience different cultures, or maybe it was because I wanted to prove to myself that I could travel internationally alone, but whatever my reason traveling abroad taught me that there is so much more that I am capable of if I am determined enough to want it! 
Sure, I still plan every detail down to the minute and make hour accurate itineraries, but I still did something crazy and it taught me that the crazy things are not as hard if it is something you love and are passionate about! 
So take that risk! Book that trip! Hop on that plane! It might seem crazy, but it will be worth it! 

When I found out that I would be visiting Paris on my trip in addition to Scotland I started brainstorming outfits. I knew that I wanted to look very "Parisian chic" and definitely used that image to create my two looks for the City of Lights! My staples were definitely plaid pants, simple sweaters, berets, boots, and a classy wool jacket. For our main day in Paris I opted for these classy high waisted plaid trousers from the Target WhoWhatWhere line, paired with a tan turtleneck sweater, black ankle boots, a caramel beret hat and cozy and classy wool jacket. Dressing like a Parisian definitely made visiting Paris even more fun. 
Of course on our first full day there I had to visit one of the most popular pictures spots in the city. It was so surreal visiting Place Du Trocadero where all of my favorite bloggers take pictures when they visit the city. It is definitely the perfect place to capture the spirit and magic of the Eiffel tower and Paris. 
I definitely went with a more native Parisian vision for my trip, but next time I visit I definitely want to go more classy glam with dresses and skirts. Paris is probably one of the funnest places I have dressed for in awhile :)

My Trip To Scotland & Travel VLOG

Sunday, January 6, 2019

I still can't believe I am writing this...it still seems so surreal that I was just in Scotland! Scotland has always been a dream of mine to visit one day, but I never expected it to be this soon. However, when I found out that one of my friends from High School was studying abroad in Glasgow Scotland we started talking about the possibility of my visiting her while she was there. 
After we worked out the larger specific details like schedules and a time that would work best for each of us all the pieces started to fall into place and before I knew it I was on my first International trip headed to Scotland!
Scotland has always been top on my list because my family heritage traces back to the country. My last name is "McQuary" and it hails from one of the original Scottish clans "MacQuarrie" from the Isle of Ulva. I have always been intrigued by my Scottish heritage and having the opportunity to visit the country and explore it a bit more in person was such an adventure. 
As someone who quite fancies most anything British or Scottish when it comes to shows and films, I have always held my own idea of what Scotland would be like, and honestly it met most every preconceived notion I held about the country. Scottish accents are even more so one of my favorite accents, and truly nothing compares to hearing the accent in real life, not to mention that the Scottish accents in Glasgow (known as "glaswegian") are one of the strongest Scottish accents in Scotland.

While this trip only gave me a small taste of all that Scotland has to offer, it definitely fueled my fire for exploring more of the country and culture. In fact, Glasgow is known as the "working city" in Scotland is is much more Industrial than many places in the country, so while it has a lot to offer it doesn't nearly hold all that Scotland has to offer in regards to green countrysides. 
My trip was about 7 days long, but only 4 of those days were spent in Scotland because we took a short trip to Paris in the middle of my time there (I will share more on that trip soon), even so my time there was exciting. I visited a castle, saw the green rolling hills, experienced a new country, admired ancient architecture, listened to a beautiful language, tried new treats and food, traveled via public transportation and basked in the strong history and heritage. 

There is so much to be gained from visiting other countries and cultures, and Scotland definitely had it's fare share of differences from America such as the sparse use of sugar in coffee and lattes, little salt in recipes, a fabulous and handy transportation system, the bustling city life surrounding traditions, their love for their own unique culture, and so much more.

 I adored the fact that people in Scotland know how to dress "stylishly" for winter and are experts at making any type of boots look cute.....they are truly ahead of the game when it comes to classy fashion & pull off jumpers, plaids, and dresses fabulously! They embrace their love for keeping young and holding on to their youth as you can find many middle age women with dyed or color accented hair (often blue or purple). Days spent wandering through parks are normal to them and they relish spending time in the great outdoors whether it be taking their dog for a walk (most of which the dog roams free off a leash), riding their bikes along paths, visiting historic landmarks, or hiking around town or trails. In Glasgow (and most other parts of Scotland) people walk to where they need to go or take the always available buses or metro (which runs in a circle and is 100% less confusing than New York). They love their tea, but Scots also still love coffee and scones and biscuits are a daily treat on their menu.  
I did find it quite humorous though that many Scots actually like American TV and sometimes prefer it over British, which is even more comical considering so many of us are partial to British TV over American. The same can be said for travel and adventure as many Scottish people want to visit America or even move here while we Americans always want to visit Scotland! 

Needless to say, my trip was definitely one to remember with many memories made and even more to be made in the future! I will be sharing more on the blog soon but for now I have included my travel Vlog to give you a closer look at some of the things I did and saw while in Glasgow Scotland. 

Have you ever visited Scotland?
Is Scotland a place you want to visit one day?

- Madison