8/8/2012 01:45:45


Julia Gabbert

            One of the best things about the Isle of Arran (ya know…besides the rolling green hills, the sea breeze, the constant sweater weather, the sheep on every hillside, all the other cute animals, the Scottish accents) is the sense of isolation. Back home, I’m a bit of a technology zombie. My stupid iPhone is almost always with me so I can check my stupid email or stupid Tumblr or, occasionally, stupidest Facebook.

            Here, it’s a different story. I’m typing this on my instructor’s laptop that has no Internet to connect to. The payphone in the house is plugged in to nothing. And my iPhone has been turned off and stowed in my bag since I left the Chicago airport. I would like to be able to talk to my family (I get homesick easily), but I was able to send them a quick email from a borrowed iTouch and some free wifi outside of a café. They know I’m safe, so that’s all I can really ask for.

            Even though I’m an admitted zombie back home, I find solace in being able to escape for a few days—whether it be in a tent in Missouri or a farmhouse in Scotland.

Before I left St. Louis, I was talking to a friend about being anxious to be overseas and away from home for two whole weeks. They told me to make the most of the experience, because it would be over before I know it and then I will be able to come back home to everything the way I’m used to it. If I spent too much time being homesick, I wouldn’t fully appreciate this amazing opportunity. I think this was excellent advice.

Last night, I sat beneath a clear sky and a full moon, listening to the ocean and the funny cries of sheep. The beauty of Scotland is unreal. And as much as I wish my family were here to experience this with me, it’s also nice to feel isolated. I feel free to see and hear things for myself, without feeling obligated to share it online.

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