Pack Your Bags, See the World & Change Your Life

“Crazy as I may
make my way
through this world
it’s for no one but me to say
which direction I should turn in”
Dave Matthews Band

Picture courtsey of Wikipedia

If I were you, I’d be pretty sick of staring at the back of the same girl’s head in my algebra class for the past year. Hair in a ponytail, hair down, hair half back, hair curly, hair straight.. So why don’t you get out and SEE.THE.WORLD already? See.The.World. And I am talking about more than Epcot at Disney World, guys. During the second semester of my junior year of college, I boarded a plane Scotland bound. Sure they speak English there, but I wouldn’t exactly describe it as easy to understand. Sitting in the back of a cab in downtown Glasgow, I stared wide-eyed at my two best friends as the cabbie repeatedly asked us where we were trying to go, only to me, it sounded like he was speaking Korean. Eventually, with the aid of hand motions, maps and listening very very carefully he drove us to the train station that would take us to the University of Stirling in Stirling, Scotland. I’d be living the Scottish life for the next 6 months as a student at the university. Far more important than any lesson taught in the classroom, I learned about their culture. Flats are a place you live in and not the description of an even surface. Pants means underwear and what we call pants should only be referred to as trousers. Tea is taken very seriously here (never ever leave your tag bag and spoon inside your cup) as well as football; you know…the kind with the black and white ball. Oh, and you know that movie Braveheart? The one where Mel Gibson screams “Freedom!” the wish of every true Scotsman? Well, apparently the Scots still feel the same way and many a cab was stolen from me on nights out as drunk Scots mumbled “No dirty Brit will take a cab before me in my country.” I never had the chance to tell them I was American, although I am not sure it would’ve helped.

Photo courtsey of Augsburg College

Besides looking for Nessie at Loc Ness and taking pictures of men in kilts playing the bagpipe, I had the opportunity to backpack across Europe. My two friends and I navigated train routes that criss-crossed over countries, each stop opening up to a new and exciting destination. During our two-week adventure, we slept in sleeper cars on trains, ate food native to that country and tried our hand at foreign drinks. We visited the Louvre in Paris, stepped on the rocky beaches of Nice and saw royalty in Monaco. Our adventure led us to Rome’s Colosseum, gondolas in Venice and on to Munich, Prague, Brussels, London and Amsterdam. Over a holiday weekend at the university, we flew to Norway and partied with a Norwegian friend of mine I knew from back in the States. When Spring Break rolled around, we spent 9 days getting to know Spain, a sultry romantic country that left a spicy imprint on my heart.

Photo from

Forget about missing out on tailgating for football games, themed date parties or what your friends back home will be doing. While their drinking jungle juice out of red plastic cups and talking about how much they hate their statistic class, I guarantee you, while your standing at the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge the very last thing you’ll be missing is that party. Pack your bags, see the world, and change your life. It’s that easy.


Prom season

Bio: I am a clumsy, sunny, average speed runner and the University School of Jackson’s class of 2000 Most Spirited senior superlative winner. I find writing to be pretty cool and my friends to be hilarious.

You know I’m going to do it…here are my thoughts on the lovely Miss Chatterbox: Ashley graduated from high school in Tennessee and for the next week and a half, works just a few cubeland blocks away from me.  Put that’s not how I met her.  Sadly, we didn’t meet till my TPFL Christy couldn’t stop talking about how great her former roommate and best friend was.  Since then I’ve gotten to know this amazing lady and although like Christy, we’ve just become friends.  I know we’ll continue to be friends no matter where I end up.  The day after announcing I was leaving for law school…it was hard.  It hit me all at once and I may or may not have had a little freak out in my head.  The next day, I had a card from Ashley encouraging me and letting me know how happy she was for me.  Then for my birthday…I got homemade protein bars.  Seriously?! This girl rocks!

Head over to her blog and then repeat every. single. day.  Her humor, insight and passion are not to be missed.   Plus, you’ll learn what this fellow lover of books, runner and marketing extraordinaire has in common with Dave Thomas.  You know you’re curious.

About this series: This is one of  a series of guest posts in May that will run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


12 thoughts on “Pack Your Bags, See the World & Change Your Life

  1. When you are like me a crazy old lady, maybe sitting in nursing home. I hope your memories of this wonderful life, you are living, brings you joy, and something to say all the time. So live love and enjoy, breathe, pack you bags and go..cause honey, the only thing you take with you is you memories, all that good and Jack, all the rest of you go girl!

    • Such true and great advice! Next on my list of places to visit is Peru…whose with me!

      I’ve also recently found out that one of my best friends from my study abroad trip to 6 months of video and condensed it into a few hours – cannot wait to see it and relive it all over again!

  2. Jackie – thanks for the opportunity to post on your blog! You are far too kind and LOVED the personal shout out!

    Rereading my post brings back memories of being jet set and living out of a backpack, wearing the same pair of jeans for 2 weeks straight and loving.every.single.minute.

    Can’t wait to explore a new place, it’s been far too long and my passport is dusty!

  3. Ashley, I liked the post. It would be nice to travel sometime not for work. You should try Japan. Tokyo is a huge city, but a 30 min train ride puts you in a remote village in the mountains.

    It seems like the theme in this series is “don’t bother with class…you won’t learn anything.”

    Although some of it is tough to relate to because I NEVER spent my weekends in college drinking jungle juice out of a solo cup. I was probably studying.

    • I would absolutely love to go to Japan! I’ve heard its nothing short of gorgeous and surprising with the merge of old world and new modern technology and fashion.

      “I NEVER spent my weekends in college drinking jungle juice of out a solo cup” and you call yourself a frat boy – puh lease.

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