Try the Haggis

Hanging out with fellow Badger Alex near Big Ben

Good gracious time flies by when you are in Europe! I have been abroad for approximately 20 days now and it feels like we got here yesterday! Also I know you are all concerned, but I got my badger football tickets today too! (phew, I know I was worried)

It rains a lot…

This last weekend I traveled with some friends to Scotland, where we had all kinds of fun and learned many cultural traveling lessons. In the hopes that you won’t have to learn the same lessons we did I’ll share a little about our trip.

Glencoe in Scotland…if you don't think this is beautiful then you probably need to get your eyes checked…

Well first of all we planned all of our adventures entirely too late. If we had done so even a week earlier the prices would have been much, much cheaper. So my first tid-bit of advice is to plan everything as soon as humanly possible.

Second, don’t take the bus on an 8 hour ride. Luckily only half of our group had to learn that lesson, but the boys who took the bus instead of the four hour train ride said Madison’s mega-buses are like the queen’s carriage in comparison.

Don’t just make your travel plans ahead of time, plan out your time at your destination as well. We made the mistake of not having a set plan (no, the hours your parents spent studying the guide books for your family vacation was not a waste of time) and we did a lot of wandering, hemming and hawing about what we should do next. –Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast, but there are places we didn’t get to see that we could have just because our timing was off.

Fourth: Don’t try the Haggis…I mean, it’s the dish of Scotland, but I am warning you now: if you are going to try it, don’t ask what’s in it….

Fifth: The UK’s longest bus tour may sound like a drag, but it is more than worth the time. We saw the whole of Scotland in one day, complete with cultural and historical commentary from our lovely Scottish tour guide Juliette!

Sixth: Just because they speak English doesn’t mean you are going to understand everything. I had a fellow at my internship ask me if  I even spoke English because I had such a hard time understanding what he was saying!

Those may seem trivial, but the less culture bumps you have the better the experience.  My last travel advice would be: GO TO SCOTLAND. It’s really very beautiful (and cold and wet and rainy…).

WAS THAT NESSIE?! Boat tour on Loch Nes

Now that I am back from my first out of England trip it’s time to get really serious about class. I am currently working on my term paper (they like to call it our dissertation but I find that very overwhelming). I just met with my academic advisor today and decided on my topic. I am going to be studying the spectacle and mass media event  that is a royal weddings, by looking at newspaper coverage and footage of Elizabeth’s, Diana’s and Kate’s weddings.  It should be really entertaining and enlightening at the same time!

Unfortunately it doesn’t relate very well to my internship, which is going very well. I edited, designed, and contributed to a template version of an events magazine for people in the minority community. Mostly I work with InDesign (thank you J202) and helped them decide what the format is going to look like so that we can begin to sell advertisements.

Next weekend I will be making a pilgrimage to the land of my history, the soil of my ancestors, and the home of the Leprechaun!!! And it promises to be the best weekend yet…as has every weekend!

Tune in soon for some colorful tales of Monica O’Hickey goes home to Ireland.

I hope you are all staying shiny, I know I am!


2 thoughts on “Try the Haggis”

  1. Monica,
    I see that the umbrella is coming in handy. Hmmmm! Wow, Scotland is beautiful! I have kissed the blarney stone, but Dad refused. How about you? Where in Ireland do you think you’ll go? There is so much to see. I can’t wait to see where you go. Good luck on the paper. I love you!
    Mom and Maddie

  2. Dear Monica,
    We are enjoying the pictures and narrative that you are sending. It appears that you are having a blast. Enjoy your trip to Ireland and beware of the Blarney Stone. It looks like you have already kissed it.
    We miss you.
    Gpa & Gma

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