Molly has been there for many of Gather’s firsts. She attended our first New(ish) & Jewish Happy Hour last year (check our this year’s event!) and joined us on our inaugural Beyond the Tent Retreat in July. I was excited to hear more about her international travels in my interview with the Jewish Adventurer of the Week!
Jackie: What made you decide to go to university in Scotland?
Molly: I decided to study in Scotland because it was more affordable than going to university out-of-state or a private university. With all my options on the table, I could afford Oregon or abroad, and Scotland seemed like a good option. I also had never traveled abroad before, (except for a disability rights exchange for 3 weeks in Bahrain, random, I know) and the idea of being based in the UK, with Europe a stone’s throw away, was pretty enticing. I figured if I didn’t like it, it could be my study abroad freshmen year and I could always come back to Oregon.
Jackie: What were your favorite parts of spending four years abroad?
Molly: By far, my favorite part of studying at St. Andrews was the location. I had a moment in third year of university where I studied the wars in Bosnia and Croatia in the 90s and then decided to go to Bosnia and Croatia for the 20th anniversary. It was incredible to finish an exam writing about the bombing of Dubrovnik and a week later speak with a man my age about what it was like for his family narrowly escaping bombings every night.
My least favorite part was making incredible friends that now live in a different country. That blows.
Jackie: You were a part of Gather’s first Beyond the Tent retreat. How was that experience for you?
Molly: The retreat was a great experience, and I’d highly recommend it. What I loved about the retreat is that we didn’t bother with the small talk. I walked out knowing how people felt about their Jewish identity, their beliefs in G-d, and their relationships with their moms…but not the usual where did you go to school, what do you do, where are you from. I’m trying to skip the small talk now that I’m back to real life, but it turns out asking people if they believe in G-d before asking their profession has mixed results at happy hours.
When the Jews Gather… they do so at the Gather the Jews happy hours (seriously, have you been? There are, like, 200 people crammed in bar, it’s crazy!)