My Family Story Behind My Study Abroad and Travel Experience

Sep 12, 2018 2:30:00 PM / by Casey Rhode

Casey Rhode

Casey Rhode is an official CAPA vlogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Interdisciplinary Studies major at Arizona State University, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.

In her first post, Casey tells us about her family connection to Ireland and shares several packing lists for a fall semester abroad in Dublin.


Studying abroad is something I’ve always wanted to do, and going to Ireland was at the top of my list. My dad is part-Irish, so the one thing that intrigued me about going to Ireland was learning about those ancestors. My grandpa has done extensive family research and he even told me about a castle that was for one of our ancestors. My entire family is extremely supportive of this adventure, and I couldn’t be more thankful. My mom’s side is all from Colombia and since I’ve been there already, they’re happy I’m getting to see my dad’s side.

On Top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris with FamilyWith my family on top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

My mom struggled with me being away at college since it was across the country. I know she will have a hard time dropping me off at the airport with me now going across the world. My dad and my mom are both there if I need them, so I know that while I'll be so far, they’re a Skype call away. My sister is also extremely supportive. She’s my best friend and is very jealous that she can’t do study abroad for her musical theater degree. It’ll be hard not being able to talk to her every day because of the time difference and our schedules, but we know we’ll figure it out.

With My Sister in HawaiiWith my sister in Hawaii.

I like to think of myself as a seasoned traveler. I was lucky enough to start traveling from a young age—thanks to my parents. I’ve traveled to about 25 of the 50 states, St. Kitts, Colombia, Paris, Rome, Venice, and Florence. My mom’s family was born in Colombia and then raised in the United States from the age of seven. My dad was born and raised in the United States, but got his degree in aviation, so he must have always had a passion for traveling. They met while working for an airline company and the rest is history. They started to take me on planes from the very beginning, maybe that’s why I’ve never had a problem flying or sleeping on planes. I love arriving in a new place and finding hidden treasures that maybe a regular tourist wouldn’t go to—it’s something I hope I can do while in Ireland.

Luggage and Carry-On BagsSome of the bags I'll be bringing with me.

When it comes to preparing for this amazing experience, it has not been easy—from financial meetings with my advisor and my bank and saving up money from my summer job, to figuring out what I want to bring versus what I actually need to bring. I realized that packing is all about making an executive decision about each article of clothing and thinking ahead to see if it’s something I would actually wear for every day activities and my internship.

What I Packed for Dublin

Packing for AbroadSee the vacuum-packed bags? They come in handy!

So, here’s my complete packing list of what I narrowed it down to for the semester. Thank goodness for vacuum-packed bags!!


    • 1 pair of gym shoes
    • 1 pair of booties
    • 1 pair of boots
    • 1 pair of loafers
    • 4 pairs of jeans (blue jeans and colored jeans)
    • 2 yoga pants
    • 8 basic tops (long and short sleeve)
    • 3 sweaters
    • 1 cardigan
    • 1 rain jacket
    • 1 windbreaker
    • 1 winter coat
    • Scarf, gloves, and earmuffs
    • 2 pencil skirts
    • 1 pair of slacks


    • Planner
    • A good book for the flight
    • Travel pillow
    • School supplies (3 notebooks, 3 folders, pens and pencils)
    • Pain relieving pills
    • Birth control
    • Small purse
    • Fanny pack
    • Umbrella
    • Copies of important documents


    • Toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Bath towel and face towel
    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Body wash
    • Face wash
    • Everyday basic makeup (foundation, mascara, and eyeliner)
    • Deodorant
    • Moisturizer
    • Brush and comb


    • iPhone and charger
    • Laptop and charger
    • Chargeable phone battery
    • Adapters

Thanks, Casey!

Casey's journey continues every Wednesday so stay tuned.

 Learn More about the CAPA Dublin Program

Topics: Dublin, Ireland, Predeparture & Study Abroad Preparations