They say time flies when you are having fun and that really is true. It’s now 2018 and three years have passed since we left everything (and everyone) we love behind in search of a new lifestyle, a different pace of life and adventures. Our next chapter is already at it’s third year anniversary, living in Scotland.
Dude and I have lost count of the times that we have been asked if we enjoy it here or if we would move back down south (the second question I normally pre-empt and cut short and reply with “hell no”). But the one question I really love to answer is “what is it that you love about living here?”
It’s an easy one to answer, but it’s not any one particular thing nor is it a short reply. And when I tell people that something has made me smile every single day since moving I know they think I’m mad or lying.
What is it that we love about living in Scotland?
Living in Perthshire allows us easy access to the bright lights of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee in less than (or a little over) one hour. Although neither of us would want to live in the confines of such a built up area we love visiting for the day – taking in a show, being tourists or meeting up with friends.
On the other end of the scale we can be in the Cairngorm National Park in less than an hour too. Aviemore or Braemar make for a brilliant impromtu retreat for fresh air, adventure and precious time together. Exactly the sort of things we moved for.
I was born and bred in land locked West Midlands and Dude’s closest flowing water whilst he was growing up was the river Thames, so for us taking the forty five minute drive across to St Andrews, the East Neuk or Tentsmuir for our fix of vitamin sea is heavenly. We try and reset our equilibrium once a month by a trip to the beach, even in the colder months. In fact, especially in winter.
It soon becomes apparent that you are never really alone when you live in Scotland. Standing in the Post Office queue getting a quick Twitter fix isn’t an option because this is where you will be spoken to and before you can buy your stamps you will know all about the sick cat of the elderly lady in front of you, or invited to the social events at the local community hall.
I am also in awe of the creativity people have, inspired by their surroundings. Incredible menus produced with locally sourced food or scarves knitted to match the heather hues of the hillsides in August.
Also the people that come here to be outdoors – cycling, walking, kayaking, skiing and everything in between, there is a connection.
There is a tribe for anyone looking to share, learn and socialise with like minded individuals. You will be welcomed with open arms.
Passion emanates and is contagious. Wildlife, landscapes, sport, history, keeping traditions alive, making Scotland a place that welcomes everyone who visits and those of us who decide to stay.
I asked Dude to give me three things that he loves about living here and of course, some of his reasons matched mine. However, he did say he enjoys the golf courses.
He hadn’t been playing for long before we moved four hundred miles away from his golf buddies but he says the variety of courses available to him on the doorstep has certainly made him a better golfer (although still no Rory McIlroy – his words).
Our travel plans normally involve checking out if there is a course nearby that he can try out too. Most northerly, so far has been a links course on the Isle of Harris. Some views from there, I can tell you!
One big playground
The main appeal for moving to Scotland for us was for a change of lifestyle. Try new things and and to spend more time outdoors. Canoeing, wild swimming, walking, cycling and any other activity we can have a shot at.
With all it’s rivers and lochs, hills and mountains, woodlands and beaches the opportunities here are endless. We have jumped in, feet first (not literally) and tried canyoning and SUP’ing in Perthshire. We are discovering new walks all the time. Although there are 282 Munros here in Scotland, there are plenty of coastal walks or low level hill walks to do too.
I don’t think we shall ever get bored of impromptu road trips or camping out during mid summer.
My travel blog
I know my blog is hardly an institute in Scotland’s tourism, nor is it a literary work to match Rabbie Burns, however, it has afforded Dude and I to share our experiences. For me, it has allowed me to meet some amazing people, both online and in person. Some of whom I now have the pleasure of calling friends.
As a photographer I revel in visiting new places and being able to share them over on Instagram but to marry that with my own thoughts and words and share with others is something that I never thought I would be doing. Yet nearly five years years down the line it feels very natural to share it all.
I hope that my passion for this place we now call home shines through every single post, sentence and word that I write? It may not be full of hidden gems (pet hate buzz words) but shows a way of life. Sometimes that means being a tourist and following the masses and sometimes that means walking trails where we don’t see another soul for hours. That’s the way it is. I want to encourage you to find your Scotland.
Of course, that is the shortest of shorter than short version of why on our third year anniversary, living in Scotland, we still LOVE it here but you get the idea. It isn’t just any one thing, it’s a lifestyle and a state of mind. It makes us happier than a dug on the beach with his ball.