When I started this blog back in 2015 the idea was for it to be a showcase or online diary of our new lives in Scotland. Finding new walks, places to eat, wildlife encounters, events and other excitement all documented and photographed. Since then this place I now call home means so much more to me and afterall one of the reasons we moved here was because of the natural beauty and what it has to offer. But more recently I have been struggling with the thought of how much damage is caused by our wanderlust and it’s impact on Scotland (and across the world).
You only have to look on Instagram to see beautiful images of turquoise clear water, empty white beaches and it’s all geo-tagged. So we all decide we are going to invade said empty white beaches, leave our left over sandwich wrappers and drop a plastic bottle and then it’s gone. Forever.
Another example that I can think of (and this rather makes my blood boil) are the deer at the Kings Hotel in Glen Coe. Wild animals that have come to learn that if they hang around for a few photos with tourists the chances of being fed are quite high. I have been one of said tourists who have stopped off here, although primarily for photos of Buachaille etive mor, and witnessed people feeding these elegant beasts digestive biscuits! You know, the ones we dunk in our coffee and that are full of sugar. I’m not just talking about one or two that are left over but a whole packet that they had brought specifically for the deer. C’mon people!
It is amazing to have such an encounter with these deer but we really do need to think about the implications of our actions.
Of course there is a certain scene from the James Bond film, Skyfall that everyone wishes to replicate too. Except now it’s not quiet and somewhere you can be alone with your thoughts, it’s full of cars and people wanting to get “the” photo. Then what to do? It’s a single track road with passing places where people are parked so you can’t pull in or turn around. So you pull up onto the grass verge after it’s been raining for three days and don’t think anymore of it. When you pull away you have to give it a bit of welly because it’s greasy and you’ve no traction and this results in tearing up the grass and and moss etc.
I am not entirely clued up on the full impact of tourism and social media and its affects but it is certainly something I will be researching and taking more seriously. I do know that these are not isolated incidents or places where such things happen but are ones I have witnessed first hand (and no I didn’t go down to get the Skyfall photo). The affect from so many people driving and parking where they like or leaving litter, lighting fires etc does take its toll on the environment and wildlife.
I didn’t want to turn this post into a rant (although it sort of has), more an education, or an eye opener (to some, not everyone). Also taking the chance to say that from now on in if I write about a hidden gem I have stumbled across then I might not geo-tag it on Instagram or name drop in my blog. I will, however be more general with my location, otherwise I think I may struggle to call myself a travel blogger, and share it’s beauty through my photographs.
So, from here my plan is to continue inspiring, reviewing and promoting this stunning, friendly and vibrant country just with less social media geo-tags. I am also hoping to cover more local Perth based attractions and events, so do follow my tales.
Scotland is here to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, lets keep it a place that people want to keep coming back to explore but maybe let them stumble upon their own wee gem. Lets not let our wanderlust ruin such beauty. Please do go and enjoy the great outdoors, views and make your own moments but be mindful of there reason you visited in the first place.