You don't have to spend much time with the worldwide Scot Diaspora community to realize that there are many, many people who dream of one day visiting, or like me, living in Scotland. The land and its people have a spirit that calls to the heart and soul.
Having been fortunate enough to enjoy two extended visits to Scotland in 2014/15, my time spent there only confirmed what I already felt in my heart before ever boarding my British Airways flights. I am in love with Scotland and all things Scottish, and therefore, based on my experiences there, here are my Top 5 Reasons to Visit/Move to Scotland...
Whether forged on the battlefields, steeped in legend, or wrapped in romance, Scotland's history is long and colorful. Names like William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Rob Roy, Mary Queen of Scots, Rabbie Burns, Sir Walter Scott and places like Culloden, Bannockburn, and Glencoe come to life when you're in Scotland. You'll even find it easier to believe in the legend of Nessie when staring into the depths of the loch below you!
The Wallace National Monument in Stirling - author's photo
Ruins of Crossraguel Abbey in Maybole, South Ayrshire - author's photo
Ruins of Crossraguel Abbey in Maybole, South Ayrshire
What mysteries lie beneath the depths of Loch Ness? - author's photo
Click each image to enlarge
SCOTLAND has not one, not two, but three languages. There is English, Gaelic, and Scots. Likewise there are numerous Scot accents that vary as one travels from region to region. But who can't love a country where the ancient Gaelic tongue is still spoken, and where the colorful Scots language is dotted with such descriptive terms as Peely Wally, Numpty, Drookit, and Blether? If you're wondering about those last, get yerself a copy of the Concise Scots Dictionary!
#3. CEILIDHS (Celebrations/Festivals)
I mean, have you been to Hogmanay? Where else does a New Year's Celebration last 3 days - including a crazy fancy dress swim in a river (Loony Dook), a massive street party, and fireworks! And that's just in Edinburgh! Scots love a good celidh (pronounced kay-lee) and there are plenty of them from Hogmanay, to T in the Park, to Edfringe, to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo to numerous Highland Games and everything in between - there is something for everyone!
Fireworks over Edinburgh Castle ring in the New Year!
T in the Park is a massive summertime music festival. Photo: By User:Officialcraigwatson (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo plays to a sold-out worldwide audience year after year.
Click each image to enlarge
#2. THE NATURAL BEAUTY
OMG! Is there anywhere in the world as beautiful as Scotland? Certainly not for my money. From the softly undulating fields of the Borders, to the majestic beauty of the Highlands, to the tropical beaches and craggy seashores, Scotland's natural beauty is undeniable!
Top row l to r: Sail boats near Mallaig, Glengarry Overlook, Black Cuillin on Skye, Tighnabruaich Overlook - Kyle of Bute
Bottom row l to r: Sunset on the Clye - Old Kilpatrick Hills, Loch Cluanie, A721 in The Borders, The Red Cuillin on Skye.
All photos by the author. Click on each image to enlarge
#1. THE PEOPLE
A marketing campaign proclaims "People Make Glasgow." Well, yes they do - but people also make Scotland. I've been fortunate in my travels to visit such places in Scotland as the Borders, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Eyemouth, Haddington, Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Inverness, the Highlands, the Isle of Bute, and the Isle of Skye. People met online have become fast friends - and many I've met in person when in-country, some planned, some rather spontaneously. Scotland has been voted the Best Country in the World, and its people the Friendliest in the World and I've found nothing in my travels to sway my belief otherwise.
So there you have it, my "Top 5 Reasons to Visit/Move to Scotland." With that, there is but one thing left to do...