Scotland! A pint-sized country bursting with culture, stories, fun and adventure, and a country that I am very lucky to call my home. Let me tell you my own little history with Scotland, and maybe I'll explain along the way why I've given it it's own page on my blog away from 'Travel'.
So. I was born in Glasgow twenty-four years ago. I grew up in a village on the outskirts, before moving at the age of eleven to Naperville, Illinois (a train journey away from Chicago or the Windy City). I lived in America for two years before returning back to Scotland, but this time a lot further north. Yes, I moved to the Capital of the Highlands - Inverness.
There, I was very lucky to obtain the best job ever - a visitor services advisor at VisitScotland. I got to talk to tourists all day and help them plan out their trips around Scotland and help them discover all the country has to offer. It really was a dream job for someone like me, who LOVES Scotland and wants everyone to know how great it is.
I did this job for two years every summer, but left outwith the season to go to University. I didn't go West or North this time - I travelled east, to the sunny little city Dundee (you may know Scotland as a country that's constantly under grey rain cloud - but Dundee, or 'Sundee', is actually known as the sunniest city in Scotland - I hardly ever needed a rain jacket!). Dundee is where I studied English Literature & Creative Writing, and along the way I got to learn way more about the east coast of Scotland which up until that point I was severely lacking knowledge of.
Whilst I was studying, my family about two years in to my four year course moved back down to Glasgow. This meant out of term time, I was finally back in the west coast of Scotland, and I got to do another two years with VisitScotland, this time in the Glasgow office. Again, it was a dream job incredible experience, and I loved every minute of it. What was so funny though, is how much I learned about my own city! Really is funny how life comes around full circle.
So, my job combined with my random uni adventures around Scotland, plus a pre-existing love and interest in the country, has meant that Scotland has always been a really big defining part of my character. I'm so interested in its history with mythology and legend, and that (hint hint) is a MAJOR part of what my book is about.
Actually, if you've read this far then we are definitely pals at this point so I'll let you in on a bit more of my book secrets. My book is ALL about Scottish myths and legends, but in a modern day context. (Sorry but THAT is all the hint you are going to get, too.)
So Scotland - major part of my life and character, and the defining point in the book I'm writing. I'm already planning waaaay more trips around Scotland over the next few months (blog posts impending) and I can't wait to actually finish the first draft of my book and get one step closer to bringing the myths and legends of my country to the wider world! Exciting stuff!
Though I'm writing these blog posts about Scotland to basically be a 'tourist advisor' to an even wider audience, I'm also using them to research my book, gain some cool ideas, and really capture the magical essence that you can just FEEL when you travel round Scotland!
If these posts make even one of you want to book a flight here and explore too then I'll be extremely happy!