Don’t go to Scotland for the Highlands
Or you will be awestruck by the magnificent beauty of the interlaced emerald Munros towering high above the cool, misty land. Adorned with heather that blankets the hills in an artistic, beautiful embrace of purple love.
Don’t go to Scotland for the history
Or you will learn of a proud culture willing to fight for their freedom no matter the cost. And about the fearless leaders who led their fellow Scots through many victories as well as defeats. Or about kings and queens who led their people through turbulent times, all the while never wavering in their duty to their beloved country.
Don’t go to Scotland for the whiskey
Or you will be introduced to the finest blends of sweet amber flavors that roll in aromatic smoothness across your tongue. A drink that offers not only strong body but vanilla, caramel, spice and perhaps smokey peat. All of which intermingle, quietly telling a story of the land from whence it came.
Don’t go to Scotland for the Highland Coo’s
Or you will undoubtedly fall in love with one of these adorable creatures when it humbly peeks at you through the shaggy brown bangs that cover its eyes. Because no matter how much you want to, you can never bring it home with you and that will just make you sad.
Don’t go to Scotland for the culture
Or you will assuredly return home wearing a kilt and refuse to listen to any type of music that doesn’t include the melodious rhythm of bagpipes. Because no matter how hard you try to fight it, the pride, history, and uniqueness of the Scottish culture will undoubtedly seep into your blood, becoming a part of you that you can never seem to leave behind.
Don’t go to Scotland for the castles
Or you will want to see every one of the thousands of them that dot the countryside. From ruins of what was once a strong fortress of protection to stately, ornate manors still in operation, the list seems endless. This is true especially if you love castles. You will be overwhelmed and completely unable to control yourself enough to see anything else.
Don’t go to Scotland for the city life
Or you will completely fall in love with the buildings that have withstood centuries and look much the same today as when they were first built. You will be amazed that in one city alone you can walk the distance of a mile down cobblestone streets and see both a well-preserved castle and the palace where not only Mary Queen of Scots once lived, but also where Queen Elizabeth still spends her summers.
Don’t go to Scotland for the islands
Or you will realize every other place on earth pales in comparison. Driving on single-track roads, winding your way around the land where you may see more sheep than people, Neolithic standing stones, wide-open uninhabited islands that make you feel as if you have come to the end of the world, and magnificent caves that have inspired symphonies. These are places you will stand upon and wonder how they could be real; as their design and magnificence seem more likely to be found in a fairytale than in real-life.
But most of all…
Don’t go to Scotland because you will never want to leave!
If you don’t heed my words and end up boarding a plane to Scotland, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Take time to explore the stunning hills of the Highlands. Pet a shy Highland Coo. Immerse yourself in the country’s complex past by visiting a centuries-old castle or battlefield. Sip on a dram of whiskey in one of the world’s oldest pubs. But most of all, enjoy every moment because if you’re like me, a little piece of Scotland will remain with you always.
But to see her was to love her,
Love but her, and love forever.
― Robert Burns