Scotland

Someone recently asked me how often I had been in Scotland already. To be honest, I lost count. Scotland is my so-called “favorite” country. It`s where I made my first trip and travel experiences on my own when I was 18, it`s the country I have spent the most time in apart from Germany and it oddly feels like a second home to me.

Well, it`s not that odd actually. The weather is like home, only far more moody in an impressive kind of way, I love mountains and Scotland has a some of the most stunning and varying scenery I have seen so far (worldwide!). Also I keep coming back to same places again and again, which always gives you the feeling of home and by now I even have made some really good friends.

The first time I went was with my parents. We did a road-trip with our car and kayak on top of it. Between all the beautiful places we`ve visited I deeply fell in love with one huge ruin of a castle, called Poltalloch. I felt I needed to go back there and did so when I was 18. Extremely badly-equipped, with a heavy and soaking-through tent I spent a week which turned out to be much more challenging than expected. But it ignited my fascination for this country of incredibly ruthless elements and beauty and also brought me my first dear friend over there. So I went there again. With a former boyfriend on a hiking trip and we also met a relative of that first friend in the capital. Which brought me back again! A year later when I wanted to do an internship in travel journalism. I shared a flat with that friend for a month and after that time it was a frequent coming-and-going for me. Mostly I kept visiting friends but also went for several trips with my tent to different areas in the Highlands.

My heart always pulled for the Highlands. For the soft green hills, impressive mountains (where most of them you can still walk up without climbing gear), deserted landscapes with few signs of human life and a weather, that is so moody and challenging, it wakes all your potential emotions within few hours. Scotland is a country that is really down to earth and – especially if you spent your time in the outdoors or camping – connects you with the powers of nature and, therefore, brings you closer to yourself. I always booked a flight to Scotland (or started hitch-hiking towards it), when my life was stressful. When everything became too much, when big decisions were ahead or when I felt sad, insecure or unsatisfied, this country always knew how to make me deeply happy again. I would dare to say Scotland is a sure treatment for any emotional suffering due to our fast, modern lives.

To be honest, I didn`t get too far during all my visits. I`ve never been to the very north, I`ve never been to the east coast and never been further south than Edinburgh. That`s just because the places I`ve already been are just too beautiful not to re-visit! But in 2014 I finally I did what I always wanted to do: I walked a proper bit of the West Highland Way and camped in the Rannoch Moor! And the other parts of the country will surely follow to be visited someday.

My Heart´s in The Highlands by Robert Burns
Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,

The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go.

Farewell to the mountains high covered with snow;
Farewell to the straths and green valleys below;
Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods;
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go.

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Feel with your heart what your eyes can't see

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