I have always loved travelling. As a child it was my dad who instilled this never ending curiosity in me by taking me to many countries in the days when flying was a novelty. He always stated: “Try everything at least once to be able to have an opinion about it”. He encouraged me to speak English even before I hit primary school.
At 21 I moved to Scotland (which really is a story I should write down some day), when I could afford it I continued to go on holidays and a little later in life I had a job which took me all around Europe. I was flying somewhere at least once a week.
Today, taking you on bespoke tours throughout Scotland is what buttered my bread prior to Covid 19. But even before this pandemic I was doubting the way tourism was evolving. Going places to take exactly the same picture someone else had taken to then share it on social media was something I never did. Don’t get me wrong I am a vivid user of social media and love photography, but I always liked to seek out the uncommon places, pathes others seldom trotted on.
In 2009 we went on a trip across Europe for a month (yes, we could do that back than) in that van pictured above. What made the trip were not Italian beaches but travelling through Albania, meeting her people, tracing post-communism empty factories and being utterly overwhelmed by the generosity and genuity of her people. We experienced similars insights into history through the people of Croatia. We loved it! Today, we cannot even leave our houses for now….
The cottage I am living in currently still feels after six years of living here like living in your own holiday home. It sits above the river Tay at the end of a dirt track and the only person coming down this track regularily is our postie. There is no traffic and apart from owls, other birds and deer no noise. There is no artificial light and you can see the most phantastic night sky. Especially at this moment it really is a refuge as despite self isolation we have a plentiful amount of unspoilt nature surrounding us.
When I am taking you, my customers, around Scotland I have always tried to listen what you would like to see and experience here. There is really unlimited number of things to do in Scotland- even if it does rain!
I have been quite rude at times to point out -for instance- that Edinburgh is a town you better walk through then drive. I would would walk with you and fetch the minibus should you get tired.
I have been known to bypass the view points at Glencoe and Glen Finnan, because I could not bear the thought of getting out of the car and joining busloads of tourists taking the same pictures. I would drive on a little and find you a spot where we would be on our own enjoying the emptiness of the Highlands. There are still places in Scotland we you can travel for days and not meet anyone.
I very much enjoy winter travels in Scotland. It never really gets that cold here and you have the countryside to yourself.
More recently I have designed tours around walking tours. I have participated as a German translater in a biking tour (which did terrify me a little as part of it happened to be on a main road). I have thought on an electric vehicle which could work these days but sadly they are not yet available as 8-seaters. Besides we have just invested and two Vianos, which if they survive this Corona -crisis will have to last for a wee bit.
There is the Mountain Bothy Associating: You can stay for free in a shepard’s cottage often in place you will need to walk to. This also has become quite popular.
Adding bicycles or canoes to a trip could be done and going hiking is also always an option.
I believe that travelling will change if we get over this Covid 19 crisis and I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
What do you think of suistainable travel?
How should this look like?
Would you love to escape into empty spaces?
What about Air B&B?
Do you think city escapes will still be popular?
Will sport events and festivals fully recover? Should they change? Like the Fringe for instance?
What are your thoughts?
Are you dying to get going abroad as soon as it is over?
Do you still love the thought of going on a cruise?
Are you researching your family history? Is there a link to a Scottish clan?
Do you love Outlander?
What about Scottish history?
Would you love to follow the foot steps of Queen Mary of the Scots?
Will you just simply travel from your own sofa? Virtually?