In the first of our My Scotland series, Scottish travel blogger Susanne Arbuckle of Adventures Around Scotland tells us about her relationship with Scotland. Read on to find out how she feels about Scottish people, what a Scottish adventure involves and what she misses most when she's away (hint, it's fizzy).
My favourite place in Scotland is...
I always find this question impossible to answer as I have visited so many magical and beautiful places in Scotland that it is hard to choose just one.
However, I love being by the water so coastal places always appeal to me and that is why I have ended up choosing to move from the city to live on an island. Put me anywhere in Scotland with a view of the sea (preferably next to one of its stunning deserted beaches) and I'll be very happy.
"Put me anywhere in Scotland with a view of the sea and I'll be very happy."
Scottish people are...
Friendly and helpful. I often travel solo around Scotland and I never worry about being lonely as I've found my fellow Scots to be especially warm and helpful to travellers on their own. This has always been my experience living here, from chatting at bus stops to sharing life stories in the pub; this is a country where strangers are generally treated as old friends.
Whenever I travel outside of Scotland, I've always been welcomed by locals, sometimes in the most random of places just because I'm Scottish. Scots have a well-deserved reputation around the world for being friendly and it always makes me proud that other people see us that way.
A Scottish adventure involves...
For me a Scottish adventure means getting off the typical tourist trail and travelling without any fixed plans. I’ve found the best way to do this is in a campervan, following the road wherever it takes me.
Life doesn’t get much better in my book than parking up at a spot with an incredible view, sliding open the van door and sticking on the kettle knowing that I can move on whenever I’m ready or stay the night if I really can’t bear to leave. I’ve been on a couple of memorable campervan road-trips exploring different parts of Scotland and would love to go on more van adventures in the future.
"Life doesn’t get much better in my book than parking up at a spot with an incredible view, sliding open the van door and sticking on the kettle knowing that I can move on whenever I’m ready."
Scotland gets under my skin because…
Of its beauty, creativity, history, diversity, humour, determination, culture and spirit, all wrapped up in a neat wee package, there really is nowhere quite like it.
When I'm away from Scotland I miss...
Irn-Bru and my family, in that order!
"I love being by the water so coastal places always appeal to me."
Something that you didn't know about living in Scotland is…
Scotland’s culture is not all kilts and bagpipes, it is actually a very multi-cultural country made up of many different ethnic groups and religions. In recent history Scotland has attracted large waves of Irish, Italian, Asian and Eastern European settlers. It also has a long history of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers, meaning that the population and culture is more diverse than some people think.
This melting pot of backgrounds has shaped Scotland’s identity in the 21st Century and resulted in some unique cultural fusions such as haggis pakora and Irn-Bru flavoured Italian ice-cream.
Susanne Arbuckle is a Scottish travel blogger and writer who is passionate about exploring Scotland's lesser known gems and inspiring others to do the same. She loves nothing more than getting off the beaten path and seeking out original adventures in her own backyard.
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