They always say home is where the heart is, and whatever your background or birthplace, Scotland has absconded with the hearts of many. With this in mind, no memory — despite how glorious — can replace the act of physically being and breathing in Scotland. Here are but 12 things you yearn for when you move away from bonnie Caledonia.
There’s no people quite like the Scots. An funny bunch, nothing says ‘welcome home’ more than setting foot on Scottish soil and chatting away with anyone and everyone, from the shop worker to the person next to you in the queue. A land of endless innovation and incredible thinkers, Scotland has long been a hotbed of genius, thanks to its incredible people.
Good tap water should not be taken for granted. Crystal clear and as refreshing as the glens it comes from, Scotland is graced with pristine tap water that never fails to quench thirst. Many Scots can’t help but long for that icy cold taste while away from home, so lap it up when you get the chance.
Scotland may as well be renamed Banterland, as it seems that every Jo Bloggs is a deftly skilled stand-up comedian! The banter aspect shared between all Scots is thanks to the inimitable sense of humour; which can get lost in translation amidst other cultures, leaving an expat or travelling Scot pining for some effortless laughs.
Ah yes, the Brits know how to holiday and the same certainly applies to the Scots. With more bank holidays than there are banks, the Scottish National holidays are a true luxury sorely missed by Scots abroad.
The rest of the world has New Year’s Eve but the Scots have Hogmanay. At some point in history, they must have thought, ah to hell with your average holiday — let’s usher in new beginnings with a bucket-load of whisky, ceilidhs, parties a plenty, enough fireworks for every house and why not end the night by singing a rowdy rendition of Auld Lang Syne! Not to mention, the first-footing fun of finding the most obscure item in the kitchen cupboard to bestow upon a loved one. Then again, coal makes a fine gift too for nostalgia’s sake! But seriously, Scotland takes the crown for the world’s best NYE shindigs.
Yes we do love a good blether about the weather. You loathe it when you’re there and after a while of being away, you start to miss the routine of experiencing all four seasons in a day — especially those dreamy snowy days and unexpected summer sun moments. Typical! Perhaps the harsh winter elements and erratic weather patterns play some role in the resilience of the Scots and their ‘get on with it’ mentality. Did you know that the Scots have 421 words for snow?
There’s no replacing the Bru. Made in Scotland from girders, this iconic drink was first produced in Falkirk in 1901. Obnoxiously orange and seriously sweet, Irn-Bru will forever hold a place in the hearts of Scots. One sip and Scotland’s other national drink will successfully comfort all homesick woes. And yes, ‘Irn-Bru gets you through’, so Scots abroad will pay good money for a taste of this while away from home. Phenomenal.
From towering snow-capped Munros to mystical lochs, Scotland is a sight for sore eyes, with its scenery synonymous with Scottish national identity. No length of time could ever cause you to become accustomed to it — it’s that awe-inspiring. While Culture Tripping elsewhere, the act of yearning for a lush Scottish vista (at least once a day) is inevitable.
Scotland’s Natural Larder
Although devilishly delish, Scotland’s food isn’t limited to deep-fried pizzas, battered Mars Bars and haggis. Rather, Scotland boasts a natural larder brimming with fresh wholesome produce spanning the whole foodie gamut, from gorgeous organic greens to mouthwatering meats, fruits of the ocean and so much more. Every meal is a culinary expedition overflowing with authentic flavours.
The Scottish Chippy Shops
Speaking of food, words can’t express the passion Scots feel for their chippies. Fresh, flaky fish straight from the Scottish seas encased in a dreamy flawless batter and accompanied with chunky fluffy chips carved from potatoes sourced from local farmers. The pièce de résistance, of course, is the salt and sauce. Now, that’s fast food!
The Fresh Air
Whether a blustery sea breeze or the lush post-rain aroma permeating across the Scottish landscapes, the air in Scotland is second to none. Even on the coldest days, there’s something about the Scottish air that replenishes the senses and invigorates the mind one breath at a time.
The ultimate Scottish shindig, ceilidhs are like medicine to the soul. That sweet sound of the music, the playful air blanketing the masses, the twirling and burling about, the ocean of kilts and tartan accents, the food, the people, the laughter, the heritage, the joyous expressions when the Orcadian Strip The Willow is in full swing — there is no better party.