Ramble (v):
(1) Walk for pleasure in the countryside.
(2) Talk or write at length in a confused or inconsequential way.

– Oxford English Dictionary

Growing up, I never appreciated the country I grew up in. It’s just Scotland, I thought. It wasn’t interesting, it wasn’t exciting – and worst of all, it wasn’t cool.

I travelled the world to try to find somewhere that was all those things and more. I saw sights that I couldn’t have imagined, tried foods I couldn’t pronounce, and met people with completely different outlooks.

A lot of them knew about Scotland – many of them better than I did. I’d hear excited recollections of their trips to places that I vaguely knew of, but even more I didn’t. So I decided that I really ought to see what all the fuss was about.

Gone was the dusty and parochial Scotland that I thought I grew up in. What replaced it was a dynamic and beautiful country, with a rich tapestry of stories woven together to capture something indescribably unique. The “tartan shortbread tin” picture that had occupied my mind since childhood was exchanged for a history with more twists and turns than any work of fiction.

I still haven’t seen half of the places I’d like to. Whenever I think I’m doing well, another idea springs to mind and makes my list even longer. Perhaps in time I’ll have seen them all. Then I can take off my boots, put my feet up, and call it a day. But I wouldn’t count on it.