A Friendly Birthday!

A Friendly Birthday!

Scotland Travel Blog – 15th April 2021.

There was much planning to be done for a special event over the last two weeks. This, we are used to! We are known for our detailed itineraries of private tours of Scotland, Ireland, England and Wales. We are known for getting it right, for putting in all those important pieces of the jigsaw, big and small, so to make your private tour work like clockwork. We love doing this. We love travel and designing special itineraries for our clients where we know they will love the route, history and cultural highlights of their tour.

We did take a break from tour planning over the last two weeks. (Well, I did, and I had to do it surreptitiously!) The planning I was doing, was organising the many friends and family of Evie to come over to our back garden, over a three-day weekend to celebrate her 50th Birthday! Socially distanced, of course!

For all of you reading this blog, and the many other blogs on our website, you will be pleased to hear that this event ran like clockwork! We even had sunshine, most of the time. Of course we did, it is spring in Scotland, we are in April – it snowed!! Not all the time, but for a wee while on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, it snowed. We were eating birthday cake, in the snow, we were drinking wine, in the snow – it was… not unbelievable, it is Scotland! The snow only lasted five minutes at most, but it came and went, a few times! Thankfully, we had invested in a new fire pit a few weeks ago, and filled with wood burners, kept everyone toasty warm.

In all, we had five mini-parties, and it was really good fun to see Evie get a surprise every time there was a knock on the door. Food was served, drinks were poured, much cake was eaten, songs were sung, and much laughter was had. Oh, how we have all missed such times. How I have missed such times with my friends and family. How, I am sure, anyone reading this blog, has missed such gatherings big or small. On Evie’s birthday weekend we stepped, ironically, back in time! Back to where being with friends and family was a normal event, where the simple enjoyment of being with others delivers what it ought to be – happiness, support, love.

Before I organised the small, socially distanced, birthday gatherings, I never thought of the affect it would have on us. With the way life is now, you think you are just getting on with it, keeping it together, coping. But, with a gathering of the people who are special to you, it brings a whole lot of emotion. It is the getting together with people that makes life so enriching. And just like on a private tour, the spontaneous events are what make a get together so special. You never forget your friends. Your true friends are always there, no matter how long we have gone without a meet up. We have all got ‘out of the habit’ of spontaneity over the last year, but over one weekend, all the damage done to friendly meet ups was wiped away in one full swoop. Nothing will defeat us if we have each other.

Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The beauty in the landscape is breath-taking, and it is a constant changing beauty due to weather patterns moving across the country. Our Castles, heritage and culture are so unique that we are recognisable the world over. But what our weekend of small birthday gatherings showed us, is that it is the people of Scotland who are the real asset. You might be surprised to read that one of the main reasons for returning tourists, is the friendly nature of the Scottish people. I see this every day when I am out on my tours, whether it is in a pub in the Scottish Highlands chatting with a local, or the people working in the tourism industry, who are always happy to chat or give advice on the best way to go! Do we travel to see things or meet people? Well, both actually, and when your amazing sightseeing experience is coupled with a friendly experience, then you are in trip-of-a-lifetime territory.

Being with Evie’s friends and family (including my clan too), was a welcome break from the lives we have all become accustomed to. Even for the person who enjoys their own company, it should be balanced with being around like-minded people. We all have our friendship groups and what joy it is to dip into them for laughs, general chat and opinions.

The birthday gatherings got me thinking about the people I have met from across the world, on my tours of Scotland. How lucky I am to have met and shared time with some of the most amazing people. I have the privilege of touring Scotland with the best tourists. My daily routine is made up of being in the outdoors of the most beautiful country in the world. I am so lucky right? Well, yes, but I am even luckier to have shared this with you. When I think of the Scottish Highlands, I see the landscape, but I also see the people who I have been there with, and this is what makes it more special. When you are on a private tour of Scotland, the interaction with your guests is one of the best experiences you can have in travel. I have so many friends across the world now, and I know if I turn up in a city, I can meet you and we will pick up from when we said goodbye in Scotland. You all have a friend here too, and we hope to see you again soon.

We are all slowly moving forward to a new kind of normal, and after dipping our toe in the water over the weekend with everyone, it is going to be amazing to do the things we took for granted before.

We are also looking forward to meeting new people on our tours, people who we may have only chatted with over an email, or a phone call, but after our time in Scotland together, will be our friends.

Happy Birthday Evie, and Happy Birthday to everyone who we have not had the pleasure to be with over the last year. We will see you soon…x