Scotland, Shafted Again

Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck

It was almost two years ago to the day that we last arrived in Scotland. That time, the sole purpose of our trip was full-on stalking of our favourite band. It was a bonus that they performed in front of the historic Edinburgh Castle and that we had a few hours to explore other parts of the city, but really, we could have been anywhere, we were just there for the stalkin’.

We came, I cried over Arcade Fire, and then we left.

Arcade Fire

What we did see of the city, we enjoyed thoroughly, and knew then that Scotland was somewhere we wanted to return to with more time. And so our plan after Greenland and Iceland was to do just that: spend more than a month in various parts of the country as house-sitters and explorers. We fully expected to come away armed with stories of whisky tours and leisurely walks throughout the Highlands, maybe even report on sightings of the Loch Ness (okay, we realize we might have been shooting high with that one).

But instead, we again had only tiny glimpses, and spread the blame for such inadequate discovery on several sources: the terrible public transportation network (3 hours on the bus for 30 kilometers?), our continuous bad luck with Mother Nature, and the weight of work which caused us to buckle and spend countless hours huddled behind laptops.

When the sun was shining and we had moments to spare, we did what we could…

Highland Coo

Can’t get enough of these Highland Cows. They look like muppets!

Scotland's Coast

Gorgeous St. Andrews. We could have spent a lot of time in this city.

Scotland Highlands Haggis

No trip to Scotland would be complete without a taste of haggis, famous in the Highlands. Well, for Pete anyways, Dalene wouldn’t touch it.

We do have some more to share in the coming weeks, but ultimately feel like we’ve failed Scotland again. I’m not sure if there is such a thing as “traveler’s guilt”, but I think we’ve got it.

19 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • It took us a few years to figure it out, but to travel somewhere and do try and do work at the same time simply doesn’t allow us to enjoy the travel part of the experience. So now, we’re working for part of the year, and then traveling for the other part. Much better balance of work and life. recently posted..We don’t seem to have any luck with cameras!

    • Caro
      October 3 2013

      That’s wonderful! I’m still struggling trying to find a way to travel as I’m a freelancer in the TV world so it frees me quite a few months a year to travel whereas my partner (Matt) has a strict 9-5 job with barely any vacation time. How to balance?!

    • October 4 2013

      This is something that has only *really* become a big struggle for us recently. I mean, we’ve always been working, but we’ve got some big projects now (yay!) that are throwing us off. I like the balance you guys have struck, and we might need to have a similar discussion ourselves.

  • October 3 2013

    My total worldly experience of Scotland is a paltry 4 nights, but agree with you about St Andrews – fabulous place!

  • October 4 2013

    That first picture! What an incredible venue, ahhhh! I saw Arcade Fire about 6 years ago and it was magical. Thanks for sharing!

    Happy travels 🙂
    Lauren Meshkin recently posted..Wanderlust Wednesday: An Italian escape in Southern California

    • October 4 2013

      That was definitely the best concert we’ve ever been to. Can’t beat the venue!

  • Sam
    October 3 2013

    Thanks for naming a feeling I know all too well. I think traveller’s guilt is definitely a thing! I love those highland cows too; how do they see through all that fringe/those bangs?!

    • October 4 2013

      Haha, our thoughts exactly. They all look like such stoners! 🙂

  • October 4 2013

    There’s always a next time 🙂 The images look superb BTW especially of the muppet 🙂

  • October 6 2013

    Wonderful photos. Next time check out the west coast of Scotland, far more dramatic (think purple clad hills and castles on misty lochs) than the east.

    Being from one of the western islands I’m a bit biased though 🙂
    Jack recently posted..Sunday Shopping at Issigeac Market in the Dordogne

    • October 8 2013

      Yep, we made it to the west too. One story yet to come from there. 🙂

  • Renuka
    October 6 2013

    Scotland is my dream destination – maybe because of its castles and surreal hills… Looking forward to more!

  • October 7 2013

    I loved Scotland, especially Fort William! I’d go back in a heart beat! Wish I could work there 🙁

    • October 8 2013

      Fort William was pretty awesome, I could see why you’d want to live and work there!

  • October 13 2013

    Whenever I have a less than ideal travel experience, I use it as an excuse to return. =D

    Hope you make it back sometime to experience it the way you’d like.

  • October 13 2013

    I am so sorry to hear about your travel frustrations though certainly understand them well. No doubt all of those who are lucky enough to travel regularly experience trips that go completely awry due to work and / or unfortunate weather – or in your case, both. I am impressed by your ability to take full advantage of every spare moment and love the images you captured while there! Who doesn’t love a Highland cow?!

  • October 14 2013

    Haggis – I love it!!

    Strange because I also feel like I have failed Scotland,. My nana was from there and spent a lot of time as a child in Edinburgh but as soon as I hit 16, I turned my back on the country
    Natalie recently posted..My Comical Turkish Divorce and the Life Lessons Learned

  • Jackie
    October 22 2013

    You need balance or it won’t be fun anymore. Could you try & schedule time in one place for say 4 weeks…2 devoted to work, then put it away & sightsee for 2. We own our own business & it’s easy to work all the time, hubby found out the hard way with a brush with cancer. You have to make time to enjoy too. Life is just too damn short.

  • October 23 2013

    Just spent 2 weeks in Scotland and love it here! You got an amazing shot of the cow! We saw a few up close but not that close! Oh and the haggis – I loved it!
    Vicky from acoupletravelers recently posted..Guide to 3 Days in Vienna

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