Hello!

Hello!

Welcome to Love, from Scotland, the travel blog that shows you where to stay and how to get outside in Scotland. We are K&B - let us inspire you to discover Scotland Read More

Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Privacy Policy

For the love of Scotland [not the ‘gram]

For the love of Scotland [not the ‘gram]

I wanted to take a little pause from travel blogging and add my tuppence to a growing discussion on our relationship with social media, tourism and Scotland. Firstly, go and read Laura’s project exploring the relationship between tourism and social media and Mel’s post on finding your own Scotland. Did they hit a nerve? Yeah, for me too.

Let’s start with the reality. I am a blogger, an Instagrammer (I have two pages, @lovefrmscotland and @_smidge) I have a Facebook page. I travel to somewhere new in Scotland every week. Since the new year, I literally haven’t stopped travelling. It could be said that I am partly the cause of the problem – after all, I post about my travels on social media every day.

To be honest, it all got a bit too much recently and I had to take a step back, take a mental health day and not take part in a promotional social media campaign with my fellow Scotland bloggers –  #scotlandthefave. Instead, I headed to the Cairngorms, one of my favourite places in Scotland for a very long walk. Did I feel guilty for letting them down? Of course.

But at that moment, I realised getting out and actually enjoying Scotland was far more important than sharing it on social media. I’d got so wrapped up in content creation, likes, followers and writing for SEO that I’d completely forgotten why I do it.

We are not alone in this. We spent New Year 2018 in New Zealand – and top of my list was climbing Mount Roy with its stunning views across Wanaka. Now Mount Roy has recently become something of a New Zealand tourism attraction, thanks to a certain Instagram shot you can take from a promontory known as Roy’s Peak. In fact, taking the shot is now so popular that there is often a queue. For most people, the shot is the sole reason for climbing halfway up a mountain. They don’t even reach the summit. What’s the point in that? 

Instead, I climbed to the top of that 5000ft hill. I didn’t even take the photo from Roy’s Peak.

I didn’t take a photo of New Zealand’s famous Moeraki Boulders (I couldn’t see them for people posing on them) nor the over-hyped Wanaka Tree, nor did I stand in a field of lupins staring off to the mountains either – every location across New Zealand had crowds of people with selfie sticks or Instagram husbands doing exactly the same pose. You’ve probably seen it on the Instagram post with 20k likes.

Sadly, you will see this right across Scotland too, from the Fairy Glen to the Fairy Pools – and its not just a Skye problem either. Against the backdrop of stunning beauty is an obsession for people to Instagram themselves into it, or to create highly edited or fake images of our quite frankly, beautiful even without a filter, landscapes – it’s all incredibly depressing. What has happened to us?

Instead, I want you to know how it feels to climb your first Munro. I want to show you how have the time of your life getting drunk on whisky with the locals in a bar on Islay. I want to show you that anyone (even a squishy, unfit, scaredy-cat, 40 something like me) can try paddleboarding for the first time – and you can do it too.

 

I wanted to show you that you can go snorkelling with seals in the Outer Hebrides. That you can go coasteering in Fife. Kayak around a castle on Barra. That you can be awed watching ospreys fly past your tiny remote cabin sitting on the edge a loch and see red squirrels appear at your window…

Somewhere along the way, I lost why i do this. Thankfully, I can change. I can stop doing things for the ‘gram, for likes, to increase my follower count, for ‘professional content creation’ or at my worst, to want to become an influencer.

So instead why not join me in getting out there and experiencing Scotland for yourself? Not for a photo of you doing it, but to actually do it. Yes, you will have to deal with the hoards of Instagrammers, they aren’t going anywhere soon sadly. Yes, it will rain, yes you will probably have a meltdown halfway up your first hill, yes you will fall in a bog, yes the food will occasionally be deep-fried frozen crap.

But it is all part of Scotland, and there is more to experience than you will ever realise. Just remember to do it for the love of getting outside and experiencing Scotland. Surely that is the point of life, after all?

Inspired?

Love, from Scotland x 

8 Comments

  • Melanie Chadd 17/07/2019 at 12:34 pm

    Brilliant post Kate. Thanks for the mention.
    This subject has been stewing inside me for a couple of years after writing a post about not geo-tagging my posts.

  • Dawn Neighbors 17/07/2019 at 12:56 pm

    Love this post! Thank you for putting it to words! We have been following you for a couple of months in planning our trip to Scotland…that will hopefully be a whole lot off experience and enjoyment…with maybe a dash of Insta on the side. . After the trip.

    • Smidge 17/07/2019 at 12:57 pm

      🙂 Ahh insta is still part of your trip (as I said I instagram too) just don’t forget to enjoy every moment of your trip – you are going to love it!

  • nottaholiday 19/07/2019 at 11:10 am

    oh yes. So with you there. To the point where a boiling rage starts up whenever I see…now, what is the collective noun for a group of self-obsessed wannabees…..? Love your posts, thank you.

  • Mike Peddie 19/07/2019 at 9:36 pm

    Totally with you on this. We’ve been doing travel guides and tour planning for Scotland since 2005 and started long before Instagram was a thing. We started our tour planning business because we love Scotland and wanted to show people that the best way to discover the country was by slowing down and listening to the quiet, rather than rushing from one tick on a bucket list to another.

  • Ami Schwabenland 20/07/2019 at 9:14 pm

    I love Scotland – it’s the only place my husband and I vacation. We go to the same place every time which is special to our family and where there are few tourists – to the point that if one of us fell and broke a leg on a walk, we’d have a hard time summoning help (our German mobile phones don’t get great reception where we go). We hike for hours and grumble about “traffic” if we come across 3 other people. It’s still rugged there and more beautiful that I can describe. I blog, but I don’t have many readers and don’t care. I have never used Instagram or any social media other than Facebook, which I don’t even like, but as an expat it keeps me connected to the few people I want to stay connected to.

    Your wishes for us (what you want to show your readers) sound wonderful. I haven’t bagged a munro, but I enjoy reading about you doing it. Horseback riding on beaches, drinking with locals, kayaking, watching ospreys… I enjoy reading about the normal things – what it’s like to live in Scotland! I appreciate your posts!

  • Shauna Reid 31/07/2019 at 11:06 am

    Really loved this post, Kate 🙂

  • Jenny 03/08/2019 at 7:13 am

    Excellent post Kate – we should all be out there just doing it!! Jenny x

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Hello from Scotland!

    Welcome to Love, from Scotland, the travel blog that shows you where to stay and how to get outside in Scotland. We are K&B - let us inspire you to discover Scotland Read more

    Want more Scotland?

    Privacy Policy

    You might like

    Get Outside in Scotland

    ×