Tell me if you’ve heard this one… an American, a South African and 16 Aussies go on a tour of the Scottish Highlands… Yes! That’s exactly what happened and it was amazing. For a full five days myself along with the entire Australian tourist population of Scotland, departed Edinburgh for an epic five day fling with our Scottish guide, Lee.
I would have to say that using the term ‘fling’ for this Haggis adventure is a bit of an understatement because Scotland is like an alluring Scotman with the ability to charm the pants off of you… and that’s exactly what I needed. I’ll explain:
I remember discovering travel the very first time at around the age of eight. It was a pretty big deal for me because it was the first time I actually flew on an airplane. What I didn’t realise is my travel experiences would grow into some sort of epic life-changing action of self-discovery though the countless experiences I have had on my travels.
A few times in my life, I’ve discovered that the routine of every day life sometimes left me in a rut. What I mean by that is, sometimes I was just going though the motions. Now, I’m not saying that being at home and going to work every day isn’t great, because it is! It’s comforting and familiar. It’s a safe spot where we know what to expect because our beds are warm, and even our showers probably don’t need to be duct tape to keep running (Seriously, I’ve stayed in some hostels where I had to MacGyver the taps just like that). So my point is… normal life can sometimes make us get out whack, mentally.
Now for me, I’ve discovered that over the years, my reset button lies within travel. I believe in it. Travel helps me because my kind of travel gets me out of my comfort zone. Sometimes it’s hard but I can guarantee 100% of the time, travel is rewarding. And for me, taking a bus tour to the Scottish Highlands did just that.
I’ve never taken a bus tour longer than a day so this was a challenge for me. Now, you’re probably laughing at me because a bus tour is a pretty safe place. You’re right! But, I’m a girl who finds comfort in going to far flung regions of the world just to wander… this bus tour was different for me, because I actually wasn’t solo. I was in a group! Like woah!
You know what? I ‘Highlanded’ this adventure #LIKEABOSS! When I first decided on the Haggis Adventures bus tour, I’ll be totally honest here… I was a bit weary. I was envisioning five days of bleary eyed grey nomads but, I was pleasantly surprised! This was the real cool part, Monday at 8am, right in front of the Haggis Adventures office, one by one I started to meet all my travel mates. As we all introduced ourselves, it turns out that our tour was pretty much the All-Aussie Haggis adventure with an American and South African thrown into the mix for good measure! Lee, our guide, was kilted to the MAX and we hopped on the bus to explore the Scottish Highlands!
What I discovered is this tour successfully covered three factors: The environment was spectacular, my group was a lot of fun and Lee, the guide, was as knowledgeable as they come. It also helped that he was super down to earth and that he had a sense of humour and didn’t take anything too seriously. Oh, and let’s not forget we were riding around in one heck of a wild and sexy yellow bus!
There was highland cows, whisky and castles! There was dancing, haggis and beer tasting! And, there was legends, monsters and pub trivia to boot! We even had story time, sing-a-longs and the chance to play in the Scottish snow.
The adventure was well suited for me being a first timer but what I also discovered that it would also be good for those between the ages of 20 – 40 if you have an open mind, a sense of humour and a bit of a personality. (It also suited backpackers on a budget and solo female travellers like me.)
Whilst travelling on the bus, the view gave me the chance to actually zone out. Because like I said in the last post, chilling out and being still whilst adventuring is really important. To be fair, we also sang songs whilst crossing a few bridges.
And when we came back to Edinburgh on Friday, I was actually a bit sad. I had just made 19 new besties for life and we were all parting ways.
So what did I learn from this trip? It’s ok to try something different and get out of your comfort zone like taking a bus tour. Also, bus tours are what you make of them so my advice is to make friends, drink beer, pat highland cows, throw snow balls and sing ballads on the bus. Oh, and if you decide to try a bus tour, try Haggis Adventures and ask for Lee. He’s one of a kind and you can’t go wrong!
A girl gone walkabout in the great big world!