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📷 An Eye for Life: My Week Online 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 #4

Thanks for joining me for Issue 4 of my little newsletter. It will be, just as my work week was, all about Scotland! You might already know I more than kind of like it 😉

Deep Scottish Love
Can you really LOVE a place? I think you can. I think it can happen similarly to how people often characterize romantic love, at first sight. And not in the literal sense. But with the idea that once a place is known, you look back and realize you can’t pinpoint the exact moment it happened or the key that opened the lock, that made you fall in love. You just know, you’ve always been.
That is Scotland for me.
I don’t think it’s perfect or without fault. [Spoiler alert: no place is.] I also think it might not be for everyone. But I do, nonetheless, truly love it.
It started back in 2012 during my first ever visit for Hogmanay. I must have made an easy mark. Because if you read the post I wrote called Magical, Mysterious Scotland you wouldn’t be wrong to think I’d lost my head a little. It’s flowery even for me, who usually has no problem waxing poetic.
My theory is this: Scotland actually IS the home of magic, if any exists in our world. It makes its home in the glens, on the mountains [a munro if it’s smaller and a ben if it’s above 4000 feet] and in the bonnie isles of the North Sea where tartan and wool keep the cold at bay and where ‘aye’ can have more meanings than there are types of Whisky. Scotland casts a spell on those who cross into its borders and holds them sway inside a place where nothing seems impossible and where every breath seems somehow sweet. The [people I met here] even have a term for what I’m trying to explain: DSL. Otherwise known as, Deep Scottish Love.
a photo I took in Scotland, between Glen Coe & Glen Etive
a photo I took in Scotland, between Glen Coe & Glen Etive
So maybe that explains it? I was bewitched! 😉 😂
Oh, if only it were that easy to decipher why I love Scotland. Alas, I’m not sure it is. Everything I try to write now years after that first visit comes across almost cartoonish and silly to my ears, when I read it back. Scotland is the one place that I have genuine trouble writing about. As if I love it so very much that I’m afraid to fail when I try and do it justice.
While I can’t seem to manage to write long form on the why, I do often talk about Scotland and I’ve thankful to have become known as someone always willing to help others love it too. I’m also so grateful to have been invited to be part of the team that runs Scotland Hour. Those who participate in our chat form a community that is [and has been particularly during the pandemic] deeply supportive of the local and small businesses that make the country’s tourism industry so compelling. A community that’s captivated and even inspired people the world over who, often like me, have no ancestry to claim or what may seem like a real reason for their love other than… it’s just, there.
Do you have a place like this? That you’ve visited and just love, even if you can’t completely explain why? I’d love to hear about it!
And if you are Scottish or love Scotland too but don’t yet know about #ScotlandHour - please check out the recap from this month’s chat, which just took place on Wednesday, or visit our website.
My Visit to the Isle of Arran
🟣 Kirsten 😷 she/her
A6. Keeping it simple with just one of my favorite photos this time, from Torchlight Procession in Edinburgh during Hogmanay.

I want to visit @PromoteShetland for Up Helly Aa fire festivals one of these years #VisitScotland #ScotlandHour
Did You Know:
that Scotland’s flag 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 is believed to be the oldest in Europe? Or that Scotland has a connection to one of my other favorite places, France? 🇫🇷 The Auld or Vieille Alliance has been called “the oldest in the world.” Or that the national animal is a Unicorn? It really is!
the Saltire flying over Edinburgh
the Saltire flying over Edinburgh
Here’s Scotland looking a lot more like the Caribbean than you’d think it has a right to. It’s actually the Outer Hebrides!
photo by Together Travel Co.
photo by Together Travel Co.
Here’s a guide I discovered this week that makes me want to spend more time in Aberdeen, and I’m keen to visit Dundee as well.
56 Things to do in Aberdeen, Scotland
If you visit, it will be handy for you to know how to say ‘cheers’ in Scotland, which is Slàinte mhath, so here’s a guide for that.
a wee dram at The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh
a wee dram at The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh
And I thought this Highland dancing moment with Gurdeep was delightful. If you don’t follow his videos yet, I hope you will:
Gurdeep Pandher of the Yukon
Happy Dance Day!
Kira LeBlanc danced Scottish Highland and her uncle Gurdeep Pandher danced Punjabi Bhangra in the Yukon wilderness for building cross-cultural bridges and for joy, hope and positivity on International Dance Day!
I'll leave you with "a few" Scotland links
And a great piece of equality news from this week: an estimated 55,000 refugees will now be able to vote in the upcoming election for MSPs!
This is where I pin all things Scotland. This is where I organize the Scottish accounts I follow. And this is a playlist of Scotland travel videos I’m slowly building. Who or what am I missing that I should add?
Thanks for reading! I hope to see you back here next Friday for the fifth edition of An Eye for Life: My Week Online. 💛 ✨
To let me know you really enjoyed this, or anything else I create, you can order a print, “buy me a coffee” or send me a note. I don’t currently put anything I publish behind a paywall!
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Kirsten @kirstenalana

A periodic newsletter that helps you discover the work of creatives around the globe and ways you can help people + planet. Also includes notable online moments, photos, and an original short essay by Kirsten Alana.

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