There are a lot of places in this world that I love, but none of them quite beat my adopted home of Scotland.

Although I left for what would turn out to basically be for good a few weeks ago (thanks, pandemic, for canceling the rest of my semester and college life), I think I’ll always be a little bit a lot in love with this place.

Over the 3 1/2 (of what was supposed to be 4) years I spent living in Scotland, I explored so much (though not as much as I wish I had). And I want to share some of those adventures with you while we’re all cooped up in the hope that it will inspire you to start traveling again as soon as we can.

And we’ll start with the place that by far features Scotland’s most dramatic and romantic landscapes: the Highlands.

Glen Etive

From the glens…

To the lochs…

The rolling green (or sometimes snow-covered) hills…

And the castles…

There’s just something about the Highlands that always leaves you breathless (yes, half the time it’s the wind, but just LOOK at it).

Then there’s the sunsets…

The Harry Potter Train…

And the frolicking deer.

And of course, you can’t forget about the Highland Cows…

These cute-but-majestic beasts were on my bucket list for the longest time, and getting to see them for the first time was like an out-of-body experience.

Thankfully, I got to tick that one off a few more times during my time in Scotland, and it was just as good every single time.

In Aviemore, you can even go on a highland cow safari. Yes, it’s as fun as it sounds.

They also love grass so much they might just hit you in the head with their horns to try to get to it ????

Speaking of cute animals, you can also try your hand at hand-feeding reindeer on a visit to the Cairngorms Reindeer Centre.

Get to the centre early enough and you can join the herders on a short hike up to the free-ranging herd–the only one in Scotland.

They quickly gather ’round the second they see the people they know have food and their soft muzzles warm your hands as you hold them out for them to eat from.

Even in the freezing winter, it’s a trip worth making.

Especially when the guides tell you their names–Camembert and Morven were two of my favorites.

Of course, life in the Highlands isn’t all sunshine and fuzzy animals. Scotland is known for its rain, and you can often find yourself in a bit of it if you’re not careful.

The mist the rain leaves behind, though, is romantic in an eerie sort of way, and it’s perhaps my favorite type of weather to photograph in.

An October visit to the Isle of Skye was particularly misty in the best sort of way.

And the green when the sun came out was so much brighter than you ever thought was possible…

I looked up poetry about the Scottish Highlands thinking that I would intersperse a few phrases throughout this post. Instead, I was met with this Robert Burns poem which hit so close to home I was crying before it was done.

So with that being said, I figured it would be the perfect thing to end on…

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,
The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go.

Farewell to the mountains high covered with snow;
Farewell to the straths and green valleys below;
Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods;
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.

My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go.”

Robert Burns

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Dreaming of traveling to Scotland? These 30+ pictures of the Scottish Highlands will have you buying a plane ticket the second you can. Travel to the Isle of Skye, Glen Coe, Loch Ness, Aviemore, and more through this Scotland travel photography. You might even get to see a few hairy coos! #scotland


Addie Gray is a recent college grad and a passionate solo female traveler. Having traveled to more than 20 countries, she now shares her knowledge on budget travel, solo female travel, and travel photography.

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