No. 2

Destination: Scotland

For eleven glorious days at the end of this summer — August 30th to September 10th to be exact, I will be wandering around the cities and rolling countryside of Scotland. It’s been a decade since I’ve been overseas, and this is the first proper vacation I’ve taken since my trip to Ireland ten years ago.

I need this, and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am. While I had hoped to have a friend hiking the West Highland Way with me, this trip will be a solo trek, and I’m really looking forward to it — meeting new people, seeing new places, falling in love with an incredible country in a thousand little ways.

That said, has anyone been to Scotland? Any recommendations? Places for me to go? Blogs for me to read? Maybe friends to introduce me to via email so I don’t feel so lost when I arrive?

{photograph by flavijus}

About brandi

Brandi is a digital strategist, website developer, and founder of Alchemy+Aim, a company that helps entrepreneurs and business owners elevate their online presence and enhance their digital experience. Her academic background in theatre, philosophy and physics was the perfect foundation for launching her business, where she’s worked with Brené Brown, Laverne Cox, Judy Smith, and other notable thought leaders since 2013. She is an advocate for using technology in ways that humanize, connect and serve people as well as for asking deeper philosophical questions and teaching others to think more broadly about impact when they create, particularly in STEAM fields.

27 thoughts on “Destination: Scotland

  1. wow, that is soo awesome! i’ve never been to scotland before so can’t help you out with recommendations but am so happy to get to go on such an awesome trip! :)

  2. I don’t know much about Scotland, aside from what my dad’s told me from business trips and golfing, but you should take a look at Kate Davies’ blog ( She lives in Scotland and writes wonderfully about it.

  3. How random… Sean and I are doing Dublin, Edinburgh and London at the end of August! Unfortunately though we’re leaving Scotland the morning of the 30th… otherwise I’d totally say lets meet up halfway around the world :)

    We haven’t planned all the details yet, but I’m determined to take a trip to Loch Ness while we’re there, try plenty of whiskey, check out the castle, and drag Sean to a tartan weaving mill.

  4. What an adventure!! I have never been to Scotland but have always wanted to go! I think that maybe one day I’ll take my mom who has always wanted to go and I’ll use your trip recommendations to help me out. :)

    One book series that helped me when we went to London and Paris was by Rick Steve. Check it out if you haven’t already!

  5. Wow Brandi, what an adventure this will be! And solo! I have no doubt you’ll make awesome memories and meet great new friends:) So excited for you!

  6. Brandi! How could you have booked this trip and never told me?! I mean, I know we always talked about going together, but WHAT?! Oh my goodness I am so excited for you! And going solo is the perfect way because Scotland is made for dreamers and wanderers like you and me. If you go to the Highlands, stay at Eskdale house in Inverness. Head to Culloden Moor and be emotional about the death of the Highland culture. Go to Isle of Skye and just be humbled by its beauty. Head over to Fife and feel like every heroine standing on a rocky cliff over the roaring sea. Freak. I need to go back this moment.

  7. Oh my word this is so exciting! I can only imagine the adventures you will have… I have absolutely no advice, no friends, nothing for you. But I cannot wait to about everything!


  8. Oh boy I can’t wait to hear about this!!! It’s so exciting!!! Thanks again for meeting up with me this weekend, that was something I really needed. I’ve been thinking about everything we talked about and am very excited to move forward :) Why’d you choose to take this trek solo???

  9. What! Awesome! I was there a couple of months ago just for a few days and LOVED it. The people are so insanely nice and their accents have to be my favorite. I asked the bellhop at our hotel 15 minutes of useless questions just to hear him talk. “See You Jimmy!” I can’t wait to see you pictures and hear all of your stories. Have a great time!

  10. Go to the Isle of Skye. Just drive around and pull over. Take it all in.

    I felt such a sense of calm and peace when I sat on the edge of a cliff there and just stared out to sea. It was a very centering moment.

  11. Oh Brandi, that sounds like such an amazing vacation! I am so happy you will be going on vacation – 10 years without a proper vacation is not a good thing.

    Can’t wait to hear all your stories and see beautiful pictures. :)

  12. Sounds incredible! I’ve never been so I can’t wait to hear all about it/see it through you! P.S. I’m taking off on a road trip around the U.S. at the end of the week so I’ve been going through your past posts to check out tips and see if we’ll going through the same paths :)

  13. Oh wow, what an adventure this will be for you! I haven’t been to scotland but it’s high up there on my travel wish list. Tiho’s little brother studied there before settling in England. I can’t wait to hear all about your plans!

  14. Hi Brandi my love!

    Did you know that my lovely husband Gavin is Scottish? And that I lived there for 5 years?

    If you’re passing through Edinburgh I have about eleventymillion places for you to check out/eat/drink… But may have other recommendations elsewhere. Mail me your itinerary if you like :-)

  15. So which days will you be in Dubiln? Just let me know. I’ll meet you at the airport!! (ps I owe you an email but I’m avoiding my inbox because it’s entirely overwhelming :/ )

  16. How exciting!!! I can’t wait till I can take a trip like that! I’d love to visit all of the UK and Ireland!
    Can’t wait to see all the places you visit! It’s sure to be an amazing trip!

  17. What an amazing opportunity and trip this is going to be for you, Brandi! You are going to make some great memories. I just read Dancing Branflake’s comment and now I want to go. Can’t wait to read more about this wonderful adventure.

  18. Hi! JEALOUS! What a fantastic time you’re in for, Brandi! Wish I could trek along with you. Scotland is magically beautiful and the people are heartwarming and wonderful. It’s been much too long since I was last there so no real recommendations other than to have a great trip. xo UB

  19. How lucky for you! Scotland is my most favourite country for all the ones I have been to. I loved the scenery, the heather, the gorse. I only stayed in B&B’s as I wanted to experience the culture and get advice of what to see. Had fabulous breakfasts and tasted black sausage and haggis. I drove all around to beautiful castles and ruins. Traipsed up hills for breathtaking views. Shopped in Edinburgh at Jennings and lots of small woolen shops for mohair scarves. Found a lovel silversmith who made silver charms to which I bought a few. Went on an amazing underground tour of the ancient city to which Modern Edinburgh is built. Had a lot of pub lunches and dinners to meet the locals -watched soccer games on the big TV’s and watched a live band or two. The people are friendly – it might have been the beer – but also, incredibly helpful.

  20. oh my!!! this is so awesome. happy for you. no tips from me cause I’ve never been there – dream – but can’t wait to follow up on your beautiful journey overseas.

  21. well, i’m totally biased because Scotland is my home country,
    and i’m also totally biased towards Edinburgh because its my home city….but i’ve travelled a lot around the world, and its made me truly grateful of what an amazing city it is.
    I also lived for a time near Oban in the Highlands, its a completely different feel but equally as exciting…anywhere you go will be fun, just make sure you take your umbrella with you…..

  22. well, i’m totally biased because Scotland is my home country,
    and i’m also totally biased towards Edinburgh because its my home city….but i’ve travelled a lot around the world, and its made me truly grateful of what an amazing city it is.
    I also lived for a time near Oban in the Highlands, its a completely different feel but equally as exciting…anywhere you go will be fun, just make sure you take your umbrella with you…..

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Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

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(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.