The best of 2015: the Scottish Highlands and Hebrides

Destination: Scotland

“It’s the most… wonderful time… of the year”. Andy Williams is warbling as I consume my third consecutive Baileys, observing the sea of badly wrapped presents and unwritten Christmas cards that surrounds me. The lights on the tree are flickering (the batteries are dying) and I’m frantically working my way through piles of washing in preparation for a week of festive travels.

But Andy’s right. It is the most wonderful time of the year. I bloody love Christmas and its endless stream of fizz-fuelled catch-ups with my nearest and dearest. I love tacky Christmas jumpers, which seem to get uglier and itchier every year. I love that it’s acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast and cheese by the kilo. And I love that moment on the journey home, our present-crammed car at a standstill on the M62, when Chris Rea bursts through the car speakers. Top to toe in tailbacks suddenly aren’t so bad…

I love pretty much everything about Christmas, but one of my favourite things is the opportunity it gives me to reminisce. As the curtains close on another year, I retreat into nostalgia; assigning every memory a superlative, ranking every achievement against the others. And while every year has its ups and downs, 2015 was definitely a good year. I bought a house, got engaged, had my writing featured in an actual published book, and graduated with distinction from an MA in Creative Writing. 2015? Nailed it.

Major life achievements side, 2015 has also been an amazing year for travel. In between completing my MA and endless DIY-ing, we’ve managed to squeeze in some pretty spectacular holidays and mini breaks. I’ve already written about our three-week Western Australia adventure, but one of my favourite travel experiences of the year was a lot closer to home. Continue reading