Neil Robertson has always pursued a life less ordinary. Straight out of university, he set off as a full-time international travel blogger, exploring lands as far flung as China, New Zealand and Brazil – and every continent in between, actually. Currently based out of Scotland, Neil espouses the obvious beauties and lesser known gems of his native country on his blog, Travels With A Kilt. Armed with an impressive knowledge of Scottish culture and history, with his camera and drone always close to hand, Neil’s musings are eloquent, insightful and inspiring – his passion for Scottish landscapes, culture and (usually) people cannae be denied. It’s a passion that feeds his writing and propels him to the furthest, wildest fringes of this diverse country.
I have an adventurous spirit... I don’t say no to very much off-hand; I’ll give anything a go. This allows me to capitalise on everything I love about Scotland [in his blog]: being outdoors, taking advantage of the landscapes – particularly the mountains and Highlands – and mingling a bit of history in there as well.
...but the suitcase life wasn’t for me I was an international blogger for a while but in the past few years it’s become obvious that being just a generic travel blogger wasn’t really doing it for me. Being an expert on Scotland anyway, being Scottish, it was logical to bring it back to being an expert on one country. So with that I’ve tried to give the whole industry a nudge because Scots are very cautious when it comes to marketing investments; it’s quite traditional here. It was a good challenge for me.
I’m not supposed to have a favourite place in Scotland. But I do love the Isle of Harris. It encapsulates a lot of what I love in terms of beautiful landscapes, with gorgeous beaches but also mountains that are almost empty. Some of the west coast stretches of the Highlands can get quite busy – they’re very well discovered. Getting to Harris, you can kind of get away from a lot of that. I mean, Skye is gorgeous but trying to find a lonely spot is very, very difficult.
I don’t like to do anything conventionally. I don’t tend to promote places that don’t need promoting, for the most part. I try to find areas that are less well-known or hikes that are only known to hikers – that kind of thing. You could stop at a really famous spot and get your stereotypical picture of Glen Coe, but if you actually walk 20 minutes into the glen, you start to find the real magic of it. I’d always push for something different.
I used to be the easiest guy to pack for I’d have two things in a bag and it’d last me a week! Now I’ve got all these bags, good boots and good waterproof gear – because it rains a lot here – a good rucksack, and my drone accompany me on most trips now, too; it’s a Phantom 4 Pro. I have my phone because I’m always connected to Twitter and Instagram; Xtorm have an iPhone cover with an in-built charger, which is really useful when you’re up a mountain and can’t get access to power.
Adventure is always possible If you’ve got a 9-5 job (something I’ve veered away from my entire life; I refuse to be restricted by something like that) then it’s a case of conserving your energy. Leave on a Friday night and be prepared to come back late on Sunday night. Gather your holiday allowance and spend it doing things that you love, don’t just fritter them away on nothing. It is difficult with a 9-5 lifestyle, though, and I’m not able to do it.
I’ve never been to Cuba. It looks like a step back in time, like nothing much has changed in a long time and the political situation is pretty complex – I think it would all be fascinating. It wouldn’t be too touristy, I don’t think, and you could quite easily get off the beaten track. So there’s some intrigue there. I’d love to go back to Japan, too; I did go for about 10 days a few years ago but it wasn’t very outdoorsy, I’d love to do some of the adventure stuff out there.
Visit Neil’s blog, Travels With A Kilt, and be sure to check out his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles, too.
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