Scotland is the place where … I chose to live. Took me a while, but I got there eventually!
It’s the typical story really, a bit like when you fall in love. Usually you meet your first love close to you, at a young age; sometimes you’ve even known her forever. For me, her name was France and she was reassuring and familiar - although a bit grumpy at times. Lovely but too close, too comfortable. Then you kind feel you need to move on, and here comes the second love of your life – suddenly it’s a better relationship; you know yourself better, you mature as you get a bit older. Her name was Canada and boy did she teach me a lot about myself. Oh, Canada… I feel like I used you and left when I became a proper grown up… She’ll always be the one I’ll be thinking of with a smile on my face. But a smile is not enough.
Then you get cocky and start using Tinder… It’s fun, it’s short term, it’s quick, it’s sometimes very exotic , non-committing and exciting - but not always fulfilling. But hey, you gave it a try. Why not?
And then, only then, you meet the one; the right one, the last one. Her name is Scotland and I love her to bits. She’s the best of both worlds; she’s beautiful beyond belief and most importantly, we share the same core values. And guys, this is the best feeling in the world. This sense of solidarity, this ideal of togetherness. She makes me feel I am where I am supposed to be.
Also, she’s soooooo much fun!! She taught me how great it is to talk to strangers – and enjoy it! - how fantastic it can be to really laugh out loud silly, to not be scared of the unknown…
She’s not perfect you know, but man she tries hard. Scotland is simple and obvious. She’s just pure dead brilliant.
I understood Scotland is the place where I want to spend the rest of my life the day some of my Scottish friends gently convinced me to wear a kilt for a wedding. I thought I would be a fraud, I thought I shouldn’t steal other people’s culture. I thought this wasn’t for me. “French people don’t wear kilts”, my judgmental little old brain told me immediately. But then I understood you can’t steal something people want to share. And then boom, I knew it. Simple, obvious.
Scotland is the place I chose to love.
But really, it wasn’t a choice… Ask anyone who experienced love at first sight and you’ll understand how sometimes you don’t even have to try, it’s just right there in front of you; ready.
I love Scotland for what it is. And certain days, when proudly I wear a kilt, feeling the fresh Scottish breeze between my hairy French legs, I try - very hard - to honor my second country by repeating this famous saying properly:
Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye.
Scotland definitely didn't.
Sounds absolutely ridiculous with a French accent by the way... But I am working on it. Love works both ways, right?