Original image via UKresistance.
How many of you out there have been introduced to a new part of the world via video game, movie, book, comic book, etc., and then realized that you just had to visit it for yourself? I may have some eccentric thoughts, but I can't possibly be the only one who has felt this. Now, it would be easy to answer this with a simple, "But Pallet Town isn't real!" and yes, you would be correct, but I'm talking about real places in the real world, not amazing not-yet-real places in the potential world that are incredibly awesome that we all want to visit and if anyone tells you differently then they are liars for sure. Animal Crossing, anyone? Talking animals and breaking new ground in the archeological world every day? Please.
But back to my original thought.
Places that do exist that we are capable of visiting. What's yours? Mine is Scotland, and this is based entirely off of the incredible book series Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Currently there are seven novels in the series, with an eighth in the works and a prequel planned. Gabaldon's scope, attention to detail, and narrative style are staggering. If you are a fan of time traveling historical fiction action adventure romance intensely detailed lots of pages tiny print, then this is the book series for you. Full disclaimer: the books contain sex. Apparently I didn't explain this adequately enough on previous occasions where I recommended the series.
I think at this point I have covered all the bases. Original image found here.
Moving right along! The majority of the series is set in 18th century Scotland, primarily the Highlands. Gabaldon describes locations with such detail and accuracy that citizens of Scotland would write to her asking when she had been in the area. At the time of her first book she had never actually been to Scotland, she was just excellent at researching. That may have something to do with her Science Ph.D. I hear that sort of thing requires a great amount of research and research skills. Now she travels to Scotland all the time.
The point is, she has made me desperate to visit Scotland. I was going to go after being in Ireland summer of 2010, but then some things happened and I didn't. It is very difficult to not dwell on this, so when I start to feel upset I just drink more whisky and pretend I'm in the Highlands with some kilted men.
(sadly) Not pictured: bearded men in kilts. Image via Whisky-Pages.com
I created a route that had me visiting Inverness, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. Inverness and Edinburgh play huge roles in the Outlander universe, but off the top of my head I can't recall if Glasgow is in there. Either way, I have big plans to visit a whisky factory, go to the castle in Edinburgh, find that wily Loch Ness monster, go on night time dungeon tours, see the site of the battle at Culloden, wander the cobblestone streets and pretend that I'm a lady of high class, and drink so much whisky that the locals think I belong with them.
Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. Image via Beautifulplacestovisit.com
I want to frolic in the heather of the Highlands! I want to see those craggy, jutting rocks. I want to crest the peaks of rolling hills and reach the bottom of valleys. Within me there is an insane passion to see a new part of the world that wouldn't have existed with such heat and intensity if it weren't for Gabaldon's amazing literature.
Yes? Yes. Yes yes yes. Beautiful image found here.
Where do you want to go?