For years I’ve wanted to go to Scotland. But it’s not all castles, kilts and cows. To be fair I did
see a lot of cows, but not too many highlands. The picture you paint when you hear Scotland
is wonderful but it’s not exactly the Scotland of my experience. Honestly it’s not so different
from home. The food over there tends to get a bad reputation but was actually really good,
and the accents take a bit to get used to and the lingo made it harder to understand them
sometimes but overall it felt just like home.
My trip had an interesting start as my flight to Scotland got delayed approx 2 hours.
Eventually I made it to Edinburgh where young farmer staff member Emily picked me up.
The view was exactly what I expected. Beautiful green fields full of sheep and cows
separated by rock walls and hedges unlike the fences I’m used to. We passed so many
towns with cute stone houses before we arrived at Emily’s house in Biggar. We spent the
afternoons taking a walk into town and got ice cream at “Cones and Candies”.
My first hosts were the Hendrie’s in Ayrshire, four brothers and a dairy farm. I met a lot of fun
people my first few days there. I went to the Drummond show, a 21st birthday party, which
apparently are big things over there and watched some tug of war. While staying with the
Hendries I helped out with a few milkings, and some other chores. I met Rachel during calf
chores, which was awesome, because then I joined her and her club of Lower Nithsdale at
the Newmilns show for some fun. The weather was incredibly hot the month I was there, it
only rained a couple times and not for very long. On one particularly warm day after going to
Culzean castle we went down to the river where there was a small waterfall and went
swimming. They also dropped me off in Glasgow for a day where I went to the botanic
gardens, some shops and learned to navigate public transportation.
The rest of my trip I was mostly in Lanark, as my next two hosts were from Carluke. The two
Irish exchangies started their trip while I was staying with the Young’s and were also staying
in Carluke so we were almost always together. The club members were very good at
pitching in to keep us busy. I helped with some sheep shearing, dressed as a sailor for the
gala day parade and went on several tours including dairy, beef, sheep, and chicken farms.
Along with a couple construction sites, butcher shops, garden centres and even attended an
auction. Once I moved in with the Hall sisters we did a few more touristy things, climbing
Tinto hill, seeing the queens bridges, beaches, a distiallary and even getting history lessons
from the locals. One thing I learned by staying with this club is that Lanarkshire really likes
their milk vending machines, and Young farmers really like their sports. I say this because I
was Kohorst into playing netball, got to give tug of war a go, played in a volleyball
tournament and gained a reputation as the exchangie who wrestled at the Highland Games.
My last few days were spent in Edinburgh. All the exchangies met up, went for lunch and
headed to Jonnie Walkers for an incredible tour before we all moved into the air B&B. The
other exchangies were the two Irish guys, but also two girls from Northern Ireland and a guy
from New Zealand. The following day was spent with some YF alumni who took us to the
Kelpies, and the Falkirk wheel. We then had some time to kill at the air B&B one night so we
played cards and of course I taught them how to play Dutch blitz. Our first night in Edinburgh
we met up with YF members in charge of the exchanges and after dinner we went in search
of live music. We ended up at the three sisters instead, watching a “football” game and when
Scotland won, the energy was unmatched.
The rest of the time in Edinburgh was spent at the Highland show. There was honestly so
much to see, through the day there was live music, shows, demonstrations and then a dance
every night. It was a great way to catch up with everyone I had met throughout the month but
I was also able to meet so many new people. The last two days I was there I got to
participate in some ceilidh dancing and we ended the night at the Hoolie listening to some
amazing artists. It was truly the perfect end to an already awesome trip.