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Adventures in Scotland

Why I – a millennial- chose to live in the Highlands

a millenial in the Highlands

On May 8, 2024 By Tammy Reynolds

Guest article written by Tammy Reynolds: why would a Millennial choose to live in the Scottish Highlands?

Perhaps some context might help. I am very much a southerner, grew up in the Cotswolds and spent my college years in London, I like bubble tea and social media. Yes, I am a millennial.

And now I live -very nearly- in the middle of nowhere, Highlands of Scotland.

Why do you ask? Well, let me tell you, both the pros and cons of living in this beautiful part of the world.


  1. Fresher air

I don’t know about you, but I found breathing in the stale, sweat-ridden, thick air of the London underground quite suffocating at times. We get so used to the undesirable smells of the city that we become nose-blind. We tend to ignore much of our surroundings this way, but up here, with the freshest of air all around me, I’m finding myself smelling things again, like the fresh scent of pine trees, the smell of water and fresh bread. Yes, there’s also the undesirable smells of sheep and cow poops, but it only makes you all the more appreciative of the nicer smells.

family walks in the Cairngorms

The peaceful scenery of Loch Mallachie, near Boat of Garten


  1. Peace and Quiet

I know that for some, quiet drives them mad. But up here, spending time in the quiet can actually be rather loud. The birds are tweeting, the wind is blowing, rain is pattering on, amazing what you can hear when you shut up for a little bit. There’s almost a symphonic way the sounds up here come to be, it has helped me gather my thoughts in a natural and non-pressured way, just by sitting on a chair in my back garden. Also, with quiet comes confidence, the wildlife that surrounds me up here brings about little footsteps of squirrels and the flapping of birds nearby. What a way to make yourself feel like a Disney princess.


  1. Sense of Community

People actually say hello and have a conversation with you, cares for who you are as a person. A casual walk in the forest with your pup becomes a full-on chin-wag with another walker, you get to see all of those you tend to see in your routine but also have the chance to meet someone new who is just as friendly as the rest of them. Being here surrounded by those types of people has changed my sense of self. I never have to put on a facade around here as people tend to be open and accepting.


  1. Closer to Nature

I cannot stress enough how important being close to nature is to all of us. We are finding more and more people not just my age, but older and younger, to have bouts of depression and other mental issues that cannot be solved by medicine alone. Doctors are now starting to recognise the importance of nature and are now starting to prescribe wild therapy as a source for healing. And I can vouch, it definitely does help, I cannot stress this enough.


Yellow fungus in spring

Nature bursting back into life during spring hiking.


  1. Better mindset

We’ve come to realise just how much we need friends in this world. But some people will say they don’t really have close friends apart from their partner, or if they do have friends, it’s not as deep of a friendship as they would like. I can truly say that being here, has led us to have the closest friends we’ve ever had, but that because of the effort we go to in order to create a deeper relationship with them, we invite round for dinner, often have coffees and go to the same places where we know they’d be just so we can see them. The fact that there’s not really as many people up here suggests that when you find a friend, keep them! It is a mindset that’s been ingrained in us more so whilst living here, and it is something that we felt we didn’t have to do when in the city because everyone, including ourselves, was way too busy to have the time for any of that. Here, I found that not only do I have enough time, but I also have a desire to keep in touch. What a difference!


  1. Not missing the practicalities at all

We had decided, initially that we were going to move into the city to get all the amenities closer to us, the practicality of it all will obviously just make our lives better. But having lived there, we found that we haven’t really made use of all the practicalities available to us, or when we did, it really wasn’t for the benefit of our health. We were growing lazy and annoyed at the littlest things like the delivery guy being late, or fighting over which place to order from… being up here made us realise how silly all those things were in the larger sense and that not having that luxury (and it is a luxury) makes us think twice about the decisions we make about our health and to use our time more wisely.



  1. Public transport

The busses come not every 3 minutes, not every hour (only on weekends) but every so often, it sometimes misses an hour and comes at the weirdest times when it’s not really convenient. Whilst I was working in different areas and still haven’t passed my driving test, I’ve had to make use of this service and it was one of the most stressful things I’ve had to deal with. The good thing is though, the drivers are very nice. The busses charges you on where you’re getting off, so saying ‘a day pass’ probably won’t work.


  1. Narrow roads and crazy drivers

I started learning to drive in Sheffield where it’s hilly, full of bends and one way systems. I thought that it was hard doing it there, but that changed when I first started driving around the Highlands. My husband calls it exciting, but I call it dangerous.


  1. Potholes

The extremes of weather that we suffer from here in the highlands truly does not help the conditions of the roads we have to drive on. As a result, we always have road-works. On the one hand, at least they’re fixing it, but on the other, road-works.


  1. Allergies

Don’t get me wrong, I love nature. But when I thought I had hay fever allergies playing up in the south of England, the level has been pushed up to an extent that when summer comes and I breathe in the air, I can guarantee that I’d be bug-eyed and sniffling a few minutes later. There are ways to get around this of course, so it’s not too much of a con, but there have been some days when I truly cannot breathe because of the pollen count outside. This is a curse with no cure I’m afraid.


  1. Finding where to live

When my husband and I decided it was time to move back, we had to spend at least 5 months constantly searching for a place to live. It was tough going, and the main way to find somewhere is through word of mouth because it isn’t the type of place to post online. Every property online that you may be able to find are always the ones for sale, and as a millennial, there is no way we can afford to buy a house up in this place. Perhaps one day, but now? Perhaps not.

It was one of the most satisfying things, however, when we finally found somewhere to live because we were making friends in the process and we found that we were already welcomed well before we truly moved in.


But all in all, it’s just a very beautiful place to be in. For once, after having moved in so many different places, I’ve found a place I can make my home.

Fraoch Lodge

Enjoy the open fire and discussions in the lounge


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