Travels with a Kilt is Going on Video
After 6 years of blogging, travelling, tweeting and Instagramming I’m finally accepting the call of video and turning my eye increasingly towards YouTube and vlogging. As a writer, in my heart of hearts, it clashes more than a wee bit with my instincts. A big believer in quality content that is researched, relevant, entertaining and, hopefully, educational, the thought of joining the world’s legions of vloggers and recording video clips of myself having a pointless carry on doesn’t exactly float the boat. Hopefully, it’ll be obvious that I’m looking to steer clear of most of that nonsense and that, fundamentally, the videos that I work on are just as Scotland-focussed as ever. I’m going to bust a gut to keep the quality high, refrain completely from talking about what I had for breakfast and present on video as a new way to make Scotland more accessible and increasingly relatable. I’m hoping you’ll join me.
How’s it going to work?
I’ll be uniting with my long-term partners within the Scotlanders for this new project, starting with our new YouTube video channel which you can subscribe to here. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I’m a big fan of collaboration and – while I like my lonely hikes and solitary, simmering loch-side glares – I enjoy this blogging business much more when teaming up with folk that share my passion and drive. The Scotlanders remain a collection of such types that each offer unique perspectives on travel within Scotland and have complimentary strengths and personalities that lend themselves to teamworking. The new channel will involve some or all of us having time on camera, working on the editing behind the scenes and sharing our various experiences and areas of expertise with all. Sometimes I will fly solo, other times will see several of us teaming up. The hope is that this will keep things fresh, provide a great range of themes and styles and reach as large an audience as possible.
Will I still write? Of course I will. It’s a great way to communicate and I’ve loved it far too much to leave that behind. Speaking of, I’ve got a big feature coming up in Scotland Magazine next month so look out for that on shelves in a few weeks’ time (I’ll post on social media about it when it’s published and it’s hopefully the first within a new writing partnership). And for those that have no interest whatsoever in video and prefer the written word I’ll still be here, scribbling away, as before.
What’s to be expected?
Drones. Oh yes, my licence is now very much in its second year and I’ll be putting it to use with video in mind! It can bring some stunning visuals to the fore and present never-before-seen vistas that I can’t get enough of. But visuals aren’t enough. I see absolutely no point in me doing any of this if it can’t add value to people looking to get the best from Scotland. So I’ll be gabbing away at or behind the camera and hopefully providing plenty of facts, opinions and tips to supplement all the fancy stuff. However, the day I start pouting, splashing about gleefully in the shallows or boring you to death with a vacuous summary of what my trip to Tesco was like in classic vlogger fashion, I’ll be packing it all in and you have my permission to slap me right in the face.
The themes won’t change much from my usual and, as ever, the outdoors, history, whisky and culture will feature heavily. I’ll be aiming to make mountain hikes more accessible and less intimidating. To add digestible and relevant historical context to our precious ruins. And to show how whisky was meant to be enjoyed. For all those that harbour a fundamental dread of video blogging, I do hear you and I do hope I’ve convinced you that this is not the road to insanity that I’m away for a gormless wander down.
Video takes a hell of a lot of time (to do properly anyway) so there is not suddenly going to be a library of material popping up on the YouTube channel. It will take time. It will get better and better as we get our heads around the process and best equipment to use. But comments, feedback and suggestions for future content are always welcome as we are very much aware that to be the best, you’re going to have a fair few bumps along the way.
Where do we start with our Scotland vlog?
Fellow Scotlander David Weinczok and I have already produced our opening two videos and they are ready for watching on our YouTube channel. David is one of Scotland’s best up-and-coming historians and takes my own level of interest in Scottish history to a new level – meaning that both videos so far have a clear focus on grizzly battles and atmospheric ruins. A personal look at our favourite Scottish castles is followed by a wander back to the Wars of Independence with a visit to pivotal Stirling. The backdrop to so many of Scotland’s most important scraps – as legends like Robert the Bruce and William Wallace had it out with our southern neighbours – we couldn’t think of a better place to delve deeply into this saga. It’s also a timely look forward to the imminent Netflix hit, Outlaw King.
Next up, I’ll be heading into our great outdoors and having a look at some of our best walks from all sorts of hiking challenges to suit every level of walking interest.
There are already dozens of ideas being thrown about with reckless abandon and practicalities haven’t kicked in yet – so now is the time, while the floodgates are open, to let us know where you’d like to see me/us on camera. And if you bump into a kilted guy chatting away to a selfie stick like a demented lunatic, I’m ashamed to say…that’s probably me. So, so sorry. But it’s all for Scotland, honest.
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