State of the Savage: July 2016

by Keith Savage · 6 comments


Characteristically Scottish sign at Corrieshalloch Gorge, Wester Ross, Scotland

I hate election years. All our hazy demons jitter into the light. They aren’t pretty, and en masse they’re a terror that sends me clamoring for the windswept Scottish highlands and islands clinging to the edges of the earth. But it already feels like I’m clinging to something — an asteroid, maybe — rocketing full speed to an oblivion I neither want nor can avoid. It’s times like these when Sartre’s wisdom rings in my ears. On the appointed day what will be will be. In the interim, however, you needn’t listen to the sewage spewed nonstop from news media.

You could go to Scotland instead. Now is a fantastic time to visit.

The fallout of the Brexit vote sent the British Pound tumbling to its lowest rate in over 30 years. While this is not good news for Scottish citizens (or in general, really), it does make visiting a more realistic possibility for the money-conscious traveler. One Pound currently equals $1.31. To put that number in perspective, when I visited Scotland in 2009 one Pound was around $1.80 and just last month a Pound traded at $1.57. As you can see, those are huge differences and the leveling of currency will save you money across the board. It is unclear if this drop in the British Pound’s value is a reactionary bubble and will disappear as the financial system rights itself, or if this new valuation is here to stay. If you’re considering a trip to Scotland in the near future or next year, it’s worth considering buying British Pounds now. That’s something I’ve never recommended before.

The summer has been very busy helping people plan their trips since I returned from Scotland last month. It’s amazing how the services I revamped in the fall have taken off, and seeing all the good things people have said is both gratifying and evidence that I’m on the right trajectory. Most of the folks I’ve helped recently have trips scheduled for later in the summer or early fall, but I suggest getting started on the planning now if you’re looking at a trip to Scotland next summer.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the first inklings about my trip around the North Coast 500. There will be many more posts, so I will be writing (and raving) about this part of Scotland for a long time to come. I’m still shocked by the scenic beauty of Wester Ross and parts of western Sutherland. If soaking in gorgeous landscapes is the crux of your visit to Scotland you must add those regions to your itinerary (and pray for decent weather). In fact, I’m trying to get back to Wester Ross already, as part of a trip that begins with Argyll and Campbeltown and moves to the Outer Hebrides. I envision driving north from Barra all the way to Lewis and then ferrying to Ullapool and going south through Wester Ross back to the cities. Sounds amazing, right?

In non-travel related happenings, I’ve received review from my book’s alpha readers. This was the first group of people to read my novel outside of Sarah. The review has been extremely helpful, flushing out a some smaller-scale plot issues and calling attention to characterization and dialogue, areas that I purposefully neglected in the first few drafts in favor of getting the story right. I’ve been letting revisions percolate in my subconscious the past month while I focused on travel consultations, but next week I’ll get back in neck-deep working on my fourth revision. I’m feeling good about the progress.

Until next time, Sláinte!


Nancy SkoogNo Gravatar August 10, 2016 at 9:16 PM

Love Scotland as well and get there as often as we can. Just discovered your blog when checking out Fife. Looking forward to more.

Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 10, 2016 at 9:55 PM

Welcome, Nancy!

MaryNo Gravatar July 27, 2016 at 4:08 PM

My daughter and I are visiting Scotland the 6-16 of August. I have read and enjoyed many of your posts. Thank you for sharing

Keith SavageNo Gravatar July 27, 2016 at 9:29 PM

My pleasure, Mary. Have a great trip!

LizNo Gravatar July 27, 2016 at 11:34 AM

I couldn’t agree more! Just came back in June and would love to go again. Keep up the good work!

Keith SavageNo Gravatar July 27, 2016 at 9:29 PM

Cheers, Liz!

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