Personal Reflections of the Highland Spirit
by Adam Colliar
...there is not one area I would pick out as the Spirit of the Highlands, all areas and the people living there have it.
As a young man, my job took me on the A9 road from Perth to Inverness and back often. The road was single carriageway at that time and I got upset at how slow moving the traffic was, the journey sometimes taking 4 to 5 hours each way.
Listening to the radio on one of my trips I heard that Parliament was considering upgrading the road to a dual carriageway then an MP representing a London seat said, 'You can't do that, it is the inaccessibility of the Highlands that make them beautiful.' I thought it's alright for you mate you don't have to drive there!
However, as I grew older got married and had children these words of that MP came back to haunt me because as a family we took many holidays in the Highlands where my children played and swam in the lochs and my wife and I took in the beauty of the surroundings. He was dead right, being forced to drive slower gives you time to unwind and enjoy the outstanding beauty of the Highlands.
Over the years my wife and I have travelled all over the Highlands and enjoyed it so much, everywhere we found the people living up to the "spirit" in welcoming and friendliness, there is not one area I would pick out as the Spirit of the Highlands, all areas and the people living there have it.
I am not a great environmentalist but because of this great spirit the Highlands of Scotland have, we must never allow any authorities to build big new roads, erect massive wind farms or destroy this magic land in any way so it is there for future generations to find that same spirit I and my wife and many others I am sure have found.
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Stories are at the heart of what we do as a project and we are always looking to learn more about what the Highlands and Islands means to people who live, work, and visit here. Does the 'Spirit of the Highlands and Islands' present itself in a particular place or landscape for you? How would you like to see this landscape protected for future generations? Tell us below, we would love to hear from you!
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