It’s probably the most well-known place in Scotland, but until last week I’d never been there before. Why? I suppose I just never got round to it. What was the point of spending time and money travelling in my own country when I could be abroad – in India, in Europe; in any place more exotic and strange and foreign than this damp, grey little country I grew up in?
That’s what I thought.
Foreign students I teach, people in India, and friends from other countries always ask me what Loch Ness is like (usually struggling with the soft, throaty ‘ch’ sound at the end of our Scottish word for ‘lake’), and if I’ve ever seen the monster that’s said to live somewhere in its depths. And when I admit that I’ve never been there, never seen it, they look at me with a mixture of incredulity and disappointment. “But… You are Scottish!”
So I decided, that before I moved to China and met another load of people who equate my country with a mysterious body of water, I would head North to the Highlands and see this place for myself. And see what all the fuss was about.
As for the Loch Ness Monster, well, I’m afraid I can’t tell you about that. You’ll just have to come and see her yourself.
Susanna Wickes is an Arts graduate from Scotland, and has recently returned to her homeland after living in Delhi for two years. Her next home will be Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region in northern China, where she’s going in August to continue her writing and photography, and work as an English teacher.