A Scottish travel blogger wants to showcase the best of her beloved homeland after being signed up as lead editor for Lonely Planet’s upcoming Scottish guide.
Kay Gillespie has been approached by Lonely Planet to work with them again and this time it’s for the next edition of the classic Lonely Planet Scotland guide.
It’s a dream job for Ms Gillespie, known as The Chaotic Scot, who will not only cover the regional section on the Southern Highlands but will also write three other sections, including the opening and closing of the book.
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“To say I’m excited and overwhelmed would be an understatement. I had written a chapter for the Lonely Planet experience guide and I have written for the Britain guide. However, they reconnected to write for the iconic and classic. I thought maybe it was just another chapter, but I’m writing four sections of the book.
“I have a real sense of pride in being the voice of Scotland in this global publication. Not only that, but I have been in contact with amazing people from all over Argyll and the Isles over the course of my research, and I’m thrilled to be able to include their companies in the book.
Kay Gillespie enjoys a visit to Inverary earlier this year
It gives her a chance to visit some of her favorite places, although she certainly doesn’t need an excuse, and among some of the places that could feature will be the Isle of Arran and the National Park of Loch Lomond.
For Ms Gillespie, she believes being able to showcase some of Scotland’s hidden gems is a way to repay the businesses and tourism operators who have always supported her.
Tobermoray is one of the places Kay Gillespie would have on her travel list
She added: “Many of these people have hosted, hired and supported me over the years. I feel like I can give something back to the companies that have taken me in. I’ve worked with some of them. them at the start of my blogging career and these people gave me opportunities and content that I was able to build a business with.Being in the guide means you will be in front of people all over the world.
“I have contacts everywhere who keep me up to date as there have been many changes since Covid.
“I want to know what’s new and what I should shout. Being able to connect with people is one of the most enjoyable parts. It’s what I always wanted to do. I just want to capture people’s imagination and interest in the Scotland that I love so much.
“If I can put that in these pages and inspire people to visit because of something I’ve written, that’s the ultimate reward.”
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While many tourists no longer need to do as much research as they might have done a few years ago with city maps and recommendations available at the touch of a button or scrolling through screen, Ms. Gillespie thinks there’s still something special about picking up a guidebook in anticipation of what a future journey may hold.
Scottish chaotic travel blogger Kay Gillespie posted Scottish Aromatic Candles last year
“I am passionate about all the places I will write about. Scotland is my favorite subject to write about and the Highlands and Islands are probably my favorite part of the world and it will shine through,” she added.
“I want to tell people about the experiences that I think will be special. Social media is usually my platform and it’s how a lot of people find out about things, but there’s something special and nostalgic about flipping through a guide. It’s nice to have a book in your hand rather than scrolling on a screen.
Carraig Fhada lighthouse on Islay is one of Kay Gillespie’s favorite places
Her concept of the Chaotic Scot travel blog has also led her to create trips and itineraries for individual travelers and businesses. Her blog grew during the lockdown when she launched the Dreaming of Scotland Facebook community, which allowed people to share their memories and images of Scotland while travel restrictions were in place.
And writing the Lonely Planet guide also got her thinking about producing her own book.
“I would love to write my own history and a book about Scotland. I have a vague name, but that’s all I will say for now,” she added.
Amy Lynch, editor of Lonely Planet, described her as one of Lonely Planet’s new superstars.
“She is full of fresh ideas for traveling to Scotland, and her enthusiasm for the areas she covers bursts from the pages,” Ms Lynch said. “We are lucky to have her contribute for us, as her knowledge of the region is truly unparalleled. Oh, and it’s a dream to work with her.
Lonely Planet Scotland is due out next year.