When I first landed on Tiree at the end of November, I was greeted by the cold, dark winds that bustle about the island. It swept me right into the airport, greeted by the cozy warmth of freshly strung Christmas lights and familiarity among the strangers around me.
As a first-time traveller, everywhere I went seemed so big and new and daunting. Coming to Tiree feels like coming to a home I’ve never been before, but I feel as though I’ve settled right in.
Although the island is small, it’s full of personality and beauty of its own. From the soft mushy grass to the hard and slippery sea-shaven rocks, there’s so much to discover and appreciate here. Each time I go out it feels like a new exploration to me. The beaches here are quiet and open, a stark difference to the commercialized California coastlines I’ve visited. When you go on a walk, it feels like the whole world is your own to wander.
People have given me funny glances and told me it’s off-season to visit for so long, and I can see why, when the island seems too quiet and ghostly without a breath of anything happening in sight. But I don’t regret the cold, sunny day picnics I’ve had on the beach, nor the snuggly days inside when the fog hugs the island tighter in the sharp cold.
Maybe it’s the differences in American and British culture, but people around here have a strong sense of community with each other, and I’ve never felt more welcome anywhere. Spending the holiday season here was one of the best choices I’ve made, and I look forward to the day I can park my suitcase here and never have to move it again.
Elizabeth Hanson, CA, USA