While the thought of moving to Scotland is one that mades me giddy, it also makes me incredibly nervous. We're moving to a country we've never been to and living in a city we don't know. I'm simply so thankful they speak English!
Because we don't have the time or the money to visit Scotland before we move over, I've been doing a lot of research. (I'm not good with being unprepared.)
The Lonely Planet Scotland guide is helpful for on the ground traveling. Between the maps and the meticulous details, I just know this book is going to be well-used once we arrive in Glasgow. This book really details the out-of-the-way spots, along with accompanying phone numbers, addresses, and directions. The Top 10 Scotland book from Eyewitness Travel is equally helpful, especially in finding the more popular tourist sites. (It has a section on the top 10 castles in Scotland. Yes, please!) Both books will probably be our constant companions in finding our way around.
Of course, I use blogs to further my research. A simple search through Pinterest with a keyword leads to plenty of blogs, all with different areas of advice. (I've been saving these on my Scotland board). Additionally, some blogs go a bit further then just seeing the sights and instead discuss etiquette, manners, driving experiences, and more of the daily monotony that is helpful to remember.
Like blogs and Pinterest, Instagram is easy to access and use. Not only is it a great way to find out-of-the-way places to visit, along with touristy places to visit, but it is also a great way to connect with people currently over there. I'm rather sure a good chunk of the people I follow live in Scotland and currently I am living vicariously through their pictures.
And lastly, I watch lots of BBC tv. I'm addicted. :) Really though, it's an excellent way to better understand the accents and discover a bit about daily life and manners.
Of course, there are the little things that set our British counterparts apart, such as different electricity plugs, different conversations, strange foods (hello Yorkshire pudding), and unique accents. Many of these differences will vary from person to person and place to place. My goal with all this research is to be prepared for changes and discrepancies and to blend in as much as possible with the locals. While I'm sure the research I've done barely scratches the surface, I know every little bit will help.
Once we've gotten to Scotland, I'll do a follow-up post to see just how well I've prepared and whether any of this research is applicable.