Eigg Meets Rum
Bay of Laig, Isle of Eigg, Scotland
Something that strikes you when you are on Eigg is the large number of non-Scottish accents, ok I'll say it, there are a lot of English accents. Indeed Karen the owner of our bunkhouse was certainly not a native of the island.
I later discovered that actually there were only two indigenous families left on Eigg. In some ways this makes me kinda sad. Indigenous families believed there was nothing there for their kids, they were encouraged to leave to make a better life. How things have changed, how many of us now see island life as an idyl and if we had the cohones would love to live that existance?
I think there is a deeper question though. Why aren't Scottish people embracing their own country, more welcoming to outsiders and more capable of providing the hospitality that tourism demands ? It seems to me that the settlers throughout the H & I and very often these are English families are far more geared up to doing this successfully.
After initially being slightly perturbed at the Scots/English mix living and owning Eigg, I soon realised something. People on Eigg, NEVER walk past you, everyone waves as they go past, everyone has a decent word to say to visitors, they genuinely seem to want to share their little spot of paradise with you or if thats not the case, they at least appreciate your tourism dollars, either way your made to feel welcomed. This sadly is not always the case in many of the more Scottish tourist spots in the highlands/Islands. I think you can often feel like your not wanted, almost a hinderance. I've certainly experienced this on Skye and I love Skye BTW.
What makes Eigg that wee bit extra special is that the community that now own it, are in my opinion mindful, that they too were once outsiders.