Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

Leaving Scotland


photo copy 18


photo copy 17

I guess I am leaving Scotland. I will be gone until the end of December, and I am in mourning. I am going to miss most of October, November, and almost all of December.

Let me begin with the very clear statement that I am going to be insanely happy to be with my kids, my pets and my friends. This post in no way reflects on that joy .

But I am  not sure how to leave this place. The leaves are turning! The air is crisp, the sky is bluer than any blue, unless it is greyer than grey. The smell of fireplaces is in the air. The variety of apples in the grocer is staggering. How come I am not making apple crumbles that we all ravish in front of the fire, instead of making packing lists?

At night we have to close the windows in bed, while reading, or writing, or our fingers get numb. Then open them again, and burrow down under down comforters,  sleeping/hibernating like woodland animals.

Cuilean is almost 10 months old!!

I am in love with a place. There is not a single day that I don’t come around a bend, or over a rise, when I am not overwhelmed by some moment of beauty.

Scotland does not come gently. There is nothing subtle about this place. When I first moved into this house with a tiny puppy, it was the dead of winter. The fires burned unless I was asleep, the shutters were closed in all the rooms, to keep out the cold that sort of wrapped itself around the stone walls of this house. The first record of this house is in 1632, but the house we live in, was built for the most part, in the 18th century. It is all made of stone. There is a fireplace in each room, for very good reason.

I come home from work in the winter, and grab some wood from the woodpile and build the evening kitchen fire. There I, or we, if Ron is here, spend the evening. With all the shutters closed, the fire going, and the AGA churning, it is like a warm womb. When it is time for bed, we bolt upstairs to crawl under the blankets waiting for the chill to leave the sheets. The wind HOWLS, and the bare trees sway. It feels like there is no life to be found anywhere. It is winter, no if, ands or buts about it.

When spring finally shows up, it does not delicately float in, it erupts. It is almost brazen, the harlot of the seasons. Not a few scattered daffodils, but millions of them, almost garish, in their brazen loud presence. Same with the tulips that follow close behind, unwilling to wait patiently for the daffodils to get off the stage. They crowd in, elbowing their way in, creating an absolute riot of colors. There is color everywhere, and nothing subtle about it. The trees and hedgerows go from bare, dead skeletons, to outrageous green. Birds are everywhere, rabbits hopping about and everywhere you look, and I mean everywhere, lambs are gamboling about. It is like that scene from Bambi, when  Bambi first goes to the meadow and meets Thumper and Flower. It is technicolor. But it is real life, not a cartoon. It finally erupts into a horticultural orgasm of peonies and roses.

Summer slides in, undulating and sensuous, the afterglow of spring. Everything moves slowly, and it is not even hot. In fact you can sit in the sun, and not feel you have to slather yourself in sunscreen and protective gear. You can actually enjoy it. The kids go down and climb around in the river with the puppy, wild strawberries are picked for summer pudding. Summer here does not want to kill you, it wants to embrace you. The world does not dry up and blow away here, it does not burn to the ground. Summer does not want to annihilate you, it just wants you to slow down and relax a bit.

I am just now starting to see Autumn, and relish the knowledge that I will be here for ALL of it next year, and I am going to make lots of apple crumble, and take long walks with my very mature dog.

I am just now realizing that this is a love letter. I am a passionate lover, who is forced to take my leave from a beautiful embrace. I know I have to go, but dammit, I don’t want to!

I will reluctantly climb into that horrible metal can, to be flung across the world. I am not afraid of flying, but I sort of resent it. I don’t think it is natural. If we were meant to fly, we would have wings. It is not part of being human, and it is made even less so by the humans who ship you about.

I have carefully crafted my re-entry. I will not be diving head first into America. I will be very slowly wading in. we are headed to San Francisco, often called the most European of American cities. I grew up there, and I think that is why Europe is so comfortable for me. I love it there. It is home, and a place that gives me great comfort. It will be icy cold, and the leaves will all be in color. The food is amazing, friends and family are there.

Then we will drive slowly down the 101 to Southern California. I will not lie and say we like it there. We don’t, which makes it all the much harder to leave Scotland. But we have created a home there, something of a retreat from the surrounding environs. I will pray it doesn’t blow away, or burn up, cuddle close with children and pets,  be very grateful for how lucky we are, and dream of my lover across the sea.


THX – T.



93 thoughts on “Leaving Scotland

    1. AvatarRebeccaGill

      Madam Terry,

      You slay me with your love for a country that, as you put it, embraces you. When my now deceased sister, Linda, did our family’s genealogy, she discovered a connection the Oliphant clan and hence, a direct connection to Scotland. Our reading of the stories as written by Diana Gabaldon have embraced our hearts and opened our souls to a place, while not of our direct birth, but, of our imaginations. We had planned on making a family pilgrimage to Scotland, but, God had other plans. He took my 58 year old sister Linda home to heaven, and then robbed my 78 year old mother of her own life a short 8 months later. We all loved the stories as told by Diana Gabaldon, and they would have loved the TV adaptation. It is truly stunning and beautiful. You, with your talent and love for the truth of the period, have brought this to a visual life that we only imagined a few short years ago. From my humble heart, I thank you for you sharing your love of this amazing grace-filled country with us this way, and for bringing the visual of the story to our eyes and hearts through your costuming and “pillow talk” conversations with your beloved Ron who has given his heart to you and to the story.

      I graciously thank you, Milady, for your kindness and gift for the dramatic wondrous place you’ve shared with us.

      1. Avatarhflint

        Well said 🙂 mind you I love love love CA. If you are with loved ones anywhere is home ( also a theme of Claire’s life). I feel desolate you won’t be taking pup :’ (to

    2. Katiscotch22Katiscotch22

      So glad I finally managed to log on to your new forum. I can so understand why you are sad to leave Scotland, it’s a remarkable place. Bit like the cold and damp Scotland seeps into your bones. You need to take a break and spend time with Ron and your kids. Enjoy, but come back soon.

  1. Avatarrteest42

    Oh, Terry, a love letter indeed! It makes me want to be there, too, to see, like you see, to be roaming with my camera about my neck, observing, capturing those changes, and the awareness of the world spinning…. but.
    You will have hugs and cuddles from your kids, you will make autumn memories with them, you will dip your toes in the ocean at some moment while those in the Highlands ARE burrowing under the covers, avoiding a gale, and you will RETURN.
    And it will be like coming home, and you will relish the experience….

    Enjoy California; Scotland will be waiting….

  2. Avatardianne_falcone

    I absolutely love your description of spring; a harlot of the seasons. One day I will get to that beautiful country I’ve heard so much about through friends and through Outlander.

    I feel the same way about Sicily as you do about Scotland. I’m only in America because my parents emigrated here but whenever I go back I feel as if I’m complete.

    Safe travels on your journey back to the States. I know Scotland will embrace you when you return.

  3. AvatarHeather

    Beautiful post! I grew up in Los Altos and am now on the East coast. I really miss the weather there when suffering through the humid summers here. The humidity just drains me. Safe travels and blessed reunions with friends and family!

  4. AvatarDonna Gerringer

    You, dear lady, are as gifted at word smithing as you are at designing costumes. I had to keep wiping the tears from my eyes as I read this heartfelt piece. Through your writing I could see and feel what you were experiencing. And all who are part of this larger than life adventure on which we have embarked have been on my heart and mind as all attempt to return to a ‘normal’ that is no longer normal. How does one say goodbye even if for a short time? From the bottom of this fan’s heart thank you for everything, but especially for so unselfishly sharing your precious time with us, and letting us feel a part of it all. Godspeed and safe journey. We will still be here wherever you go.

  5. Avatarsandyknc

    You have built a beautiful home in Scotland. To return to the topic of one of your first posts – you seem to have found your sanctuary. Enjoy your family, friends, and home in the States and your Scotland home will be waiting for your return. Do you have to leave Cuilean in Scotland? I hope not, but I’m not sure of the rules. Safe travels, Terry. I hope you can rest and relax.

  6. Avatarjenapple

    Apparently your talents do not stop with costume design. What an evocative piece of writing Terry! Thank you for sharing your adventure with us so far. I, for one, am glad you are all getting a break from this labour of love, and am so looking forward to Season 2, which will have the benefit of your renewed enthusiasm after a well deserved rest.

    1. Avatarlynnescottritchie

      Fantastic photos and description of our beautiful county. Despite being unable yet to watch any of the Outlander series I’ve watched the development of it with interest. As a fan of the books for 20 years and a costume designer myself, the costumes have obviously been one of the most interesting parts for me. I noticed last year you were looking for local craftspeople but I was already over committed. If you’re looking again for the next series I’d love to be involved. I’m a costume designer and maker with over 30 years experience in television and stage, living on the North East coast of Scotland.

      1. AvatarRagbag

        Hi Lynne, Nice to hear about you. I too live N E Scotland and design costumes for theatre etc in Dundee. Perhaps we should make contact as dedicated fans we have a lot in common. I have signed on as an extra in the next filming with a Glasgow agency. I would love to show you some of the reproductions of 18th century costumes I have made.

  7. AvatarEllenSpins

    You write so eloquently that I can see it all. I’m glad you get to go ‘home’ for a bit but I’m glad you get to come Home again in December. I could not do the work that you do; I’m not as creative or as imaginative as you are and it would be no fun for me. Alas, I’m better at knitting from someone else’s pattern than at creating my own. I love that you get to be in a beautiful place while you do work that you love and that you are so very good at. Enjoy your vacation, however brief, and come back to us whole, with wonderful ideas and a refreshed view. I’m sure Scotland will miss you, too.

  8. AvatarPauluna

    And here I thought that Ron was the writer in the family! Most poignant for me was your description of summer in Scotland. Visiting Scotland has been on my bucket list since I became an Outlander fangurl and now it must be a longer visit that includes experiencing the change of seasons, because of your writing! thanks!

  9. AvatarDebbie Dake

    Good God, Terry, you are a poet.

    Lovely to read your thoughts about the things in your life that matter to you.

    Go enjoy your children and your pets and your friends; you may miss Scotland a little less in their presence. I hope to hear about your life over there as well.

    ~ Debbie

  10. AvatarSarah K

    What an eloquent farewell to Scotland! I can see why you love your adopted home so much. I know leaving that beautiful home and that sweet furry face would break my heart. But you will be back and again for years to come! I live in the Bay Area and our weather is a glorious pre fall. Your drive south via 101 will be lovely.

  11. Avatarmanotherm

    What a sweet love letter to Scotland, my condolences on missing the peak colors….. they are fuel for the soul to handle winter. I have a very small suggestion … Opi’s “Deutsch you want me baby?” *g*

  12. AvatarHiedi

    Dear Terry,
    Yes! And don’t forget the crocuses. I lived between Dundee and Aberdeen in the eighties. There was a place in the town of Montrose where you would walk up a set of stone steps to the main road level and there was a bank of deep purple crocuses so beautiful growing around a lovely cemetery with wrought iron fences. Like a scene out of a victorian painting. You are so lucky to haave a home in this beautiful part of the world. Enjoy your visit to the states. Safe travels.

  13. AvatarKristin

    Dang, Terry, now I have a lump in my throat. Scotland, and your personal Lallybroch, will be waiting with open arms for your return. You’ll have crackling fires going again before you know it. In the meantime, enjoy your time in the states with Ron, the kiddo’s, pets, and don’t forget the sushi! Sending you a warm hug…

  14. KellyKelly

    By leaving Scotland, when you do return, won’t you love it all the more? I suppose if you imagine that, the absence of it will make the time away, at the very least, tolerable.

    I’ve spent all of two (very) full days in Scotland – a little side trip when my husband went to London on business – and I was instantly infatuated with Scotland but never able to put into words why…just something about the way it feels. Its more than love – maybe a feeling of…deep vitality I suppose. And it turns my insides out wanting to go back.

    So your “love letter” to the country – I understand. And while I could envy your opportunity to be able to spend such time there, so fully imbedded, instead I feel quite terrible for you having to leave it. But it really is for just a short while, and you do have the promise of return, and plenty of family and living to fill your time in the middle.

    Thank you for your lovely blog and glimpse of goings on – its a delight to read about, and the imagery you use is just fantastic.

    1. AvatarTerry Dresbach Post author

      I keep imagining my return as I drive and walk around registering familiar things. I think about what it will be like to drive home, to unlock the door, to see my little boy.
      “Deep vitality” is a perfect description.

  15. Avatarlaney1120

    Your post, like the show, is truly a love letter to Scotland. Your descriptions made me think of the house I had in the mountains of North Carolina (much smaller than yours! 🙂 ), especially in spring, my favorite season. One day it’s winter, and the next there are little daffodils poking their faces out of the snow and pear trees blooming everywhere, then a riot of color as the tulips, forsythia, and apple trees join the party. No wonder the highlanders felt so at home in those mountains – so like their beloved Scotland! I love New Orleans and the weather is much easier on my bones, but we don’t get the seasonal changes here, and I really miss that. Thanks for the reminder, and for all your hard work!

  16. sonyakhanumsonyakhanum

    Ok, that’s it, you’ve confirmed it…we’re moving to Scotland. Beautifully written! Nothing shows the beauty of a land like the change in seasons. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Avatarclairemary

    What a lovely post. It looks so beautiful over there. I was just wondering how many children you have? I jsut came across your blog recently. By the way, love everything about the show!!

  18. AvatarLindaL

    What a beautiful letter! You made me cry. What a lucky woman you are.

    I hope you enjoy your time in California with your family and friends. I live near San Francisco in Marin County and get to enjoy The City on a regular basis, although I totally jealous of your time in Scotland. Will you be here in time to attend the big WhiskyFest next week? I know Ron enjoys his whisky.

    I look forward to your continued posts and THANK YOU for taking us along on the wonderful journey!

  19. Katie (@bunnums)Katie (@bunnums)

    Wow, your creative talents certainly include the written work, don’t they? What a beautiful love letter. And thank you for sharing of yourself and your journey over the last year. It has been an amazing, fascinating, and stimulating experience for me.


  20. Avatar@punkiBrenda

    Your Lallybroch your place of peace….Know it and four paws and lots of love will be awaiting your return.Thank You beautiful lady for sharing your terrific variety of talents and always taking that extra step to include us in more than generous amounts of your processes and a look into your life. I sat here with tears streaming at the beauty of your words and the knowing you have to leave both your beloved Cuilean and Scotland. Just know as quick as our daily lives go you will be back before you know it. May you enjoy your children your friends and family and that very gifted husband of yours. Thank You so very much for the beauty of your love and designs towards Outlander and for the kindness to us the hungry fans…You will never be alone as we are now your newest family and hope friends…Be well Terry and take care of you.

  21. elizlkelizlk

    I always have a lump in my throat leaving one home for another … and you shared with us your Scottish home beautifully.

    Two recommendations for your SF visit (one portable to other locales):
    Tataki sushi in SF – sustainably sourced and fabulous, sushi w/o needing to consult Monterey Fish Guide (because it’s already been done), and Prather Ranch hot dogs, which you can buy in the SF Ferry Building shop, and freeze and ship ….. maybe roast over the fire during a future podcast recording session?

      1. elizlkelizlk

        Haven’t been to Akikos … but it looks like a place to try (and the decor/settings sound fabulous – I love Heath ceramics.) Tataki South is just 2 blocks from my home, though, so it’s a standby for my nearby sushi-eating friends.

  22. Avatardeana

    Terry, wow I think I’m going to cry. What a soul-felt love letter. I feel like it was me actually living your words. Beautiful. Have a safe trip and remember how many of us you inspire to be better people.

  23. AvatarStephaniekhill

    Oh Terry! Now you’ve made me cry..as much as I did during the ‘Wedding’! You write so beautifully and the words make us feel as we are there and feel your pain of leaving. You had such a whirlwind trip last Christmas, I am happy that you will have time to relax maybe, and of course enjoy your family, pets and friends. You are such a gracious lady and I enjoy your blog, your wit and all the love you show! I know you will be here when you can, but most important..enjoy yourself! Lots of love!! Safe travels!

  24. AvatarConnie Sandlin

    We don’t have four seasons here in Costa Rica, but your love letter to Scotland evoked the same feelings in me as those I have now for my adopted home of Costa Rica.

    When I came here for a week of birdwatching at the very tail end of 2007, I discovered the home of my heart. The culture, the climate (springlike temps in the 60s-70s year round in the mountains), the lushness of the vivid greens and tropical flowers, the warmth, kindness, and generosity of the people – all of these things, plus economic factors, led us to uproot ourselves from our lifelong home in Texas and replant ourselves in Central America.

    The sun can be intense and I limit the amount of time I spend in it, but the ocean breezes, our tranquil rural lifestyle, and the ability to have our windows open all day and night, every day and night, are a far cry from the oppressive, killing heat of Dallas or the constant traffic noises and pollution of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

    Through the kindness of my aunt, we have been able to return to Texas about twice a year to visit our family (especially the granddaughters!) and friends in Dallas and Austin, but after 6 1/2 years, I find that I now feel more a tourist there. I put up with the rush rush rush culture as long as I can stand it, then return with gratitude to a lovely country where we can take deep breaths of clean air and can afford to get healthcare.

    My husband at first was reluctant to leave the house where we had raised our children and spent so much time, but we realize now that our home is in each other, and we are both more happy and content now.

  25. Avatarjuliane73

    Terry , that was absolutely beautiful. I had tears in my eyes reading your love letter….. I’m from Germany my husband is American and we live in Italy lol we move very often, and I understand what it is to leave a home you absolutely love. But what a blessing to be able live in such wonderful places.

  26. Avatarkimgrimes

    Beautiful words Terry! Once again thank you for sharing with us. My longing and desire to come and see Scotland started as a young girl listing to the stories of the country told by my great grandfather “Scotty”. My great grandfather had come to Canada from Edinburgh, Scotland at 18 and he said over and over to me “Promise me Kimmy that one day you will go to Scotland”. I have been a huge fan of Diana’s book series and am now, enjoying seeing the beauty of Scotland on the screen with the brilliant Outlander series. Hearing your lovely words and seeing your pictures I cannot wait for the day when I fulfill my promise to my Granddad and walk beautiful lands of Scotland. I hope you enjoy your time away and I know that your reunion with Scotland will be as sweet as my introduction.

  27. marthamartha

    That was a deposition of your soul.. A love letter to Scotland. So nice and touching! I believe that most of us could have 2 homelands. We have a heart and we have a soul. And in your case , that’s what is for you, Scotland and San Francisco. Don’t try to separate your feelings, because they are one.

  28. AvatarDaphnepf

    I’ve been visiting Scotland since 1994 and every time I leave, it’s wrenching. And I live in a beautiful place! Newport, RI. I, too, am from Northern California, though, born in San Francisco and raised in Redwood City. But my heart is in Scotland. Everything you describe is exactly how it is there. I’ve been at different times of the year, and in all kinds of weather – Culloden on a sleety, April day, Rannoch Moor/Glencoe on an August day with a brilliant blue sky, and Edinburgh in all kinds of weather. And I love it no matter what. I was in Edinburgh and the Highlands this past March and the weather was surprisingly nice. But my next trip will be for the Festival next August, which will relive my first visit in 1994. Can’t wait.

  29. AvatarNymerias

    Wow, your words painted a lovely picture and just as a book does, you put me in Scotland during the seasons. It is fall here now and the leaves are changing but does not look how you described Scotland. Maybe it is because we get used to it. Thank you for sharing your love of Scotland.

  30. Avatartiapet11

    Dear Terry –
    You have captured in words the spirit, the magic and the deep beauty that is Scotland. Since my first visit there a few years ago, walking the West Highland Way, that beauty and that spirit have returned to me in my mind’s eye, like the underscore of a favorite tune I can conjure at any moment. I’m sure it will be the same for you. I live here in SF and can tell you that despite our drought, the watery autumn light and the sound of the Pacific out here in the Richmond can serve as a “beauty balm” as you make your transition back to the west coast. Safe travel to you and yours and thank you for sharing your exquisite talents through Outlander.

      1. Avatartiapet11

        Lovely! I’m at 33rd and Clement…it’s a glorious day here – warm and crisp, bright with just a whisper of fog…but the sky isn’t as blue as in the Highlands…Safe travels to you – you’ll be back in Scotland before you know it! 🙂

  31. Avatarbluewindows

    Safe journey! Lovely photos. Did you take them? I presume you are keeping the house and it and the dog will be waiting for your return. You paint a warm and colorful word picture of your life in Scotland. You will have a wonderful time visiting with your family and friends. Those moments transcend locations. You will have a splendid time in San Francisco–it is hard to imagine otherwise. Just think–you will have Thanksgiving here in the states and every girl needs a little pumpkin pie and a day to count her blessings.

  32. AvatarStefaniesZen

    Isn’t it amazing how Scotland quietly winds itself around your heart, and when it’s time to leave you become fully aware of how much it has become a part of you!

    Your love letter was very evocative of the sights, smells and feelings of Scotland. I find myself reminiscing this morning and that always leads to planning another trip! Thank you for sharing your world with us ❤️

  33. FoxxyJenFoxxyJen

    Thanks, Terry for sharing that beautiful post. How lovely. It sounds like you have had a magical year and the best part is that you know you will get to do it all over again. The pics of wee baby Cuilean and then the big grown boy really showed the change. Wow. I totally understand your love affair with the seasons.

    As an Aussie I grew up in a hot, arid, scorch-the-life out of you type environment. Fourteen months ago, my husband and I moved to the US and for the first time i got to see how colorful autumn is followed by the bleakness of winter when there isn’t a leaf to be seen for miles around. I found myself getting a wee bit down because the cold and grey was so foreign to me having been surrounded with evergreens. It’s absolutely fascinating though and spellbinding, particularly when as you say, spring comes stomping in. I felt like i could almost see the green shoots growing with my own eyes because it turned a brilliant young bright green so quickly. I kept sending photos home but they just didn’t show the change like standing amongst the trees and blossoms. I find I’m in love with the seasons now. In Dec, I’ll be heading home for a month and I’m also torn. I can’t wait to see my family and hug my mum, but the idea of missing the snow falls makes me sad. I’ll also be going from freezing cold to scorching hot in a day – not something to look forward to.

    Anyhow, thank you for sharing your experience. I really felt your words. Travel safe and enjoy your time at home. Scotland and all it’s glory will be waiting for you when you return.

  34. mandywhelan96mandywhelan96

    What a beautiful and evocative love letter to your adopted home! Brought tears to my eyes and a smile looking at your beautiful pictures. I wish you safe journeys, recuperative time with family, friends, and pets, and safe journeys when you return in a few months. I can only say that reading this and seeing all your pictures over this time has entrenched my desire to visit and explore Scotland.

  35. KnitzyBlondeKnitzyBlonde

    Bloody woman, you made me cry. 🙁 My heart aches for you having to leave such a beautiful place. Scotland is the home of my father and ancestors and I adore it so. I completely understand your not wanting to leave. I hope your time in the US is short and productive and filed with great fun, friends and family. Hugs to you!! ~ Sandie

  36. outlanderbookloveroutlanderbooklover

    Ms. Dresbach, you are a poet, romantic and an artist. I have never been to Scotland, but your descriptions of the seasons there are evocative and lovely. The tulips trying to outgrow the daffodils reminds me of spring where I live in Canada.

    I cannot thank you and your husband (and all the others involved in the show) enough for bringing Outlander to life in a different way than the books have lived, still live, in my heart and mind. You have my deepest gratitude for the extreme care, attention to detail and love that all of you have poured into this show.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts on your blog not only because of your writing, but because I tend to shy away from knowing about the actors personal lives and about the process of filming (my father worked in the industry and would often ruin movies and tv shows for me by telling me the behind scenes “tricks” so I’m sorry, I can’t listen to the podcasts about the show). By writing about your process and the costuming of the characters, I felt included in a way that didn’t feel intrusive, and in a way that didn’t pull down my suspension of disbelief. It’s been as if I’ve been invited into the world of Outlander, not as a visitor on the set, but as a member of the Clan MacKenzie.

    I write this because I hope, even though you have your work cut out for you over the next year and you have your own life to live, that you would still post your thoughts, from time to time, about your life in Scotland and your wonderful work. I will support the forum, and I really appreciate that you’ve set it up for all to participate, but I want you to know how privileged I feel that you have generously shared with us your 18th century life.

  37. Avatarlorirenfro1

    What a beautifully poetic soul you have. Having had the pleasure of getting to go to Scotland (for the FIRST) time in 2013, your description brought it all rushing back to me. It is truly a country that gets under your skin. And, for some of us, I think it is a country we are made for. It has been a joy getting a glimpse of your world there this past year. I would gladly head up the fan club for Terry! I know you will immensely enjoy your jaunt back to the States. And I dare say, it will only deepen your love for Scotland. Thank you Terry. 🙂

  38. rhonnie.b@xtra.co.nzrhonnie.b@xtra.co.nz

    Tear jerkingly beautiful post Terry. There is nothing more amazing when ‘a place’ resonates with your soul. I feel that way when I go back to Nelson in NZ, my old hometown not that where I live isn’t as lovely. Safe travels, have lots of lovely family time, unwind from the pressure cooker & come back ‘Home’, refreshed & raring to go. Hope we still from you often as we’ll miss you.

  39. Avatartraceymfs

    Dear Terry,
    You have put into words what I feel but cannot say. Every time I have visited Scotland I have felt it wrap me up and ask me to come home. So I am visiting again in two weeks to see if this is just a fanciful idea before leaving Australia for an extended period to live, hopefully in Scotland. It is difficult to describe to people who haven’t felt it that you can feel so at home there and feel as though you belong.
    I feel the need to just sit with the country, to feel her breathe, and to all ow her to seep into my bones. Weird I know, but that is how it is. I need to feel the seasons really change. Not the pseudo change we have, although I live in the mountains and through all the deciduous plantings we get an inkling of change, but it isn’t the same. And I feel they betray the country that grew evergreens to cope with the climate.
    Thank you for allowing me to accompany you on your journey. It has given me the strength and courage to finally embark on my own.
    I hope your return to the US surpasses expectations and you have a very blessed time with family, lets and friends and that you return to Scotland refreshed and ready to tackle new challenges.

  40. Avatarsoffes61

    Lovely letter. I to have developed a love for Scotland which is completely due to Outlander. First the books, I wanted to see the places described so perfectly by Diana, then social media added fuel to this by the wonderful interactions from those directly involved in the series from actors to drivers. I have visited Scotland four times since December and each time I leave I am already itching to get back. I have made some new friends as a result of Outlander, attended some fantastic events, met Diana and Sam and have terrific memories which will stay with me always. Safe travels to you and thank you for everything

  41. AvatarLaura Ingalls Gunn

    This is my first time commenting and first and foremost I wanted to “thank you” for sharing your rich gifts with us. Your lovely blog holds so many of my favorites….costuming, Outlander and Scotland. This post was truly a love letter to Scotland and I savored your lovely words.

    I too was born in San Francisco and even after traveling through much of the world it remains my favorite city. I remember when I first returned to America after living in Europe for four years. Everything seemed so….fast. To this day, 10 years later I long to return to live overseas. What a gift. ‘

    Safe travels.

  42. juliesheil1juliesheil1

    Your love letter to Scotland squeezed my heart Terry. Scotland is truly amazing, stunning and beautifully romantic. Harsh, unforgiving and bleak in turn. if you want to see the flip side of Scotland go to the Island of St Kilda. I could write forever on that amazing bleak island.
    Thank you for including us in the journey of Outlander and your own personal creative and private adventures. It has added a layer to my life that I find emotional and utterly rewarding.
    Please have a safe journey stateside, enjoy your downtime with family and friends. You certainly deserve it.
    I was able to meet Diana in Edinburgh a couple of months ago as I was travelling in Scotland. The wonderful people I have met because Diana wrote a book has been life changing.
    Bring on Season 2. Pat for Cuillen.
    ps Can you take Cuillen with you?

  43. Hadley_LPHadley_LP

    Och! I love this time of year when the seasons change and the earth lays out all of her colors & textures for us to see. And from your lovely post I now know that I must visit Scotland one day. Always have wanted to before but must make it a priority. Just to see it. I hope that your time away is restorative in that it allows you to re-set for the work ahead & to reconnect with your family and friends. And that you are truly able to enjoy the time away from your Scottish retreat. Thank you for sharing.

  44. Avatarterribrisbin

    Terry –

    You’ve voiced or written my thoughts and feelings everytime I visit Scotland and then have to leave. It’s like a piece of my heart and soul remain there, waiting for my return…..I’ll be back there in 2015…..and I am counting the days until I am there breathing the air.

  45. Avatargiannalarsen

    You have given us all such a personal glimps of Scotland – thank you! Ima jealous of you when I see your post about your life there but I’m grateful that you are so willing to open the windows and let us peek inside. My family will be visiting Scotland for
    New Years ( I know it’s colder than a witches tit then but…) and I’m afraid I won’t want to leave…safe travels back home and we will wait for you to return to you little piece of Scotland and open up those windows once more. Thanks for sharing all your talents with us.

  46. AvatarDonna

    Dear Terry
    What a lovely accolade to Scotland – you actually had me tearing up and making want more and more to visit this lovely country. I want to thank both you and Ron for Outlander – for staying so true to the book, for finding the most perfect actors for Jamie and Claire, for the attention to details that did not go unnoticed and for your fabulous costume designs especially that stunning wedding dress.
    Go home, rest, enjoy your family and friends, enjoy the holidays and come back to Scotland rejuvenated to bring us all the grandeur that book 2 deserves so that we can get a 3rd season.

  47. AvatarLeia

    I live near Vancouver and have family ties in Scotland. Reading about your leaving chokes me up completely. I understand your love affair and would adore to spend more time than vacations in the wonderful land of Scotland. How is your accent coming along?!

  48. Avatarsanshaw

    What a beautiful picture you have painted of Scotland! I am heading there for the first time next May and can hardly wait. I have a colleague who came to Canada many years ago as a young man. He tells me that Scots very much like Canada as it is quite like Scotland. He recommended a wonderful book….”How The Scots Invented Canada”. A very entertaining read.
    As a Northern Ontario girl, I can relate to jumping into bed and waiting for the sheets to warm up. It is not unusual to have temperatures of -30C at night during winter months. We have found a solution. It is a mattress warming pad. It is like an electric blanket but goes between the mattress and sheets….has a timer.and can be set to any temperature you like. Works like a charm.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful journey. Who knew that such a beautiful love of a book would lead to such a beautiful love of a country. 🙂

  49. Avatartheempathyqueen

    You are a romantic or at least in Scotland. Your sensual description s and beautiful photos really helped to share the four seasons in a place untouched by time (the history and age of the homes!). Thank you for sharing your travelogue. I cannot get there but your posts really show the personal sides of your journey. Thank you for sharing so much.

  50. AvatarJJewell

    Terry, I have so admired your thought, care, and creativity (not to mention stamina) for the costumes you have developed for Outlander. But I never dreamed your writing style would be just as magnificent! Currently living in Seattle, I can relate to your descriptions of the seasons (and rain) in Scotland; having moved here from Menlo Park, I can relate to your love of San Francisco; and having a daughter studying at USC, I can relate to your sentiments about Los Angeles. I do hope you and Ron have a restful, enjoyable break – you’ve earned it. Thank you for providing the most extraordinary entertainment available in years for the millions of us who are addicted!

  51. Avatarkathesw

    Beautifully crafted words—-the yearning for return to Scotland tempered with the desire to be at another ‘home’. You are fortunate that you can have the best of both and spemd time in a place that inspires you and feeds your creativity. I suspect you are adept at creating ‘home’ wherever you are—As a military brat, and having to find myself a ‘home’ in many places, I think it is fortunate the human heart only understands multipication–and not division, so there is room for so much experience and inspiration in life–and for more than one place to feel ‘at home’.

  52. Avatarscottishbunny

    Beautiful post Terry! Your puppy is adorable! Whenever I cross an ocean I somehow am still there until half way across, and then I am here inside my head. Its the most surreal feeling. Its hard to explain until you’ve done it. Best sushi in So Cal – off the boardwalk in Manhattan beach! I’ve had it in Japan, I know, its “verra” good. My first job in college was as a waitress in a sushi bar in Westwood. They would send me home with what didn’t sell each night for me and my room-mates – a great treat and fond memory.



  53. Avatarcatmom

    What a beautiful love letter to Scotland!! As a fellow SoCal lady, to read your description of your season change, flowers, the cold; I could feel and see it all!

    I have been loving the series showing off the country, since I’ve only been to Glasgow, where I have friends. And, my dad’s family is from Scotland, and plan to go this next year to visit our family’s city, see my friends and enjoy some site seeing. The country is lovely, so were the people, and I can hardly wait for my trip!

  54. AvatarNEDuff

    I just left Scotland on September 24th. I was only there for two weeks but was grabbed by the country in a way that surprised me. This place, this country is special. The people are special. They don’t live in an easy place but they have found ways to find joy. I can not wait to return. I would love to live there for a year.
    I am a knitter by avocation. I am knitting an 1840’s Victorian lace shawl at the moment and I am curious about the knitting that has been done for the show. I am sure it has been heavily researched as you have done with all the wardrobe pieces but I am surprised by the rough knitting you have used without felting it. Would the knitting not have been felted to make it not only warm but more waterproof? It is just my curiosity and it is only because I tend to notice such things.

  55. Avatarmhairithompsonhall

    Oh Terry, this brought tears to my eyes. You have expressed exactly how I feel about my homeland. I have to say I love winter the most and your descriptions of being snuggled up in bed against the chills strikes a chord. Haste ye Back! xx

  56. Avatarcmg0813

    Terry – Your descriptions and your photos were poetic and beautiful and so real they brough tears to my eyes. Thank you!

    I was introduced to Scotland and Outlander in 2008. A co-worker thought I might enjoy reading Outlander during our trip to Scotland. I fell in love with Scotland, Jamie, Claire, and the Highlanders on the plane ride. And I clearly remember stepping off the plane and feeling like I’d come home. We were there for two weeks in October – the fall colors, the light, the sky, the coolness of the air, even the rain spoke to my soul. My husband jokes that I was planning our return trip before we ever left. We were able to return for another 2 weeks last summer and it was just as beautiful – although a bit hotter than I anticipated (it was one of the warmest summers they’d had in a long time). I can hardly wait to return – I’d so love to spend some extended time there.

    Thank you for your role in bringing Outlander to life for those of us who love the books and the country. And for your willingness to share your experiences with us – it makes everything that much richer.

  57. Avatarattachmentbarbie

    Hi Terry,
    Because my husband was a US Naval officer we had the great fortune to live in the southwest of England for over two years. It is something special when a place gets into your soul. To this day when I feel homesick it is for Devonshire which is saying a lot for a Bronx born, Jersey Girl who now lives in Virginia by way of Florida and Rhode Island.

    Rainy days make me pine for the days of long walks and castle exploring with our boys when they were small. I can still see them in their wellies happily sloshing about. I always miss it and I always will. I am happy for you that you will get to go back to Scotland! I know if I ever get to Scotland it will break my heart as well. Enjoy your break!

  58. AvatarCelticGlamazon

    You’ve managed to encompass a feeling that I’ve had for a place that I’ve never been. I’ve been told that the German people have a word for that, Sehnsucht. My family hails from the Highlands, though many generations past, and I’ve longed to visit since I was a child. I made it as close as Amsterdam in the late 90’s, so here’s to hoping I make it one day.

    I do know that the feelings and events that you described are very similar to life on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. There is something visceral about living in a place that is so “raw.” Thank you for sharing this.

  59. Avatarrosemaryhoffart

    Hi Terry… Once you participate in a love affair with Scotland, the passion will never leave you! I am a Texas Lady that has spent lots of time in Scotland working in the Oil and Gas industry. Everything in Texas is BIG…until you find Scotland! By now, you have returned to Scotland to dive into work for the next round of Outlander. The best of both worlds, blessed American and a passionate love affair with Scotland…enjoy every opportunity it delivers into this phase of your life. I love your creative blog, thanks for allowing us to share in the experience with you and yours!

  60. saraelizabethsaraelizabeth

    I was rather determined to read every post (and every comment) before replying to a more recent post…but I’ve started at the beginning (and indeed read every post and comment) and felt it necessary to pause my process to reply. I spent 10 years in England (London precisely) and it was the best 10 years of my life. I’m hoping to find a way back after the restriction on immigrants and visas has maybe eased up a bit….I grew up here in the San Fernando Valley and it never for a day felt like home. I feel as if I’ve been wrenched from my chosen home and forced to live in a world that is too bright and jarring for my eyes.

    I love the work you do. I’m probably one of the rare few (who participate here) yet to read the books. I had no awareness of this show until a friend pointed it out in February when I got back to America. I quickly acquired the books but decided to wait on them so I would enter each episode with a clean mind and no expectations (it is the approach I use for GoT. I find if I read the book beforehand it never lives up or I want or wait for certain quirks and if they are changed it upsets me. So no knowledge is my power!). I did tweet you a few times when some rubbish came up about people prying into the lives of the actors (a procedure I abhor! These are human beings doing a JOB. We might love the characters they portray but that doesn’t mean we know the actual person behind the character’s mask…I have no great desire to stalk these people on cast and crew…why!? I honestly don’t understand the obsession. If anything it is more fun to leave the actors as their characters and just enjoy the fantasy. At least for me…since I ran away from all the friends wanting to be famous for this or that at a young age and I respect those who work at it…it just isn’t me! There’s a reason I became a librarian instead of an actor 😉 ! I do so love the work you do. I am trying to stretch out the remaining 4 episodes to once a fortnight to really make the series last!

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