hello, I’m Laura

I write essays and capture photographs about slower travel, Scotland, and the importance of switching off.

Raised in a village on the west coast, I studied in Glasgow before moving to Edinburgh for work. I now live between the sea and the countryside in Fife with my partner — and a lot of books.

why I write about slow travel

I’ve been blogging for nearly a decade about a range of topics, from a stint as an award-winning student journalist to sharing my year abroad diaries here. Soon, this site became a place where I could document my many weekend adventures around Scotland.

As the years went on, and platforms like Instagram grew in popularity, I worked with organisations like VisitScotland to share my travels with a growing audience. But I felt conflicted, especially as my day job was also in social media. I watched as certain places became busier and Insta-famous, visitors searched for the same photo, and tick-list tourism dominated. So I began to write about it.

Since 2018 I’ve been publishing essays and photographs about slow travel, both in Scotland and beyond. I’m particularly interested in the relationship between social media and how we experience place, including how Instagram shapes the way we plan our trips. I explored these topics with tour guide Nicolas Loisel in our Hashtag Scotland project, which received national media coverage.

the meaning behind laretour

When I started blogging after a year abroad teaching in Normandy, laretour — ‘retour’ is the French for ‘return’ and ‘la’ is both the feminine article and my initials — wasn’t just an available Twitter handle. It also represented my homesickness, a strong pull to come back to what I knew.

This notion of ‘returning’ threads through the years of my life, mostly lived here, in Scotland. Through childhood, we holidayed in the same places every season, each year; each return revealing minute changes in the sand or the small-town shops or our campsite neighbours.

Now, reflecting on the start of a new decade, laretour signifies something else again. As our worlds have shrunk I have returned to and found refuge in the simple things. Reading, writing, walking (often retracing the same trails), homemade meals, appreciating the tiniest details, the moments that make up a life. I hope my words remind you to do the same.