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Scotland | Photo By: @josephphilipgardner
Popular culture embraces and regurgitates the term Hygge as if it were every millennial’s life-long mantra. The word’s original roots have become lost and unclear along the way - a pop-culture slogan slapped onto anything deemed “wholesome” and attracting so much attention it got praised as the UK’s word of the year in 2016 (after Brexit, that is).
Despite it’s overuse, Hygge actually refers to the very beautiful Danish concept of experiencing and enjoying life’s small pleasures. The smell of freshly roasted coffee or the crispiness of new bed-linen is Hygge. Dipping your feet in the sea or feeling the wind on your face? That is Hygge too.
This fascination for putting a certain ‘vibe’ or ‘feeling’ into words isn’t exclusive to the Danish. Slowly but steadily, different lifestyle trends have emerged from a variety of corners around the world. The Dutch, for example, may be familiar with Gezellig - referring to that feeling of being fulfilled by a social and familiar environment. In Greece, they coined the word Meraki - meaning the joy and pride of well-crafted labour. For the Swedes, it’s Lagom - the art of finding balance. And for Scots? It’s Coorie.
Coorie is all about embracing one’s context and becoming in sync with surrounding nature. Originally, it was a term used in interior design to incorporate traditional Scottish textures and feels to one’s home, but has now evolved into a lifestyle denomination for the Scottish way of living and embracing the nation’s culture. Whilst other lifestyle trends can essentially be applied and experienced anywhere, some claim Coorie feels more exclusive to Scotland. It’s a term which one would find complicated to apply if living in the Bahamas, for example, purely because it describes a feeling unique to the crisp Scottish weather and distinct landscapes.
So how can one possibly adopt a Coorie lifestyle?
Scotland is full of lakes (known as lochs), which are a very short drive from the Country’s biggest cities. Most remain completely untouched, with modern man-made infrastructure occupying little to no space by the loch’s shores. There’s an undeniable sense of wholesomeness when dipping your toes into the ice-cold waters, surrounded by nothing but vast nature and a palette of greens and teals.
The most notoriously famous spots to visit include the Faery Pools of Skye, Glen Water Rosa in Arran or The Gulf of Corryvreckan.
Did you know you can see the northern lights in Scotland? Perhaps a riskier venture than trying to spot them in Iceland (mainly due to the bad Scottish weather), laying down on the misty grass whilst gazing at the pitch-black sky’s glimmering stars is certainly very Coorie.
Your best bet is Galloway Forrest Park, which by being more than 70 miles away from the closest civilisation hub, boasts of the darkest sky in Europe.
If equipped with adequate gear, Scotland’s more than 200 munros are an activity not to be missed. The hikes vary in difficulty and scenery, but are one of the best ways of physically challenging yourself in true Coorie fashion. It’s meditative and striking, both at the same time, but in no way an easy feat.
For your first couple of Munros, why not attempt Cairngorm, Mount Keen or Ben Lomond?
Using your Sundays to visit a farmer’s market and going grocery shopping paves the path towards a well-rounded week. Use this time to cook yourself a well rounded family meal to eat by the fireplace, making sure you start the week surrounded by the ones you love. The key is to dedicate yourself wholeheartedly, almost adopting a a Meraki attitude.
What to cook you may ask? Haggis, roast potatoes, turnips, carrots, parsnips, cabbages, gravy… Perhaps even take it as far as smoking your own food!
Weather permitting, Scotland is a camper’s utopia. The problem is, the majority of the year the country is frozen in below-zero temperatures, or at the very least strong winds that make camping more of a nuisance than a pleasure. Despite the Scottish saying “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”, a safer alternative is to opt for cabin accommodation.
Wherever your trip takes you to, you’ll likely find a lodge or cabin for rental at vrbo.com . Look for those with warm wooden interiors and a fireplace, so you can cozy in and keep warm.
Coorie involves and understanding of environment, and intrinsically encourages national and cultural pride. There is nothing better to incentive this than shopping local and ethically whilst understanding and meeting the people behind the produce you consume, the candles you buy and the flowers you decorate with.
There are many local Scottish businesses, but some of our personal favourites include the following: The Squid Ink Co, Roots and Fruits, Our Lovely Goods, Viv Lee, Alex Basso Ceramics and Solas Sleepwear.
Flower arranging and plant watering are ways to incorporate the nature loving essence of a Coorie lifestyle, even for those who may live far away from a quick escape to the park. Some shops specialise in boutique pots and plants, whilst others offer flower arrangements to bring colour right into your home - think baby breath or thistles.
Although you can buy flowers even in the big chain supermarkets, the following are a list of 3 local small businesses you should could also keep in mind; Flowers Vermillion, Snapdragon Edinburgh and Mud Urban Flowers.
Weather you have never visited Scotland, or have been countless times, having an understanding of the Coorie lifestyle is one of the many ways one can feel and experience the marvels of the country. Although some claim it’s a very unique and location base philosophy, I like to think we can all adopt elements of Coorie irregardless of where we are. After all, we can embrace our surroundings, appreciate nature and take pride in our national culture pretty much anywhere, right?