DUFFY: THE PASSIONATE PATRIOT WITH RESTLESS FEET
They take your trip from brilliant to unforgettable. They are students, teachers, white-collar-workers, some reality-averse and many full time explorers. They are bar workers, your drinking pals, new best friends and second hand tour guides. They have grown up on the other side of the world and you’ve met them somewhere in the middle. You don’t necessarily speak the same language but you don’t really need to. You have nothing and everything in common; brought together by a passion for broader horizons that took precedence over all else when you said goodbye to your friends and family.
They’re the ones you meet along the way. The ones who spontaneously come into your life and inspire you, challenge you, motivate you. Your paths cross and they manage to shape or even change yours, whether you realise immediately or not.
We believe these people need to be celebrated and documented, so we’re introducing you to the ones we meet along the way… just in case they inspire you too.
THE PASSIONATE PATRIOT WITH RESTLESS FEET
OUR PATHS CROSSED: SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
Name: Fraser Duff ('Duffy')
Occupation: Driving Tour Guide with Haggis Adventures
Nationality / Place of birth: Scottish / Glasgow
Living in: Stilan
Countries visited: 44
Favourite place: Yukon, Canada
Travel highlight: Cruising to Alaska with Disney
Next on bucket list: Patagonia
If I wasn’t here I’d be in: Canada
If I wasn’t a Tour Guide I’d be: Doing something that involves helping people
Best piece of travel advice: Be open minded and take the road less travelled
"I was told to travel through your own country before you go exploring anywhere else," Fraser Duff bellows in a thick Scottish accent from the driver's seat of our big yellow Haggis Adventuresbus, "and that's what I did".
You certainly can't blame the man. As he affectionately recalls a childhood spent fishing, camping and hiking, Duffy is steering our tour group through the breathtaking mountains of the Scottish Highlands. Steeped in a history that is as rich as the green of the landscape itself, the iconic setting is enough to stir wanderlust in even the most travel-averse. Perhaps this is what triggered Duffy's insatiable appetite for adventure; perhaps it is because he was exposed to the mind-opening experience of foreign culture as just a 'wee lad'.
When Duffy was six years old, his father - a psychiatric nurse - sold the family car and moved the party of four from Glasgow to Italy. The Duff clan travelled through Europe in the years that followed and at 16, Duffy wrote a bucket list of all the things he wanted out of life; job satisfaction, adventure and new experiences. Over a decade later, Duffy has an impressive list of international accomplishments - skydiving in Fiji, travelling Australia's infamous Great Ocean Road, working on a dairy farm in New Zealand and then on a Disney Tour in Alaska before returning to his homeland, where he shares tales of Scottish folklore with the tourists lucky enough to step onto his bus.
Admirably, Duffy's patriotism remains steadfast and uncompromised by his worldliness. Every bit the Scottish whisky-loving larrikin, his kilt is only ever replaced by shorts (despite the temperature) of the exact same tartan print. Speaking of his passion for authentic travel over a pint and a mac and cheese pie at a pub in the Isle of Skye, Duffy tells us about his postcard collection.
"I have a book of about 500 now. I started when I was young, buying them in the different cities I went to and just hand writing about moments and memories." No doubt those pictured paper-squares are worth a thousand words.
And where on earth will this man of the world end up? "Wherever the missus is from... she'll be the boss"