As you might have figured out from the last Like a Local feature, I’ve finally realized that regardless of how long I’ve spent in any given destination, there’s someone who knows more than me.
So why not hear it from the locals?
Meet Gemma Armit, travel blogger at Two Scots Abroad and a passionate local from Edinburgh, Scotland. Gemma is a Politics and Current Affairs high school teacher who is currently on a career break to travel the Americas and Europe. She lived in Scotland for 31 years and is ready to share with you a thing or two about local travel.
Photo credit: Demonsub
What does responsible tourism mean to you?
Responsible tourism, in my opinion, involves respecting the local communities which you visit. Avoiding the stereotypes which are built about those areas. Taking tours with local and national companies with the hope that the money is being shared within that country and that the company employs a local team.
Are there any volunteer opportunities in your city? If so, what?
Unfortunately there is inequality in Edinburgh which usually equates to volunteering opportunities with charities and not for profits. I’ve always working full-time so have not had the chance to volunteer as an adult like I did as a student (in Glasgow). I did apply to a soup kitchen when I first moved to Edinburgh, however they never replied.
[Take this piece of advice from Gemma and run with it! Edinburgh would be a great place to startup a volunteer tourism centre!]
What are the top 5 things to do in your city that do not damage the economy and environment?
- Walk up Arthur’s Seat – it’s free
- Shop local avoiding the big supermarkets
- Don’t buy drugs
- Check out our markets for home-made gifts
- Move away from Princess Street to shop – we have lots of local businesses away from the main drag
Are the any locally produced souvenirs worth buying in your city?
I very much doubt the See You Jimmy Hat was made in Scotland.
Wool and whisky – I don’t think you can get anymore Scottish.
Are there any local customs that travellers should know and respect?
Scottish people are very sarcastic, they may make fun of you but it is (usually) playful. We don’t really do kissing on cheeks.
Can you give us 5 helpful words to get by in your city?
- Ken means ‘know’
- Like is often used when it is not required
- Hen is a term used for a woman
- Scoobie means clue (as in I don’t have a scoobie, I don’t have a clue’)
- Jobby is a poo (and then there are a whole heap of swear words…)
Any other tips or tricks worth sharing?
Go to Leith! This is an area of Edinburgh which feels like its own wee (small) village, nice bars, restaurants, shops, walks. If it’s sunny (boom boom!) check out Portobello Beach!
Photo credit: Graeme Pow
“Like a Local” features are intended to teach travellers about the sustainable impacts they can make on any given city, country or town. Sustainable tourism varies among countries and every feature is completely different. Don’t see your city mentioned yet? Send us an e-mail to feature your business and city on Give for Granted.