She was a journalist and blogger in Spain, but still had Scotland in her heart. So, it was “a big fat yes” when she was offered her dream job in Edinburgh.
Patricia’s love story with Scotland started way back in 2005 when, as a student, she spent a year abroad at the University of Stirling. The leafy campus, complete with its own loch, and a wealth of historic buildings on its doorstep, made Patricia fall head over heels. But some years would pass before the stars aligned, and she could take the leap and live here permanently. Her relationship with Scotland went from long-distance to up close and personal in real life – she’d got a job offer in Edinburgh!
It wasn’t just any role Patricia had been scouted for – it was a content and marketing position at leading tech and travel company, Skyscanner. One of Scotland’s most talked-about and fastest-growing companies, Skyscanner started life in Edinburgh in 2003. Since then, it’s scaled up to become a global operation helping over 100 million people a month to plan their next adventure.
Patricia was about to be part of their story.
Scotland had always been in my mind. Moving here was possibly one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made.”
Joining a global organisation meant that Patricia’s role could quite literally have been based anywhere on the planet, but the fact it was in Scotland sealed the deal for her. She cites a real connection with Edinburgh, and the people here that have always embraced her with open arms and a warm smile. In fact, moving to Scotland from Spain didn’t feel like moving away for Patricia – she says it felt more like coming back home.
Plus, aside from the capital city having a relaxed and walkable vibe, it’s easy to get out and about and explore the rest of the country with such a well-connected transport network – which, if you’re a travel blogger, is exactly how you choose to spend your weekends!
Alongside her career at Skyscanner, Patricia spends a huge slice of her free time exploring and eating up (often literally!) all that Scotland has to offer. She writes and shares moments on her website and social media channels, which are aptly called Mad About Travel, encouraging mostly Spanish-speaking readers to embrace what makes Scotland such a special place.
One of the things she’s especially passionate about is highlighting the diversity in Scottish travel, with Patricia keen to point out that there is so much more to Scotland than popular places such as Edinburgh, Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. Patricia wants to encourage visitors to unearth the hidden gems hiding behind the bucket list spots.
There are so many hidden gems right on our doorstep. When you go somewhere, and you’re totally alone there – the feeling is indescribable.
You’re probably wondering, though – with a career on her plate at one of the world’s leading travel companies, how exactly does Patricia find the time to explore Scotland?
Well, like more and more businesses in Scotland, Skyscanner offers flexible working. This means that Patricia can work from her home in Edinburgh when she needs to, and doesn't always need to be in the office. Also, with a generous holiday allowance, she can balance working with visiting her family near Barcelona. and if something urgent comes up while she is in Spain - no problem. She simply takes her laptop, gets tasks done from her childhood bedroom, and then spends the rest of her time there catching up with close friends and family.
Plus, in comparison with office hours in Spain, which are usually longer, Patricia finishes work each day at 5.30pm. After ticking off her to-do list in the Skyscanner HQ – a beautiful smart-working space with fruit bowls, plant walls, pods for quiet working, and a multicultural team – she can stroll home through Edinburgh’s streets and parks before planning her next adventure (or blogging about the previous one). An enviable work-life balance, right?
I guess we could live anywhere else in Europe. But I can’t think of any other place that packs so much beauty and wilderness. Scotland is the best for that.
At the weekend, she’ll usually explore alongside her partner Michal, who is originally from Poland – so the couple are a truly European match! Why did they stay in Scotland to build the next stage of their lives together?
For the pair, it’s the combination of “beautiful nature and warm people” that has made Scotland the obvious choice. Patricia also notes that, especially over the past few years, the open-minded and progressive atmosphere encouraged by neighbours, public figures and campaigns like Scotland Is Now alike have bolstered their resolve to stay in Scotland.
What’s next on Patricia’s personal adventure? For both her job and her blog, there’ll be more collaboration with international colleagues and bringing travel stories to life. Does she find that being based in Scotland adds another dimension to these conversations?
I’ve never felt anything other than welcome. Knowing that Scotland values and appreciates everyone that lives here is a real blessing.
Patricia says that whenever she utters the world “Scotland”, people tend to smile and know she’s talking about somewhere beautiful. Online, though, there can still be some misconceptions. Some of Patricia’s readers wonder whether Scotland’s winter weather makes it unsafe to travel, or whether they’ll get washed out by the rain.
Patricia laughs and offers some useful advice – it really doesn’t rain as much as people think it does! One trope she would say is true, though, is the warmth of the Scottish people.
There’s a creative community in Scotland that have inspired her to chase her personal and professional goals, as well as the support she’s had from Skyscanner to learn and grow in her career. Whatever adventure is next, one thing’s for sure – Patricia’s romance with Scotland isn’t fizzling out any time soon.
Read more from Patricia on her blog.