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An Interview with Travel Influencer Chris Lawlor

A blog post by Natalia Barbour

Chris Lawlor is a travel influencer and content creator, with over 160k followers on Instagram and over 80k on TikTok. Our Communications Assistant Natalia sat down to have a chat with him on litter, social media and environment friendly travelling after he worked with us on our #HighlandCupMovement.

How did you get into the travel influencer industry and what made you want to be part of it?

I was climbing hills almost every weekend anyway, so decided to start videoing them and posting to TikTok!

People seemed to enjoy the content and although initially I just done videos with music over them, I started using voiceover which is useful to help describe places and let people know information about different locations in Scotland, like how long a walk takes and how far away it is, etc.

It's a win-win situation because I get to visit these places and I love doing that. It’s probably one of the things I love doing the most and people can get value by seeing these amazing locations, whether they are going to go there in the future or if they want to just watch and experience it.

Your content is all based in Scotland, what particularly about Scotland do you think is great that you want to share with people?

I feel like there are lots of places in Scotland that have stunning scenery and are in amazing locations that people don’t know about.

It's also mostly the accessibility aspect for me because I can jump in my car and I could be in Callander in an hour.

I also get to show people from other places around the world how beautiful Scotland is.

You recently worked with us on our Highland Cup Movement where you went up to the Highlands along the NC500. What made you want to work with an environmental charity like Keep Scotland Beautiful?

When I'm out on doing hill walks or trails I will occasionally see litter and things like that, so there is an issue with, you know, a need for a little bit of education for people in terms of not doing that.

Sharing a lot of these locations, it does drive a lot of people to the remote areas in Scotland that I visit. So I do feel a sense of responsibility. If I’m sending a lot of people somewhere, I’m trying to make sure that they're leaving it how they found it.

The Highland Cup Movement aligned with my views on protecting the environment, not just as an influencer but personally as well. It’s quite a cool system that was set up. The feedback I got from the videos all said that it was a great initiative that they’d like to try, and people from other countries as well were saying they wished they had something similar.

Since my social media started to grow a lot of companies have reached out, but nothing has really aligned with nature and what I like to do. So when this opportunity came up it was one of the rare times that I said yes!

We have different cup schemes like #TakeitBack in cities like Glasgow and Dundee. Your videos mainly focus on the remote beauty spots, but you’ve said that it’s just as important to keep cities in Scotland looking beautiful too.

Yes, it's something that you kind of forget about when you’re in the outdoors all the time, that there are cities that are in a worse state than the places I visit, with all the coffee shops and takeaways and stuff that they have.

So yeah, even parts of cities in Scotland that aren’t remote beauty spots still need to be taken care of and left clean.

How do you prepare for a trip to be environmentally friendly?

If I’m doing a trip or a walk, I’ll only bring a steel water bottle to keep my water cold and that’ll be the only liquid I bring. If I’m eating anything, any paper or rubbish goes in my bag.

One thing I’ve been thinking of suggesting more in my videos is hill walkers taking a little carrier bag, and any litter they see on their trail could go in that. Would just help that wee bit more with keeping places nice for everyone. It would be great if that would be something hill walkers could just adopt.

You travel to a lot of remote places, where you maybe have to bring a car or a van. Do you think it would be better if there was more public transport going up to remote places to reduce the amount of driving going on?

Yeah, some of the places are quite difficult to reach with public transport, that's the only thing. There are companies who do like day trips out and they will basically fill a bus and they'll go up north to a remote area that you can't really access unless you've got a car, which is pretty good.

I don't really see anything much in the way of bike racks on trails. Sometimes there is, like at the beginning of a trail where you can leave your bike.

Travelling around Scotland does require a lot of driving. If places were more accessible, I’d probably take the train. But as because they are still remote as difficult to get there.

And lastly, what was your favourite #BrewWithAView of your North Coast 500 trip? 

They were all brilliant but my favourite was probably my mountain climb, Stac Pollaidh. My coffee was cold by the time I reached the top, but the view was well worth it.

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