Lisa’s Outlander story started with a bargain. A self-confessed latecomer to the Outlander party she has made up for lost time, and now runs a fun-fan twitter account. Read on for Lisa’s story.
My sister told me that I should watch a show named “Outlander”. I wasn’t very interested. Then she told me again. And Again. I finally looked it up on IMDb. Ronald D. Moore, huh? Well, I loved the reboot of Battlestar Galactica and had always been a Star Trek fan so now I was intrigued. I said to my sister, “I’ll make a bargain with you. I’ll watch Outlander if you watch Battlestar.” While she has yet to watch BSG (Sisters!), I went all in on Outlander.
After bingeing the first two seasons (with my own ‘Jamie’ watching along side me), I read all the books, joined online communities, and suffered through my first Droughtlander awaiting the premiere of Season 3. Reading the books was a huge undertaking for me as I’ve never been much of a reader, and certainly not a quick one. But my husband was working full time and heads down getting a Masters so I had some time on my hands. I enrolled myself in a Masters course of my own: a degree in Outlander Studies, completing the books in seven months (quite an accomplishment for me).
How hooked was I? I started collecting first editions that I could find, and I even convinced a friend in Scottsdale to pick up a signed copy of the 25th anniversary of Voyager for me (Thank you, Diana Gabaldon, for signing the book and a photo of my trip to the Highlands!). Like a reporter on the scene, he texted me everything that was happening at the event while I roamed the grocery store.
How has my Outlander journey changed me?
1) Relationships. I often ask myself What Would Claire Do? Like many others, I was particularly drawn to the central relationship between Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) – how they support, care for, and love each other as demonstrated in their words and actions. WWCD has served as a model for me as I endeavour to be more empathetic in my own relationships.
2) Travel. Outlander pushed me to finally book a trip to Scotland, and I became one of the nearly 500K Americans who visited Scotland in 2018. Although I didn’t take a specific Outlander tour, I still managed to see many related sites while touring, including Glasgow Cathedral (L’Hôpital des Anges) and Glasgow University (Harvard), Bakehouse Close (the print shop), Culloden, and Holyrood Palace. Even more fun, I met up with other fans I knew online and we saw Grant O’Rourke (Rupert) perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
3) Mind and Body. After tackling the full Outlander canon including the short stories and Lord John Gray series, I’m now reading more than I ever have. And through My Peak Challenge, Sam’s program for self improvement and charitable giving, I’ve become more active, dropped weight, and have met other “Peakers” in my area.
Finally, to make a positive contribution to the Outlander community, I started a twitter account that combines my two obsessions – trivia and Outlander. I’m a competitive trivia player and Outlander is a goldmine of trivia – from characters, to locations, to history, and so much more. My account, @PubOutlander, covers the books, show, cast, crew, history, Scotland, and more. I’ve been so thrilled with the positive response from everyone who enjoys the feed. Thank you for playing along!
I know that so many people have been fans from day one. I was 25 years late to the party and appreciate how open this fandom is to late-comers like me. No matter when or how anyone started their Outlander journey, we all enjoy sharing our love of this truly epic story with its inspiring characters. With all the strife and stress in our lives, I’m fortunate to be part of a fandom community that is so enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and encouraging.