Rovena has lived all over the world and now resides in Thailand. She has only very recently discovered Outlander. But she has certainly made up for lost time! Read her Outlander story here.
I was two when my parents packed up and left Italy for Montenegro. My father was one of a handful of Nuclear Engineers in the 80s and very much in demand. We kept migrating south, moving to Nigeria, then Saudi Arabia and finally my parents settled in Malaysia. By then I was studying in University, juggling a job tapping phones for the Italian Homicide Department in all my acquired 4 languages and meeting the love of my life, at 3 am in a pub. No we were not drinking The Sassenach, but whatever it was, it was strong!
We shortly combined our strengths and followed circumstantial signs of destiny which brought us to Thailand where we set up an Interior Design and Architecture firm which has since grown to be an Award Winning endeavour. It’s always been a rush, my whole life has been in 5th gear, jumping on and off planes, managing studio, construction sites worldwide and high-profile clients.
Then – silence. COVID_19 just ground my whole life to a halt and suddenly I had time! Time to watch a movie, time to do sports, time to be a “Woman of leisure” in Fergus’s words.
During this God gifted time, a friend of mine suggested I watch Outlander. I brushed it off quickly and said: “I will only watch a series if the lead actor is hot to trot and I will fall madly in love with him for the whole duration”. She guaranteed I would and threw in the steamy sex scenes and male testosterone moments of battle.
The first half hour of episode one left me questioning her judgment, right up to that Heaven-sent moment when Claire fixes Jamie’s shoulder. I was caught, hook, line and sinker!
50 hours of binge watching ensued, followed by another 50 re-watching it all over with my husband and another 50 re-watching it all on my own. I spent the last couple of years craving a sabbatical, I finally get the time and I spend it watching a series! Yes, of course I ordered all the books!
Yes, of course I’ve looked up hotels in Scotland to travel to Lallybroch and yes, I have consumed conspicuous amounts of G&T to keep up with all the bloody drinking they do on set. Whiskey is just a bit too hot to drink in the tropics!
So here I am now, obsessing over the narrative of this perfect man: impulsive yet understanding; powerful yet gentle; funny yet deep; handsome and fragile. Let’s face it, only a woman could have concocted the perfect man and Diana did just that.
There are heartaches! I would never have left that perfect man behind, and would not have waited 20 years to get him back! The scenes with Frank are like a dagger to my heart. I find particularly disturbing the fact that such a sweet, family man of pure values was robbed of the chance to be a father repeatedly.
And then the funny part: this perfect man we all dream about is as immoral as they come! He is an outlaw, he frees prisoners from jail, helps Bonnet escape from his death row, kills, steals, smuggles, is bigamous (ok, he didn’t expect Claire to come back!), offers his body as payment to one and all, he lives in a brothel and plays his wife’s wedding bands at cards – yet he is the most romantic character ever!
Aimee Spinks is the photographer who brings you those marvellous still images from your favourite TV show, Outlander. The image above shows Aimee with Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe on the last day of filming Outlander Season 3 in Scotland. You can find her out there in the mud and rain, all hours of the day and night capturing the action as it’s filmed, equally at home in the rugged Scottish landscape or the huge controlled environment of the studio. Aimee’s work has added an extra and important dimension to the world of Outlander.
Follow the link to Outlandercast to read the story
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.
The global Covid-19 pandemic brings to mind other health emergencies, real or fictional. We take a look at contagion in Outlander and how Claire Fraser handled it.
We are living through difficult times. Everyone is affected, and it is tempting to say we are “all in the same boat,” but as time goes by we can see that this is not the case. There is a great difference between the effects of the COVID-19 virus across communities, social groups and countries. It’s a complex picture in a complex world. And it got me thinking about the parallels with the contagious diseases that Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) has faced in Outlander. We are finding that politics, personal values and beliefs are all part of the picture with a public health emergency. Was it any different in Claire’s time?
Follow the link here to Outlandercast.com to read the story