WHEEL LIFE: JULIE FOWLIS
I was desperate to drive and started to learn as soon as I turned 17. I passed first time within a couple of months. My first car was a silver Peugeot 106. It was about three years old when I bought it, and I was so proud of it. I still remember the buzz of having my own car and feeling independent, especially as we lived in the Highlands.
I’m lucky enough to own a Hyundai i800 which we had converted to a campervan. It’s been the best thing we ever did. My husband and I and our two children love heading off in the van, sometimes for big day trips to the beach or up the Cairngorms skiing, or a camping weekend. As soon as we pack up and leave, it feels like we are heading off on an adventure. We love camping and being outdoors, and the van has been the perfect vehicle for us.
I have never really hankered after cars but I am sorely tempted by the VW California.
FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRIVE?
I love driving around the North Highlands, I used to drive those roads endlessly before they became the NC500 and trendy. I spent a large part of my youth driving those roads playing dances and teaching music. My husband and I drive a lot for our work as we travel all over the world, we regularly drive all over the US and Europe. My husband is a self-confessed cranky passenger, so he tends to be at the wheel more than me.
LEAST FAVOURITE PLACE TO DRIVE?
I don’t like driving around London much. I am a competent driver but don’t drive in very busy areas that often, so I tend to avoid it.
ROAD TRIP SOUNDTRACK?
In the US, we always have Joni Mitchell on repeat – think California, Free Man in Paris, while driving towards San Francisco in the sunshine. Or Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Trad music from Ireland and Scotland is never far away. Other instrumental artists recently on my car playlist include Dreamers Circus and Gwerz, and I adore vocal music from other parts of the world, especially areas of Europe like Bulgaria, Spain and Scandinavia. I love a podcast too: comedy and politics regularly feature.
Phil Cunningham is always good for a story in the car. I especially love spending time with musicians driving on tour. It’s always a great place to share and learn new music and concoct plans!
Award-winning singer Julie Fowlis, whose dream ‘car’ is actually a Volkswagen California campervan, left.