CAN anyone else hear the faint, opening bars of Willie Nelson's On The Road Again? Perhaps you are already picturing yourself dusting off the suitcases from the loft, loading up the car and motoring through sweeping glens and mountain passes.

Maybe your mind's eye is conjuring a picturesque lochside lodge or a glamping pod on the beach. The world may not currently be our oyster, yet Scotland hopefully soon will.

News that the tourism sector could reopen for business – with a provisional date set for July 15 – has seen me gazing starry-eyed at holiday accommodation websites like a lovestruck teenage girl mooning over posters of Bros and A-ha's Morten Harket on her bedroom wall.

After all these weeks in lockdown, venturing a handful of miles at most, the idea of soon being able to travel further afield is a prospect giddying and slightly terrifying in equal measure.

The notion of staying overnight in another set of four walls – be it booking a caravan at Wemyss Bay or a B&B in Banchory – is so alien, it feels akin to being selected for a Mars mission.

Over the past three months, life beyond my own little nook has often felt like an abstract concept. Cocooned in our sanitised bubbles, there's been moments I have viewed Jim Carrey's character in The Truman Show as a kindred spirit.

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Except in my instance the all-seeing eye of the camera facilitates endless rounds of Zoom calls and there's no hidden door you can step through to escape.

Surprisingly, I haven't gone completely stir-crazy. It has perhaps helped that I'm a homebody at the best of times. While I wouldn't go as far as snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan, who last week described lockdown as "the best three months" of his life, I've not experienced prolonged cabin fever.

Yet, ever since the announcement that the reopening of holiday infrastructure could be imminent, I suddenly have itchy feet. This coming Saturday I was due to head off for a week at a cottage near Stranraer, another lockdown landmark that has only served to stoke my wanderlust.

Regular readers will recall some months ago that I lamented never having visited Dundee. My hankering to explore the city hasn't waned. Well, unless those who didn't take my musings in the good-natured way intended are waiting at the Tay Bridge with torches and pitchforks.

I feel strongly about the need to get out and support Scottish tourism as soon as is safe to do so. I usually avoid July and August when the midges are at their most ferocious, but this year I'll grin and bear it, armed with a vat of Avon Skin So Soft and a stack of antihistamines.

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Ditto when it comes to any grumblings about the weather. Invest in a decent set of waterproofs. Put on a jumper and warm socks. Place your trust in the restorative powers of a hearty bowl of Cullen skink. Now, go stick a pin in the map. I'll look forward to giving you a wave on the open roads.

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