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Thursday, January 19, 2023

HIGHLAND RETREAT: A RETREAT FOR BODY AND MIND IN A PHOTOGRAPHER’S PARADISE. JOSH (THOMAS1 BELLIC) REPORTING...






As I was perusing the Internet the other day, I came upon a description of a place called “Highland Retreat” The description read:

"Highland Retreat" is a small, idyllic Scottish island that invites you to relax. With picturesque landscapes, lush hills, and scenic bays, the island offers a peaceful environment to unwind and rejuvenate. The highlight of the island is the cozy cottage, which is perfectly integrated into the surroundings and gives the feeling of being in a different time. A perfect place for nature enthusiasts, those seeking tranquility, and keen photographers.

Well…it sounded pretty idyllic, but could it really live up to the hype?  Only one way to find out.   And I decided to go check it out for myself.  There I met Clifton Howlett and Coralile, the builders and owners of Highland Heights.  They were feverishly getting ready for their Grand Opening, scheduled for January 22, 2023.

During one of their infrequent breaks to stop and enjoy the serenity of their creation, I was fortunate enough to convince them to sit a spell and tell me about this dream-come-true sim.



Josh (Thonas1 Bellic) JB:    So tell me, guys. Where did you get the idea for Highland Retreat? Is there some history here?

Coralile (CL): Well, Clif had the initial idea.  I liked the idea, as I had visited RL Scotland three years ago and I fell in love with the place

Clifton Howlett (CH):   I was in a creative mood and wanted to create a new SIM and since I really like the landscapes in Scotland, I wanted to take some inspiration from that and design something calming, serene, and tranquil.  We both enjoy the creative side of SL, which is reflected in our photography, so it was important to us to build an environment that would inspire people and work as a great backdrop for photography enthusiasts. 

JB:       Just what is it that sets Highland Retreat apart from the many other Sims out there with a similar theme?

CH:  You are right, Josh.  There are many amazing locations across SL that have similar themes, but the uniqueness of each SIM comes from the individuals who create them.  Our vision was for something relaxing with wide views and little details for visitors to discover, and we have poured a lot of passion into creating this and hope visitors will appreciate our imagination.

CL:  I don’t think there is a sim with quite the same idea.  This is not a club.  It’s more a photogenic and relaxing sim where you can sit and enjoy the environment and the calm atmosphere of the place. To further the mood, we only play Scottish music here and it is just a really nice place to come and chill.



JB:      Who do you hope to attract to your build? What special group of people might Highland Retreat appeal to?

CH: We hope to see all kinds of visitors, from explorers to artists, to people who just want a soothing location to either be with current friends or to make new ones. All we ask if that all visitors are respectful of others.

JB:    Do you have any special events planned?

CL:  At present all we have scheduled is our Grand Opening this Sunday, January 17, 2023.  After we have had time to evaluate people’s reactions, then we may look at adding additional events.

CH:  True.  The purpose of the Grand Opening is to let the world of SecondLife know we are open and receiving visitors.  But generally, this place is designed to appeal to people who are interested in quiet contemplation, more than they are interested in blockbuster “events”, so to speak.  But we will see.

JB:    What are some of the areas that guests might enjoy during a visit to Highland Retreat?

CH:  Oh, this fully depends on the mood of the visitors. If they want a bit of alone time there are many small places to hide individually. But there are also places for people to meet and gather together to enjoy the serenity of the surroundings. 

CL:  We have built an interesting house on the property. I particularly like that the house is a mix of rustic and modern.  Beautifully decorated, this house is well worth the time for a visit. People will enjoy visiting and perhaps sitting and enjoying the environment.  We also have a lovely and rather rustic beach for guests to enjoy.     



JB:   And how about the future?  Do you have any changes or additions in mind?

CH:  The only thing constant in SecondLife – and Real Life for that matter – is change. There are always changes, everything evolves and I don’t want to keep things static for too long.  I like to create and as we say in German “Der Weg ist das Ziel”.  Or, “The journey is the destination!”

CL:  Well…we are only just starting out, so we really haven’t talked about changes yet.  Our focus has been on getting it ready as you see today. We will look at making changes after we first out how much appeal this kind of sim has with our visitors.

JB:    Is this space available for use by others?

CH:  All are welcome to use our Sim.   People are encouraged to invite their friends.  We have a “party area” for use by small gatherings, weddings, partnering, renewal of vows, or what have you. - All are welcome and can temporarily rezz things as needed  


JB:    There must have been several challenges in building a Sim of this nature. What has been your greatest challenge in building Highland Retreat?

CH:  It has been challenging to take the thoughts that served as our inspiration, and turn them into a realistic representation of that inspiration. It was difficult to pull solid visuals out of my fuzzy mind.

CL:  My greatest challenge has been due to our pursuit of excellence.  We want everything to be perfect.  I hope we achieved that goal, and the people will truly enjoy what we created.

JB:    I understand you are limited to 20 People.  What’s that all about?

CH:   It’s just a homestead so it’s limited by SL, but this works in our visitors' favor!  When you spend a long time staging the perfect photo, the positioning, lighting, etc,  the last thing people need is people getting in the way of the shot.  We are aiming to provide quality over quantity.

JB:    Is there anything else you would like to share with our SL Enquirer Readers?

CL:  I’m just happy to see you all. Be Happy, be nice and have fun! And we look forward to seeing many of you at our Grand Opening on the 22 of January.



So, there you have it.   Want to get away from the wild and frenetic pace of other places?  Places with big crowds – and even bigger lag?  Then come check out Highland Retreat…refreshment for the soul and allow you to express your “Inner Artist”.  Say high to Clif or Cora.

Tell ‘em Josh sent ya...

Be there!  Aloha!

JB


Additional Information

SURL:     http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Mundo%20Virtual/106/198/25  

FLICKR:  https://www.flickr.com/groups/escape_to_imagination/

Grand Opening: https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21AM0TTHMK9uYUSsY&cid=4DC8178B39B432B5&id=4DC8178B39B432B5%21203702&parId=4DC8178B39B432B5%2189709&o=OneUp

 


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