Candice Walsh is a Newfoundland-based travel blogger/writer (Candice Does the World), professional social butterfly and self-proclaimed amateur beer taster. She’s an editor for Matador Network, Newfoundland blogger for AOL Canada, and the owner of Social Media Atlantic Canada (SMAC). One of Where.ca’s Newfoundland experts, Candice has lived on “the Rock” her entire life—on all corners of the island. Her worldy travels include driving across Canada in a yellow Mazda Protegé inexplicably named Daytona Beach Bad Boy.
What prompted you to start a blog? What was your vision for your blog (and has it been realized)?
I’ve actually been blogging for over 10 years—originally as an outlet for teenage angst. But then I wanted a place to share all my ridiculous travel stories, so I launched Candice Does the World! It’s been an epic journey, and I’ve definitely established myself as a Newfoundland “expert,” but it’s definitely an ongoing process.
Tell us something that has surprised you while travelling in Canada.
I was told driving through northern Ontario and the Prairies would be long, tedious and boring. I found the dense wilderness of Ontario and the views of Lake Superior stunning, and I had never seen anything like the Prairie skies. It was like living in HD. I was also surprised by how hard I fell for Montreal, despite it being such a big city, and I’m working hard to live there short-term next year.
Favourite meal on the road?
I had the best breakfast of my life at the Tallest Poppy in Winnipeg.
Worst Canadian travel experience that makes the best story in hindsight?
Cailin [my cross-Canada road-trip partner] and I were warned repeatedly to fill up on gas before leaving Sault Ste. Marie, and yet we somehow forgot to do so anyway. We drove for over an hour on nearly an empty tank before finally rolling into a gas station. We were super-stressed, but the kooky gas station with its free coffee and outrageously friendly people made up for it.
What’s the most underrated attraction or place you’ve visited?
The Coast of Bays on the south coast of Newfoundland. It’s rural Newfoundland at its finest, with the best hospitality, unearthly landscapes and zero tourists.
Most overrated attraction or place?
Toronto’s CN Tower—I’m sorry! I’m not a big city gal, I’m afraid of heights and I just wasn’t impressed by the view at the top. I’m totally willing to give it a second chance though.
What piece(s) of wisdom have you learned since you started travel writing for a living?
Do not work for anything less than what you’re worth. Building a portfolio is fantastic, but remember, you have to feed yourself too!
What’s something about your home province or city that not everyone knows?
The geography, culture and even language vary all throughout the province. Even my parents have entirely different dialects, and they grew up only a few towns apart. After living here for 25 years, I’ve barely scratched the surface!
How do you feel about the term “Newfie”?
I’m totally cool with it, as long as it’s used on friendly terms! But the older generations are not so lenient—I’ve known friends to be thrown out of cabs for tossing the word around casually.
Where do you always take out-of-towners when they visit you?
If I could, I’d pack them all up and take them to Gros Morne National Park, my favourite place in the world. But in St. John’s, it’s always a pint of Quidi Vidi ale at the Duke of Duckworth, a hike around Signal Hill, and a visit to the Inn of Olde in Quidi Vidi village…not necessarily in that order.
What should everyone take home from a visit to Newfoundland?
New friends, a bottle of India ale, Purity crackers and a hangover. It’ll happen, inevitably.