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travel writers

Meet Rick VanSickle: Wine Writer and Niagara Wine Region Expert

In the 1990s, few wine writers were focusing on Canadian wine. Rick VanSickle, then the executive Sunday editor for the Calgary Sun, was a frequent visitor to Okanagan Valley wine region from his then home in Calgary and when the wine writer position at his paper became available in 1999, he snatched it up himself (it helps to be the boss!) and started peppering his wine coverage with stories about homegrown wine varieties. He later branched out, writing wine columns in Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg, and eventually moved to his current  home in St. Catharines, Ontario (he’s a Toronto native), to focus on the Niagara wine region. (more…)

Meet Vancouver Food Writer Tim Pawsey

Tim Pawsey likes to say that he’s been writing about food and wine for 25 kilos. That badge of honour wasn’t achieved overnight: he has worked as a wine, food and travel writer for 25 years to get there. A longtime resident of Vancouver’s West End, he specializes in B.C. cuisine, but has been known to dip into other areas of Canada and—in terms of wine, especially—around the globe.

Tim’s food-and-wine-writing career started with a bang: a three-month race around the world with Charles Heidsieck Champagne. Today, Tim frequently judges wine competitions (such as the Okanagan Wine Festival) and is a frequent contributor to Where Vancouver magazine. (more…)

Meet Food and Travel Writer Cinda Chavich

Cinda Chavich knows food, and Canadian food in particular. She has 30 years of journalism experience—20 of them as a food and wine writer—under her belt and  is a regular contributor to Avenue magazine (Calgary), West magazine and the Canadian Tourism Commission Web site. She is the cooking columnist for Alberta’s CBC radio and has written five cookbooks, including bestsellers High Plains: The Joy of Alberta Cuisine, The Girl Can’t Cook and The Guy Can’t Cook.

A product of the Prairies, Cinda was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, and has lived in Lethbridge, Saskatoon and Calgary. As we speak, she’s pulling up her deep Prairie roots to set up shop in Victoria, B.C. (more…)

Meet Outdoor and Adventure Travel Writer Meghan J. Ward

Meghan near Everest Base Camp in Nepal (Photo: Paul Zizka)

Adventure travel specialist Meghan J. Ward lives in one of the best locations on the planet for outdoors enthusiasts: Banff National Park. The content specialist for Banff Lake Louise Tourism, editor of Canadian Rockies culture publication Highline Magazine, and freelance writer for Parks Canada, Travel Alberta and numerous outdoors publications, Meghan is someone you want to listen to if you’re planning a trip to Canada’s adventure capital. You can also read her musings on everything from waterproof sneakers to climbing Mt. Everest at her blog, The Campsite.

Born in Calgary and raised in Ottawa, Meghan headed back west for summer jobs in Banff during university and relocated to Banff for good in 2008. She travels extensively throughout Canada (to six provinces and Nunavut in the past two years alone!) and recently spent nine weeks in Nepal, where she hiked to Everest Base Camp and through Upper Mustang, among other adventures. (more…)

Meet Travel Writer Carolyn Heller

Carolyn B. Heller is one of those veteran travel writers you want to talk to, whether you need advice about travelling in Ontario or China. In her more than 15 years as a professional travel writer she’s authored or contributed to more than 50 guidebooks for Avalon Travel, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s and Zagat and covered destinations in more than 40 countries across six continents. (more…)

Meet Travel Writer Mariellen Ward of BreatheDreamGo

Read a bit of Mariellen Ward’s blog BreatheDreamGo and you quickly realize this is not your average travel blog. She specializes in the transformational and meaningful aspects of travel. Her own travel awakening came with the fulfillment of a lifelong dream in 2005: six months travelling in India, which she says completely changed her life, and she now refers to India as her “soul culture”. One of those life changes was the evolution of her career from corporate writing and editing to travel writing and editing. (more…)

Meet Rebecca Bollwitt of Vancouver Blog Miss604

Perhaps better known as Miss 604, Rebecca Bollwitt is a prolific Vancouver-based blogger who clues her readers into daily happenings in and around Vancouver, writes about short getaways from the city and shares interesting tidbits about the Vancouver’s history (including daily city archives photos).

She’s been at it since 2004 and in that time has been voted one of BC’s Top 100 Women of Influence by the Vancouver Sun and received various accolades for her blog, including Best Vancouver Blog by local weekly the Georgia Straight for three years in a row.

Rebecca also operates a WordPress design and development firm, sixty4media, and has written a book, Blogging to Drive Business, being released in its second edition this fall. (more…)

Meet Food Writer and Photographer Melody Fury of GourmetFury.com

Vancouverite Melody Fury is serious about food, and cocktails—though not so serious that she shies away from describing herself as a “cocktail ninja”. She started her blog, Gourmet Fury in 2009 and launched the Vancouver Food Tour in 2010. (more…)

Meet the Globetrotting Mama

Common perception is that having kids means staying in one place indefinitely. Heather Greenwood Davis figured differently, and set off on a world-travel adventure at a time when most moms with two kids in elementary school are fully entrenched in the work-to-school-to-sports/music lessons/play dates marathon. She and her husband Ish decided that their long-held dream of an around-the-world trip shouldn’t wait until retirement, and they set out last year with their two sons, ages 7 and 9 (and home-schooling curriculum), in tow. (more…)

Travel Writers’ Favourite Travel Books

Photo by Simon Cocks

By Carissa Bluestone

Maybe it’s the sight of school buses or the waning daylight hours, but there’s something about fall that makes us want to read—and start allocating next year’s vacation days.

For inspiration, look no further than The Guardian’s roundup of favourite travel books. The picks, made by 18 of the world’s best travel writers, including luminaries as “Tao of Travel” Paul Theroux and expedition royalty Kari Herbert, are a solid survey of iconic tomes (Bruce Chatwin and Freya Stark) and classic cross-genre efforts (Henry Miller, Graham Greene, and Woody Guthrie). Jan Morris, who examined Canadian life in 1992’s O! Canada: Travels in an Unknown Country, makes the list for her Destinations, chosen by Pico Iyer.

Many of the books describe trips undertaken so long ago there’s no way to replicate them—imagine visiting Greece’s famous ruins today and not encountering another single tourist. The “preserved in amber” anecdotes may lack direct relevance, but there’s a reason these books have inspired so many writers and vagabonds. Each diligently and eloquently worked to answer the “why?” of travel—a question we ask whether our destination is beyond the date line or a just day’s drive out of town.

More literary travel “best” lists you might enjoy:

Oprah’s “20 Books for the Armchair Traveler” [Oprah.com]

“Five Best Books on Travel” [Wall Street Journal]

“The 20 Best Travel Books of All Time” [The Telegraph]

“The 86 Greatest Travel Books of All Time” [Condé Nast Traveler]