Meet the Travel Bloggers: Candice Does the World

This week’s Meet the Travel Bloggers interview is with native Newfoundlander, travel blogger and editor, Candice Walsh of Candice Does the World.

When, why and how did you start your travel blog?
I’ve been blogging for about ten years, but always privately and always about life in general. But when I studied in Harlow, England back in 2007, I started writing for friends and family too. My online perusing eventually led me to MatadorNetwork, and I enrolled in their MatadorU travel writing program. Now travel blogging is part of my job!

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Candice rescuing baby puffins in Witless Bay, Newfoundland, photo/courtesy Candice Does the World

How did you come up with the blog’s name Candice Does the World?
I don’t even remember anymore. I guess I wanted something memorable. It’s fun telling professionals my blog title sometimes…I get a lot of eyebrow raises.

You’re “location independent.” What allows that?
The biggest portion of my income actually comes from copy writing. Fortunately, I’ve made incredible contacts here in St. John’s (my home-base) to keep me busy most of the year, even if I’m not actually in St. John’s. I get the freedom to move around and work from wherever I am in the world, as long as I have a reliable internet connection.

How hard is it to travel with Newfoundland as a base?
It is HARD. There are only a handful of major airlines operating out of St. John’s, and even though a quick flight to Ireland is only about 5 hours, I’d still have to fly to Toronto, Ontario first to make my connection. Seriously. I was just researching one-way flights to Berlin. The fare was $1300…from NYC, it was $500.

What is the thing that keeps you the most jazzed about blogging?
Opportunity, excitement. I started out last year with zero travel plans, and 2012 ended up being my best year yet. I lived briefly in Montreal, spent some time in Saskatchewan and then Alberta’s Rockies, Ottawa, Calgary…I also went to the Dominican Republic, Orlando (Florida), the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Austria.

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Candice’s first visit to Change Islands, Newfoundland and Labrador, photo/courtesy Candice Does the World

What excites you about travel?
People. Beer.

What kind of traveler are you?
Everything and anything, I’m a flexible traveller. Jungle trek in Brazil? Heck yeah. Luxury resort vacation in Jamaica? ALL OVER IT.

In light of the attention solo female travel bloggers are getting, what is the best safety tip you can offer solo women travelers?
Always let someone know your plans before you head out. I send at least a loose itinerary to my mother. And just be AWARE of your surroundings!

Is being in your comfort zone important to you?
I draw the line at some things. I avoid things that have to do with heights. I was supposed to rappel down the side of a hotel once – forward facing – but instead I had a nervous breakdown. But pretty much anytime I leave Newfoundland is venturing outside of my comfort zone. This place is isolated as hell.

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At Machu Picchu, in Peru. Best experience yet, photo/courtesy Candice Does the World

What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done on the road?
Eating space cakes in Amsterdam. I don’t recommend it.

What is a space cake?
It’s a deliciously deceiving dessert with cannabis in resin form baked into it. I don’t advise it.

What’s your most memorable travel experience or favorite trip ever?
Machu Picchu in Peru with Contiki. I was overwhelmed by the beauty, the history, the Incans’ relationship with nature. I felt like it was the closest to religion I’ve ever been.

What is Contiki?
Contiki is a backpacking tour group for people ages 18-35! It’s a great way for new travellers to gain confidence as they travel around, so that if they want to do things without a tour bus sometime, they already have a bit of experience.

What’s your favorite place on earth?
I belong in Newfoundland and I love it here. The kindness of people, the unbelievable nature and wildlife opportunities, my friends and family, St. John’s…the more I travel, the more I love home. But I’ll always be a traveler, if that makes sense.

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The view of St. John’s from the hiking trail around Signal Hill, photo/courtesy Candice Does the World

Where are you off to next?
Hopefully Ireland to attend The Gathering, so I can trace my family ancestry. It’s a pretty unreal mission. I’m missing a few names, but I’ll just show up in Cork with a flask of whiskey and start telling people my last name is Walsh, and we’ll see what happens.

What’s the biggest fantasy on your bucket list?
I want to spend a full year exploring Greece. I’m obsessed with the ancient world, and Greece has been pulling me to it since I studied Classics in university.

Is there anything we haven’t asked that you feel you’d like to share about your travels or your blog?
I’m not a country counter. I collect experiences, not places. I’d rather spend a longer amount of time in one spot than country hop all over the place. Also, I’m poor.

Candice Walsh is a travel writer, professional experience collector, Matador Network editor, and Newfoundland blogger. She recounts her travels at Candice Does the World. She likes beers and things that smell nice. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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