Happy #FeatureFriday Everyone! This weeks Friday feature is with Mandy! A freelance travel, food and music writer, she hails from Moncton, New Brunswick! Check out all she has to say below!

What was it that inspired you to start travelling? (A family member, a friends, something else?)

I first started travelling with my parents when I was a kid. We all are big music fans but we lived in New Brunswick where not a lot of big tours stopped. So we travelled to New England and other parts of the U.S. several times a year to see bands play. I still travel a lot in North America to see concerts. Earlier this year I went to Washington, D.C. to see O.M.D., next month I’m heading to Quebec City to see the Culture Club and in November I’ll be seeing Simple Minds in Florida.

You’re Canadian! Have you travelled much across Canada? Whats your favourite part and what would you suggest to someone wanting to go there? 

I have been to every province in Canada, except Newfoundland (which I’m hitting later this year) and British Columbia. There are so many amazing places in Canada to explore but I have to represent the Maritimes and say that there is no where as beautiful as the East Coast. In New Brunswick, I would suggest visitors make Moncton their base and take day trips to the nearby Fundy and Kouchibouguac National Parks, as well as the beaches in Shediac. Another great day trip is Saint Martins, a village on the Bay of Fundy, to see the sea caves, which are only accessible at low tide. And, just outside Saint Martins is the Fundy Trail Parkway, which is a 19-km drive along the coastline, with tons of stops for hiking, beaches and more. In Moncton itself, try local Acadian food like chicken fricot and poutine rapée at Chez Mémére.

Constanta, Romania

 

What places have you travelled to that you wish to go back to again? 

The two places on my list that I’d really like to visit again are Croatia and Albania. Both have such interesting histories and the people are so welcoming, it’s not hard to meet people in either country. In Croatia, I’d like to go back and explore some of the islands I missed like Hvar and in Albania I’d like to see the southern parts of the country, especially Gjirokastër.

Komani Lake, Albania

How do you plan your trips? What is is your process?

I’m a visual person, so I use Instagram a lot now when planning a trip. I like to follow locals before I head somewhere new to see what they love about their cities. I do also read guides (I like In Your Pocket quite a bit) or even novels about where I’m heading but it’s usually seeing a photo or a video that really inspires me to visit. For instance, I once bought a flight to Prague on a whim after watching the music video for “Never Tear us Apart” by INXS. The video shows off the Charles Bridge and the Jewish Quarter and I had to see them for myself.

French River, PEI

Where to next?!

In October, I’m spending three weeks in the Baltics, Belarus, Finland and Sweden. I’ve spent a lot of time in the Balkans over the past couple years and now I’m excited to see a different part of Europe.