Candice Does The World: how a small town girl became a talented travel blogger?
Who is Candice? Candice Walsh likes to call herself a Professional Experience Collector. She is also a blogger, writer, copy editor, and amateur beer taster. A former cubicle monkey/small town girl currently traveling through this big world of ours.
Candice Does The World explores her travel life and is a place where you will find no grandiose exclamations of life lessons - just Candice and her relationship with “place." Find out what secrets Candice shared with us when we interviewed her. Welcome to the world of Candice and her tangled mess of unfortunate coincidences and bizarre experiences...
Let's start by you telling us a little bit more about how did you discover your passion for traveling? Was there any particular moment that made you realize that you'll dedicate your entire life to traveling?
I’ve always wanted to travel, but never really had the opportunity while growing up in rural Newfoundland on the east coast of Canada. Then when I started university, I decided to study abroad in Harlow, England for a semester. It was cool because I was travelling with a bunch of other students. I was 21 years old and they helped ease me into the whole thing – it was my first time on a plane or even leaving the province! I studied geography and folklore, which weren’t particularly interesting, but I wanted to be travelling so desperately. Then I started working as a technical writer back in Newfoundland, and after two years was laid off. At that point I had been freelance writing on the side, and so I decided to make a go out of writing full-time and working location independently. Anyway, here I am, broke but happy with my choices.
How long has your blog been up and running? What made you come up with the idea of blogging and what are the main ideas you are trying to convey through Candice Does the World? (By the way, love the name, very catchy and sassy!)
I’ve actually been blogging since I was in high school! I’ve always been writing and journaling, and I used to just talk about my life on sites like Livejournal.com, and then eventually I launched my own website ThatsTangly.com. Later I decided to focus more on travel, thus CandiceDoestheWorld.com was born. I have no idea how I picked that name, by the way. I wanted my site to be entertainment – not so much a travel guide or anything. Just inspiration. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I figured people might enjoy my experiences and misadventures while I stumble around wherever I’m going.
What kind of a traveler are you? And what type of activities you enjoy the most during your adventures all over the globe?
Honestly, I have no idea. I prefer travelling with my friends, but often I travel solo. I love roughing it and camping out, hiking, rafting, kayaking, you name it. But I also love falling into a luxury hotel’s down-covered bed, and being waited on like royalty. I love nightlife and partying, but I also love quiet seaside views with a good book. So I guess I’m the flexible traveller. I’ll rarely turn down a travel experience, unless it has to do with bungee jumping or tarantulas. And definitely not both at the same time.
In all of your travels, what is that one sight that exceeded your expectations, that surprised you beyond words by how magnificent it was?
Probably Machu Picchu in Peru. I prefer quieter destinations over the crazy touristy ones, but Machu Picchu is special. You can’t help but feel spiritual when you’re standing at the top of a mountain overlooking one of the world’s most ancient and mysterious sites. I’m not ashamed to say I bawled like a baby.
Another time I was driving through southern Iceland with some friends when we got out of our rental van to take photos of an epic sunset over the mountains…and then we rounded the corner and accidentally stumbled upon Glacier Bay, this incredible lagoon filled with thousands of icebergs. The sun was casting intense reds and oranges across the still water, so it looked like everything was on fire. It was literally one of those stop-in-your-tracks-and-gasp moments.
One of the biggest fears travelers often have is being ignorant to cultural norms of the countries they visit, and offending people without wanting to do it. Has there even been a situation where you've broken a cultural norm and how?
Oh man, I’m seriously the most awkward traveller you’ll ever meet. One of my more recent awkward memories was while I was in Amman, Jordan. Jordan is a pretty liberal country, and locals are not too disturbed by western dress, but I stick out like a sore thumb with my wild red hair and pasty skin. So I wore a skirt out one night, and apparently everywhere I went, I turned heads. My calves stuck out like two glow sticks in a nightclub. I hadn’t even noticed until a fellow traveller told me about it.
I am sure your answer will be a yes, but I'll ask anyway.... Do you have any funny travel stories? Do tell...
Ha! One time I ate a space cake in Amsterdam (dumb idea if you don’t ingest THC often) and then went to the Anne Frank House, where I proceeded to puke all over the place. It was pretty terrible, but funny in hindsight. I had eaten curry fries. It was gross.
Another time, in an area of Ireland known as Sligo, my friend Julia and I attempted stand-up paddling on the River Bonet. We were hanging out with some really cool people, but everything all went to hell because I drifted out to sea, someone else fell into the water, and then we just kinda laughed about it and decided to go to a pub called The Thatch instead. It ended up being one of the best nights of my travel life – some musicians showed up and we had the kind of improvised Irish trad dance party most people only dream about. And then I went back to my room in a castle.
How much of a daredevil are you by nature? Tell us the craziest thing you ever did on your travels?
Ha, I’m not much of a daredevil, really! I’ve eaten a lot of weird stuff. I ate fermented shark in Iceland. That sounds mild, but there are few things in the world that taste worst than rotten shark. I also tried guinea pig, puffin, deep-fried butter, etc.
Based on your traveling experience, what would be your best tip for a newbie traveler?
There’s no right or wrong way to travel, just figure out what suits your style. There’s a certain level of snobbery sometimes among the more experienced travellers, but honestly, just do whatever you want.
If you could make up a travel word, what would it be?
There should be a term for redheads who stick out like I do.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I hope to be a more accomplished writer. Writing has actually been my first and foremost passion my whole life, above travel, even. I hope to be a published author.
Find out about Candice's adventure in Athens here!