Exploring Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore: A travel diary

“Oh really? You never hear of people going out that way. What’s there?”

The car rental agent hung the question and our keys over the counter as he asked about our plan to explore Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore. Boyfriend and I didn’t know what awaited on our three-day getaway from the city, other than a chance to unplug and decompress. We shrugged and told him we’d share what we found when we dropped the car off.

The story of the time my favourite author made a bust of my head (true story).

Author and artist Douglas Coupland has been a hero of mine since, as a teen, I stumbled upon his novel The Gum Thief. It's essentially a story about a bunch of losers working at a Staples store, hating everything and stocking printer paper. Two of the main characters are lost and trying to build their lives. One, an angsty teen named Bethany, struck a chord with the moody shades of myself—not that I identified as her, necessarily, but I understood her in my bones.

Woman Wanderer: Nellie Bly, foreign correspondent

How many times have you been told you can’t do something because you’re a girl? I still remember taunts from schoolyard peers and sharp corrections from family members, reminders received (if not really understood) about what I should be like—of how I should behave.

I’m one of the lucky ones, of course, not having basic things denied from me based on my gender. And I know my list of memories shrinks compared to the harsh examples many others face.

Woman Wanderer: Sylvia Earle, ocean explorer

Love mermaids? Me, too. I remember getting a copy of The Little Mermaid one Easter—and the blur of re-watching its’ namesake Disney princess under grand, wild waters.

My seven-year-old self never knew a betrayal quite like when Ariel traded her fins for legs. Why would you give up the entire ocean for some boy? (For the record, that one still baffles me.)