There’s a certain lull after every life-changing experience. After a 25hr+ journey back from South Africa to Canada, the nostalgia fully set in as I resumed my life back at home. Seeing family again and finding myself back in Canada was comforting but the routine I developed in South Africa, the people I interacted with every day for eight weeks, and the life I grew so accustomed to and learned to love all became a memory.
I sound melodramatic. Eventually, the nostalgia will fade to a pleasant reflection, but in the meantime, I can’t help but want to take the first flight back to Johannesburg.
And while that isn’t possible, I’m lucky enough to be traveling to St. John’s, Newfoundland. Let me dive into the often overlooked provinces of Canada and visit the quaint towns across the province. Canada is so vast and unique and I am very grateful to be able to explore it. While at first glance, it might not appear to have the same excitement or offerings as a trip Europe, I have high hopes for this province! Having visited the West Coast and the Maritime provinces, my family dedicated a week to explore Newfoundland and Labrador, continuing our trek to cover Canada. Situated on the tip of Canada’s East Coast, our journey will start and end in St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador.
A few quick insights about Newfoundland and Labrador:
- Newfoundland is the island surrounded by Atlantic Canada and Labrador is the mainland portion. The two parts of the province are separated by the Strait of Belle Isle and the two joined together to form one province on March 31, 1949, while entering the Canadian Federation.
- The island of Newfoundland is divided into four distinct sections:
- Western: Home to Gros Morne National Park.
- Central: Check out Twillingate!
- Eastern: Includes Clarenville.
- Avalon: Home to St. John’s, the capital city of the province.
- The province attracts scientists from around the world because it is home to some of the oldest rocks on earth.
My Newfoundland and Labrador bucket list:
- Seafood: Lobsters galore. Lobster season usually starts around mid-April and extends through July.
- “Screech In”: Kissing the Cod to become an official honorary Newfoundlander. The tradition to “Screech In” is the ritual in which a foreigner to Newfoundland kisses a cod fish and drinks a shot of screech (rum).
- Visit “Jelly Bean” houses; the vibrant coloured houses throughout the streets of St. John’s.
- Learn a few Newfoundland phrases. The province has connections to French, Irish and English settlers, over time, developing their own unique slang that resembles the speech of their early settlers.
- Sightseeing wildlife (whales, birds) and icebergs. Quick fact: An iceberg is when a piece of a glacier breaks off and drifts in water.
While Newfoundland is still a part of Canada, each city and province in the country has it’s own unique culture, sights, and people. With an open mind and new jitters, I’ll share my Newfoundland journey over the next few days.