Profile photo for Carolyn B Heller

Carolyn B Heller

I’m a travel, food, and feature writer, based in Vancouver, Canada. My three Canadian guidebooks, Moon Vancouver and Canadian Rockies Road Trip, Moon Toronto and Ontario, and Moon Vancouver, highlight unique experiences, great local eating, and distinctive places to stay across the country. I’ve written about destinations across Canada and around the world for a wide variety of publications, including Lonely Planet, Forbes Travel Guide, Hotel-Scoop, Roads & Kingdoms, October magazine, Edible Vancouver Island, Canadian Traveller, Trivago, Luxury Latin America, and Perceptive Travel.

In my travels to more than 50 countries on six continents, I’ve gone ice-fishing in Nunavut and heli-hiking in British Columbia, swapped fairy tales with a Druze family in the Golan Heights, studied Spanish in Ecuador, and taken cooking lessons in Vietnam, Grenada, Japan, Chile, and South Africa. I’ve traveled from Vancouver to Halifax by train and crisscrossed the USA multiple times, including a six-week mother-daughter road trip with my then-pre-teen twins, where we ate mashed potatoes with gravy in 14 states while searching for the perfect strawberry pie. After calling Boston home for more than 20 years, my family and I relocated in 2003 to Vancouver, where you can often find me running along the seawall or snacking in one of the city’s Asian noodle shops.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"I specialize in Canada travel, with a particular focus on offbeat adventures, cultural experiences, food and drink, and road trips."

How did you get involved in travel?

"I grew up road-tripping with my family across North America – from our home in Indiana to the Atlantic coast, north to Quebec and Ontario, and west across the prairies and the Rocky Mountains to California. At age 18, for my first solo adventure, I spent the summer living with a family near Paris. Years later, after managing the marketing department of a small software company, I realized that the parts of my job that I loved were writing and traveling; I’ve been a full-time freelance travel writer ever since."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"When I became a Canadian citizen, I wanted to mark the occasion with a Canadian adventure, so I spent three weeks traveling across the country from Vancouver to Halifax by train. I stopped to explore Jasper in the Canadian Rockies, then got back on the train to Winnipeg, where I wandered through the Francophone community of St. Boniface and ate perogies three times in 48 hours. After stopovers in Toronto, Montreal, and Moncton, New Brunswick, I ended my cross-Canada travels in Halifax at Pier 21, often called Canada’s 'Ellis Island,' which is now a fascinating museum of immigration – a fitting place to wrap up my own new immigrant’s journey."

Salmon Glacier in Stewart, northern British Columbia
How Many Days Should You Spend in British Columbia?

British Columbia is vast—bigger than New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and most US states—and even travelers with generous schedules will have choices to make when planning a trip. Two weeks is a great place to start, allowing time to explore many of the province's highlights, from its coastal beaches and islands to the national parks of the interior. Travelers on a shorter schedule should stick to one or two regions—with a focused approach, you can get to know the parts of British Columbia that call to you without spending too much time on the road.