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In good company
Allie Vandersanden is a freelance writer and editor from Ontario, Canada, currently living in Florence, Italy, and teaching ESL. Allie completed her undergraduate degree in English literature and pursued her post-graduate studies in creative book publishing. Her interests include travel, blogging, seeking sunny spots to lounge in and curling up with a good book and a cup of tea.
Amy Attas is a writer, tree planter and hockey referee. She grew up in Pinawa, Manitoba, and earned a degree in Creative Writing from York University in Toronto before cutting ties with the idea of a permanent address. Her work has appeared at CBC Radio, Room Magazine and The Winnipeg Review. Her possessions are currently stored in Victoria, BC.
Amy Watkins, a British-born travel writer, fell in love with Canada as a teenager and moved to Vancouver in 2012. In the UK she worked as a features editor and freelance writer for ten years, writing about travel for national magazines and newspapers. Amy has travelled around the world on assignments as varied as cooking with celebrity chefs in the Caribbean to polar bear watching in the Arctic. She now writes about travel, food and West Coast life for a variety of publications.
Béatrice grew up in Montreal's suburbs, but her thirst for adventure pushed her to leave the family home at just 16, to move to the big city. She is slightly (very) obsessed with Australia, but wouldn't say no to any destination, especially if white sand beaches are involved. She drinks a little too much coffee, loves to cook, and spends her summers in music festivals.
Chelsea is an outgoing Australian girl currently living and working in Toronto, Canada. She's crazy for the spontaneity of life and travels as much as possible to create new memories. She enjoys writing, hiking and exploring hidden areas in her spare time.
Christie is a Vancouver Island-born-and-raised adventure seeker. She has travelled to 16 countries mostly around Europe, but still loves to call Canada home. Her favourite parts about travelling, locally and worldwide, are finding farm-to-table foodie spots, doing a classic walking tour to soak up the history and hearing people’s stories. When she’s not travelling, you can find her writing, working for a social media agency, hiking or doing yoga or some sub-par baking.
Being born and raised in Vancouver, BC (a rarity around these parts!), my first travel experiences were all long road trips with the fam. We would drive through the Rockies to visit family in Alberta, spend weeks camping down in Oregon and California, explore the interior of BC and all the islands off the coast. These trips were filled with lots of tantrums, pulled over cars, "I'm boooooored"'s and "Are we theeeeeeere yet?"'s, coloring books, pit stops, karaoke sessions and many an ice cream cone. They're some of my favorite memories and since then the travel spark has been in me full-force. My first overseas adventure was a school trip to the Greek Islands in Gr. 10 - and I've never looked back.
Gaël loves coffee, brunch, playlists, mornings, sunrises, photo collage, roadtrips, the world wild web, technological stuff, airplanes, boats, libraries, Wired magazine, yoga, pandas, climbing, confetti, but mostly, and above it all, travelling.
Having grown up in Guinée and Zambia, Africa holds a special place in her heart and she has been to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Mauritius and Madagascar. Her personal travels have also taken her to Argentina, Uruguay, Chili, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Cuba, Turkey, Germany, France, the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, Australia and all over the United States.
Heather is a West Coast transplant living in Vancouver and she still manages to get teary-eyed at the sight of mountains. She has travelled to over 30 countries and Canada is still her favourite. Next on her bucket list are the southern parts of South America and the northern parts of North America.
Oh hey, that's us! HI Canada is home to 57 hostels from coast to coast. We like trees, rocks, mountains, lakes, festivals, beer, coffee and that feeling you get when you book a plane ticket.
A born-and-bred Brummy, and almost-Parisian, Lauren is calling Toronto home for now. Find her in any coffee shop with cute decor, at the art gallery or hibernating with a book during winter. Come summer, she loves to go and explore new places. Writing about travel and culture is her favourite; keep up with her musings on her website.
Leah lives in a tiny apartment downtown Toronto with bad water pressure and an amazing book collection. She’s a producer by day, a writer by night and a traveller in between. An avid user of the semi-colon and fan of the acoustic version, Leah spends her spare time eating potato chips. See more from her on Instagram or her personal blog.
Lida was born and raised in Minnesota and proudly holds dual citizenship with Canada. Though she devoted her college years to studying chemistry she now mostly finds herself making a living as a writer, and imagines her third grade self would say "told you so." Check out some of her articles on deep-sea exploration, wearable brain scanners and the wonderful chemical elements here.
Marie likes to learn foreign words, cook with friends, dance, and plan her next road trip. You can see her riding her bike or running along the streets of Montréal, drawing in a park or wandering around flea markets. When she grows up, she wants to be a mermaid.
Meghan Wilson-Smith is a Toronto-based writer and editor. Her work has appeared in several publications, including The Globe and Mail, science and travel magazines and municipal newspapers. When not busy with her jobs as both a corporate communications professional and mother of one amazing young son, she is writing about travel, culture and parenting.
Ruby Irene Pratka is a Montreal-based freelance writer and editor and long-time HI member who enjoys combining writing and travel. Her work has been published in English and French in Vice Québec, HuffPost Québec, Ricochet, Xtra, Shareable, Canadaland and the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, among other websites and magazines. She also speaks Russian and some Haitian Creole. Originally from the US, she has been living the expat life since 2006. She has lived in eight countries and four different Canadian provinces, but keeps coming back to the delights of Quebec City.
Sarah Hewitt is a Toronto-based writer with a passion for food and travel. Her work has appeared on Food Network Canada, the Cooking Channel and Gusto Worldwide Media and she has also researched a number of best-selling cookbooks. She has a masters degree in Communication and Culture and loves travelling the world in her spare time—she's at 24 countries and counting!