Travels In The New World

I’ve been back for almost three weeks, but it feels much shorter. I still have traces of jet lag and am constantly grumbling about the cooler temperatures around here every day. So, yes, it was an amazing experience and apart from many heart-warming encounters with beautiful people and sights I’ll never forget in my life, it’s also given me a lot of food for thought.

What’s Nova Scotia like, then?

Imagine a land almost the size of the Republic of Ireland, with a quarter of the population. I’ll never complain about losing arrows in Massbrook again, because the density of the forest in NS meant I lost almost *every* arrow I shot into the underbrush instead of into a target. I saw a deer cantering across a highway (yes, really. We’re talking a massive wide road with two lanes in each direction), seals, whales, and more wild birds than you can shake a stick at.

Back in the middle ages, Ireland used to be known as the “wooded isle”. I imagine it must have looked a lot like that, back then. Basically, Nova Scotia is trees and water, both the sea and lakes are everywhere. There’s pretty picture-book cottages, lighthouses and more lighthouses. A jaw-droppingly beautiful coastline. Cliffs and beaches. And in between are some of the loveliest, warmest, funniest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.

The temperatures were perfect, just warm enough to be summery without being sweltering – around 20-27 degrees apart from one rainy day when it was closer to 18. I went hiking that day in spite of the rain – I live in Ireland, if there’s one thing that doesn’t put me off, it’s rain – and saw a hauntingly beautiful fairy forest on a small peninsula with wild seas rushing all around it:

Every evening (apart from the last day; I was too heartbroken then), I wrote down a few highlights of the day, lest I forget. I thought I’ll just share these here. Make of them what you will!



It’s the evening of my first day, and I’ve already:

  • Danced
  • Given someone a gift
  • Got a warm, heartfelt hug
  • Connected with amazing people (a Galway woman, among others)
  • Listened to a live band



Today, I:

  • Had a lovely talk with a new friend
  • Got more hugs
  • Saw some of the most beautiful nature ever
  • Saw wild geese and a doe
  • Climbed a cliff
  • Inhaled 340g of raspberries in under 10 minutes
  • Drove more than I thought I could drive in one day
  • Saw purple clouds
  • Climbed into bed like a little child – the mattress is so thick, it increases the height of the bed by a lot!



Today, I:

  • Made another new friend and had a great talk
  • Shot in the BANS shoot with my new longbow
  • Got more hugs still
  • Saw amazing scenery
  • Saw a lighthouse
  • Had dinner on my bed in the B&B and it was heaven!



Today, I:

  • Wore a dress
  • Made friends with some trees
  • Climbed to the lamp of a lighthouse
  • Sat by the quiet waters of the Bay of Fundy at high tide
  • Met a sea-hag
  • Talked to a painter
  • Fell in love with a town
  • Got lost and drove in the wrong direction
  • Saw a historic ship



Today, I:

  • Went hiking through a magical forest by the sea
  • Stepped ankle deep into mud
  • Stood on a cliff over the sea and listened to the waves
  • Got more hugs
  • Found a wonderful cafe
  • Closed an important chapter in my life



Today, I:

  • Nearly got eaten by biting insects
  • Walked around a lake with no other human nearby
  • Saw 300-million-years-old fossils
  • Had lunch with a lovely older couple from the States
  • Saw seals and sea birds
  • Drove along the most beautiful coastline
  • Missed my new favourite cafe (arrived after closing time)

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