Travel writer Helen Earley has released a new book for families looking for tips and ideas for trips around the province.
“This is the first book ever published just for families, just for Nova Scotia,” says the Halifax-based author behind 25 Family Adventures in Nova Scotia: Making the Most of Your Travels With Your Kids. “So when the publisher approached me asking me to write the book, I thought it was a great idea.”
A former British Airways flight attendant with an impressive list of published travel writing behind her, Earley was more than a willing participant in the conception of writing Nova Scotia’s primary publication on family travel around Canada’s Ocean Playground.
“I love Nova Scotia because its my home,” laughs Earley about why she loves local travel particularly. “If you are traveling locally, you can jump out for a two or three day trip and come home and repack your bags and reset your compass and then go out again for another road trip. That was the real pleasure for me — discovering that little hops around the province are just so easy to do.”
In 25 Family Adventures in Nova Scotia, Earley explores everything from whale watching off the coast of Brier Island, to camping overnight in an old caboose in Tatamagouche, to simply uncovering the rich history of Africville right here in the city’s North End.
“My family goes there frequently for walks,” says the mother of two children, aged seven and 12. She adds some of the most fascinating, often-overlooked family adventures in Nova Scotia lie right on our doorstep in HRM. “Our visit to Africville in order to research for the book was a really, really special day. All sorts of neat things happened.”
Divided into 25 chapters over 160 pages, each section covers a different adventure from across the province and includes notes on the history and heritage of the respective region. Complete with many photographs and helpful tips, the book also focuses on providing phone numbers, websites and other practical guide book information for road trips.
“I hate the idea of everybody just being online all the time and checking locations and hours,” adds Earley. “It’s just so much more human to pick up the phone.”
The book also provides often overlooked and incredibly convenient advice on situations such as where to find decent cell phone reception (not on the road between Antigonish and Sherbrooke, apparently!) or where desperate parents can locate a satisfactory washroom.
“For families with little kids that’s super important,” laughs Earley.
Although the book was actually released in April, it has slowly been gaining traction among readers — possibly because as COVID-19 restrictions have lifted in Nova Scotia, local adventurers have started planning trips around the province more frequently.
“There’s a huge renewed interest for travel in Nova Scotia,” says Earley, adding that she has definitely noticed more people showing a hunger to explore the province’s parks, attractions and rich historical sites.
“There have been Facebook sites and groups that have started up that have just exploded in terms of their following where local people are looking for local tips,” adds Earley. “And each time I see one of these tips on these group pages, I just want to say, ‘go and buy my book because it’s all in there!’”For more information on 25 Family Adventures in Nova Scotia, visit Helen Earley’s website.