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Getting directions in St. John’s: A primer for mainlanders

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OK. You’re new to St. John’s and need help getting around, so you ask for directions. People on this island are only more than happy to help. But beware. If you’re anything like me, growing up in Ottawa everything was either East, West, North or South and highways were referred to by their number (416, 417, Highway 16, you get the idea.) Growing up, to get from my house to downtown I go north on the 416, east on 417 and I’m downtown. However, I have come to realize that this is not how it works here in St. John’s. For example, Highway 1 or the Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) is rarely referred to as such. It’s usually called the Outer…

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Tips from a mainlander living in Newfoundland

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When I began dating my wife in university I knew next to nothing about Newfoundland: it was an island way out East, it rained a lot, and people from there were very friendly. I think it’s safe to say that’s the impression a lot of “mainlanders” have about Newfoundland. After university we lived for a few years in my hometown of Ottawa before making the move out to St. John’s. I had a pretty good idea of what to expect having visited my wife’s family many times over the past few years. However I was still surprised by a great many things. Over the past four years of living here I have learned a lot about Newfoundland and Labrador and…

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Hitchhiking Canada: East to West Without Regrets, Part 1

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Some people have goals and dreams and apparently, there are even some people that know exactly what they want out of life. Well, that’s what I overheard somebody say on a bus once. However, I cannot confirm those statements because I have never been one of those people. The first to flee from commitment and the last to formulate any form of plans. I am unable to concentrate on the future and unwilling to make any decisions until the last minute. Now, although this may seem strange to some, this is the way that I’ve been for as long as I can remember. My family and friends were not surprised when I told them that I would be hitchhiking across…

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