Carolyn Heller

Headshot of Carolyn Heller
Courtesy of Carolyn Heller

Lives In

Vancouver, British Columbia

Education

  • Brown University

  • Based in Vancouver, Canada, Carolyn B. Heller is a travel, food, and feature writer specializing in immersive cultural, culinary, and experiential travel.
  • She has written about food, drink, culture, art, road trips, and a variety of offbeat adventures for Travel + Leisure, TIME, Lonely Planet, Roadtrippers, Verge Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, Positive News, Vegetarian Times, Atlas Obscura, Explore, The Takeout, Montecristo, Edible Vancouver Island, and many other publications.
  • Carolyn is the author of three Canada guidebooks: "Moon Vancouver and Canadian Rockies Road Trip;" "Moon Vancouver, including Victoria, Vancouver Island, and Whistler;" and "Moon Toronto + Ontario." She has contributed to 50+ travel and food titles for Lonely Planet, Fodor's, Zagat/Google, and others.

Experience

A full-time freelance writer since the mid-1990s, Carolyn has written about Indigenous art for Travel + Leisure, cabins in the Canadian Rockies for TIME, and adventures in Nunavut for Lonely Planet. She’s taken Roadtrippers readers through Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula and British Columbia’s Kootenay mountains, learned how to judge a butter tart contest for The Takeout, and considered how Canada’s national parks are becoming places for reconciliation for Positive News. For Verge Magazine, she explored how to understand and navigate travel privilege, and for Montecristo, she has reported on a new storytelling centre in Vancouver’s Chinatown, why Vancouver has so few streets named for women, and how an octogenarian First Nations leader is now guiding tours of the old-growth forests he helped protect.


Her passion for new cultures, people, and foods has taken her to more than 50 countries on six continents. She’s swapped fairy tales with a Druze family in the Golan Heights and shared okonomiyaki with a family in Tokyo; went ice-fishing in Nunavut and heli-hiking in British Columbia; and taken cooking lessons from Vietnam to Grenada to South Africa. She traveled from Vancouver to Halifax by train and has crisscrossed the United States multiple times, including a six-week mother-daughter road trip with her pre-teen twins. They ate mashed potatoes with gravy in 14 states while searching for the perfect strawberry pie.


A dual U.S.-Canadian citizen, Carolyn was born and raised in the United States. Since 2003, she and her family have lived in Vancouver, where she can frequently be found running along the seawall, snacking in one of the city’s Asian noodle shops, and planning her next adventure.

Education

Carolyn graduated from Brown University, earning a B.A. in psychology with honors. She regularly takes courses in writing and storytelling and especially enjoys studying languages. She speaks decent Spanish and French, and she can occasionally muster enough Mandarin Chinese to order dumplings and possibly buy a train ticket.


Awards

  • Travel Media Association of Canada, "First Place, Best Family Travel Feature": “IHOP Over Idaho: On a Mother-Daughter Road Trip, a Foodie Mom Confronts her Fast-food Demons.”
  • Travel Media Association of Canada, "Honorable Mention, Best Food & Drink Feature": “How a Canadian Brewer Is Helping Open Rwanda’s First Craft Brewery”
  • Travel Media Association of Canada, "Honorable Mention, Best Environmental Feature": “Why You Should Drink Beer Made From ‘Recycled’ Water”

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