It’s time to say farewell – and thank you

Six years ago I was sitting around grousing about the fact that most of the 12,405 square miles of Vancouver Island got so little publicity in the tourist trade. Victoria and Tofino were the major attractions then (and still are, for the most part). It was as if there was a total no-man’s land between those two destinations.

My forty-plus years of family history in this gorgeous and special place told me that there was plenty to see, do and appreciate beyond those two destinations, and so our new blog/website at  was born.

Our idea was to highlight, honestly and simply, all the other spectacular places and experiences to be found on Vancouver Island. We have paid our own way for everything, refusing to accept the freebies that most tourism writers are accustomed to. We never announced our presence and our goal prior to arriving at any destination, so we got the true measure of the places we wanted to write about. We never wrote a negative review – if there was an experience that left us unhappy we simply didn’t write about it (mercifully, there were few instances that left us disenchanted.) Our goal was not to slag businesses and communities but to enlighten our readers about the hundreds of positive experiences available to them.

All the while, through thousands of miles travelled and many dollars spent, we also aimed to help publicize great experiences offered by smaller businesses that didn’t have the big publicity bucks available to major centres and tourist destinations. We hope, in our own small way, that we have accomplished this.

The past six years have been a revelation – we have had our hearts lifted by the sublime beauty of this place. We have discovered amazing history, enjoyed hundreds of special activities, met dozens of interesting, dedicated and truly remarkable people. We have made friends along the way – an unexpected but delightful bonus. Our readership has blossomed to a world-wide audience.

But, the time has come to say farewell. After six years of weekly posts the self-imposed deadlines are proving cumbersome. We will keep the website up and from time to time if we enjoy a new experience I will write a post and share with you all. Our Facebook page will remain active with shared news and reminders of special events on the Island.

Thank you all for your readership and support over the years – interacting with you from time to time has kept things ‘real’ for me. Thanks to our advertisers, who helped finance our travels so that we could share this magnificent hunk of rock with you all. And finally, thank you to my husband Michael – the best travelling companion, computer techie, idea guy and friend I could have hoped for during this journey. It has been, to say the least, a ‘trip’!

Shirley Culpin,

Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island

December, 2017


About Shirley

More years ago than I like to remember, I completed the Journalism program at Vancouver Community College and launched straight into a career as a newspaper reporter (thanks to my journalism professor Nick Russell and an opening at the venerable daily Alberni Valley Times.) My work as a news reporter/feature writer/columnist and ultimately, newspaper and magazine editor, took me to many interesting places and introduced me to hundreds of interesting characters over the years. I loved every minute of it, but burnout caught up with me while I was trying to juggle the simultaneous editing of five trade magazines, and for 27 years I abandoned my keyboard (on a professional basis, at least) and followed my heart in a variety of other careers. In 2010 I returned to the journalistic fold, thanks to the encouragement (nay – nagging!) of my husband. I feel no regret – only great joy to be back at the keyboard, and to be spending time interviewing interesting folks and discovering great places.

8 Responses to It’s time to say farewell – and thank you

  1. Elina Russell says:

    I love this blog—thank you so much for all of the love you’ve put into. We live on the island and have enjoyed a number of locations and experiences, all due to your beautiful posts. I read your blog regularly and reference it later when planning a a free weekend or so. I will look forward to your occasional posts in the future. Thank you for sharing your experiences and your gift of writing with us all!

  2. Susan Russell says:

    I’ve sent many friends to your site, over the years, when they have visited Vancouver Island. Well done.

  3. Kris Walker says:

    Thank you Shirley, for all your enlightening tales of this beautiful island. I have personally travelled, tasted, and photographed so many after reading your stories. We’ll miss you and will look forward to your ‘occasional’ post in the future.

  4. Janet Bothwell says:

    Congratulations on a work of love so very well done! I can’t believe that six years have passed since you embarked on this journey. A weekly deadline is exhausting! Look at what you accomplished!! Many folks will still use all this valuable information. I know we will.

  5. Bill and Lisa Mercer says:

    Darn ! Every Thursday morning was a nice little surprise. Kind of a magical mystery tour ! What a great service you have been to residents and visitors to Vancouver Island. You will be missed Shirley .

  6. corinne says:

    Thank you Shirley for the many wonders you have sent my way. So enjoyed yours post and will continue to refer back here to continue discovering Vancouver Island.

  7. Rob Arnold says:

    We too have found amazing places after reading your
    reviews, like Stamp River Falls
    Don’t know your Facebook site, maybe post it for all
    to follow
    And if you or us find another special piece of
    this amazing place we call home , we can share ongoing
    Enjoy retirement, it’s great!

    • Shirley Shirley says:

      Hi Rob – you can just click on the Facebook icon on the website and it will take you to our page. If you ‘like’ it you will automatically receive any updates that we post.

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