Imagining Newfoundland - Reflections on Tourism and Self from the Bonavista Peninsula
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Jutting off of the coast of Newfoundland in the northern Atlantic Ocean is the Bonavista Peninsula, a region where I spent four weeks as a volunteer at a hostel in the summer of 2018. Nature tourism has played a large role in my life. Growing up, I spent summers hiking and winters skiing in New Hampshire's White Mountains. As an adult I have traveled to scenic landmarks in the United States and Europe, but my recent studies in the Goucher College Philosophy Department have encouraged me to think about my travel in a different way. The Bonavista Peninsula was the perfect place for me to learn. At the hostel, I worked five hours a day, five days a week either preparing breakfast for the hostel guests, changing beds and cleaning, or monitoring the hostel in the evening. Whether I was on-shift or not, I was constantly exposed to an international community of travelers who had come to the region for its remarkable landscape and wildlife. As the region pushes to adapt to a growing number of tourists, I had a front-row seat at a young tourism business working to strengthen the economy of a community which has struggled since a moratorium on cod fishing was enacted in 1992. Join me as I reflect upon my time on the Bonavista Peninsula and the experiences there that challenged and shaped my ideas of participating in tourism in rural Newfoundland and beyond.