That’s me – at the bow of one of my favorite places to be, on the water; in one of my favorite cities in the world, Mumbai; and most importantly, on the move.
My name is Candace Rose Rardon, I’m a 27-year-old travel writer and sketch artist, and I’m really glad you’re here. The internet is a rather big place these days, so thank you for stopping by this little corner of the online world. Make yourself a cup of chai, pull up a chair, and let’s get to know one another, shall we?
The story of me and my wanderlust:
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
– Joseph Campbell
I’ve been on the road since 2008. Five years ago, I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia, with an English degree I soon realized wasn’t the most practical of choices. But with only one month to go before graduation – when I still hadn’t the slightest idea what I wanted to do – two good friends (Kim and Emily, pictured to the left!) offered me a chance invitation: “Candace, come to London with us.” Little did I know how much those six words would change my life.
I’ve always loved to travel. See, there I am with my parents at Waimea Falls Park in Hawaii, a mere six-month old babe from Virginia. (Rumor has it, I was an angel on the plane.) Although most of our family vacations were spent on the East Coast of the U.S., something in me – that little twitch they call wanderlust – knew it wanted more. I went through university thinking I would pursue a career in songwriting, but finally decided I would regret not seeing the world more than I would regret not pursuing music.
After six months in London, I went to the antipodes of New Zealand, where I developed a serious addiction to L&P while working and writing my way around the country – doing office gigs in Christchurch, bartending in Queenstown, and waitressing in Wellington. In between shifts, I went snowboarding and sandboarding, bungee-jumped for the first time, hiked up glaciers and volcanoes, swam with dolphins, kayaked, and even rolled downhill in a giant plastic orb. New Zealand taught me life is meant to be an adventure.
After New Zealand, I earned my Masters in Travel Writing from London’s Kingston University (yes, such a degree does exist). To celebrate finishing my course in September 2012, I went to India to take part in the Rickshaw Run, driving an auto-rickshaw 2,000 miles from Shillong to Jaisalmer. I loved India so much I couldn’t stay away for long, and was then based in this fascinating country until May 2013, working on my first memoir called The Only Courage. I never quite know where the next year will take me…but I kind of like it that way.
Documenting the world through stories and sketches is now my passion, and I love sharing it with you here. This is me in my element, as captured by my sister Brooke in Puerto Rico in May 2012.
What is The Great Affair?
Although I enjoy writing for other outlets, The Great Affair will always be my home base in the online world. I’ve been writing this travel blog since 2008, and despite its many iterations over the years, my vision for it has never changed: It’s all about inspiring you to fall in love with the world.
The name of the blog itself comes from the following quote:
I first came across Stevenson’s words on a magnet in the Art Institute of Chicago’s bookshop. It was my senior year of university and most of the traveling I’d done up to that point had involved family vacations on the East Coast. Even still, the quote spoke to me like a yet-understood language on an ancient parchment.
The great affair is to move.
As I rolled the phrase across my tongue, it instantly conjured up images of a worn-down bus winding its way up a lush, jungled hillside; of a sturdy ferry plying the waters of a gray churning sea; of a bullet train barrelling across a country.
Anything, really, that takes you from here to there and back again.
But beyond the literal action of a journey, about where you travel or how you get there, the phrase seemed to speak of the spirit behind the movement. That insatiable desire for new places and different air. The great affair of opening yourself up to the world and the adventure it offers.
And that’s exactly what this blog is about:
Five other facts about Candace:
- I get my middle name (Rose) from my paternal grandfather, Webb Rose Rardon. While I sadly never got the chance to meet him, I love sharing his name.
- My favorite director is Wes Anderson, and my favorite Wes Anderson film is a tie between The Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom. Jiminy cricket, he flew the coop!
- No matter the many cuisines I’ve tasted around the world, my favorite food is and will always be Mexican. Give me a burrito, guacamole, and a frozen margarita and I will love you forever.
- There isn’t a lot in life I don’t like, but there are four things I hate: cats, dentists, musicals, and animated Disney films. I know, I know – I’m a terrible person.
- I wrote and recorded the song in the video up above – it’s called “Yours for the Taking” and you can hear the full song on my MySpace page. (Yes, apparently MySpace is still good for something.)
One last note about ads and press trips:
My vision for The Great Affair is that it will be a natural extension of my writing portfolio, so that means everything you read here will have only been written by yours truly. And that’s a promise. I’m grateful to earn enough through freelancing and sketching projects that this blog does not accept advertising of any kind, be it paid links, banner ads, or sponsored posts. I also don’t go on press trips, so know that all journeys written about here have been self-funded.
Get in touch and follow along:
I’d love your company elsewhere across the interweb:
- Facebook: The Great Affair Facebook Page
- Twitter: Candace on Twitter
- Pinterest: Candace on Pinterest
- Instagram: candaceroserardon