THE TRAVELER Adam H. Graham, a food and travel freelance writer. The son of a chef, Graham worked at the New England Culinary Institute before landing a series of magazine gigs culminating with the executive editor position at Sherman's Travel magazine. He struck out on his own in 2007.
THE PLACE Freelancing gives Graham the freedom to seek out places that resonate with him personally and, with any luck, draw the subsequent interest of editors and readers. "I tend to choose the underdog destinations," says Graham, whose recent trips to Sri Lanka and Colombia bring his tally of countries visited to 50. "The less that's been written about it, the more it interests me." Last June, he convinced a publication to send him to one such underappreciated gem: Newfoundland, an island in the easternmost Canadian province and the setting of Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Shipping News.
A three-hour drive north along roller-coaster roads from the provincial capital of St. John's brought him to Trinity, a historic harbor town with a year-round population of 350. Lovely primary-colored wooden houses punctuate a landscape of craggy cliffs and rolling hills that immediately reminded Graham of western Ireland. "I hate to use this word, but it is magical, and there's this crystal-clear blue water that sparkles in the sunshine." Icebergs glide by, the occasional bald eagle soars overhead, and puffin penguins can be seen up close, diving right into Trinity Bay.
Graham had an altogether different kind of wildlife encounter at the grocery store, where he winced as he tried flipper pie, a traditional dish made with seal meat (his verdict: "mealy and gross"). Cod lips, partridge berries, and screech (a harsh, oaky rum) are other staples of the area, which mixes Irish and Icelandic influences. Many locals speak with a distinctive Irish-like brogue—a 300-year holdover from the early Irish settlers—and support a small arts community. Rising Tide Theatre Company returns to Trinity each summer for a festival of works by Newfoundland playwrights.
Tineke Gow, the Dutch proprietor of Gover House—a quaint two-story shingled cottage on Fisher Cove—also makes it her business to share tips about hiking, kayaking, whale-watching, and whatever else interests her guests. "She suggested I go up on this bluff during what she calls the golden hour, at 5 p.m., when the sun is setting and the whole town turns a golden color," recalls Graham. "It's like they're all living in some fantasy movie."
THE DETAILS Rising Tide Theatre Company, risingtidetheatre.com; Gover House, trinityvacations.com, entire house (sleeps four to five) from $230.
Your turn! Have you discovered a place like these while traveling? Share your stories by posting a comment at the bottom of page 1: Binn, Switzerland.