Person standing at the top of a Munro in Scotland
Athens Filopappos Hill
Hey there!

I’m Ashley

I’m kind of an expert when it comes to Niagara travel.

I was born and raised here, I’ve lived in three different cities across the region, and I worked at tourism office in one of Niagara’s most popular destinations for five years. (That was a wild time, let me tell you, ha.)

Essentially, I’ve got a lot to say about this region—especially when it comes to food and the outdoors (since I do a lot of eating and hiking around Niagara).

I started this blog to help you discover the best of the region, including all the underrated spots I love.

My Story

Basically, I took the long way home…

How it started: travel & expat life

When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to get out of Niagara.

As soon as I graduated college, I booked a one-way ticket to Australia and spent six months backpacking solo around Oz, New Zealand, and Fiji.

I had no idea what I was doing; I took two pieces of wheeled luggage on that “backpacking” trip and spent my first day in Sydney wandering up and down the same street because I was so paranoid of getting lost. (This was before I travelled with a smartphone, mind you. Thank God Google Maps exists now.)

When I got back home, my wanderlust was out of control. All I could think about was travel.

So between 2011 and 2015, I worked at a seasonal hospitality job throughout the summer and travelled every winter.

But it wasn’t enough.

In 2015, I moved abroad to Edinburgh, a city that captivated me from the first time I visited; a place that spoke to my soul and instantly felt like home.

I spent two blissful years in Edinburgh, explored the European continent, and inadvertently created a life I loved.

I planned to stay in Edinburgh for a while, but UK immigration is THE WORST. I mean, I ran into some visa complications and willingly left when my Youth Mobility Scheme visa expired. (I’m totally over the whole ordeal, by the way. Ahem.)

In short, I was heartbroken.

After I was deported left the UK, I travelled around Europe for seven weeks and then went back to Canada, where I proceeded to stare at photos of Edinburgh and sob uncontrollably for an embarrassing amount of time.

Fast forward a few years (and an identity crisis or two), and I’m back where it all started: Niagara.

It took me a while to feel at home again in Canada, but rediscovering this region made me realize just how much I love it here.

People near the lake at sunset, Sunset Beach, St. Catharines
Sunset Beach, St. Catharines

What you can expect on Ashley Wanders:

  • Insider tips: My mission is to help you explore Niagara like I would (AKA like a local).
  • Human-written posts: I don’t use AI. I can’t stand it, in fact. Everything on this site is written by me.
  • First-hand experiences: I write about the places I’ve visited, the food I’ve eaten, and the things I love. I always try to keep it real with my honest opinions, too.
  • Original photos: They may not always be the greatest images, but they’re unedited and taken by me.

Where am I now?

I currently live in St. Catharines, Ontario. If I’m not writing for this blog, you can find me at the beach, on a hiking trail, or exploring Niagara’s foodie scene.