Journalist / Writer / Columnist Born: Toronto, ON
With over 22 years of journalism experience, Heather Greenwood Davis is an award-winning journalist and the only Black columnist writing a travel column at a daily newspaper in Canada. Her column, which has been running for eight years in the Toronto Star, is read by an international audience of millions and features well-crafted first-person inspirational content. Before starting her travel column in 2003, Heather was a well-known news reporter in the Star since she began writing there in 1995.
From a young age Heather’s parents exposed her to newspapers. Upon discovering a columnist in the newspaper she admired, Heather knew then that she wanted to follow a similar path one day. In high school, she signed up for a co-op course and was exposed to working in a newsroom at the Markham Economist and Sun, experiences which also helped to forge Heather’s path today.
In addition to writing for the Toronto Star, Heather is also a columnist with Lexpert Magazine and UrbanMoms.ca and has had articles published in the Canadian Family Magazine, Parents Canada Magazine, Sway, Elle Canada, Budget Travel, Hemisphere, among others, and online at ParentCentral.ca. Heather has appeared on television and radio to share her expertise which extends to law, as she obtained a law degree from the University of Windsor and spent years practicing litigation at one of Canada’s largest national firms on Bay Street.
In 2008, Heather returned to her passion of writing full-time and has succeeded in building a reputation as one of the top travel writers in the country, still making time to mentor young people interested in pursuing a similar path in life along her way. In June 2011 Heather embarked on her biggest project to date: a one-year around the world trip with her husband and two sons, aged six and eight. The trip has been documented in print, radio, television and online for a host of publications. The family visited almost 30 countries and Heather shares many of the stories of their adventures on her popular travel blog www.globetrottingmama.com.
Education: Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Carleton University (1995); Bachelor of Law (LLB), University of Windsor (1999).
Awards: North American Travel Journalist Association First Place Award for Best By-lined Column North America (2008), North American Travel Journalist Association Merit Awards for Family Travel, Destination Travel (International) and By-lined Column (2008), Travel Media Association of Canada Awards for Best Family Feature Award (2008 and 2009). Best By-lined Column and Intergenerational Travel (2009), North American Travel Journalists Association Award for Intergenerational and Family Travel (2009 and 2010), Kenneth R. Wilson Award Gold Award for Best in Canadian Business Publishing (2010).
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK AND WHY? Right now it’s Little Bee by Chris Cleave. The travel-writing protagonist is personally close to home but the issues of class and race speak to everyone.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE? There are two on my wall right now:
1)“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”- a quote from Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech in 1994
2) “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
GIVEN THE CHANCE, WHAT WOULD YOU LOVE TO DO THAT YOU HAVE NOT DONE YET? I’d like to live in another country. Our extended trip around the world only made that dream bigger. On this trip I spent 365 days with my husband and two small sons hitting 6 continents and almost 30 countries. One day I’d like to pick one (maybe Portugal?) to truly live in for a while.
WHO INSPIRES YOU? I’m inspired by anyone who lives their passion. I think it’s a difficult and brave thing to do and am always in awe when I meet people who are doing it.
WHY DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO? I’ve been writing stories since I could hold a pencil. The fact that I am a storyteller is one of the things that I am most certain about. I believe in the power of story to change people’s lives and to help us understand each other. I’m proud to be a part of that tradition.