Anna McCanse Nelson literally wrote the (guide)book on Dominica. After living in Dominica for 2 years, one gets the impression she would go back in a heartbeat.
Eric Murtaugh: What brought you to Dominica?
Anna McCanse Nelson: I joined the Peace Corps in 2006 and it was completely by luck that I was chosen to go to Dominica.
I really didn’t know anything about the country and at the time there was almost no information about it, outside of a few pages in a Caribbean guidebook, so it was a pleasant surprise that it ended up being such an incredible place. I stayed in Dominica for 2 years, in the village of Grand Bay.
EM: What advice would you give to first time visitors to Dominica?
AMN: Don’t expect a relaxing beach vacation in Dominica. You won’t find visitors laying around with mai tais with umbrella straws here.
Be prepared to get active. There is so much to do and see but you should be prepared to do a bit of work, albeit really fun work like hiking to a waterfall, to get the most out of your vacation.
EM: What’s the food like?
AMN: The food is interesting and not really what you’d expect from a Caribbean island.
The typical Creole plate that you can get at any local restaurant almost always consists of a type of meat, which will be either fish, chicken, or goat, some provisions, which is a kind of starchy vegetable, and usually a salad and rice and beans with a sauce for everything.
American-type food is available as well in the capital and at most hotel restaurants. One of the best places to get a Creole lunch is at Kalinago Barana Aute, in the Carib Territory. Their cook, Rose, is amazing.
EM: You wrote a guidebook on Dominica. How did that come about?