Zoë Bell

Journalist

About Me

I am a freelance writer based in London. With published work in The Globe and Mail, Verge Magazine, FlashpackerConnect, and Charleston Magazine, I write about travel, entertainment, pop culture, mental health, and more. I recently completed my master's degree in International Journalism from City, University of London; I also hold a bachelor's in English lit from Dalhousie University. I am currently interning for Passion Passport while diving into the freelance world. 

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Opinion: Reality TV offers escapism, but at what cost to contestants’ mental health?

Netflix has struck reality TV gold with its latest hit, Love is Blind. On this dating show that makes relationships on The Bachelor seem conventional, strangers have the option to get engaged, but must do so within just 10 days – sight unseen. After “dating” from adjacent pods, contestants finally see each other face to face once they have popped the question. Four weeks later, couples walk down the aisle. “I dos” – and in some cases, “I don’ts” – are exchanged. When the show began streaming o
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Opinion: Reality TV offers escapism, but at what cost to contestants’ mental health?

Netflix has struck reality TV gold with its latest hit, Love is Blind. On this dating show that makes relationships on The Bachelor seem conventional, strangers have the option to get engaged, but must do so within just 10 days – sight unseen. After “dating” from adjacent pods, contestants finally see each other face to face once they have popped the question. Four weeks later, couples walk down the aisle. “I dos” – and in some cases, “I don’ts” – are exchanged. When the show began streaming o

Studying Abroad During the COVID-19 Lockdown

When I left Canada to pursue a master’s degree in England, I expected my life to change. But I never expected this. As I write this, I am living in London, UK during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. My International Journalism program at City, University of London has moved entirely online; our university campus is closed. Students are leaving my residence in droves, moving back to their home countries for the foreseeable future.

Eight Books to Get you Excited for your Next Travel Adventure – FlashpackerConnect Adventure Travel

Eight Books to Get you Excited for your Next Travel Adventure Missing travel? You are not alone. In the age of social distancing, travel is out of the question for the immediate future. Cancelling a trip can be devastating, but more time at home means more time to make post-quarantine plans. If we can’t travel the world ourselves, reading about dreamy destinations and heart-pounding adventure might be the next best thing.

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before My U.S. Internship

I have officially completed my internship in Charleston, South Carolina; my first-ever work abroad experience. While I am pleased I took a leap and found a job outside my home country, I certainly made plenty of mistakes and faced numerous surprises while obtaining my visa and moving down South. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. With that in mind, here are a few facts I wish I knew (or, at the very least, wish I had thought about more carefully), before I accepted my U.S. internship: 1. Find th

Charleston Magazine Highlights

Champion on Ice | Charleston Magazine

Canada’s Shae-Lynn Bourne and partner Victor Kraatz in action during their routine at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City Shae-Lynn Bourne is constantly in motion. As one of figure skating’s most sought-after choreographers, she helps skaters tell stories through movement. During her 28-year career in figure skating, the Ontario, Canada, native won 10 national championships and the 2003 World Championships with her skating partner, Victor Kraatz. Today, Bourne crafts programs for the spo

Taking the Lead | Charleston Magazine

For those in creative fields, running a business requires a different scope of knowledge that is often left unexplained before entering the professional landscape. Women working in male-dominated industries, like the culinary world, are particularly disadvantaged. As of 2017, 79 percent of head chef positions nationwide were held by men—suggesting that female leadership in food and beverage roles remain an uphill battle. But Randi Weinstein, founder of the FAB (“Females And Business”) Workshop,

Taste of The Tropics | Charleston Magazine

A selection of sipping rums at Cane Rhum Bar, including Black Tot (center)—a Caribbean blend and last consignment of Royal Navy Rum. Spirits devotees typically covet aged scotch or bourbon, while their tropical cousin, rum, is often associated with kitschy cocktails such as daiquiris, zombies, or mai tais. But some liquor connoisseurs believe aged rums—each bearing its own complex, intriguing flavor—merit greater praise. While American whiskey production is highly regulated, “rum is wide open,

Charleston's tearoom tradition | Charleston Magazine

St. Philip’s Church (left), the oldest Anglican parish in the state, is open for tours during tearoom season. In a city bursting with stylish, trendy restaurants, Charleston’s church tearoom tradition is a welcome blast from the past. Each spring, places of worship across the Holy City transform into bustling cafés, churning out classic Southern staples. Local parishioners, all volunteers, cook and serve old-fashioned fare such as ham biscuits, okra soup, and chicken salad, as well as indulgent

Splendor in the Glass | Charleston Magazine

Txakolina—often shortened to txakoli (rhymes with broccoli)—is native to the uniquely independent Basque region in northern Spain. With vineyards overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, salt air wafts over the vines, adding a component of ocean spray to the wine’s bright, mineral-driven taste. Frequently found as a white (made from indigenous hondarrabi zuri grapes), txakolina’s characteristic slight effervescence makes for an ideal beverage to break out as temperatures rise. “Spritzy wines cleanse the

U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship Tees Off in Charleston | Charleston Magazine

The 74th U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship tees off on May 30 at the Country Club of Charleston, bringing world-class competitors and fans aplenty to the Lowcountry. For five days, 156 of the best golfers in the world will duke it out for the coveted title on James Island 1739 The year golf arrived in Charleston: local merchant William Wallace received a shipment of clubs from his Scotland-based brother. The U.S. Women’s Open is available to professional and amateur female golfers with a Han

How to Make Pickled Ramps | Charleston Magazine

Chef Kevin Johnson’s culinary curiosity first took hold during a vegetarian stint in his twenties. He learned cooking basics by reading books and soon discovered his interests extended beyond the home kitchen. The native Virginian worked in several local restaurants before pursuing a culinary arts degree at Johnson & Wales University, then located in Charleston. He continued to build his professional skills by studying with renowned chefs Patrick O’Connell at The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia and Frank Lee at Slightly North of Broad. Johnson opened his restaurant, The Grocery, in December 2011, where he has since received multiple James Beard Award nominations (including 2019 Best Chef Southeast). He is known for championing seasonal ingredients, local purveyors, and farms. Preserving fresh produce—like the wild ramp—with his in-house canning program is a hallmark of the chef’s culinary style that also highlights housemade charcuterie, Lowcountry fish, and game.

Taking Aim | Charleston Magazine

Her head held high and bow drawn, Peg Drennan confidently demonstrates her archery skills during lessons in the gardens of the Joseph Manigault House. It was the early 1940s, and amidst World War II, The Charleston Museum had leased the 1803 structure to the United Service Organization (USO) for use as a Red Cross training facility and a “home away from home” for servicemen and -women. There, Drennan met her future husband, David Elder, a junior officer of the Army Air Corps. Drennan was both di

Travel Writing


Eight Books to Get you Excited for your Next Travel Adventure – FlashpackerConnect Adventure Travel

Eight Books to Get you Excited for your Next Travel Adventure Missing travel? You are not alone. In the age of social distancing, travel is out of the question for the immediate future. Cancelling a trip can be devastating, but more time at home means more time to make post-quarantine plans. If we can’t travel the world ourselves, reading about dreamy destinations and heart-pounding adventure might be the next best thing.

Studying Abroad During the COVID-19 Lockdown

When I left Canada to pursue a master’s degree in England, I expected my life to change. But I never expected this. As I write this, I am living in London, UK during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. My International Journalism program at City, University of London has moved entirely online; our university campus is closed. Students are leaving my residence in droves, moving back to their home countries for the foreseeable future.

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before My U.S. Internship

I have officially completed my internship in Charleston, South Carolina; my first-ever work abroad experience. While I am pleased I took a leap and found a job outside my home country, I certainly made plenty of mistakes and faced numerous surprises while obtaining my visa and moving down South. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. With that in mind, here are a few facts I wish I knew (or, at the very least, wish I had thought about more carefully), before I accepted my U.S. internship: 1. Find th

The Reality of Nine-to-Fiving Abroad

It’s important to remember that working abroad is just that—work. As I take stock of the almost two months I’ve lived in South Carolina, what stands out the most is not meeting new people or exploring the city—it’s how much time I’ve spent in my new office. Beginning any new job is stressful: Every workplace is a unique environment with its own quirks, and learning the ropes is always draining. Despite how excited I was to begin my internship, and how great the experience has turned out to be a

An Outsider's Perspective on U.S. Politics

When I decided to move to the U.S. for a few months, I got a few quizzical looks and raised eyebrows from fellow Canadians. With the current political climate in the U.S.—from the detentions at the border, to the battles over abortion and women’s rights to their own bodies, to the deeply flawed man and his tweets at the helm of it all—it seemed to be a strange time to enter the States. While there are lots of small differences I’ve noticed while living in the South, I don’t often feel like I’m

How to Make the Most of an Internship Abroad

While most internships come with defined start and end dates, temporary positions in one’s home country sometimes turn into full-time employment. Working abroad on a visa, however, means the start and end dates are much less flexible. Throughout my internship in the United States, I knew that no matter how much I loved my job, I would have to return to Canada when my visa expired. Here’s how I made the most of my final days in the U.S.A.: I enjoyed my internship in the United States immensely—

Preparing to Work Abroad in America? Pack Your Patience

Some adventures are best left unplanned: spontaneous, flexible and ready to begin at a moments’ notice. Working abroad in the United States is not one of those adventures. After months of planning, re-arranging and refreshing email chains, my internship in the US will start on January 14th, which is two weeks later than I intended. The various stages of obtaining a U.S. work visa are full of uncertainty—more than anything, it’s been an exercise in patience. Unlike other work visas for placemen

The “Right” Job: How to Trust your Gut and Escape the Ordinary

I heard a lot of jokes about “post-grad problems” before I finished my degree. I understood the age-old struggle of needing real world job experience before finding a job in one's field, which begs the question: How, pray tell, is one supposed to actually gain this experience? As I neared graduation this past spring, I braced myself for the hardship of finding meaningful work connected to my degree in English and journalism. After all, it’s not exactly the most clear-cut degree to transfer into
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