About Us

The Travel Educators:
Lifelong Learning Through Travel
   
We are a collective of Canadian and American travel journalists who are known for our innovative and enriched approach to travel journalism. We are also very much involved in the business of learning through travel.
 
We publish in diverse media outlets (national and regional magazines, newspapers, radio, professional travel websites, and specialty publications) and focus on meaningful, content-rich, and in-depth travel experiences.  

“Experience … travel; these are as education in themselves.” Euripedes

 

 

 

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust

Having an inclusive and eclectic worldview, we are…

THE TRAVEL EDUCATORS

 
   
And we believe that travel is:

  • the most experiential form of learning;
  •  the principal ways and means to achieve intercultural understanding;  
  • essential to economic development of any destination.

We also believe that true educational travel brings long-term business to a destination because such enlightened travel experiences are internalized, communicated by real people talking to each other; and creating a desire on the part of the traveler to return time and time again.

From experience we have learned that the “educated” and lifelong learning traveler represents one of the most important markets in the 21st century.

Giving back to the cultures that they visit is a priority of such engaged travelers and this principle is also fundamental to our travel journalism ethos.

Each of our writing styles emphasizes quality travel experiences. Through a scholarly and innovative approach to travel journalism, we create a genuine identification on the part of the consumer with the destinations we profile; and our work communicates clearly a respect for the people in these destinations. For these reasons each of us is recognized for being able to appeal to the increasingly enlightened, educated, and motivated traveler.

Quality and literary travel journalism

True educational travel is also “mass marketing,” in the most progressive sense of the term. Given the increased access to information that the travel consumer has in the new electronic age of travel and tourism, creative travel journalism enhances and clarifies perceptions; engenders interconnectivity with the grassroots culture of a destination; and — because of its inherent long-term strategic thinking — leads to exponential growth in a destination’s marketing strategy.

In addition to the individual, group, and family travel market, we also know the lucrative educational group travel market well. This is a diversified and niche market driven by, amongst others, specialist tour operators, university alumni associations (who have their own group travel marketing division), and educational jurisidictions at many levels of government. We also have the ability of promoting our stories using state-of-the-art Internet technology to educational travel markets such as these, as well as to media outlets of all kinds around the world.

As travel journalists, public educators, and professional partners of the destinations we celebrate, we are an important gateway to the comprehensive world of educational travel.

Working in collaboration with unique and “content-rich” destinations, we design an independent group media trip and plan in advance stories that we publish in our various and diverse media outlets.

Each of our multimedia travel stories explores and celebrates specific aspects of the history, culture, and travel industry of the destination, including the following:

  • ecotourism treasures, natural history, and nature-oriented travel opportunities;  
  • multicultural heritage; distinct arts and architecture; musical culture and heritage;  
  • culinary history;
  • individuals who represent the essence of the culture;
  • the sports history and heritage of your destination;
  • voluntourism
  • contemporary lifestyle and public institutions; an overview of the diverse and innovative hospitality industry of your destination;
  • an emphasis on the Corporate and Incentive market, and other travel-related business opportunities in your destination;
  • a consumer-oriented profile of the self-catering and long-term stay market in your destination; a series of grassroots Internet radio reports on your destination;
  • other themes, issues, and travel opportunities that we would discover while working with you.

We would also be able to offer you a selection of our collective “best photos” for use by your tourism authorities.

More information about The Travel Educators

We are each plugged into numerous important North American travel markets: Central Canada; Eastern Canada;

Maine and New England; Washington D.C. and Boston; New York City; Indianpolis and Cincinnati, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Los Angeles.In addition we have significant national and international contacts and connections through our combined travel and travel journalism networks.

More about us individually

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Bob Fisher

Bob Fisher is the creator of  The Philosophical Traveller.

Among his other freelance activities, he is also a regular columnist in Emagazine, the inflight magazine of Eastern Airways in the UK. Having served on the Board of Directors of the Travel Media Association of Canada, he also writes a regular column for The World Federation of Journalists and Travel Writers of which he is a member, and as a freelance travel journsalist he is a contributor to numerous other media outlets. Bob is also a founding member of The Travel Educators.

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Julia Bayly

Julia Bayly is an award-winning print journalist and photojournalist. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines in the United States, Canada, and Germany. Whether it’s high altitude trekking in the Andes or mushing dogs in Labrador, her travel journalism is all about participant observation, alternative points of view, and bringing her readers along for the ride via the written word and photographs. Julia is also a professional photographer who teaches the art form, and, among other work, is a regular contributor to The Bangor Daily News and Mushing Magazine. Julia is also a founding member of The Travel Educators.

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Sandra Phinney

Sandra Phinney is a member of the Board of Directors of the Travel Media Association of Canada. A freelance writer and author of two books, she is recognized and highly respected for her content-rich and in-depth style. She has been a contributing writer to Fodor’s and D.K.Eyewitness Guides, and a contributing photographer to the Michelin Travel Guide. Sandra has written for over 60 publications. She is also the Managing Editor of Coastal Life magazine. She is passionate about “storytelling” whether it be in print, voice, or through photography. She also gives photo travel seminars featuring places she visits, and also delivers travel writing workshops in which she shows how to create quality travel journalism . Visit her website at www.sandraphinney.com.

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Bijan Bayne

Bijan Bayne is an award-winning writer, and author of “Sky Kings: Black Pioneers of Professional Basketball“, which was named to the Suggested Reading List of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Bijan, who also speaks Spanish, won the Robert Peterson Research Award in 2002 for his presentation “The Struggle of the Latin American Ballplayer,” given at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

He is a regular travel contributor to the lifestyle magazine JustLuxe, and former editorial board member of Hotel Executive magazine. Bayne has been interviewed and/or quoted by The Washington Post, Slate, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington City Paper, and on radio shows in Puerto Rico, Boston, Providence, Durham, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. In 2011, the Jackie Robinson Society of The George Washington University honored him with a teaching award. In 2010 he was named a Guest Lecturer for Celebrity Cruise Lines- his topics include Baseball in the Caribbean, and Latin America’s Baseball Legacy. Visit his website at sportstravel.wordpress.com. Bijan is also a founding member of The Travel Educators.

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Susan McKee

Susan McKee is an independent scholar and freelance journalist specializing in history, culture and travel.

She has been Editor-At-Large for the U.S. edition of Business Traveler, ghostwrites newsletters at Kayak.com, and is a regular columnist for Road and Travel and Luxury Web.

Her writings also appear in Wine Enthusiast, JaxFax, Chicago SunTimes, German Life, Golf Connoisseur, Chicago Tribune, Indianapolis Star, Cincinnati Enquirer, Venice Gondolier-Sun, a half-dozen daily and weekly publications of 21st Century Newspapers (Michigan), AAA Living, Travel Savvy, Kentucky Monthly, Journey and many more newspapers, magazines and ezines, including Global Foodie and Bonjour Paris.

Susan honed her craft as a general assignment reporter for more than a decade at a major metropolitan daily newspaper before fleeing corporate journalism for the peripatetic life of a freelancer. Although a third-generation Chicagoan (where she attended both Northwestern University and the Art Institute of Chicago), she graduated from the University of California in Los Angeles, snagged one master’s degree at Indiana University and another at Purdue University. She makes Indianapolis her home base.

Book projects have included some scholarly works as well as a AAA guide to Chicago and NorthStar Intelliguides for both Indianapolis and Indiana.

To visit her website click here.

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Lynn Parramore

A North Carolinian-turned-New Yorker, I’m an author, journalist, producer, copywriter, and creative consultant. I’m also the founding editor of IgoUgo.com, the largest database of first-hand travel reviews on the Web. My copywriting and creative consulting clients have included major international brands such as Coca-Cola and Live Nation, as well as mid-size brands and startups like Movoto Real Estate and Myclickit. My first book on cultural history, Reading the Sphinx, was released by Palgrave MacMillan in October, 2008.

My career began in New York, where I worked for WNET and National Geographic Television as a researcher and assistant producer. I earned my first film credit on Ghosts of the Bayou (National Geographic, 1994). Wanting to see more of the world, I took a job teaching English to high school students in a remote Czech village. My passion for travel writing was sparked through stories published in The Prague Post, the English-language newspaper of the Czech Republic. Upon returning to the US in 1996, I worked as a media consultant for Harvey Gantt for US Senate. Then, in 1997, I accepted a teaching fellowship at NYU, where I earned my doctorate in English Literature. While teaching courses in writing as well as literary, film and advertising theory, I wrote film treatments for clients like Storyville Films and columns for women-oriented media company iVillage.

After completing my coursework, I joined the team of IgoUgo, a scrappy internet startup that blossomed into a major force in online travel and a leader in social networking. Through creating an award-winning editorial presence and shepherding a vibrant online travel community, I discovered a love for forging connections between people and creating compelling content for exciting brands.

Since leaving IgoUgo, I’ve taught and lectured on literary and cultural subjects at UC Santa Cruz and NYU. My lifestyle and travel content has appeared on MSNBC.com, The New York Daily News, The Miami Herald, The Charlotte Observer, The Huffington Post, The Boston Herald, iVillage, Rough Guides, Forbes Traveler, Lexus Magazine, Charleston Magazine, The Prague Post, and numerous other media outlets. I am Contributing Editor for Travelgirl, the only travel magazine geared towards women. After earning my doctorate from NYU in 2006, I wrote a book based on my dissertation. Reading the Sphinx excavates the untold story of what ancient Egypt has meant to western culture, from Herodotus to Laura Croft:Tomb Raider. Most recently, I’ve produced and hosted a new video series in partnership with Tripfilms.

Lynn is also a principal in the recently launched Recessionwire: the upside of the downturn. To see an article from the New York Times about this group, click here.

To visit Lynn’s website click here.

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Kelly Westhoff

… eating poutine a favourite Québécois conmfort food .

Kelly Westhoff is a writer, teacher and traveler based in Minnesota.

When she’s not circling the globe, she works as a freelance writer. She has written about sustainable and organic lifestyles, home and garden, food and drinks, and more. She’s interviewed chefs, politicians, artists, authors, philanthropists and business owners.

She is a senior writer for GoNOMAD, an alternative travel site, and maintains a regular blog for the site where she posts about her travels, her work as a freelance writer, and her love of reading.

She co-founded Che Spotting, a site where travelers from around the world submit pictures of the iconic Che Guevara image. Currently, she is obsessed with haiku and keeps a haiku blog calledHaiku By Two.

Kelly was trained as an educator and spent seven years teaching in the public school system. She taught language arts, geography, Spanish and English as a Second Language. Many years ago, she lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina and worked as an English teacher.

Learn more about her work at www.KellyWesthoff.com.

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Allison Milionis

Allison Milionis is a freelance journalist, writer, and producer. After working for the Getty Research Institute as a Research Assistant to scholars and writers, Allison pursued her Master in Architecture and Urban Design, Critical Theory, at UCLA, with the intent of writing for mass media. Though she specializes in architecture, urban culture, and design, she also works as a general assignment reporter, which provides opportunities for her to cover a subject dear to her heart – animals. Some of her favorite stories appeared in the independent paper, Los Angeles Citybeat.

Allison’s work has also appeared in Architectural Record, Azure, enRoute, Trazzler, BusinessWeek.com, California Homes, Malibu Magazine, Grist.org, ArchitectureWeek.com, Interior Digest (Russia), Los Angeles Downtown News, and The Oregonian, among others.

Allison is a contributing writer to the Architect’s Newspaper, and to the London-based travel guide, TimeOut Los Angeles. She produces a podcast for the North Portland Sentinel, and is a reporter, producer and anchor at a Portland community radio station. She has worked on a number of books with various authors and is currently writing her first book on animal sanctuaries in collaboration with NYC-based photographer, Karen Tweedy-Holmes.

In 2008, Allison returned to the Pacific Northwest after nearly two decades in the City of Angels. Since moving to Portland, she has become a certified Hatha yoga instructor, a coffee connoisseur, and a bicycle enthusiast.

See some of Allison’s work by clicking on the links below:

Los Angeles Citybeat; Azure; Architects Newspaper; TimeOut Los Angeles

How we work with Convention and Visitor Bureaus to produce extensive multidimensional and multimedia coverage for the destination.

As experienced travel journalists, we are proactive and low maintenance.

In order to produce guaranteed product, we would design with your assistance a self-guided and focused tour of your destination to meet the diverse story needs.

To achieve a significant Return on Investment for you, we require:

  • airfaire from our gateways and single room accommodation for each of us;
  • meals and internal transportation;
  • introductions and media passes to historic sites, attractions, museums, art galleries etc.;
  • a key person in your tourism authority as our principal liaison.

Our stories do the following:

  • speak to the spirit of the place;
  • represent organic and exponential travel journalism;
  • go far beyond the garden variety of travel story;
  • are frequently stories not found on websites or in guidebooks;
  • are stories that educate the travelling public.

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

From “Imagine” by John Lennon

Into the step well in Gujarat, India


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