2021 October Featured Journalist of the Month: Maryann Jones Thompson

After a thousand years in publishing as a business journalist, ghostwriter, content strategist, and market researcher, Maryann brings her experience traveling as a backpacker, businessperson, ex-pat, and mom to writing and editing for ROAM. ROAM features tales of unique and adventurous vacations written by parents who can tell you where they went, how they got there, what worked – and what didn’t. They believe that with the right advice and attitude, parents can take their kids anywhere.

1. What got you into travel writing?
My husband and I had backpacked a lot around the world when we were younger, so we wanted to take our kids to some off-the-beaten-path spots. We found it tough to find info on taking kids to unique spots, but we knew more and more parents wanted to do these kinds of trips. My real job is as a business journalist, so I launched ROAM to share tales and tips of adventurous family vacations by myself and other parent writers.

2. What’s the most challenging part of being a travel journalist for you?
I like to “travel” when I’m traveling and write, post, publish later. I know I sometimes lose the exact feeling of the moment by waiting to document the trip, but it’s very important to me to enjoy the moment – all the more true when traveling with kids.

3. What is one thing [equipment or personal item] you can’t go without on the road?
Drying ear drops for a post-splash time in new bodies of water. Keeps away ear infections in littles – and “bigs” too.

4. What’s your most unusual and/or memorable travel experience?
Oooh that’s a tough one! Too many… One of the most amazing places we traveled to with our kids was Yap. We went to dive with manta rays but the above-water people, culture, and experience were just as incredible.

5. How did you learn about NATJA and why did you join?
Right after launching ROAM, I found NATJA online and quickly realized it to be an invaluable resource for travel writers.

6. What is the best piece of advice you could give to a rookie travel journalist?
Don’t quit your day job 😉

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