I am a Chicagoland independent journalist. My work focuses on lifestyle, travel, and science. In travel writing, I look for local elements that can be appreciated across borders. My professional writing career spans twenty years in a mix of public relations, content writing, and journalism. My travel blog is at www.WhosTakingtheTrain.com

1. What got you into travel writing?
Curiosity got me into travel writing. I wanted to see the world and use my skills as a writer to pursue that path.

2. What’s the most challenging part of being a travel journalist for you?
Being in countries where I don’t speak the language is challenging. A lot gets lost in translation. I like to include local voices in my work but sometimes that’s hard.

3. What is one thing [equipment or personal item] you can’t go without on the road?
I travel with one raggedy small carry-on bag that converts into a backpack. When the terrain changes, I can put it on my back and not worry about wheels. It always makes me pack light.

4. What’s your most unusual and/or memorable travel experience?
A memorable experience was stilt fishing near Galle in Sri Lanka’s southern province while I was the guest of a Buddhist monk.

5. How did you learn about NATJA and why did you join?
I joined NATJA to meet and learn from professionals who have been down the road in travel writing. I enjoy reading TravelWorld International magazine to hear their voices and learn about so many places.

6. What is the best piece of advice you could give to a rookie travel journalist?
AI and ChatGPT are coming so learn to write about experiences that inform and also delight the reader by putting them in that place vicariously.

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