FALL 2014 GRATITUDE TRAVEL WRITING CONTEST, $650 USD to be Won!!

They Said

Enjoy the contributions from Vagabonds we have met on the road.

LEE ABBAMONTE: Lee is the youngest American to visit every country in the world. He is  a travel writer, travel expert, global adventurer and has appeared on NBC, CNN, ESPN and has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Bloomberg, Smart Money, Slate, OK! Magazine, Peter Greenberg radio and many others. Having visited 306 countries, he is one of the world’s most-traveled people. Lee is also an active member of the Travelers Century Club, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and a member of the Circumnavigators Club.

RICHARD BANGS: Richard Bangs has oft been called the father of modern adventure travel, and the pioneer in travel that makes a difference, travel with a purpose. He has spent 30 years as an explorer and communicator, and along the way led first descents of 35 rivers around the globe, including the Yangtze in China and the Zambezi in Southern Africa.  He recently co-directed the IMAX Film, Mystery of the Nile, and co-authored the Putnam book of the same name. In addition to many other travel writing and digital projects, he is currently producing and hosting the new PBS series, Richard Bangs’ Adventures with Purpose

MARY ANNE BEEN: As a native of San Diego, CA, Mary Anne Been developed a deep love of the California life including great food, family, and an active lifestyle.  She honed her culinary skills at the prestigious California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and then moved to the bright lights of Los Angeles to join her husband and help build their successful television production company, Imagecraft and their travel website Jetset Extra. In addition to raising her 2 daughters, Mary Anne now pursues her passion for travel.  From lunching at some of the swankiest Los Angeles establishments to adventurous safaris in Kenya, Mary Anne’s goal is always to make her readers feel like they are in the seat right next to her.

KATE BENZIN: Kate is a seasoned traveler and tour director who has lived on the island of Java for the past 30 years. Java became her home when she took a 3-month work assignment to train Indonesians on word processing equipment in Jakarta, and she fell in love with the adventurous lifestyle that she found there. Although she continues working as a tour director in many countries of the world, she now spends most of her time writing in her home/office in Yogyakarta, Central Java, which she shares with her three Dalmatians. You can visit her blog KateBenzin or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

JONNY BLAIR is an enthusiastic Northern Irishman who left his hometown of Bangor a decade ago to see the world. He currently writes daily and passionately on his travel blog Don’t Stop Living as well as being a guest writer on other travel sites. Jonny had visited every continent by the age of 30 and has now been to over 70 countries. On his travels, Jonny has lived in 4 different continents and worked in over 50 different jobs. His aims are to keep travelling the world, updating his travel blog and inspiring others to get out there and see this planet.

GASTON BLANCHET is an Argentine + American self-taught filmmaker and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of Humanity.TV, a new HD video travel series about authentic local stories from around the world.

JILLIAN BOARDMAN: Jillian’s first travel experience began when she was 10 months old, flying from her home in Los Angeles to spend the summer with family in Connecticut. However, it wasn’t until her college graduation trip to Israel and Greece that she truly appreciated travel and learned how big and small the world really is. After a brief stint in advertising, her travel cravings got the best of her and she traveled to Australia and New Zealand. Six months later she packed her bags and moved to Australia for a year and a half to get her master’s degree. During her time at university she traveled around Southeast Asia and decided to move to Cambodia and conduct research there to complete her master’s. She currently resides in Los Angeles… for now.

TYLER BROOKS:  Since a young child, Tyler has always had a world map posted on his wall with trips planned out and places pinned on his to-go list.  He met his wife while attending Metropolitan State College of Denver, and shortly after they moved to Thailand, her home country.  After living in Thailand for 4 years, he moved back to Colorado for two main reasons:  so he could save up money easier for a house back in Thailand and as always, to help save up money for the ever lasting thirst for travel.  His beautiful photos are for sale at www.ttbphotography.smugmug.com.

KARLENE CAMERON:
Karlene quit her corporate job and career via jet plane on Independence Day 2003, to create a life of freedom. She wrote about her experiences in her memoir “Look Forward to Mondays“. She is a web designer working with solopreneurs at Solo.icious Studio. When not designing she loves to inspire others to create a life of freedom in business through her technology blog Solo Bee Buzz, and through her travel-inspired workshops at Travel Write and Teach. She currently lives in Toronto, Canada.

MARTI D: Marti is a junior high teacher in a small rural school in Alberta, Canada, and a total travel nut!  When she can, she combines the two, and has taken students to London, Paris, Florence, and Rome.  Marti writes the blog “Down the Wrabbit Hole – A Travel Bucket List” where she documents her adventures for her family and friends.  She travels when possible, checking off one destination from her bucket list at a time.  Exploring the country of Peru is her ultimate dream trip.

DAVE AND VICKY: Having spent 2 years in the working world, Dave and Vicky are ready to exchange their briefcases for backpacks, dress shoes for sandals, and beds for sleeping bags. Starting in September they will be embarking on a 2 year journey across Asia and Europe. You can follow along at A Couple Travelers where you’ll find travel reflections, blogging resources and restaurant reviews.

NORA DUNN sold everything she owned (including a successful financial planning practice) in 2006 to travel full-time. She has been on the road ever since, volunteering and traveling slowly around the world while nurturing her career as a freelance writer and perfecting the art of financially sustainable full-time travel. Her popular website The Professional Hobo offers financial travel tips, tales from the road, lifestyle design observations, and a week-in-the-life series depicting the “daily grind” of full-time travellers around the world. Check out her intensive free series: How to Travel Full-Time in a Financially Sustainable Way.

HALLE EAVELYN: Halle Eavelyn is “Julie the Cruise Director” for Spirit Quest Tours and a spiritual seeker of truth. She is delightedly attached to her partner, Greg, and counts amazing people all over the world as her friends. When she is not traveling, Halle writes and edits. She co-wrote the film script Silver, which sold for 6 figures, and now writes or co-writes several screenplays a year. She just completed her spiritual travel memoir, Red Goddess Rising.

Flipnomad.com is a compilation of my travel experiences around the Philippines and as well as other countries. I’m an ordinary and a typical guy who started traveling when I was a kid, together with my grandma and other relatives around Luzon, Philippines. I then ventured outside of my usual destinations when I reached  the age of 25. When I was younger, I thought it would be impossible for me to travel to far flung places. But as time passed by, I realized that I shouldn’t stop believing in what I could do but instead stay positive and optimistic that I could achieve whatever I put my mind into. More from Flip: www.bananaroti.com – food blog and www.uneditedjourneys.com – my personal blog

DOV FRAZER: Dov has had the travel bug since his first 10 week trip to Europe after high school. He spent his entire junior year at Dartmouth College abroad, first living with a family in Bourges, France, museum hopping around Europe and then doing a 5 month stint at a Kibbutz in Israel.  Dov worked for a couple years after college to save money for a big trip and then proceeded to travel for 3 years nonstop.  Two years of that trip were spent in Asia and one year in Europe and North America.  Coming back to the USA after 3 years was quite a shock, so Dov established an importing business to integrate his love for travel and the reality of work.  His travel articles were have been published in the Scottsdale Progress, The Arizona Republic, the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine and on the BootsnAll.com website.  He is currently the Chief Relaxation Office of Hammock Bliss hammocks and lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife Roslin and son Ben.

SARAH GEV is a nurse, traveller, foodie and kindred spirit. Sarah is a big advocate for maternal health in the developing world and supporter of the maternal health charity Life for African Mothers.

RYAN GIBSON is the resident blogger at Asiarooms.com. When Ryan is not working he spends his time travelling the globe, drawing on his travel experience and passion for travel to spread the good word. Ryan is also a social monkey and can be found lounging around on Twitter & Google+ and loves to interact with other travel bloggers.

KIT HERRING has journeyed extensively throughout South America, Africa, and Asia and formerly worked as a writer for the National Film Board of Canada and as an international travel photographer. He has published work through The Population Reference Bureau, the University of Florida, and the Costa Rican Tourist Board. The Sierra Club archives his slide show presentation, Humans and the Environment, on video and his work in South America has been featured in National Geographic Adventure and The New York Times.

JORDAN HOFFMAN L.Ac., Dipl. OM:  Jordan’s love of traveling began after high school with his multi-country tour of Europe.  Then he spent a mind-blowing semester abroad in 1992 in St. Petersburg, Russia and traveled all around the former Soviet Union.  His thirst for the road not yet quenched, he decided after college to sell everything and move to Japan for 3 ½ years to teach English and continue studying Aikido.  Currently, Jordan is an Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist and maintains his practice in Los Angeles where he enjoys reaching out to the local school communities teaching students of all ages about nutrition and good eating habits.  For more information about Jordan and his work, please visit his website.  

G KAMANA HUNTER: G. Kamana Hunter is traveling Healer of Mohawk descent based in Hawaii. He is the founder of the Bloodline Healing Project, a community based system of reconciliation which addresses historic wounds in present day conflicts.  In his upcoming book, The Invisible Burden, he shares an innovative approach to generational healing by documenting sessions with Holocaust Survivors, Native Americans, and Hippies. His cross cultural work has been presented on NPR and at Cornell University. For a peek into his travel adventures and blog entries, join his Facebook page.

SAMUEL JEFFERY: Samuel Jeffery is thoroughly addicted to backpacking and plans to explore far off corners of the globe on an indefinite journey.  He’s already done extensive travel in South East Asia and South America and now has his sights set on Central America, The Middle East and Africa.  When he’s not out exploring he can be found blogging on his flagship site Nomadic Samuel; on his fun side project Smiling Faces Travel Photos; or as the lesser half of Backpacking Travel Blog with his girlfriend Audrey who runs the ever quirky That Backpacker travel blog.

ALEXANDRA JIMENEZ: Originally from Los Angeles, Alex has been traveling around the world since 2008. 36 countries and 6 continents later, she’s traveled as a tourist, a backpacker, and a vagabond. She’s currently working on establishing a location independent lifestyle with her new website: Travel Fashion Girl  – a traveler’s guide to practical and stylish travel gear. Follow her on Twitter: @TravlFashnGirl and keep up with her travel adventures at Wanderlust and the Girl.

JOHN and CRAIG:  Write a popular around the world travel blog documenting their travels and journey of discovery. The forty-somethings, took career-breaks and sold everything they owned, to satisfy their desire to travel to as many destinations as possible. The global nomads offer inspiration and travel advice to older travellers and those seeking to travel on a limited budget. The couple have developed their own flashpacking philosophy about how to approach long-term travel.   The flashpackers are clearly enjoying life on the road, which is evident from their great travel photography, and have no plans to end their trip of a lifetime any time soon. 

MICKI KOSMAN: Micki and her husband Charles are the co-founders of  The Barefoot Nomad, where they write about travel, tech and family. She’s been traveling since 2003, first with Charles, and now with their two little adventurers.  Micki’s taken the advice that people will have multiple careers to the extreme, with stints as a neuroscientist, a technical writer, a consultant, and now an online entrepreneur and writer. Micki is also the co-founder of Canadian Travel Insurance Review, where Canadians can find independent information on travel insurance.

ALLISON LEVINE is the owner of Please the Palate, a marketing, branding, events, promotion and education source in the wine and spirits industry. Allison explores the world, eating and drinking, while traveling for her clients and for pleasure, and shares her experiences about the people she’s met and the places she’s been through her blog. 

ELAINE MASTERS: Road trip diva, travel writer, Yoga teacher and international scuba diver, Elaine helps commuters, business and recreational travelers get where they’re going feeling great. The award-winning author of Drivetime Yoga and radio producer, Elaine hosts The Gathering Road on the Women’s Radio Network and has been featured on Fox.com, NBC.com, Women’s Day.com, Huffington Post and San Diego Living plus many more. She is also hosts two meetups in San Diego: Travel Well and Meet, Plan, Go. Check out her  blog: www.TripWellness.com and website: www.DrivetimeYoga.com

MICHAEL MACKENZIE: Michael quit his job, sold his motorbike, and said goodbye to his hometown of Perth, Australia.  He is always searching for his next adventure – whether it’s driving across western Turkey without a license, or hitchhiking through Poland.  Michael MacKenzie is the recent winner of We Said Go Travel’s “Gratitude Travel Writing Contest” and runs the travel blog Without a Permanent Address.  You can also find him on Twitter.

JENNIFER MILLER was born under a gypsy moon and has been pulled with the tides across continents ever since. A teacher by trade and a passionate traveler she’s in her fifth year of an open-ended world tour with her four children, combining education and adventure through their Edventure Project. A freelance writer for the alternative education and travel communities she’s passionate about encouraging others to dream big dreams and find the courage to live them. When she’s not writing, or riding a chicken bus, you might find her climbing a volcano, sipping wine under Orion’s watchful eye, or swing dancing to bad Thai karaoke.

KELLIE NETHERWOOD grew up in a small town in the Australian outback and was 24 yrs old before she owned her first passport. She has certainly made up for it since having lived and worked in six different countries, travelled to nearly 50 and is about to set foot on her 7th continent, Antarctica.  Kellie is about to embark on a second career break as she continues to search for ways to turn her travel, photography and writing passions into a lifestyle instead of an escape, spend more time outside the office and make each second in life count.  She shares her experiences to help inspire yours at http://www.mydestinationunknown.com.

TRISH PROCETTO: Trish is a self-professed foodie and chocoholic.  This California native caught the travel bug with parents who took summer vacations across the US in a green Superior motorhome.  The family also took a Sitmar cruise in 1979, inspiring her love of cruising.  A former elementary teacher, Trish has enjoyed several careers before becoming a certified Tour Director in 2009.  Trish and her husband Matt, a corporate pilot, now own and operate a Los Angeles based tour company, TOURific Escapes, featuring sightseeing and food-tasting.

EVA ROSALES: Born in Peru, Eva quickly became a nomad at the age of four. Since then she has traveled to over 38 countries, lived in 13, and  hasn’t stopped since. She wholeheartedly lives every day according to her own personal motto, “Dance. Dream. Wonder. Travel. Explore.” She loves a good Peruvian causa, the zest of a good ceviche, water dripping off her toes, croissants au chocolat, a good ratatouille, Sicilian arancias, a branzino, and the Zanzibar islands. You can follow Eva’s adventures and learn new languages on  www.hyperfluent.com and Twitter name: @hyperfluent.

PENNY SADLER is a professional makeup artist and hairstylist with a long list of credits in television and event production. Perhaps because of her career, she has a special fondness for Italy, where beauty is a natural part of daily life. She writes for both travel and beauty publications, and is a frequent guest and beauty expert on a local lifestyle program.  She loves to travel and pursue  her passion  for photography and prosecco.  You can find her online at pennysadler.com and Adventures of a Carry-on.

BRIAN SCHWEITZER: Brian is the Co-Founder of Travel Guru, a website dedicated to smart travel information and connecting travelers. He has traveled to over 16 countries and counting, while living more than 14 years in St Petersburg, Russia. Brian is also a marketing and business development consultant who works with companies around the world to improve their businesses by maximizing the potential of the Internet & Information Age. He is currently traveling the world with his wife Alexandra and their son Dominick, with the goal leaving each place better than when they found it.

CARLA SKOG is a native of Edmonton Alberta, Canada, currently residing in Texas, USA. Carla developed a love of travel in her early teens; since then, she has raised her children, completed her studies in nursing and worked in the field for close to twenty years. In addition to her nursing career, she has spent time in the Caribbean, Ireland, Philippines and Singapore. In the future, Carla hope to visit new and exciting destinations. Check out her articles at  http://coolmonsblog.com/ and at hubpages.

SUSAN STE MARIE: Susan Ste.Marie is a Los Angeles/NYC based Artist/Photographer/Educator who loves exploring the world, culture and traditions,  photographing the beauty of the common and uncommon.  Contact: ssainte21@yahoo.com

TOM STOCKWELL: Tom Stockwell always had his nose stuck in an atlas as a child, and pretended that the stairs in his home were a magic carpet whisking him away to some faraway country that he”d seen on the map. Now, he’s travelling the world and has taught in Korea, explored snow covered beaches in Poland, partied at Sydney Mardi Gras and almost thrown up from trying durian in Kuala Lumpur. You can keep up with Tom’s adventures through his blog, Waegook Tom, via Facebook, and by following @waegook_tom on Twitter, too.

LORI TESSEL is the Sr. Vice President, Major Gifts for The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.  Lori is a wife and mother of 2 amazing kids.  She began blogging about all significant moments in her life as she began to approach 50th year.  Life is good, family is great and Lori continues her journey learning through family, friendship, work and travel.

DAVID THOMPSON: Dave is an International travel writer; he founded Dave’s Travel Corner, an International travel community in 1996. His latest endeavor is The Napa Wine Project which has taken more than 5 years to date and is expected to be an initial 8-10 year project that involves wine tasting at all Napa Valley commercial wine producers. He has personally visited, tasted & reviewed 650+ commercial Napa wine producers to date. His first book titled ‘The Freeways of Los Angeles was published in 2010. Dave is most at home in Bangkok, Los Angeles, the Napa Valley or California’s Eastern or far Northern Sierra Nevada mountains.

JESSIE VOIGTS  has a PhD in International Education, and is constantly looking for ways to increase intercultural understanding, especially with kids (it’s never too young to start!). She has lived and worked in Japan and London, and has eaten her way around the world. Jessie is the publisher of Wandering Educators, a travel library for people curious about the world. She founded the Family Travel Bloggers Association, and the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program. She’s published two books about travel and intercultural learning, with more on the way. You can usually find her family by water – anywhere in the world.

PERRY WILKES & CAROLYN KINSMAN. Perry Wilkes and Carolyn Kinsman are “mature” vagabonds. Carolyn caught the travel bug when she read Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth in grade school; but it took several years and the Peace Corps to get her moving. Perry started backpacking around Mexico when, as a young construction worker, the cold of winter would get to be too much and the jingle in his pocket, just enough. When they met midlife, they had careers and responsibilities, but their mutual wanderlust sent them wringing as much as possible out of their time off. Trips to Europe, Russia, Mexico…and sailing in the Caribbean kept them going until retirement (terrible word) when they moved to a beach in Mexico and got down to some serious exploring. Now they spend at least 50% of their time traveling, and blogging about it as they go: www.wilkeskinsman.typepad.com. Also check Perry’s writing blog at www.undertornpapermountains.com for stories and essays.

HANNAH WILLIAMS: Hannah is a self-professed travel addict who is leaving her life in Texas behind this September to travel solo around the world. She has no plans of going back, as she pursues her quest to visit some of the most intriguing and formidable places on earth. You can visit her travel blog, Caravan of One, or follow her on Twitter.

SARA ZUCKERMAN is a first grade teacher living in her hometown, Los Angeles.  She enjoys being outdoors camping and hiking.  Sara also enjoys documenting life through photography. She is happy to be part of the We Said Go Travel community named, They Said!

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