Our Traveling Team
“The more I travel, the more I realize I have so much more of the world to see, taste and experience…which led me to the sad realization that I can’t possibly be in all the places I want to be and remain current. I have enlisted trusted friends in the industry with insider knowledge of the places they travel with a certain edginess. We’ve now built our Traveling Team to more than 90 global contributors. Please be sure to report back on your favorites and anything new you may find.” -Michaela Guzy, Founder & Chief Content Creator.
Founder & Chief Content CreatorMichaela Guzy
Michaela Guzy departed Corporate America where she had a very long and impressive title at a Fortune 100 company and founded OhThePeopleYouMeet (OTPYM), an editorial content site for travelers, foodies and philanthropists seeking authentic local connection everywhere they journey. With Michaela at the helm, OTPYM has grown into a collaborative collective of over 90 contributors across the globe, powering the content for sites like SustainableTravel.About.com, and currently have two original web video series, Michaela’s Map and OhThePeopleYouMeet, which she directs, writes, produces and hosts. Her editorial video can be found on other sites ranging from Yahoo to The Daily Meal. This fearless, self-made, female entrepreneur is a travel industry, publishing and new media expert, with a social good agenda. In addition to setting OTPYM’s editorial strategy she runs OTPYM’s production arm and is often asked to appear as an industry expert from a three part talking head series for BravoTV’s Tour Group, curating conversations, moderating panels, conducting interactive workshops and giving inspiring keynote presentations for awesome industry partners like International Luxury Travel Market, WeWork and starting October 24, 2016 SOHO House’s Impact series.
Michaela hails from St. Louis, MO where she grew up with her parents and three biological sisters, their fake sister from Ecuador, no less than six dogs and two chickens.
Editor-in-ChiefNikki Pepper New Jersey native turned NYC resident
Nikki is a creative living on Wall Street. As OTPYM’s Editor-in-Chief, she oversees a collective of 60 international contributors along with covering all the beautiful destinations she’s grateful to visit. From a small New Jersey beach town, she brought the sand between her toes to New York to pursue her passion for storytelling and city life. She fell in love with travel during several family trips through the Caribbean and now lives for eating brigadeiro in Brazil, snorkeling in St. Thomas and getting lost among ruins in Rome. In 2014, Nikki joined Travel+SocialGood as Content Director, refining the brand and voice of the community and overseeing the brand’s integrity as T+SG began to grow internationally. Aside from OTPYM, her writing can be found on Creator by WeWork, TheLadders, Wakefield Media, Borderlines Magazine and USA Today.
Deputy EditorOlivia Balsinger New York City, USA
Olivia is endearingly nicknamed “Oh-Liv-It-Up” by her family and friends. Why? An avid travel blogger and self-proclaimed wanderluster, Olivia has fallen in love with the world and recognizes
that each day should be “Liv’ed” to its fullest. She firmly believes that the most beautiful aspect of traveling is experiencing how innately similar humanity is. Olivia has lived in chicken shacks in
Guatemala, an orphanage in Cameroon, and has adventured around nearly the entire European continent by train. She has worked for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s travel firm, written about spontaneity for Yahoo Travel, and is a frequent featured writer for travAlliance Media, one of the largest travel trade publications in the country. Though Olivia currently calls Manhattan home, you can bet she has no intention in settling down just yet!
Video EditorKaitlyn Jackson Texas to NYC
Kaitlyn hails from the great state of Texas and ended up in NYC by chance after college. She spends her days working on green screen composting and visual effects at one of the top post-houses in New York and her nights editing videos for OTPYM. She’s seen countless cities across the U.S. and hopes to expand her travels abroad very soon.
Managing EditorCora Boyd
Cora Boyd is an alumna of the illustrious Hilary Duff’s school of “why not.” With a background in comedy writing and psychology, Cora is a matchmaker, dating coach, writer, and travel addict. Her enthusiasm for adventure has driven her to live, work, and play all over the world, and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Armed with a Costco membership, Cora and her 2007 Toyota Camry named Wilhelmina are currently snooping around North America on an extended roadtrip. You can catch Cora at various rest stops along the way drinking Arizona Iced Tea, eating cajun style boiled peanuts, and complaining about the Gilmore Girls revival. Follow Cora’s antics on Instagram @cobraboyxox.
Social Media Editor/Operations CoordinatorMisty Foster
Misty Foster is a YouTube host, writer and founder of Green Suitcase Travel. She’s always had a knack for travel planning and a passion for the environment. As a young child, Misty was the girl cutting Barbie’s hair, re-purposing her clothes and driving her around in her hot-pink, R.V. Activist Barbie and Misty had many meaningful adventures in saving the planet. Her background is in the Arts communications and Tour Guiding. She has led tours in NYC, Arizona and Germany. She is the North American content developer for Green City Trips and offers trip planning and consulting through her brain child, Green Suitcase Travel. From her adventures in climbing Mt. Fuji to herding Reindeer in Norway, Misty is always looking for ways to make sustainable travel accessible.
Operations Manager | ContributorJessica Summer Thompson San Diego native turned New Yorker
Jessica Summer Thompson came to NYC in 2004 to complete her BA in Writing & Lit at Columbia University. 12 years later, she still has daily moments of wandering the streets, drinking in the sights, the sounds, the smells and the diversity that make up this amazing city, and she loves to do the same as she travels the world. If she’s not in NY, she’s typically off on an adventure such as diving with tiger or great white sharks, snorkeling with saltwater crocs, exploring ancient ruins, bathing elephants or warding off monkeys in Southeast Asia. She loves interacting with locals (both humans and animals), trying new foods, and exploring places off the beaten path, making OTPYM a perfect fit.
Creative Project ManagerRafaela Laitamaki New York City
Rafaela is a New York University business student with an undeniable passion for social impact. At her core she is a first generation Finnish-American citizen who wants to travel the world and utilize business as a catalyst for positive change.
ContributorBrooke Berlin Boulder-based citizen of the world
Brooke spent her formative years doing freelance writing, after having earned a degree in Magazine Journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a minor in Cultural Anthropology. She studied in Madrid, Spain; ventured out on a six-month road trip across North America; took a year off to travel around the world, including an extended stay in South Africa; moved to San Diego to open the W hotel; relocated to Boulder to manage a boutique inn; and then spent nearly a decade leading the marketing efforts of a bespoke, private travel company. Today, Brooke focuses her time on Africa, and represents a small collection of properties through her company, Karoo Consulting. As of mid-2017, she has traveled to 49 countries on 5 continents. She is a collector of contemporary African art, loves a pumping all-night dance party, discovered she isn’t made out for the jungle, and will almost always say yes to a new adventure … her most recent, off-the-beaten-path travels have included Madagascar, Morocco, Sudan, and Zimbabwe.
ContributorSkye Von NYCer
Skye Von is Content Creator & Creative Polymath based in NYC, but travels and works across the globe. She once shared a Jeep from Timbuktu to the Sahara with Henry Rollins. Committed to write and visualize stories that captivate and inspire her audiences, Skye uses both the page, the sliver screen, and the metaverse to do so.
VideographerRyan Carpenter Floridian in NYC
Ryan is a videographer from Florida with a bachelors in psychology from USF. He plays the guitar, is an experienced bar tender, an amateur astrologer and has spent the last three years shooting and editing video. He moved to New York in the summer of 2014 to pursue filmmaking and advertising.
Beatrice Operations CoordinatorBeatrice Margolin NYC
Beatrice is an NYC native with one foot in the city and the other on a plane. She takes any opportunity to travel while working to complete her BBA from Macaulay Honors College at Baruch. Her passions include writing, photography, museums of any kind, and eating sea salt caramel ice cream. She provides operational support to keep the OTPYM team up and running smoothly.
Aleksandra Ørbeck-Nilssen (also know by the Bushmen name N/aisa)is a tall, blonde viking from Norway. She has traveled the world and worked as a model from the young age of 14.
When she was 19 years old she moved to Namibia to work with wildlife, and a few years later she became a family member of The Ju’/hoansi Bushmen, and a year later started a project working side by side with the bushmen to conserve the last wilderness of Namibia. She came to save them, but they saved her out of her poverty of perception.They have thought her about reconnecting to nature and that we are of Nature, but she is still on a quest of rewildling not only herself but also the world. She is also a documentary presenter, actress, yoga instructor and tracker. Don’t let her frail appearance fool you, this girl is willing to walk the way and face challenges and fear to unite people from all walks of life.
Aleksandra is here to wander, make people wonder and show you the wonders of culture and nature.
Erin Green is a Travel Designer based in Minneapolis, MN. Her favorite destinations to send clients to are Belize, Southeast Asia, Canada, Cuba, or anywhere else that offers adventures and unique travel experiences. She has a Masters in Sustainable Tourism and has a strong interest in the crossover between luxury travel and sustainability. Outside of travel, she enjoys spending time exploring the Twin Cities restaurant scene, biking, spending time outdoors, and attending MN United soccer games. For travel requests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ContributorAnisha Bhasin Mukherjee NYC
Anisha is a former attorney turned entrepreneur. She is the co-founder of fashion website & app, DRESS FOR THE DAY, as well as co-founder of Manzi Dem Foundation, a non-profit helping students in the Masai Mara region of Kenya attend high school. Anisha is also a co-host and style expert for Sports Illustrated. She resides in NYC with her husband and rescue pup, Midas!
Linden Schaffer is the founder of Pravassa, the world’s first wellness travel company. Pravassa specializes in small group tours and custom wellness travel planning that allows travelers to relax, restore creativity, and be completely changed by travel. Linden’s work has been featured in publications from Forbes to The New York Times Magazine, participated in travel conferences across the globe, and was invited to speak about wellness travel at Google. Her first book, Living Well on the Road, became a #1 best seller upon release. You can connect with Linden via Instagram.
“I have yet to kiss a pirate or climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. But I have traveled to many far away places and logged more hours on buses, trains and boats than I care to admit. All in searching of that brilliant, sublime moment that haunting photographs are made of and to collect stories that makes me weep in my sleep. I’ve made it my life’s goal to be as fearless as possible in all endeavors and to reach out a little further every time. I live under an alias. It’s possible that I am hiding from my life of crime, or a spy. I’ll let you decide if they would like me back dead or alive.”
Photographer | Photo EditorStephanie Cirillo Philadelphia, PA, USA
A dream chasing, portrait-taking world traveler with an insatiable artistic curiosity, Stephanie never wants to sit down or stop looking around. It is all part of her scope and fodder for visual narratives. Her ability to capture moments has been enhanced from work experience in the media industry and renders an aesthetic all her own, seen on her site www.stephaniemcirillo.com.
Operations CoordinatorEllen Ghidina NYC by way of Missouri
Ellen is 22 years old, fresh out of the University of Missouri with a degree in anthropology, and a newbie to NYC. She’s currently attending the Maggie Flanigan Acting Studio. Her hobbies include daydreaming about living in the wizarding world of Harry Potter, jamming to the Hamilton soundtrack, and overseeing the day-to-day logistics and operating coordination for the OhThePeopleYouMeet empire.
ContributorMarianne Abbott New York City, USA
Marianne Abbott is a filmmaker, photographer and writer based in NYC. She is a recent graduate of Brown University where she concentrated in Modern Culture and Media. Born and raised in Guatemala City, Marianne has more than one country to call her home. A firm believer that no place reveals its true self in three days or on a tour bus, Marianne is currently living and exploring in Berlin.
Audio TechnicianAaron Jaffe
Aaron Jaffe is an award winning composer/producer based in New York City. Whether creating sonic branding for a client list that includes L’oreal, Las Vegas, Maybelline and Toyota or composing full length modern ballets for Cuban dance companies he always strives to push his own musical envelope. He starts every day in Central Park with a coffee and his dog Siko, and it’s rumored he’ll do just about anything for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.
Creative ConsultantRoger Wong New York City, USA
Roger manages the creative and business development side of OTPYM aside from his full time gig as a Creative Director in advertising. He has spearheaded ad campaigns on brands such as Comcast, Diageo Brands, Mercedes Benz, Audi, LVMH, and Goldman Sachs. He’s a graduate of the College of William & Mary and the Portfolio Center in Atlanta, GA.
Cristina Slattery has written about lifestyle topics including food, fashion, and travel, business trends such as city branding, and she also specializes in profiles of creative individuals who have made names for themselves in the arts & entertainment fields. She has written for outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Newsweek Japan, The New York Post, Forbes Travel Guide, The Latin Kitchen, Harvardwood HIGHLIGHTS magazine, Words Without Borders,and additional U.S. and European publications. Although Cristina is a native New Yorker, she lived and worked in Barcelona for five years and spent two years in Boston teaching at an international high school there. She has experience in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. She is a graduate of Harvard University and she received masters’ degrees from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English and Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education.
Uri Djemal – man, myth, legend – started Madpan Productions in 2004 after several years of working in production at indie/eclectic mecca Nonesuch Records. During his time at the label, they produced works by Wilco, Stephen Sondheim, Emmylou Harris, Philip Glass and The Black Keys. A studied musician himself, what really gets Uri’s motor going is working directly with artists. After his departure from the label world, he set out to create a space where he could entertain his two passions; nerding out on sound and creating music. A sergeant of the music industry, Uri’s achievements include Grammy and Emmy nominations, four platinum records, multiple Telly Awards, and ambitious contributions in both production and performance.
VideographerStephen Venezia Brooklyn, NY, USA
Stephen Venezia is a southern-raised, New York-bred director, cinematographer, and editor based out of Brooklyn, New York. His production company, Nimblefox Productions, is a collective for content creation that specializes in producing branded content, short films, fashion pieces, music videos, and documentaries from initial conception through post-production.
ContributorDoyun Kim Seoul and NYC
Doyun grew up half in the Pacific Northwest and half in Seoul, which she believes is reconciled by the fact that she has a special interest in moody cities. Her passion for travel journalism started as a contributor for a monthly magazine geared toward foreigners in Seoul. Currently, she lives in New York pursuing a career in media and strongly believes that stories can change the world.
VIDEOGRAPHERAndy Laub Appalachian Trail
Andy Laub’s birth certificate says he came into this world in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, but it’s a damn lie. The truth is, the founder of As It Happens Films was born hiking the Appalachian Trail. A true son of the wild, he’s spent years creating documentaries on his wit, intuition, and pack on his back. Over 5,000-miles later Andy’s independent films have been featured on networks National Geographic, BBC World, Discovery Life and Ora.TV.
ContributorJordan Ashley LA to NYC
Jordan Ashley is the founder of Souljourn Yoga, a non-profit dedicated to raising funds and awareness for girls education in developing countries through global yoga retreats. Drawing on her experience of travel and being a full time yoga teacher, she created Souljourn Yoga as an avenue for the practitioner who wants more than just “down dog” and to expand the need for equal education across the globe.
Hotel ExpertErina Pindar NYC
Erina is the Managing Director of SmartFlyer, a luxury travel agency headquartered in NYC with offices around the world. She was raised traveling the globe, calls New York City home, and has lived in Jakarta and Singapore. Practically an expert at jumping time zones, she’s been known to fly around the world and be at her desk mere hours later. Finding any excuse to be a good excuse to travel, she is frequently enticed across the globe by as little as a pair of Antonio Viva’s sandals or sushi breakfast at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market.
VideographerBen Dishun Atlanta, Georgia
Ben lives in Atlanta, GA and has been working in the local film and television industry for the past three years. He graduated in 2012 from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a Bachelors degree in film and television with a concentration in Cinematography.
Heather Roth began her career reporting local news but quickly deemed it boring because she couldn’t make sh*t up. She began working in marketing because they made shit up, and then moved into comedy development. Alas, she couldn’t ignore a little voice saying it was time to make her own sh*t up. She traded in the Blackberry for Final Draft and is now happy to be pursuing her true passion in comfy clothes that can be thrown up on. She’s also Mother-of-the-Year (made up). When she’s not glued to her computer, she lives to travel off the beaten path with her son.
ContributorMichaela Leonard Los Angeles
Michaela is a full-time student of Economics and Entrepreneurship at UCLA with a passion for adventure and an affinity for human interconnection. As a member of the Division 1 NCAA Women’s Volleyball program, she has been fortunate enough to travel and explore the majority of the United States. With this experience, Michaela offers a unique perspective on cultural connections, food, and events in the Los Angeles area. When not traveling for volleyball or studying in a cafe, Michaela can be found hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains or sweating at Core Power Yoga.
ContributorTania Haas Running in Canada
Tania (rhymes with lasagna) went on her first major trip at 18 months old from Canada to New Zealand to visit her mother’s side of the family. Good habits start young. When she’s not writing about health, business, social issues and running in Canada, she’s planning her next trip. She’s lived in Kathmandu and Oaxaca, whispered about the Dalai Lama in Lhasa, studied in New York City, got hired and then fired in Manhattan, danced in Delhi and prayed in Amritsar, surfed in Australia, Barcelona and Montauk, and gone under the sea in Thailand and Australia. See more at www.taniahaas.com.
ContributorElla Keeven New York City, USA
Ella, Creative Director of OTPYM and marketing extraordinaire, grew up just around the corner from Michaela in St. Louis, MO. After living in San Francisco, CA and a quick jaunt in Amsterdam, Holland, she now calls New York City home. She is currently the Head of Marketing and PR for one of the world’s leading visual effects companies. And with that comes generous vacation policy so she is able to bring us her stories from road, plane, train, tram, boat or whatever form of transportation is readily available.
ContributorDanielle Schwarz New York City, USA
Danielle is a recovering lawyer who comes to OTPYM with extensive experience in marketing and business development. She is putting her analytical and organization skills to good use as Director of Operations where she guides the day-to-day of the business. Danielle was bitten by the travel bug in college and has since explored Europe, Australia, South America and North America. She graduated from Temple Law (2011) with a juris doctor.
VideographerZac Osgood Chicago, IL, USA
Zac, a native Chicago resident, first joined the OTPYM team for a two-week video mission in Peru and a 20-day shoot across Southern India. He’s been shooting (video not guns) and editing for us since. A man of many creative talents and infinite patience with an almost 100% female team!
ContributorLib Curlee San Francisco, CA, USA
Lib is a Hospitality PR and Marketing consultant. Her keen understanding and love of luxury hotels has enhanced her passion for traveling to new places, often with her Toy Australian Shepard, Joplin, in tow. When not packing for her next adventure, Lib enjoys drinking wine, singing, running and documenting it all at libertysanfrancisco.tumblr.com.
ContributorSarah De Martini London, England
Sarah, an Australian native born to Italian parents, currently lives, works and plays in London. She travels often and is always looking for a way to truly immerse herself into the destination– through interaction with the local people and their culture. She has her finger on the pulse of what’s new, but also compelling everywhere she travels.
ContributorAmanda Dempsey New York City, USA
Amanda was born in the UK, but moved to the Midwest at a young age. With yearly trips back to England, she was bitten early by the travel bug and is always ready for an international adventure. Having lived in Chicago and London, Amanda has now settled in New York City and combines her passion for travel with a career in destination marketing.
ContributorDavid DiGregorio New York City, USA with a dual citizenship in Italy
David has explored over 65 countries on nearly every continent with substantial work experience in Australia, China, South Africa, France and the US. Based in New York, David is an author, member of the Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa (APTA) Executive Board, champion of penguin conservation, and also runs his own travel blog StyleHiClub.com.
ContributorBeth Egan New York City traveler
Beth’s motto is “live to leave”. Between living in New York City, the greatest city in the world, and working in a career that takes her on the road quite often, her love for exploration gets fed almost everyday. She is the author of TravelsfromMadAve.com.
ContributorKeren Eldad New York City, USA
Keren, former Brand Publisher of IWC watches recently left Zurich, Switzerland to return to NYC. Keren is of Israeli decent and lived all over the world including Peru. The only thing Keren may love more than jet-setting across the globe, is shopping. Not only the major fashion brands, but those local designers in each location that have yet to be discovered. Her impeccable taste extends far beyond the amazing outfit she has on…to hotels, where to be seen.
ContributorMaryann Fernandez New York City, USA
Maryann leads high net worth individuals and families out of the boardroom and into the field. As Founder & President of Philanthropy Indaba, a unique company that develops customized philanthropic journeys and opportunities for learning and service, Maryann brings donors closer to a deeper exploration and understanding of themselves, each other, and the world in which we live.
Travel junkie, writer, photographer and Founder of Kristen Gill Travel Media, Kristen seeks to explore remote and off-the-beaten-path destinations, getting to know the locals and sharing in their culture. You might find her roaming the mountains of Bulgaria or enjoying a pint of Guinness in the west of Ireland.
Mary Gostelow is owner-editor of the unique and universally-revered bible of the hotel industry, the monthly Gostelow Report market intelligence. She also produces the daily Girlahead travelogue. She has confidential columns in both Elite Traveler and Elite Travel Asia, and she is international correspondent for HOTELS magazine. She writes a weekly Luxury Travel Coach article for the Chinese Tripshow travel site, and she is ILTM Global associate for Reed Exhibitions’ industry-leading luxury travel events in Mexico, Cannes, Cape Town, Shanghai and Kyoto.
ContributorCari Gray Toronto, Canada and Los Angeles, CA, USA
Cari, the woman pictured above introducing her daughter to vodka (the cap is on), traveled the world initially as her parents’ excess but well-loved baggage on overseas work assignments. After completing law school, Cari worked for over 15 years for Butterfield & Robinson in the luxury active travel business. In 2008, she started Gray & Co., applying her in-depth knowledge and personal experience to create custom active journeys for high net worth individuals and corporations around the world.
ContributorLisa Gower Mfuwe, Zambia
Lisa swapped her corporate job and high heels in London, UK to work in Zambia. She spent her first two years living within the community teaching wildlife conservation to children and then progressed to work for The Bushcamp Company in guest relations and overseeing the Conservation and Community Projects. Despite her family thinking she is slightly crazy she would not swap this life for the world!
ContributorAbbey & Steve Hoard San Diego, CA, USA
Newly-weds Abbey & Steve fell in love while designing a children’s table for charity where they walked away with not only love-struck hearts but top honors of “best of design”. Their boundless energy and ‘no feat is too large’ attitude makes it impossible to anticipate what adventure is around the corner. When not obsessing over design whether it be art, architecture, fashion or objects they love seeing live music to fuel the soul and traveling to inspire the mind.
Legal AdviserTeresa Huggins California, USA
Teresa is OPTYM’s legal adviser and counsel. She’s based in California but loves to travel almost everywhere. Most recently, she helped write and produce the Australia series of “Michaela’s Map.”
ContributorJordan Jones Chicago, IL, USA
Jordan hails from the midwest. Post college in Iowa he worked in politics and non-profits. After working as a field director on a competitive 2012 Congressional campaign, he relocated to Chicago and we recruited him to the dark side–Jordan served as chief comic relief officer, master social media photographer & our production associate during our 20-day shoot in India.
ContributorChris Mazingo New York City
Chris is a management consultant; but in his spare time, is an avid underwater photographer, conservationist, and certified Open Water SCUBA instructor. He fell in love with the clear tropical seas during a 2000 visit to St. Thomas USVI. On an extended sabbatical in 2010, Chris lived in Bali, Indonesia for four months and became a SCUBA instructor. Some of his favorite underwater photo subjects are sharks, mantas, manatees, coral reef scenes, and macro subjects like blennies, crabs, and coral abstracts.
ContributorLucy McCormac St. Louis, MO, USA
Lucy is a graphic designer that was born, raised, and is currently living in St. Louis, Missouri. Although she loves to travel when the opportunity presents itself like attending her friend’s wedding in Chile, her true passion is fashion…she has stacks of fashion magazines to prove it! When she is not designing and/or flipping through fashion magazines, she enjoys soaking up all that St. Louis has to offer.
ContributorAlison McGowan Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Alison is a travel writer and photographer who specializes in off-beat travel in Brazil. She is also the curator of Hidden Pousadas Brazil, a comprehensive online guide to uniquely beautiful places to stay and alternatives to mass tourism that few travelers know about.
ContributorCharles Neville Prague transplant
Charles first visited Prague in the summer of 2001 and liked the city so much he stayed. Living in Central Europe has its benefits for the avid traveler. He enjoys visiting other European countries by plane, train and automobile, often combining work and leisure. Charles oversees marketing at European boutique travel outfitJayWay Travel.
ContributorAidan Pilgrim Los Angeles, CA, USA
Nurturing a passion for discovery, Aidan has spent the last decade creating fashion, travel and lifestyle content in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Currently based in Los Angeles, she works as a freelance writer and creative consultant for premier lifestyle brands.
ContributorPallavi Shah New York City, USA
Pallavi founded Our Personal Guest, Inc in 1989 in order to create highly customized and unique experiences for her travelers. She specializes in Asia, Europe and Latin America. And it goes without saying….India! But she has always been an avid traveler, prior to OPG, she spent 25 years in the airline industry, as the Director of Special Marketing for Air India. Pallavi and her dynamic team planned the “Michaela’s Map” India video shoot in February 2013.
ContributorDan Smarg New England/ Los Angeles
A New England native, Dan made the leap to the West Coast after college. As a Field Producer for cable TV, he is constantly traveling and shooting through North America. Dan enjoys spending his downtime “off the grid” in California Backcountry: adventuring through the lesser-known parts of the Golden State. His work can be found at www.MAVpics.com.
ContributorAly Sohigian New York City, USA.
A decade in NYC has inspired Aly’s interest in other cultures, people, and food. She has found traveling to be one of the most life-affirming experiences, and heads to new places every chance she gets, having visited over 35 countries to date. Combining her passion for travel and food and background in design, she develops custom designed vacations via her site www.JetawayGuru.com. She recently received a three month fellowship in package design located in Swaziland, Africa.
ContributorLindsay Taub Los Angeles, CA, USA
Lindsay is a writer/editor, producer and photographer covering travel, lifestyle, culture, arts, food, health, and all facets that make life a journey. She calls Los Angeles home, but prefers to leave the city for the mountains and open spaces as often as possible. If you can’t find her, she’s trekking through a jungle, seeking a seeker, admiring wildlife, or on a plane, quite possibly jumping out of it when the adrenaline junkie is at her best. Follow her on twitter @lindsaytaub58.
ContributorMuriel Truter Toronto, Canada
Muriel is the founder of Askari Travel and trip designer of OTPYM’s founder, Michaela’s three-month solo journey across Africa. Muriel grew up in Zimbabwe and has lived in England, Israel, and Canada and has spent over 20 years exploring adventure travel destinations via her career in tourism. Muriel’s search for new and interesting never stops—whether it’s finding that perfect unknown hotel or the best cervicheria. As more of the world makes itself accessible to travellers, Muriel is determined to help others navigate the ever-richer and more complex choices.
ContributorEdgar Vaudeville New York City by way of France
Before arriving in NYC, Edgar worked at several prestigious luxury hotels and restaurants, including Bristol Hotel, Paris and the W Doha, Qatar. He has an unique ability to launch and rejuvenate an establishment’s image, adding new celebrity clientele, and launching them on a new path to success.
ContributorAshley Castle NYC since 2010
With a degree in Tourism Sciences and 10+ years of experience in sales & marketing, Ashley is originally from Texas and made her way to NYC in 2010, following a short stint in Maui, Hawaii. Though she didn’t have an upbringing of traveling, her curiosity about the world got the best of her and in college, she set off on a life-changing backpacking trip through 9 European countries. Since then, she’s traveled extensively throughout India, Australia, South and Central America and different parts of Asia. Ashley is a Travel & Lifestyle writer & blogger, photographer and videographer/host, focusing on adventure, luxury and experiential travel, and wellness travel. Ashley produces content on Travel With Castle, AFAR.com as an AFAR Ambassador, Trip Films and has a strong presence on various social media channels, and has also been a brand spokesperson for brands like Wyndham and Mutual of Omaha.
ContributorCasey Fieldman Brooklyn, NY, USA
Casey is from New Jersey and moved to Brooklyn after graduating from Syracuse University where she studied Philosophy and Psychology. She has always had a passion for expanding her perspective through exploration and suffers from a perpetual travel itch. In her free time she is perfecting the art of wandering with her furry companion by day and dancing her way through the city by night. She assists with operations for OTPYM.
ContributorSteve Roberts Born & raised in NYC
Born in Brooklyn, raised on LI, schooled in Mass, Steve’s port of call is NYC. He travels globally, sharing his experiences via blog, paint, and photograph. He fancies himself an expert on what, where, new & old in NYC on Hunter’sHotandHipNYC, and shares his adventures on Hunter’stTavelTales. Follow him on Twitter: @steve22hunter.
Christina Montford is a freelance writer and social media strategist who spends her free time searching for spare change under couch cushions to fund her next adventure. She is a firm believer that life should not be lived in one place. Christina caught the travel bug early on in life (much to her parents chagrin) and has been jumping from place to place ever since, with no plans of slowing down.
ContributorColin Glaum New York City, USA
Aspiring bon vivant and international man of mystery, Colin brings his experience as an advertising writer and creative director to OTPYM. Having created web films and serial content pieces for brands for over a decade, he’s excited to turn his attention to one of his true passions—conscientious travel. He dreams of one day being able to write a piece about eating and drinking his way through sustainable farms in Europe.
ContributorMariana Aguirre New York City, USA
Originally from the buoyant streets of Mexico City, Mariana first got on a plane when she was six months old and hasn’t stopped since. With a Masters in Public Relations from the United Kingdom, Mariana works her magic at American Express in New York City managing luxury retail clients. When not visiting one of her clients, she’s visiting one of her friends around the world or sometimes even making new ones.
ContributorThibaut Asso New York City, USA
From Nice to New York, via Scotland, Bora Bora and St. Martin: Thibaut is a professional hotelier who is especially passionate about wine. He is always taking time to taste new wines and discover new places to sip them. No matter how much he travels – and it’s a lot – his strong French accent is still intact, a reminder of where his global journey started.
VIDEO SERIESVoyage Vixens Filming around the world
Together, Lanee Lee and Lindsay Taub founded the Voyage Vixens™ out of love for travel and in hopes of inspiring others to pursue their passions—be it motherhood or motorcar racing. In 2014, the blog receivedtwo prestigious awards: a Lowell Thomas award “Best Travel Blog 2014″ (Bronze) and a NATJA “Best Independent Travel Blog 2014″ (Bronze). Between the two of them, they’ve been to more than 50 countries on five continents and counting. They invite you to come along on their adventures. You’ll gasp, you’ll probably laugh, but most importantly, they hope they inspire others to get that passport out and voyage like a vixen…Follow on twitter & Instagram, and watch on YouTube.
ContributorSiobhan Chretien Vancouver, Canada
Siobhan is French, Canadian, and Irish. Her diverse upbringing combined with a career in global travel and tourism has brought her to all major cities of the world. A curious wanderer, she has a passion for finding uncommon places and intriguing spots.From India to Europe, Asia to South America, her passion for food, drink, style, history and culture combine into some of the most sought after insights and suggestions. A humorous story is never far behind. One of her favorite things is spending time in grocery markets where ever she goes. “It’s like opening the fridge door into someone’s home. Peering into local lifestyles.”