About Our Contributors

Our editorial contributors are forever providing us with great ideas from the trips they take. Whether it's a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Dubrovnik, a new boutique hotel in Tel Aviv or some wild adventure to be had, they contribute to our ever-expanding base of excellent travel information.

Nola Beldegreen

Nola Beldegreen was with Gourmet magazine as the International Travel Director for thirteen years, where she applied her communication skills to creating marketing partnerships. Prior to that she worked for Glamour magazine.

Thanks to her years at Gourmet and an ongoing passion for food, Nola also knows how to find a recipe or two. Forever on the lookout for recipes that help recreate the eating experiences you have when traveling to new destinations,  she periodically brings her culinary expertise to our Forks in the Road section.

Nola prides herself on seeing places from a local's point of view. From helping to round up cattle at a friend's farm in Western Alabama to watching cheese being made in Parma, she believes that travel provides us with new perspectives for daily life.

Jenna Blumenfeld


Jenna Blumenfeld writes about food, health, and culture. She is passionate about trying new foods and regional cuisines, as well as travel and outdoor sports. Based in the sunny confines of Boulder, Colorado, Jenna currently serves as an editor for newhope360.com—a website catering to natural and organic retailers, food policy, and culinary trends.



Alona Cherkassky

Alona Cherkassky has spent many years working in broadcast journalism  and television production. Since graduating from Columbia University, she has traveled extensively to South and Central America, and most recently, to South East Asia. Alona has been an associate producer for numerous television shows for clients such as The History Channel, The Travel Channel, A&E, and most recently, UNICEF. Alona currently divides her time between San Francisco and New York City.

Jeanne Farewell


Jeanne Farewell is the author of the novels In The Lighthouse and Old Rye,
and a short story collection, Nantucket Snow. Her essays, stories, and book
reviews have been published in literary journals and magazines in the U.S.,
London, and online on the Victorian Web and elsewhere.

Also a pianist, Jeanne has performed in the U.S, China, Europe, and in the
U.K., and has given lecture-recitals about music that is based on art and
literature, sometimes incorporating her own illustrations.

Kari Friedlander


Kari Friedlander serves as an online editor and publicist for In Touch Weekly magazine. A pop-culture pundit, Kari has a talent for providing an insider’s perspective on celebrity, from breaking news to breakups, and the latest hot spots where the trendsetters frequent. Her knack for exploration led to a job in British media in London for a summer and inspired her to circumnavigate the globe on a Semester at Sea voyage. Kari has written for InTouchWeekly.com, TVGuide.com and has interned at both People magazine and Teen Vogue.

Kari contributes to our Lights, Camera, Travel column, sharing insight on how to jet set like all your favorite stars.



Melissa Gaskill


Texas-based writer Melissa Gaskill has covered science and travel, especially the outdoor, sustainable kind, for American Way, Family Fun, Nature, Scientific American, Texas Highways, Men's Journal and Backpacker.com. She travels frequently throughout the US, Mexico and the Caribbean, and loves to camp, hike, kayak, snorkel and scuba dive. She's always looking for ways to tie together her science background and passion for travel and the ocean. Melissa is the author of Best Hikes with Dogs: Texas Hill Country and Gulf Coast and is currently working on a second book.

Melissa contributes to our What An Adventure! column.



Cara Greenberg

Cara Greenberg is a veteran writer/editor specializing in travel, affordable real estate, interiors, and gardens. She is a regular contributor to Garden Design and Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, and has been published in The New York Times, Budget Travel, and many other national magazines and newspapers. She is the author of the seminal design book Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s. Her own blog, casaCARA: Old Houses for Fun & Profit, has a devoted following. She owns vintage properties in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and New York's Hudson Valley; her primary residence is East Hampton, N.Y.


Oliver Hartman

Oliver Hartman, our Tech Talk columnist, is a writer and video producer. He formerly worked as a project manager/strategic content developer for a digital agency in San Francisco, whose work included developing in-car navigation interfaces for Audi, mobile gaming videos for SEGA, and interactive web experiences for Kaiser Permanente. He has also worked at Travel & Leisure and has contributed to numerous online culture and travel publications.


Mary Alice Kellogg, Ms. Behaving


Mary Alice Kellogg --aka “Ms. Behaving”--is a New York-based writer and editor whose work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Newsweek, Vogue, and other international publications.

Recipient of the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for Consumer Reporting, she has reported from 125 countries to date. A former Senior Editor of Parade, Correspondent for WCBS-TV in NYC, travel spokeswoman for MasterCard, and President of the New York Travel Writers Association, she covers luxury travel, spas, ships, aviation, fashion, profiles, and trends.


Carson Kressley

Carson Kressley is a fashion designer and TV star (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and ABC's True Beauty). He is also the author of The Essential Style Guide for Men and The Women Who Love Them (2004) and You're Different and That's Super (2005), a children's book.

Carson writes our Fashionable Traveler column, offering his advice on what to wear, what not to wear, and how best to wear whatever you wear while on the road.


Jason Kupchik

Jacob Kupchik is an 8th grader at The Brandeis School, in Lawrence, NY on the South Shore of Long Island. He has been a traveler from a very young age, taking his first trip at 5 weeks old to visit his grandparents and great grandmother in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since then he has traveled several times to Argentina and Uruguay as well as to Peru, Switzerland, France, Italy, Ireland, England, and Kenya, plus several states in the US.

He has a black belt in karate, plays the piano, and enjoys creating video games and documentaries and writing his own music. He is also a certified therapy dog handler with Pet Partners.



Michael Kundu

Amitava Michael Kundu, a freelance adventure photojournalist for 18 years, has been published in Canoe and Kayak, Paddler, Adventure West, Eco-Traveler, and magazines throughout Canada and Europe. Michael writes many of our family adventure travel stories.

His underwater video work with orca whales was featured in documentary films aired by ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates in Seattle. Michael, his wife Nola and their teen sons Erik and Lars are avid adventure travelers based in Lake Stevens, Washington.


Yumi McDonald


Yumi McDonald is a Connecticut-based writer who grew up in Tokyo and graduated from Keio University. She has been writing about art, design and culture for major Japanese magazines including airline magazines for more than 25 years. Before moving to CT she lived in Tokyo and Wellington, New Zealand. She was Vice President of the Japan Society of Fairfield County and has organized many events in relation to Japan. She writes about her life in America and Japan on her blog yumimcdonald.blogspot.com.



Will McGough


Will McGough is a writer focused on all types of travel, from swimming with pigs to parties in ice hotels. He is inspired by the spectrum of ways in which people live their lives in the different parts of the world. He enjoys the idea of waking up every day to new opportunities, new landscapes, and the new feelings that the former inevitably evoke. He doesn’t discriminate: Massages, wine tasting, sailing, skydiving, and bed-and-breakfasts are all equally inviting.

He writes daily about his travels on his blog, Wake and Wander and monthly, he does his On the Edge travel column for us.



Laura Meyer

Laura Meyer is a touring songwriter and guitarist. Since graduating from NYU in 2007 she has performed extensively throughout the US and Europe, playing over 500 concerts and documenting her adventures in words and images. She is currently based in Los Angeles, where she is writing her first book and preparing to record the follow-up to her critically-acclaimed album, Been Here Before. For music, tour dates, and tales from the road visit www.laurameyer.net.

Laura writes our Musical Notes column.


Lynn Schnurnberger

Lynn Schnurnberger is the author and co-author of five books, including the bestselling novels The Botox Diaries and Mine Are Spectacular! Her newest book, The Best Laid Plans just came out in January 2011. She has written for, among others, The New York Times, New York and People magazines and has appeared regularly on TV shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America and Entertainment Tonight.

Lynn writes the Two For The Road column, sharing her thoughts and opinions about traveling as part of a couple.



Justine Seligson is the founder and chief writer of our teen column, Just-Teens Travel. She started the column providing teen insights, ideas and advice for students (and their parents) when she was in 7th grade. She is currently a sophomore at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.

At 14 years old, Justine won the Cynthia Mullins Award in Youth Photography at the Annual Juried Student Exhibition at Silvermine School of Art in New Canaan, CT. She has also been published on National Geographic's Intelligent Travel blog. See her piece here.


Ann Shepphird

Ann Shepphird is the co-founder and editor of GardenstoTables.com, a website for gardeners and cooks and others passionate about supporting sustainable agriculture. She is also the editor of Association News magazine, executive editor of SportsTravel magazine and has contributed freelance stories to a number of publications.

Ann writes our Fresh Picks and Catches column. In it, she keeps our readers posted on restaurants around the world that are at the forefront of bringing the best local, seasonal and environmentally sustainable agriculture, meat and seafood to the table.


Jane Turner

Jane Turner is the author and illustrator of The Dog Who Went to Main Street, a recently published children’s book celebrating adventure, a perfectly imperfect dog, and Main Streets everywhere.

Jane's writing reflects her non-profit work with all things dog -- from rescue to therapy to simply bringing the funny, heroic sweetness of dogs into more lives in more ways. Jane writes our The Dog Who Went Everywhere column.


Melanie Votaw

Melanie Votaw is the author of 13 non-fiction books and has written for such publications as Woman’s Day, Executive Travel, and the South China Morning Post. She has visited 40+ countries on six continents and has more than 1,000 bird species on her life list. Some of her favorite experiences include flying in a microlight over Victoria Falls, bathing an elephant in the River Kwai, and hunting for a rare hummingbird at 12,000 feet in Ecuador. Melanie lives in the wilds of New York City.

Richard Wiese

A past president of The Explorers Club, Richard Wiese is a world-class explorer, an author, an Emmy-winning producer, and extreme adventurer. He travels across the continents in search of the experiences you can't find in the guidebooks. Many of his experiences are chronicled in Born to Explore, a travel adventure tv series on ABC, Sat. mornings in US markets.

Since he first climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro at age 11, Richard has circled the globe capturing stunning images and living one adventure after another—from traveling with Bedouins in Africa to skiing to the North Pole.






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