About Michele

Award-winning travel writer, photographer, and mama of two boys, I have a serious case of Itchy Feet, cured only by exploring. Usually my sons join me on my adventures. I’m living my dream as a professional travel writer. My work has appeared in the New York Times, Outside Magazine, Afar, Los Angeles Times, CNN, Brides, and many more.

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Check me out when I was little and on a cross-country trip to California.

Want to know more? Here’s the in-depth scoop on my journey as a travel writer

By the time I was ten, I had traveled through nearly every U.S. state, only to end up living in a tract home in LA’s San Fernando Valley. After nine years of suburban living, I boarded an international flight to Europe to become a writer.

Dozens of passport stamps later, I had no writing income and entered the MFA program at Antioch University to learn how to write. My fiction and nonfiction started getting accepted in publications like Moxie, Tea Party, Coloring Book Anthology, Nine Lives Anthology, Student Traveler and Prism Review.

You can imagine my surprise (gulp!) when the same week I discovered I was pregnant with my first son, I received a contract to write and photograph my first guidebook, Explorer’s Guide Kauai: A Great Destination (Countryman Press, 2008).

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A few months after Kai was born, I strapped him on to research my second book, the award-winning Northern California: An Explorer’s Guide (Countryman Press, 2009). While Kai, and his younger brother Nikko, were young, I mostly wrote guidebooks–almost 40 of them, actually. Some of them include Backroads and Byways of Northern California (Countryman Press, 2012), Northern California: An Explorer’s Guide second edition (Countryman Press, 2013) and  Backroads and Byways of Hawaii (Countryman Press, 2013). In addition, for five years I updated Fodor’s San Francisco, Fodor’s California,  Fodor’s Maui, Fodor’s Los Angeles, Fodor’s Hawaii and Rand McNally’s Best of the Road Atlas. As if that wasn’t enough, I also created the travel applications San Francisco Families and Napa and Sonoma With Kids.

These days, I write for major newspapers and magazines. My work can be found in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Islands, Via, Brides, Diablo, Napa and Sonoma Magazine, Boston Globe, Outside, Away.com, Oyster, Huffington Post, CNN.com, Orbitz, Priceline, Perceptive Travel, and the in-flight magazines of Air New Zealand, Jetstar, British Airways, Singapore Air and more.

In the past couple years I’m honored to announce that I won some travel writing awards, including two Lowell Thomas awards and a Traveler’s Tales Solas Award.

Today you might find me exploring my home state of California, exploring far flung corners of the earth with my family, dancing (I particularly fancy Brazilian dance), teaching writing at UCLA and UCSC, or perfecting my ramen recipe.

I am currently writing a book about teaching my sons about the planet they will inherit by taking them to places that might not exist in their lifetimes. We’re setting out to meet change-makers working to protect fragile landscapes from climate change. I just finished a novel called The Third Side. 

Feel free to contact me about writing gigs, public speaking events, TV hosting, travel consulting, location scouting, and to teach travel writing classes.

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