Curiosity has driven my path as a newspaper journalist, magazine editor, bureau-based travel writer, college writing instructor and  traveler eager to make connections—and a difference. Be it adventure, luxury or volunteering, I love taking readers on trips that might broaden horizons, expand comfort zones and forge connections with people and place.

My articles have won awards from organizations as diverse as the Associated Press, the U.S. Army, and the Midwest Travel Writers Association, which named me Mark Twain Travel Writer of the Year. But the real award comes from taking readers along on the ride through articles, podcasts, photography and my Ready Wanderer blog. I didn't write this but surely second the sentiment: Not all who wander are lost.