“A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm.” -Charles Schwab
From mastering a new language as an exchange student to building and designing my own blogs from scratch, I learn by doing. Enthusiasm, creativity, an appetite for discovery, and a willingness to tinker with things until I get them right are the traits that will help me succeed in any calling.
Wild and Wonderful Facts About Me
I have lived in five countries - the United States, Germany, Italy, India, and Turkey.
I have a working knowledge of five foreign languages - German (Certified Translator), Italian, French, Hindi, and Turkish.
At age 18, I was the youngest elected official in Washington as I served as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in the DC government.
I used my knowledge of German to work as a researcher in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where I transcribed video testimonies from survivors.
I graduated from American University with a B.A. in International Relations and German.
I know HTML.
I have been writing about travel for 12+ years.
I have never met a Content Management System (CMS) that I haven’t been able to master.
I have been blogging since 2004, with websites at missadventures.com and italofile.com. Wordpress is my platform, but I am also comfortable with Tumblr, Typepad, Blogsmith, and Posterous.
I prefer the Oxford comma.
I’m a Leo.
My interests include art, aviation, gadgets, history, politics, social media, and travel.
“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means.” —Joan Didion
For 15+ years, I have been writing about travel, food, and culture. Currently, I am the guide to USA Travel for About.com. I have also written for Gadling, Frommer’s, Fodor’s, Michelin, The Travel Channel, DK Guides, Saveur, National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel Blog, and many others.
“You Have to Be Different, Great, or First” -Loretta Lynn
Freelance writers like me have been using social media longer than most companies since we learned that they were effective tools for communication with our peers and helped to get out the word about our work.
While I have yet to hold a corporate position as a social media manager, I am a skilled user of Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Foursquare, Instagram, Foodspotting, Reddit, and other social media sites. I am capable of setting up social sites from scratch; monitoring and maintaining online conversations from web and mobile dashboards; analyzing metrics and insights; and knowing how to cultivate engagement around a brand.
Here are links to just a few of my social media accounts:
In 2009, I started a simple Twitter account and website to cull links about USA travel news. You see, the United States doesn’t have a unified national tourist board the way other countries do and I thought Twitter would be an excellent way to collect U.S. travel news from official city, state, and regional boards, museums, and disseminate it to people looking for U.S. travel ideas.
My work, enthusiasm, and familiarity with the subject matter got me noticed by an editor at About.com, who encouraged me to apply to be the USA Travel guide.
Since June 2011, I have been building that site from scratch. Of more than 900 guide sites on About.com, the USA Travel site ranks between 400 and 500, a stellar number given that my site has been online for barely one year.
My usatourismboard Twitter account now has more than 6,300 followers and a small, but respectable, number of more than 450 likes on Facebook.
I am also starting to build the presence of USA Travel’s “official” (corporation created) social media channels.