214Claire Podulka, editor in chief

Claire is a writer, editor, and start-up cat-wrangler living in Albany Park, Chicago. She has not driven a car in four years and would like to keep it that way, thank you very much.

Favorite Travel Moment: Waking up early on the first morning in Istanbul to the sound of the muezzin and looking out the window to the sun rising over the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia.

Where I’m Going Next: If I get my way: Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls. If the boyfriend gets his way: Disneyworld. The power struggle is neverending.

Expert on: Chicago, solo travel, cheap hotels, city breaks

laura+minkaLaura Bolesta, art director

Laura is a recovering artist and a production manager at a small press. She lives in Horner Park West, Chicago, in a falling-down house with her husband, 2 cats, and dog. She drives Claire’s ass around.

Favorite Travel Moment: Sitting in the sun on a park bench, watching people, preferably with a beer in hand. This can be done in many, if not all, places.

Where I’m Going Next: Probably the Grand Canyon, or somewhere “out west.” The next international trip will be to Prague, but who knows when that will be.

Expert on: Photography, staying home, cooking, destroying houses. Intermediate proficiency in putting houses back together.


Brooke Pudar, staff writer

Brooke is a writer and editor living in Wheaton, Illinois, where she alternately tends and neglects her garden. She’d like to move to Bend, Oregon, even though she’s never been there.

Favorite Travel Moment: Standing knee-deep in the Virgin River in the Narrows of Zion National Park, miles from the nearest human being.

Where I’m Going Next: On the short list for 2013 are Nashville, Portland, Ansel Adams Wilderness, and the Canadian Rockies.

Expert on: national parks, hiking, local food

caryCary Mele, staff photographer

Cary is a wanna-be photographer, runner, and obsessive list-maker living in Lincoln Square, Chicago. She gets bored if she doesn’t have some ongoing project or goal she’s working toward, and she really loves soup.

Favorite Travel Moment: During a week-long bus tour of Ireland, Cary and some new-found friends broke away from the group one day and decided to take a ferry to the Aran Islands. Despite the bitter cold rain and giving up time in Galway, the view from the edge of the cliff of Dún Aonghasa made the trip worth it and taught her that sometimes the road less traveled really is the better choice.

Where I’m Going Next: Dublin in August to run the half marathon

Expert on: Ireland, destination races, beers and brewery tours


Andrew BreiteAndrew Breite (2)
Andrew Breite is a not-so-mad scientist who lives in Indianapolis. He is a lover of beer and getting away from Indianapolis as much as possible.
Ann GilzowAnn Gilzow (2)
Ann Gilzow lives in Somerville, MA, with her boyfriend and her fatty fatty fat cat. She enjoys bootleg BBC dramas and box wine.
Brenna GrahamBrenna Graham (3)
Brenna Graham is a grad-student researching for a year in Rome, Italy. When she's not flitting about the continent, you can find her at the nearest gelateria or buried in any one of Rome's dustiest libraries.
Charlie WilliamsCharlie Williams (2)
Charlie Williams is a former classical pianist turned app developer, and former Midwesterner turned expat. He now lives in London with a Canadian novelist-musician, and of course they met while traveling.
Christine De LucaChristine De Luca (9)
Christine De Luca mostly works with spreadsheets but can be persuaded (read: outright bribed) to return to her writer/editor roots with fine wine, coffee, and good company. She plans to enjoy those things on every continent during her lifetime.
Connie BankusConnie Bankus (5)
I am not a traveler of distant lands but rather a thorough explorer of my home. Two years ago my husband and I moved to Oregon with the plan to hike the weekends and see everything we can see. We have been pretty successful in this goal. Through day hikes we have seen more them some of my native born Oregon neighbors have. I carry a camera with me where ever I go in an effort to build people's appreciation for the splendor that is in our own back yards. I also have a little Tumblr blog I have been running for the past two years called
Diana NguyenDiana Nguyen (3)
Diana Nguyen is a freelance page layout designer and photographer and is also the founder of To & From, an online travel magazine ( She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and her 80-pound Saint Bernard who sheds like a dog double her weight. The three of them will be taking a road trip to South Dakota this summer and anticipate returning home with a lot of memories, photographs, and a car full of dog hair.
Ed HirschEd Hirsch (3)
Ed Hirsch is a huge nerd and rap enthusiast, recently returned to his rightful home of Chicago. He is the love child of Studs Terkel and David Mamet.
Elizabeth NihiserElizabeth Nihiser (4)
Elizabeth Nihiser is a natural light, on location photographer. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Ohio State University, she moved back to her native Hocking Hills where she currently lives and works. She is the recipient of several honors including Ohio Associated Press Best Feature Photo, Ohio Associated Press Best Illustration as well as the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award. She is married to her childhood soulmate, Ryan Grundish. On 12.12.12 at 12:01 a.m., they welcomed our son, Huxley Finn, into the world.
Emma HooperEmma Hooper (1)
Emma Hooper is a professor of pop at Bath Spa university, where she also used to teach various kinds of creative writing. She plays lots of viola, writes in most genres, and moved to the UK from her native Canada a little over eight years ago.
Erin SchrammErin Schramm (15)
Erin Schramm (along with her trusty side-dog, Clara) is an elementary school Library Media Specialist (read: school librarian) currently living in Lawrence, KS. She enjoys books, Lays Dill Pickle potato chips, and that trusty side-dog mentioned above.
Jen CreamerJen Creamer (6)
Jen is a designer and illustrator from Florissant, Missouri. She enjoys eating, drinking, being merry, and stabbing people in the face for incompetence.
Jennifer LindnerJennifer Lindner (2)
Jennifer Lindner is a creative professional residing in Chicago. Her glass is always kinda half empty, though what's left in it is usually Eugene Porter by Revolution Brewery.
Julie PodulkaJulie Podulka (8)
Mom-in-chief Julie Podulka spent the first two decades of her life in Michigan and the years since then seeing big chunks of North America and Europe.
Kim KovalickKim Kovalick (18)
Kim is a designer and cat-rescuer living in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. She is Go Go Go's official GraffitiSpotter.
Leanne GreggLeanne Gregg (4)
Leanne Gregg is a writer and the fiction editor of Literary Orphans. In her spare time, you can find her training her two cats to do her chores.
Michael BeckettMichael Beckett (7)
Michael is a designer and Harry Potter enthusiast who lives in Glendale Heights, Illinois, which is somewhere outside of Chicago.
Sallie BaileySallie Bailey (7)
Sallie is an environmentalist, engineer, and all-around science maniac who lives near Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
Sharon ReidSharon Reid (6)
Sharon is the creative director of interactive design and production studio Robots and Cupcakes. Her two English bulldogs keep her plenty busy in and around Hoboken (office) and Jersey City (home). Code name: The Skyliner.
Sue FedeaSue Fedea (5)
Sue is a designer who lives in the Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago. While she has moved from the South to North Side, she is dedicated to a lifetime in the 773 area code.

Danny Alias  •  Natalie Hock  • Hannah Marlin  •  Melissa Miller  •  Jason Misuinas  •  Kansas Sara  •  Mary Ann Starus

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