Prepare for CrossCheck is about travel, food, libations, lifestyle, photography, philanthropy and whatever other topics grab my interest.
I covered the travel industry for more than 10 years, first as a business journalist for Nielsen Business Media, then as the founding editorial director for the award-winning travel-planning website TravelMuse.com. As a freelance writer and editor, regular clients include the travel research company Phocuswright and local news website DNAinfo New York. I continue to travel as much as possible and have visited 50 countries and more than 40 U.S. states—so far.
Prior to my editorial career, I worked in marketing and development for a variety of organizations where I wrote and edited multiple types of business communications—from legal contracts and annual reports to CEO speeches and press releases. I also planned special events that included galas featuring international presidents, prime ministers, business icons and celebrities.
What prompted the switch?
After my last corporate job, I spent nearly a year backpacking through Nepal and Southeast Asia. It was a life-changing adventure. Favorite experiences from that trip: trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal; taking a slow boat two days down the Mekong River from the Thailand boarder to Luang Prabang, Laos; and spending a week in intensive meditation classes while living with monks and nuns in a Buddhist temple in Bangkok.
My goal for that period was simply to explore and figure out what I really wanted to do for a career. Even though I had always wanted to be writer, I had a business degree and felt compelled to use it. Plus, I didn’t think I could earn a decent living as a writer. (Yes, I still laugh about that one.) I returned to New York and began taking writing classes. Through the encouragement of teachers and journalist friends, I pitched editors, sold my first article within four months and haven’t looked back.
What’s with the title?
It’s an airline term you often hear for flight attendants. Cross-check basically means making sure the doors on the plane are closed and “armed” with an escape slide for emergencies, and that it’s all been checked by another attendant before takeoff and landing. Being prepared for whatever may come next on the journey is how I like to interpret it. In writing it means verifying your sources; there also are references in hockey, chess, technology and business, but those definitions don’t necessarily apply here.
I recently was accepted into the Masters program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and will be a full-time student again beginning in August 2015. In the meantime, I’m spending six weeks in El Salvador and Peru studying Spanish, exploring, and continuing to work on assignments. See Select Clips for recent articles.