Meet the ROAM Team

ROAM Editors

maryann jt contributor

Maryann Jones Thompson – Founder and Editor in Chief

After a thousand years in publishing as a business journalist, ghostwriter, content strategist and market researcher, Maryann brings her experience traveling as a backpacker, businessperson, expat and mom to writing and editing for ROAM.


maria de la o square

Maria de la O – Editor

Magazine editor. Documentary filmmaker. Copy expert. Mother. Traveler. Maria brings it all to the pages of ROAM.



don winter squareDon Thompson – Editor

When he’s not running Carbon Five, Don is researching ROAM travel options and teaching valuable life lessons to his kids (like how to survive for a month in Ireland on $20 by hitchhiking, camping in backyards and eating peanut butter off a Swiss Army knife without slicing your mouth). Read: 1 Day, 2 Volcanoes, 3 Islands


dennis jones stationwagon

Dennis Jones – Content Manager

A family travel expert from the pre-Trip Advisor days, Dennis specializes in multi-generational trips, content management and keeping ROAM up and running.



ROAM Contributors

Valentine J. Brkich

Hailing from the charming town of Beaver, Pa., Val and his wife enjoy discovering other small towns and dragging their two young children along for the ride (sometimes literally). Read his blog and follow him on Twitter @valentinebrkich.


tina davis

Tina Davis

Tina’s Australian upbringing taught her to appreciate a good beach, a good run, a good party and a good glass of wine – making her the perfect Northern California transplant. Read: Exploring the Crazy Beauty of Moab, Cruzing the Boardwalk


kelly dietz

Kelly Dietz

As a SoCal mom with active teens, Kelly and her husband spend most of their time running around town like their hair is on fire. “Over-planned” vacations provide balance.  “Life’s about the experiences – no matter how small – so we are always on the lookout for the next bit of fun.” Read: Fast Times in SLO Country

shelleyShelley Fargo
Shelley is a genuine, honest-to-goodness soccer mom who takes every chance she gets to travel farther afield than Manteca for a tournament. Read: The Californians Do Nantucket

jodi glasserJodi Glasser

Jodi has snowboarded, sailed, flown and driven many, many miles with her husband and sons but her favorite family destination is a certain off-the-grid cabin in Central Oregon with a good book, great cocktails and fabulous friends. Read: The Last Days of “Old” Havana


dina contributor

Dina Harrison
Like ambassadors of adorable, Dina’s two-of-the-cutest-kids-you’ll-ever-meet have accompanied her and husband Steve on many adventurous jaunts both near to and far from their Marin County home. Read: Splashing Out in Maui; Wet & Wild in Belize


sarah hart

Sarah Hart

Sarah’s first job out of college was as a travel writer who wasn’t paid nearly enough to travel. She and her family love outdoor adventures, dance parties, and big meals with friends and family. She prefers packing to unpacking and enjoys butchering Spanish and French equally. Read: A Return  to Italy – con Bambinis


megan harveyMegan Harvey
Megan and her family are living every traveling parent’s dream by exchanging a year of their everyday Northern California outdoor adventures for a year of around-the-world outdoor adventures. Read:  Time to Take the Kids to Cuba


carolyn jensenCarolyn Jensen        

A trained chef, ice skater, sports mom and karaoke artiste, Carolyn is religious about the Thursday Marin Farmer’s Market, her family and escapes to their Lake Tahoe cabin. Follow her cooking on her blog and her food photography on Instagram at #gatherweekly. Read: Ski-Free Fun in Tahoe


Bob Kelsoe        

After visiting Greece in 2015, Bob and his wife, Lisa, caught a serious case of wanderlust. Now they drag their three teenagers on trips whenever they can.  Aside from running a business and coaching high school wrestling in Southern California, Bob posts his amazing travel photos on Instagram @Traveling_Strong. Read: 5 Hotels for 5 in Italy, 5 Photography Hacks for Family Trips

rachel lehmann hauptRachel Lehmann-Haupt

Rachel’s extensive experience as a journalist and traveler has only partially prepared her for vacations with a toddler. Read: When Toddler Meets Dolphin in Oahu


Darya Mead

Growing up in NYC and attending the UN International School gave Darya a head start as a global citizen. But her extensive travel and media experience now takes a back seat to raising two boys in San Francisco. Darya loves the outdoors, cooking, teaching yoga and the fact that her boys have taught her to be a sports fan. Follow her travels on Triporati. Read: To Thailand with Twins

debra nelson squareDebra Nelson

Debra is always planning her next getaway  – which is kinda odd for someone who lives in an especially glorious part of San Francisco. Read:  Not Taking the “God” Out of Israel.



Originally from Pennsylvania, Bethany is a doctor who applies professional rigor to her family-travel planning (and writes under a pseudonym). Read:  A Prescription for Planning Yellowstone; A Big Week in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons

paul puntousPaul Puntous

When not surfing, biking, SUPing, kayaking or chopping ridiculously large piles of wood, Paul teaches in Sonoma County and travels in the summer. Read: SUP/Skate/Stroll Vancouver Island, Sure! Pack Your Board, Action-Packed Snowpack in Soda Springs


julie rappaport

Julie Rappaport

This Berkeley, Calif. yoga teacher and psychotherapist is skilled in the art of booking multiple hotels for the same dates and the finer art of cancelling-extra-rooms-before-being-charged. Author of 365 Yoga: Daily Meditations, Julie has just completed her first novel, a literary adventure of loss and redemption set in Southern India.  Read: Meeting Friends in Japan
maya squid izu 620Betsy Weidenmayer Rogers

Longtime expat and Tokyo-based mother of four, Betsy knows more than a thing or two about family getaways. Read: Shock Lobster!


lawrence-swiader-farLawrence Swiader

Though home is Washington, DC with his wife and daughter, Lawrence is an admitted “travel divo” and loves an awesome hotel, a secluded beach, and unique culinary experiences. He has a home in Greece and is a well-experienced traveler of that beautiful country following in the footsteps of Henry Miller and Lord Byron as foreigners who fell in love with Greece – and in Lawrence’s case, also with a Greek woman. Follow his travels all over the world on his Instagram page. Read: A New Year’s Blast in Panama

karen sulkis eiffel squareKaren Sulkis

Karen is a writer, editor, comedy nerd, yoga enthusiast, doting aunt and expert in the art of making staycations feel like vacations, and vice versa. She lives in San Francisco. Read: April! In Paris!, Taking It Slow in Bordeaux, Some London Fun for Everyone, El Niño and Travel with Los Niños

Sarah Wilson

A northern Minnesota teacher with a passion for the outdoors, Sarah enjoys finding micro-adventures in hiking, biking, climbing trees and making maple syrup with her partner and two kids. After six months of family van life in South America, she is happy to spread out and cozy up to the fire whilst planning her next adventure.





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