Meet the ROAM Team

ROAM Editorial Team

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.

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Maria De La O – Executive Editor

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

Didrik Johnck – Photographer at Large

What’s tougher: Climbing Everest? Getting your photo on the cover of Time? Producing a world travel series?  Or traveling with two energetic boys? Ask Didrik Johnk, professional husband, dad, travel photographer, producer. director, and judge of ROAM’s Family Travel Photo Contest.

Sarah Hart – Contributing Editor

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. 

megan harveyMegan Harvey – Contributing Editor
Megan and her family lived 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. Now they’re back – but still traveling every chance they get. 

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Dina Harrison – Contributing Editor
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. 

Emily Janowsky – Contributing Editor
This San Francisco native is mom to two teenage boys and a dog that makes puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Favorite travel moments include summitting Kilimanjaro, hiking the Inca Trail, exploring Patagonia, safari-ing in Sabi Sand, backpacking through Indonesia and NorCal getaways with her hubby. 

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Don Thompson – Contributing 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). 

paul puntousPaul Puntous – Gear Editor

When not surfing, biking, SUPing, kayaking or chopping ridiculously large piles of wood, Paul teaches in Sonoma County, travels in the summer, and knows a worthy travel gear expenditure when he sees one. 

Crystal Engstrom – Photo Editor

This social worker, professional photographer, Packers fan, and mom wanted something to fill her spare 13 minutes each day so ROAM snagged Crystal to be our photo expert and judge of ROAM’s Family Travel Photo Contest. Click here to see her incredible portrait portfolio.

ROAM Team of 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.

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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. 

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, Beach Daze in the OC

Valentina Dirindin

Valentina is living our dream life as an Italian journalist who covers food and travel. She’s mama to two kids, including 3-year-old Matilda, who met Santa for the first time in Govone, Italy.

shelleyShelley Fargo – Editor
Shelley is a genuine, honest-to-goodness soccer mom who takes every chance she gets to travel farther afield than Manteca for a tournament. 

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. 

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 at #gatherweekly. 

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.

rachel lehmann hauptRachel Lehmann-Haupt

Rachel’s extensive experience as a journalist and traveler has only partially prepared her for vacations with a toddler. 

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.

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.


Originally from Pennsylvania, Bethany is a doctor who applies professional rigor to her family-travel planning (and writes under a pseudonym). 

Nicola “Poz” Poswillo

After many years traveling the world as a backpacker, Poz now adventures with her husband and three children away from home in New Zealand to anywhere they can embrace their love of cultural, educational outdoor, wildlife and culinary experiences.

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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.  

Maggie Torsney-Weir

After volunteering in African hospitals and voyaging around the tip of South America, Maggie stays closer to home now as a doctor and mother of one. She and her husband focus on weekend escapes and a yearly big trip. 

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

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. 

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. 

In Loving Memory

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Dennis & Carolann Jones – Inspiration

Family travel experts from the pre-Trip Advisor days, Dennis and Carolann were an inspiration to traveling dads and moms everywhere. Read: A Tribute to My Traveling Parents


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