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Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team

Humanly curated, passionately penned, and always moving – welcome to ViaTravelers!

ViaTravelers is your portal to the world, featuring immersive travel guides read by millions every year. Our band of seasoned travelers and talented writers hail from all corners of the globe, each bringing an intimate understanding of their trodden paths to the table.

We stand firmly by the irreplaceable value of human insight. At ViaTravelers, we encourage you to journey beyond the popular, often overcrowded tourist trails. The world is vast and endlessly intriguing, and so much more awaits your discovery than meets the eye.

With our team’s collective footprint covering over 100 countries and enough to visit all states in the United States… at least four times over, ViaTravelers has been at the forefront of unearthing and showcasing the globe’s burgeoning destinations since 2020. Our rich, insightful travel advice has caught the attention of renowned international media outlets like Travel + Leisure, CNN, Forbes, Mic, and many others.

Learn from our experience traveling the world to make your experience memorable (you can learn from all the mistakes or things we’ve tried) and make every discovery unique. Join us as we celebrate the joy of getting lost in the journey and finding ourselves.

We aspire to be your most reliable companion on your travels, providing meticulously researched suggestions, experienced firsthand, and scrutinized for quality. The ViaTravelers team is dedicated to bringing you nothing but the best – because we believe in independent, authentic, and unforgettable travel.

If you’d like to follow along with our journey, join us and 50,000 other followers on social media:

Your journey begins here with ViaTravelers. Please say hello to our team of travel experts.

Meet Our Team of Travel Experts

Kyle Kroeger, Owner & Chief Executive Officer

Kyle Kroeger, ViaTravelers Editor-in-Chief, at Yellowstone National Park

Kyle Kroeger is the founder and owner of ViaTravelers. He’s also a dad, husband, and seasoned traveler. Kyle started ViaTravelers during a trip to Italy since he’s known as a street traveler (“via” is Italian for street and a way to travel).

Kyle helps travelers find their next adventure through his videography and photography, which can be seen on the ViaTravelers YouTube channel. His travel writing and expertise have been featured on Redfin, CNN, GOBankingRates, DailyMail, Yahoo! Finance, and Travel + Leisure.

Outside of writing, his videography has been featured in The Telegraph and other media outlets worldwide. Check out his photography and videography on Flickr and Behance to see where he’s been.

If he isn’t traveling, he’s likely thinking about how to be more sustainable (and help others to be, too) through his site, The Impact Investor.

Kim Magaraci, Managing Editor

Kim Magaraci, Managing Editor at ViaTravelers, on a hike in Newport Beach, California

Kim is a writer, editor, and photographer from the Philadelphia area. She loves mountains, snow, and minimalist travel. Her two rescue dogs, Lily and Wilco, are her adventure companions – and they’re always up for a road trip! When she’s not traveling to ski, hike, or take photos, you’ll find Kim in the front row of a punk show or spending time at the barn with her horse, Lyla.

  • Favorite Destinations: The Tetons and the Wind River Range in Wyoming, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the Jersey Shore.
  • Travel Expertise: Minimalist Travel, Ski Trips, Travel Photography
  • Favorite Post Written: Things to Do in Yellowstone National Park
  • Social Media Profiles: LinkedIn, Instagram

James Oliver, Editor & Writer

James Oliver, editor at ViaTravelers

James is a British-American writer and editor for ViaTravelers who has been writing since he was wee. As someone who has spent much time trotting around the globe, James appreciates traveling smart and comfortable and has every intention of helping ViaTraveler’s readers do the same.

  • Favorite Destinations: Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, St. Peter Port, Tolo
  • Travel Expertise: History and food tourism, hiking, backpacking, and product reviews
  • Favorite Post Written: 12 Interesting Dog Laws in Germany

Christy Articola, Contributing Writer

ViaTravelers writer Christy Articola

Christy is a writer and avid traveler who lives outside Denver, Colorado. She’s been writing daily for all of her life and surely will for the rest of it, too.

In addition to writing, she owns and operates a busy pet-sitting business. She loves traveling for live music, warm and beautiful places, national parks, and anywhere, anytime for any reason.

In her free time, she loves spending time with loved ones, reading, sewing, painting, cooking, being outdoors, and planning her next adventure.

Sandy Allen, Contributing Writer

Sandy Allen, Travel Writer for ViaTravelers

Sandy is a freelance writer based in Richmond, Virginia. Her specialties range from hotels, islands, and yacht charters to theme parks, urban settings, mountain getaways, and other family fun. Her work appears at AFAR, PierShare, Cozymeal, and more.

  • Favorite Destinations: British Virgin Islands, Florida Keys, Outer Banks, New York City, and the Great Smoky Mountains

Woodrow Matthews, Contributing Writer

ViaTravelers writer Woodrow Matthews

Woodrow has been traveling his whole life, having visited all 50 states during his childhood. Formerly a hotel manager, he lives in France, teaches at a business school, and works on his Ph.D.

He spends most of his free time discovering new places with his wife on the Cote d’Azur and all around Europe. He enjoys writing about lesser-known destinations, hotel and experience reviews, and money-saving strategies for travel.

  • Favorite Destinations: Tahiti, French Polynesia; Cyclades, Greece; Bali, Indonesia
  • Travel Expertise: Points & Miles, Loyalty Programs, Island Destinations, Flights & Airlines
  • Favorite Post Written: Things to Do in the South of France

Brittney Liu, Contributing Writer

Brittney Liu, travel writer at ViaTravelers

Brittney is a travel enthusiast and animal lover originally from Oahu, Hawaii. She lives in the French Riviera with her husband (and ViaTravelers writer), Woodrow. She loves discovering new places through food and history. You can find her somewhere on a beach reading a good book when she’s not traveling. She loves having a mix of luxury and adventure travel. No destination is too off the beaten path for her to want to visit.

Jackie Sutherlin, Contributing Writer

Jacks Contributing Writer at ViaTravelers

Jackie is a writer, artist, and mediocre ukulele player from New Orleans. This Cajun by location would trade the swamps for the mountains in the time it would take you to shuck an oyster. When she’s not snuggling her lovable cat, Tugger, you can find her climbing the latitude lines, traveling to some of the most remote parts of the planet, preferably around the Arctic Circle.

  • Favorite Destinations: Tromsø, Norway, anywhere in Iceland, and the Atchafalaya River Basin
  • Travel Expertise: Arctic travel, Adventures, Solo travel, all things NOLA

Amanda Finn, Contributing Writer

Amanda Finn, writer at ViaTravelers

Amanda is a queer travel, arts, and lifestyle writer based in Chicago. She can be found in a theater somewhere when she isn’t jet-setting around the globe, where she is often photographed doing goofy things because she’s not a good influencer.

Her work can be found in Newcity Stage, The Chicago Reader, HuffPo, Yahoo, and many other places, including the November 2022 book Chicago Like a Local, as she spends an absurd amount of time writing. In late 2021 Amanda launched an inclusion-centered travel blog called Dream Suitcase.

She is also unashamedly a Disney adult but tries not to be cringy and has a growing tattoo collection that features a range of icons from Anton Ego to Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Cassie Jenkins, Contributing Writer

Cassie Jenkins, Travel Writer at ViaTravelers

Cassie Jenkins is a travel writer, journalist, and photographer in Southeast Texas. After an incredible study-abroad trip to England and Spain, she fell in love with traveling the world and experiencing new cultures. Her mission is to seek out the most unforgettable experiences the world offers and indulge in the best food and scenery from one corner of the Earth to the next.

Outside of writing, she lives for reading YA novels, the gym, live concerts, and spending as much time outdoors as possible. Her hobbies include hiking, eating, kayaking, rock climbing, boxing, and listening to podcasts.

  • Favorite Destinations: Brighton, England, Sitges, Spain and Estes Park, Colorado

Stuart Jameson, Contributing Writer

Stuart Jameson, writer for ViaTravelers, in the Carpathian Mountains

With nearly 70 countries under his belt, Stuart is a well-seasoned globetrotter from the UK, now living in Madison, Wisconsin. After traveling the world for seven years (including a hitchhike from Germany to Cambodia), his current mission is to visit all 50 states before turning 50 – something he will fail to do if he keeps collecting board games.

  • Favorite Destinations: Iran, Croatia, Colombia, Czech Republic, Malaysia
  • Travel Expertise: Budget travel, backpacking, hostels, and hitchhiking

Lana Valente, Contributing Writer

ViaTravelers writer Lana Valente visiting a waterfall on her travels.

Lana is a lifelong writer, hobby artist, and voracious reader from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her passion for travel has led to many adventures, all of which were compiled in an attempt to reach each continent before the tectonic plates inevitably reform Pangea.

A fan of the mythical, she’s always strived to find something unbelievable in the mundane. Luckily, travel provides that whimsy; when she’s not studying new languages or visiting her family’s house in Rome, she’s attending weird festivals and spending endless hours at her local library.

Her work can be found in various publications, including but not limited to Arcadia University Magazine, Calliope, and LocoMag.

  • Favorite Destinations: Rome, Italy; Prague, Czech Republic; Reykjavik, Iceland; Seoul, South Korea; Muscat, Oman
  • Travel Expertise: Budget travel, hidden gems, and country-hopping in Europe

Lisa Merten, Contributing Writer

ViaTravelers writer Lisa Merten on the summit of a mountain overlooking the ocean.

Lisa is your poutine-loving neighbor from up north. She is a total foodie, and is always on the hunt for the world’s best latte. Born and raised near Niagara Falls, Canada, Lisa can tell you the best restaurants and cafes in the area. She’s been to all of them.

Coming from a family of seasoned travelers, it’s only natural that the desire to explore runs in her blood. Lisa is always down for a good road trip. Although she has been to many stunning destinations, Southern California stole her heart. Lisa hopes to fulfill her dreams one day by living a coastal life in Carlsbad or Manhattan Beach.

  • Favourite Destinations: San Diego, California; Salem, Massachusetts; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Dresden, Germany; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Castries, St. Lucia
  • Travel Expertise: Cruise ships and road trips!

Douglas Weissman, Contributing Writer

ViaTravelers writer Douglas Weissman in Egypt

Doug is an award-winning travel writer born, raised, and lives in the Los Angeles area. He has traveled to nearly 50 countries, has lived in Italy on two separate occasions, and loves anything related to discovery, food, or discovering food. He is also a novelist and unashamedly uses his travel experiences as content for his books. His biggest adventure is learning where and how to travel with a young child, but a shared love of pastries helps. 

  • Favorite Destinations: Cambodia, Italy, Australia, Morocco, Peru, 
  • Travel Expertise: Luxury travel, unique experiences, food

Lisa Ward, Contributing Writer & SEO Strategist

Lisa Ward, contributing writer at ViaTravelers

Lisa is a freelance writer from the tiny island of Jersey in the Channel Islands. She enjoys everything about travel, from finding local hot spots with the best local meals, taking it slow in aesthetic coffee shops, scuba diving with sharks, or scaling the Himalayas.

She especially enjoys traveling slowly and getting to know the locals and hidden gems of the places she visits. After having lived long stints in Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea, she hopes to carry on taking her sweet time to see all the other corners of the globe she’s yet to wander around.

  • Favorite destinations: Arequipa, Peru; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Seoul, South Korea; The Himalayas, Nepal; The Scottish Highlands, Scotland
  • Travel Expertise: Slow travel, adventure travel

Cait Kontalis, Contributing Writer

Cait Kontalis, contributing writer for ViaTravelers, in Karnak Temple, Egypt.

Cait is a Chicago-based Greek-American but spends most of her year floating around the globe. When she’s home, she’s a loving mother to her four-legged cat child and enjoys torturing herself with lengthy runs.

She holds a B.A. in Communications and a M.A. in Nonprofit Management. She spent time as a theater & arts professional in another life before becoming a digital nomad.

Her favorite destinations include visiting her homeland in Greece, the Black Hills of South Dakota, and wherever her partner is stationed abroad. Cait is also a powderhound, taking to ski slopes in the Rocky Mountains and throughout the country.