FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Staff & Contributors


Maria AngelesName: Maria Angeles
Title: Account executive, Western US and Canada, Mexico & Asia/South Pacific
College: University of California, Santa Barbara
Started at FX: 2021
What historical figure, dead or alive, would you love to have dinner with? Frida Kahlo, Mexico’s most-celebrated female painter. She surrounded herself with some of the most fascinating historical figures in the world and shared her life through her work.


Carrie Cox

Name: Carrie Cox
Title: Account executive
College: Kansas State University
Started at FX: 2021
First Job: DJ at a radio station in Phillipsburg, Kansas
Tell us about a comical travel experience: When I was little, my family would always drive to a different destination on summer vacation with dad at the wheel and my mom reading the map. I remember one particular summer, when they kept missing the “Slauson Cutoff,” and laughing about it time after time. Years later, I asked where the heck was the “Slauson Cuttoff” and how did we keep missing it? That’s when my parents told me it was an old Johnny Carson bit — and a joke they never expected me to remember!


Tracey Cullen

Name: Tracey Cullen
Title: Art director
College: Kutztown University
Started at FX: 2007
What has been the best example of customer service you’ve experienced during your travels? The customer service at Grand Velas Riviera Maya was top notch. When I went to the beach with my family, there was always someone there to assist with everything. They even brought my daughter fancy, fruity drinks when she was too shy to ask for one.


Aly EvansName: Aly Evans
Title: Administrative assistant
College: Temple University
Started at FX: 2022
What would you be doing professionally if you weren’t in your current industry? I would be a ceramics and glass artist. I went to college for visual arts, and have more than 10 years experience in both mediums. While I do miss being in the studio every day, I always make sure to work on my art and continue creating in my spare time. I think it’s important to always do the things you’re passionate about!


Haley Fogarty

Name: Haley Fogarty
Title: Advertising manager
College: Drexel University
Started at FX: 2020
What would you be doing professionally if you weren’t in your current industry: I would probably still be dancing professionally in some way. I spent my childhood and early professional career dancing and would love to continue that, whether for a sports team or teaching dance to kids.


Francis Gallagher, Global Traveler

Name: Francis X. Gallagher
Title: Publisher and CEO
College: St. Joseph’s University
Started at GT: 2004
What historical figure, dead or alive, would you love to have dinner with? Abraham Lincoln, as he is the great emancipator.



Janice Hecht, Global Traveler

Name: Janice Hecht
Title: Senior editor
College: M.A., Wesleyan University; B.A., Southern Connecticut State University
Started at FX: 2008
What is your preferred method of travel — planes, trains, automobiles, cruise ships — and why? Traveling around Europe with a Eurail pass as a young adult, I fell in love with train travel. It’s truly relaxing to sit back and watch the landscape slowly change between destinations.


Kimberly Krol, Global Traveler

Name: Kimberly Inlander
Title: Editor in Chief
College: Syracuse University — go Orange! And I got my MA in Writing Studies from St. Joseph’s University
Started at FX: 2006
Share a comical travel experience: My maiden name was Krol, and many years ago I was staying in New York City at the Gansevoort. I walked out of the hotel to many photographers and paparazzi screaming, “Kim!” Turns out, there were two Kim K.s staying at the hotel that night and the paparazzi wasn’t there for me!


Mary Melnick

Name: Mary Melnick
Title: Social media & editorial coordinator
College: Bloomsburg University
Started at FX: August 2019
What actress or actor would play you in a movie of your life? This is a hard one but I think I would pick Scarlett Johansson! She has played a wide variety of roles and has been phenomenal in all of them — especially as Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff! She’s up there on my list of favorite actresses.


Yasser Ogando

Name: Yasser Ogando
Title: Advertising and production manager
Started at FX: 2018
What is your favorite book or television show? I love reading suspenseful and mysterious stories and Mary Higgins Clark’s Where Are The Children? is at the top of my list. Based on the fact I watch this show at least once a year (especially around the holidays), Friends is definitely my favorite television show


Aoife O'Riordan

Name: Aoife O’Riordan
Title: Associate editor
College: Florida State University
Started at FX: 2021
What would you be doing professionally if you weren’t in your current industry? I have always had a fascination with the criminal justice system (perhaps from listening to way too many crime podcasts) and probably would have pursued a career in that field if not for the travel industry. If not a criminal lawyer, maybe working with the Innocence Project, as it seems so fulfilling.


Eli ShapiroName: Eli R. Shapiro
Title: Director of sales
College: Pennsylvania State University
Started at FX: 2023
What has been the best example of customer service you’ve experienced during your travels? My wife and I decided to get married in Las Vegas, before our big, traditional wedding. When we called the wedding chapel to see what our options were, they said we could do a drive-through wedding or have Elvis walk the bride down the aisle. We asked if we could have Elvis in the car with us as we drove down the Las Vegas Strip. They said they had never done it before, but they liked the idea. When the time came, they pulled up in a pink Cadillac convertible, which once belonged to Lucille Ball; with a Sammy Davis Jr. impersonator to video the wedding; a Dean Martin impersonator as the driver; the minister; and an Elvis Presley impersonator. The wedding chapel thought it was such a cool idea, they wanted to go all out. Our wedding pictures are in front of the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign.  We have been happily married for 19 years and have a great story to tell.


Katie Skrzek

Name: Katie Skrzek
Title: Vice president/digital director
College: Fordham University
Started at FX: 2011
What historical figure, dead or alive, would you love to have dinner with? Princess Diana, as she led a fascinating life and dealt with unique challenges.



Patricia Vanikiotis, Global Traveler

Name: Patricia Vanikiotis
Title: Associate editor/copy editor
College: Western Oregon University (Oregon College of Education)
Started at FX: 2008
Tell us about a travel nightmare: The evening before we were to fly home from Madrid after a two-week road trip on the Iberian Peninsula, my husband’s wallet and passport were stolen. We had to scramble to cancel our flights, file a police report and get a temporary passport the next day at the U.S. Embassy. Two days later, after securing seats on a flight home, we arrived at the airport to learn they didn’t have a record of my ticket in their system. After some panic, our travel insurance company helped track down the error, and we headed to our gate. I nearly lost it when my boarding pass wouldn’t scan after several attempts, but I finally got on board. Not the best end to what had been a wonderful trip!


Kristy Alpert

Kristy AlpertKristy Alpert is a freelance travel journalist with bylines in Food & Wine, Global Traveler, Men’s Health, EsquireCosmopolitan, Fodor’s Travel and more. Her passion for savoring the local flavor of a destination led to her unearthing ancient bread-baking secrets on Muhu Island to becoming a registered yoga instructor in Bali. Alpert has traveled to 84 countries on seven continents, but her biggest adventure has been her recent journey into the world of parenting. Follow her on Instagram @kristyalpert and pick up a copy of her latest book, Road Trip Activities and Travel Journal for Kids, at www.kristyalpert.comor wherever books are sold.


Susan Barnes

Susan BarnesSusan B. Barnes is as comfortable bicycling through Italian olive groves and SCUBA diving the wall of sharks in Fakarava as she is sipping bubbles at a Champagne house and dining at Michelin-starred restaurants. With 20 years of editorial experience, Barnes’s recent bylines (in addition to Global Traveler) include AARP, allrecipes, Condé Nast Traveler, Go Escape, USA Today and more. She’s an active member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and Society of American Travel Writers. Barnes lives in Tampa with her husband and energetic Miniature Schnauzer, Scout, and recently co-launched FloridaBeyond.com to share favorite places and experiences across the Sunshine State.


Ron Bernthal

Ron BernthalRon Bernthal is an award-winning print and broadcast travel journalist. His weekly program, Borders, airs on WJFF public radio. He has authored two books, Saturday Night in Havana and Puerto Rico Off the Beaten Path, and covers architecture and design topics at www.travelwritersmagazine.com/ron.bernthal/.  He is also a professor of hospitality/tourism management at SUNY/Sullivan in Loch Sheldrake, New York.


Teresa Bitler

Teresa BitlerTeresa Bitler has harvested grapes at Sonoma Grape Camp, “flown” a T-6 Texan and sampled the cuisine at all nine stops on the Anthony Bourdain Food Trail in New Jersey. She likes to write about culture and history in new destinations, but covers everything from food to architecture. When she’s not traveling, she loves to explore her home state of Arizona.


Debra Bokur

Debra BokurA contributor to Global Traveler since it was founded, Debra Bokur is the recipient of multiple writing awards, including a Lowell Thomas Award for travel journalism. She’s been an editor at national publications, including Healing Lifestyles & Spas MagazineBloomDelicious Living and Fit Yoga. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of newspapers, magazines and literary journals. She’s the author of the Dark Paradise Mystery series from Kensington Books, including The Fire Thief (2020), The Bone Field (2021) and The Lava Witch, scheduled for release in 2022. When not traveling or writing, Debra spends her time with her husband, James Rawsthorne, renovating a haunted 1860s Victorian inn on the coast of Maine. The ghost, thankfully, is a friendly cat.


Mark Chesnut

Mark ChesnutMark Chesnut is a New York City-based journalist, editor, content producer and public speaker with nearly 20 years of experience covering travel and tourism. Always on the lookout for new and exciting travel experiences, Mark is the founder and editor of LatinFlyer.com, a website focusing on travel in Latin America. He’s written for Fodor’s travel guides and the New York Times bestseller 1,000 Places To See Before You Die, and also contributed to media outlets including American Way, The Huffington Post, Latin Trade Magazine, Miami Herald, Passport Magazine, Travel + Leisure Mexico and Travel Weekly.


Elyse Glickman

Elyse Glickman

Los Angeles-based editor and writer Elyse Glickman covers numerous subjects in the travel space, including business travel, food and beverage, interior design, wellness, fashion and family travel. The Syracuse University/Newhouse School alumnus has visited more than 60 countries on assignment, with articles appearing on the pages and/or websites of Global Traveler, Travel Age West, IntermezzoSIPTaste & TravelBeau Monde TravelerGood Food (U.K.), La Reppublica (Italy), Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia & Singapore), Lucire (New Zealand/Australia), Food & BeverageTasting PanelC-Suite Quarterly and In The Mix.


Marlene Goldman

Marlene GoldmanMarlene Goldman is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and photographer who has written for BBC Travel, National Geographic Traveler, PrevueRecommendMeetings TodayHealing Lifestyles and SpasViaAAA Traveler and the San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. Her travel adventures have spanned all corners of the globe. At home, she is either out rollerblading or in a hot room teaching yoga.


Jack Guy

Jack GuyJack Guy is a freelance reporter and travel writer who focuses mainly on Latin America. After growing up in London, England, Guy has spent considerable amounts of time living in Guatemala, Peru, Mexico and many other countries across South and Central America.


Becca Hensley

Becca HensleyA bon vivant journalist who believes travel is the ultimate celebration of life, full of lessons waiting to be learned, widely published, Texas-based, Becca Hensley contributes frequently to Global Traveler. Her work has appeared in hundreds of newspapers and journals in a career that spans nearly three decades. An expert on spas, wellness, cuisine, wine and worldliness of all kinds, she’s on a relentless magic carpet ride in search of stories. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @beccahensley and on her website beccahensley.com.


Sharon King Hoge

Sharon King HogeA former radio and television broadcaster and daily newspaper columnist, Sharon King Hoge writes about travel, lifestyle, interiors and other feature topics and is a regular contributor to Luxury Web, Global Traveler and the Cottages & Gardens publications.

A passionate tourist, she aims to travel at least once a month to a first-time destination. While residing principally in New York City, she maintains nine small homes in the United States, Canada and Ireland.

Her work has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, Travel and LeisureNew York Daily News, AARP Magazine, the Huffington Post, Ladies Home Journal and other print and online outlets.


Steve Jermanok

Steve JermanokSteve Jermanok’s first assignment for Global Traveler was on Suva, Fiji, in the September 2008 issue. He has since written more than 35 articles for the publication on such far-flung locales as Sydney, Nairobi, Medellin, and, lastly, Cappadocia. His latest book is New England in a Nutshell, published summer 2020. He currently resides in Newton, Massachusetts, with wife Lisa, who co-owns a boutique travel agency with him, ActiveTravels.com.


Eugenia Lazaris

Eugenia LazarisEugenia Lazaris is a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles. She spent her life traveling and hopes to one day check every country off her bucket list. Some of her favorite travel memories include hitchhiking across a Greek island, riding a camel through the Egyptian desert, exploring the wilds of Kenya on safari and riding through Old Delhi on a rickshaw. When she isn’t traveling, she is either writing about it or planning her next big trip. Still on her must-see list are Antarctica, Alaska, Newfoundland, Morocco and Brunei. In her free time she also writes fiction and edits fiction novels. She is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association and the Editorial Freelancers Association. More than 150 articles written by Lazaris have appeared in print in publications such as Global Traveler and Islands Magazine, as well as numerous websites including WhereverFamily and Trazee Travel. She currently lives with her husband and their beloved Jackahuaha, Max.


Dale Leatherman

Dale LeathermanFreelance travel writer Dale Leatherman has written about golf, adventure, equestrian sports and the Caribbean for more than 25 years. A past president of the Society of American Travel Writers, she has completed an impressive bucket list of places and adventures, including swimming with humpback whales and whale sharks, rafting legendary whitewater rivers, playing the world’s most famous golf courses and riding in a racecar with the late Paul Newman. She is a former private pilot and an avid scuba diver.


Tim Leffel

Tim LeffelTim Leffel is a veteran travel writer who won several best travel writing awards for his stories published in Global Traveler and elsewhere. He is the author of five books, including the living abroad guide A Better Life for Half the Price, now in its second edition. He is on the advisory board of the North American Travel Journalists Association, is conference director for the longest-running travel bloggers conference, and is editor of the online magazine Perceptive Travel. See more at TimLeffel.com.


Karin Leperi

Karin LeperiKarin Leperi has canvassed the globe with pen and camera in hand looking for insights, experiences and revelations about why our plant rocks. She has been to 115 countries, many more than once, while seeking adventure, culture, cuisine, nature, wildlife and the outdoors – and anything off the beaten path. Hers is a path less traveled. Likening herself to a gypsy with wings, she seeks out her next journey through a process of synchronicity and going wherever the winds of opportunity might take her.


Irvina Lew

Irvina LewIrvina Lew, a Long Island-based author and freelance writer, contributes to dozens of domestic and international media outlets, including guidebooks, magazines, websites, TV, radio and podcasts. Her lifestyle expertise introduces global business travelers to the world’s best art, culinary, family, heritage and spa destinations. The Travel Classic alumnus is a long-term member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Society of American Travel Writers, and an award recipient from the Society of American Travel Writers and the Society of Professional Journalists. Follow her @sipsupstayspa and @irvinalew and on her website, irvinalew.com.


Kelly Magyarics

Kelly MagyaricsKelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits, cocktail, food, travel and lifestyle writer in the Washington, D.C. area. Her articles also appear in Lonely Planet, Wine Enthusiast, Food Network, Liquor.com, Cheers, Nightclub & Bar, Modern Luxury, Capitol File, The Tasting Panel, The SOMM Journal, Alcohol Professor and WhereverFamily, among others. Magyarics holds a diploma from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and is BarSmarts Certified. You can reach Magyarics through her website, kellymagyarics.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @kmagyarics.


Gregory McCluney

Gregory McCluney

Greg McCluney has been writing about wine, spirits, food, travel and restaurants for more than 30 years from his homebases in Atlanta, Georgia, and Tampa Bay, Florida. He has contributed to USA Today, AirTran Arrivals, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Magazine, Kansas City Star, Tampa Tribune, Wines & Vines, Tampa Bay Magazine, Tampa Bay Life, Edible Atlanta, Zagat Guides, James Beard Publications and Atlanta Wine School at Vino Venue.

McCluney served as associate editor for The Wine Report  in Atlanta and wine manager for the south’s largest consumer wine event, WineSouth. He has traveled most of the wine world to research and taste for his reports.

McCluney also writes about fly fishing and boating, with his work appearing in Outdoor LifeTWA AmbassadorDestination Fish and other outdoor publications.

McCluney’s memberships have included the Society of Professional Journalists; National Press Club; International Food, Wine & Travel Writers’ Association; Society of Wine Educators; and Society of American Travel Writers.


Katie McElveen

Katie McElveenKatie McElveen got her start as a travel writer reporting on what to see and do in the small towns of her home state of South Carolina. Since then, she has slurped eels in Chile, donned a dry suit for ice diving in France, crushed grapes with her feet in Portugal and crash-landed a hang glider in a cow pasture in Peru. In addition to Global Traveler, McElveen’s work has appeared in Islands, Fodor’s, Sherman’s Travel, Virtuoso (online), Reader’s Digest (online), Destination Weddings & HoneymoonsAAA Go & TravelerTown & CountryReal Simple and other publications.


Sheryl Nance-Nash

Sheryl Nance NashSheryl Nance-Nash is a freelance writer specializing in travel, business and personal finance. Her work has appeared on and in CNTraveler.com, TheDailyBeast.com, Travel & Leisure, Fodors.com, Newsweek.com, ShermansTravel.com, among others.


Rina Nehdar

Rina NehdarAn award-winning reporter, writer and photographer, Rina Nehdar transitioned from radio and television to print journalism during her baby’s naps and neglected chores. She writes for a variety of publications with a focus on family, eco and luxury travel. She is also editor of LAFamilyTravel.com.


Richard Newton

Richard NewtonRichard Newton has been a travel writer since 1992, and has been a regular contributor and columnist for Global Traveler since its inception in 2004. He has written for numerous newspapers and magazines in the United States, the United Kingdom and the Middle East, and also reported for BBC Radio. He and his wife divide their time between England, Spain and Africa.


Irene Rawlings

Irene RawlingsAward-winning journalist, radio personality and book author, Irene Rawlings’ work has been published in Luxury Magazine, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, WSJ, Art & Antiques, Hemispheres, National Geographic Traveler, Global Business Travel and O, the Oprah Magazine. She has visited 134 countries and all seven continents. Rawlings is the author of four books, including Sisters on the Fly about women, fly-fishing, vintage trailers and the joys of the open road. She hosts an award-winning radio show on iHeartMedia stations and divides her time between her home in Colorado (which she shares with her photographer husband and two rescue dogs), a small vineyard in California and an extremely small windmill in Greece.


Holly Riddle

Holly RiddleHolly Riddle is a freelance lifestyle and business journalist who also dabbles in ghostwriting and fiction. Her work appears in publications ranging from Global Traveler to Golf Magazine, Mashed to Forbes and Bloomberg. When she’s not writing, you can find her exploring the mountains near her home in the Adirondacks.


Katherine Rodeghier

Katherine RodeghierDuring her career as a travel journalist, Rodeghier has traveled to nearly 100 countries and cruised across the globe. Her experiences span all seven continents, including close encounters with penguins in Antarctica, lions in Tanzania, king crab in Norway and tortoises in the Galapagos Islands. She has waded in a cranberry marsh in Wisconsin, sipped spiced wine at Christmas markets in Europe, danced the two-step in the Texas Hill Country, posed with Half Dome in Yosemite and hiked into Havasupai Canyon in Arizona. Her travel journalism career began in suburban Chicago, writing and editing an award-winning newspaper travel section for the Daily Herald. She continues to cover travel as an independent journalist for several metro newspapers, as well as a variety of travel magazines and websites. A long-standing member of the Society of American Travel Writers, she is active on social media, including Instagram @traveljournophotog and Twitter @KRodeghier.


Barbara Radcliffe Rogers

Barbara RogersBarbara Radcliffe Rogers has been an enthusiastic traveler ever since moving to Italy shortly after college. She is the author or co-author of guidebooks to Italy, Portugal, Spain, as well as to her native New England, and her travel articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe and other newspapers and magazines.

A member of the Society of American Travel Writers, Radcliffe Rogers is the former news editor of Global Traveler and currently writes features for both the magazine and WhereverFamily. She covers her home state in a monthly column for New Hampshire Magazine, is luxury travel editor for BellaOnline and covers several regions for PlanetWare. Her favorite travels are to little-known places off the main tourist routes.


Stillman Rogers

Stillman RogersStillman (Tim) Rogers is a travel photographer/writer and co-author of more than a dozen guidebooks covering Spain, Portugal, Italy and Eastern Canada. In addition to Global Traveler, his photographs and travel articles appear in Destinations, New Hampshire Magazine, SideOfCulture, Planetware and other publications and websites. Rogers is an avid skier, and his interest in history prompted his latest book, It Happened in New Hampshire.


Jan Schroder

Jan SchroderAn award-winning journalist and book author, Jan Schroder is an Atlanta-based travel writer and editor. She is editor-in-chief of The Travel 100 and a freelance contributor for magazines and online outlets. She also founded Girl on the Go travel blog in 2008 and has accidentally become an expert on treehouse rentals. As a former magazine and newspaper editor, she has written hundreds of magazine articles, newspaper columns, blog posts and people profiles, but struggles with signing birthday cards. Schroder is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers. You can follow her on Instagram @JanSchroder and on Twitter @GirlontheGoJan.


Brandon Schultz

Brandon SchultzBrandon Schultz is a travel and lifestyle writer who still can’t believe his job is to experience the world and tell others about it. He loves everything from luxury resort getaways to couchsurfing adventures, and believes where you travel is often less important than how you travel. He’s a Forbes Travel Expert, travel advice columnist and contributor to more than a dozen other publications, including Fodor’s Travel, TripSavvy and Out Traveler. Schultz is the author of four books, including three cookbooks and Bookstore Cats, with two guidebooks on the way.


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Jun 7, 2023

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