Jena Sprau, creator and contributor, is a proud native of Rantoul, Illinois. While attending Illinois State University, she went abroad for the first time and caught the incurable travel bug. After graduation, she spent a year wrangling rascals and teaching English in Busan, South Korea. After living for some time in Chicago, she now resides in Arizona. Besides travel, she enjoys reading and quoting Harry Potter, attending concerts, and thrift shopping.
You can follow more of Jena’s adventures here
Mandie Groves, contributor, hails from New Lenox, Illinois and studied Mass Media for Radio Production at Illinois State University. In addition, she spent a semester studying at the Dong-Ah Institute of Media and Arts (동아방송예술대학) in Anseong, South Korea. Currently, she works as an English teacher at a private kindergarten in Jamsil-dong, Seoul. She loves soju, karaoke, her students, and the Seoul nightlife. She won’t touch dried squid with a ten-foot pole and can’t figure out the k-pop craze for the life of her.
Read Mandie’s advice about Sneaking past the language barrier
Jacque Smith, contributor, is a self-proclaimed social media/tech geek originally from the DeKalb, Illinois area. She graduated from Illinois State University in December ’09 with a B.A. in Public Relations and a minor in French. Additionally, she earned a minor in international studies after attending Scuola Lorenzo de’ Medici in Florence, Italy during the Summer ’09 semester. An avid traveler since high school, she’s also visited Costa Rica, Jamaica, Australia, and New Zealand, with hopes to explore South Africa and Asia in the future. Jacque is currently a freelancer and also works pro bono on her local humane society’s social media efforts.
Read Jacque’s advice about How and why travelers should use Pinterest
Alex Trimble, contributor, comes from the land of strip malls and Six Flags (a.k.a. Gurnee, Illinois). She’s wrapping up her last semester at Illinois State University studying Public Relations and a double minor in Peace and Conflict Resolution and Sociology. Last year she studied abroad in Peru, where she lived in the Andes and drank buckets of pisco and Cusqueña. When she’s not planning a grand reunion tour of South America, you can probably find her cooking for friends, downloading Podcasts, and singing along to Johnny Cash (sometimes all at the same time).
Read Alex’s advice about Things they don’t tell you about Machu Picchu
Sloan has moved just about every 4 years of her life since the age of 8 when her family moved to Australia. So, it was a bit inevitable that she would be a high school exchange student in Chile. She went far away from her parents for college, starting in NY and eventually finishing with a B.A. in Communications from Michigan at Grand Valley State University. She then began an on-the-road job on the east coast and eventually quit to drive across the country and live and work in Oregon. Currently, she is in Thailand teaching English, training for a 50K trail running race, and losing the never ending battle against the biting ants in her apartment!
Read Sloan’s suggestions for taking it One day a time while living abroad
Pam Sallegue is the editor-in-chief of The Optimist Creed. She loves to blog about everything she has experienced. Travelling means a lot to her, and being independent from the time she entered college had been one of her strengths. She’s also good in music and painting, she is the pianist and head of multimedia team in her local church. She dreams to travel the whole world.
Read Pam’s suggestions for how to spend A Night in Asheville
Are you interested in contributing to riseandroam? Write for us! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your travel experience and advice from around the world.