My family has a photo of me sitting at a typewriter when I was 5 years old. I first flew by myself at age 10. I’ve been writing and traveling, not always in that order or together, ever since. I grew up moving around, mostly in suburban Philadelphia but with stints in Houston, Tampa and Charlotte. I was editor-in-chief of my high school newspaper and freelanced for the Charlotte News (now Observer) before I turned 18.
I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. I cut my teeth at The Daily Tar Heel newspaper and learned from outstanding professors at the “J-School.” While at UNC, I had reporting internships at the Greensboro News & Record in North Carolina and the Florida-Times Union in Jacksonville. I also worked part-time as a reporter at the News & Observer in Raleigh. After graduating I spent five years at three newspapers, covering cops, courts, counties, cities, ports, politics, business and whatever editors wanted: The News & Daily Advance, Lynchburg, Virginia; the Star-News, Wilmington, North Carolina; and The Wichita Eagle, Wichita, Kansas.
After jumping into public relations, I spent the next 10 years working in corporate communications and public affairs in Washington, Boston and Los Angeles – picking up my MBA degree along the way. From 2002 to 2004, my life took a dramatic and refreshing turn when I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Romania for 27 months. It was one of my best decisions, an experience as challenging as it was rewarding. I worked in economic development as a consultant and teacher in the former communist country before it joined the European Union. While there I met my wife, Oana, who is Romanian.
While in Peace Corps, I started writing more and began to be published again. After a stint back in America, we returned to Romania for a couple years and later settled in Sacramento, California, where I’m a partner in a public affairs firm. My freelance writing and travelogues continue and I’m working on a couple publishing projects related to Romania, which I visit regularly.
I have traveled to four continents, visiting more than 45 countries and passing through a few others. Here at home, I’ve been to 49 states – still missing North Dakota.
My articles also have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Baltimore Sun and Calgary Herald newspapers. My writing and photography have been published in magazines including National Geographic’s Glimpse, Globe Trekker’s Pilot Guides, Peace Corps Writers, Peace Corps Worldwide, WorldView, Carolina Alumni Review and Northeastern.