Best Adventures 2014 Advisors
Our advisors for Travel's Best Adventures have circled the globe and have engaged in some of the most amazing adventures on Earth. Collectively, they have paraglided off Pedra Bonita in Rio de Janeiro, visited Yemen for a wildlife expedition to commune with nature and camped out on the Rio Grande River Gorge.
Meet our eclectic mix off travel experts -- including family travel expert, Tawanna Browne Smith; travel personality and master scuba diver Shane Reynolds and travel journalist and cyclist Ryan Van Duzer -- who came up with our list of amazing adventures you’ll want to add to your bucket list.
Justin's personal love of the arts and passion for all things outdoors compels him to seek out unique combinations of cultural and recreational experiences in his travels. His favorite piece of gear must be his helmet since it seems, to his loved ones' delight and dismay, he's wearing it in almost every picture of himself ever taken.
Tawanna Browne Smith
Tawanna’s travel expertise has been featured in the NileGuide, Cruise Voyant, Examiner.com, and she has worked as a travel expert at large for 10 Best USA TODAY and a family travel contributor to TravelChannel.com.
When she’s not traveling for business, Tawanna appreciates the adventure in family travel and draws on her personal experiences to provide insights for other traveling families.
More recently, Shane O has produced TravelChannel.com's web series, Top 10 Local's List, My Hometown and the upcoming series The Perfect Shot. As a lifelong surfer, master scuba diver, fisherman, paddler and wakeboarder, Shane is drawn to adventures that always seem to start on or underwater.
Allison has directed, filmed and edited for clients such as Travel Channel (Road Side Attractions), Lonely Planet, Outside Television and Outside magazine. In 2013, Allison debuted her first documentary short, “Keeper of the Mountains,” which screened at more than 25 film festivals internationally and won 11 awards.
Prior to picking up a camera, Allison worked as a sportswriter, covering everything from Major League Baseball to the Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley. She graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in sociology.
Ryan Van Duzer
You may have seen Ryan on Travel Channel before. In fact, he got his first on-air gig with the network, filming a segment for America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions. Ryan has worked as a producer on additional ventures and has appeared on Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Current TV, Men’s Journal’s Remote & Refined video series and other media outlets.
Ryan’s love for travel started when he joined the Peace Corps and moved to Honduras. At the end of his 2 years of service, he decided to bike 4,000 miles from Honduras to his hometown of Boulder, CO. Ryan also saw the world from the seat of a bike on other adventurous journeys, including a trip from Maine to Key West, FL, and from Vancouver to Cabo.
Jessica has guided trips for, and worked closely with, the Wildlife Conservation Society, The Nature Conservancy, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. In October 2013, Jessica spoke at the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in New York City, and was one of 50 women chosen by the National Wildlife Federation to participate in the Women's Leadership and International Sustainable Development conference in Washington, DC.
Jessica has also written travel articles for several publications, including Spirituality & Health Magazine, and she has been featured on TravelChannel.com. Be on the lookout for her upcoming podcast, available on iTunes with MTNmeister, for tips on how to survive a coup d’etat. You can follow Jessica’s company on Twitter @WANTexpeditions for updates on conservation issues and exciting wildlife destinations.
Since then, Matthew has camped on erupting volcanoes, lived with indigenous tribes, hitchhiked across the United States, volunteered in remote villages, swum with sharks and trekked through jungles across the world.
Matthew's adventures have been featured on Mashable, CNN, National Geographic and in the Chicago Tribune. He shares crazy stories, amazing photography and useful advice on his travel blog, while hoping to inspire others to get out there and see the world on a budget.
During her travels, Linda became more aware of the negative impacts of globetrotting and the importance of sustainable travel options. Eco Traveller Guide is her avenue for sharing responsible travel tips, ideas and stories.
Linda’s work has been published in newspapers and magazines in Australia and the UK, and on a number of websites. You can connect with Linda on Eco Traveller's Facebook page and on Twitter @EcoTraveller.
Travel has ruled her life since she studied abroad in Leuven, Belgium; she's since traveled to 6 continents and dozens of countries.
Valerie’s work has also appeared in many online and print publications, including AOL Travel, Skye on AOL, Discovery Channel, World Hum, Frommer’s Travel Guides, the Boston Globe, The Baltimore Sun and The Philadelphia Inquirer.
She's happiest when eating spicy Thai food, snorkeling with sea turtles in Indonesia and bargaining for bangles in Indian markets. Valerie blogs about her travels at PassengerConners.com.
Today, Kwin manages the Destinations and Interests content on TravelChannel.com, including the Outdoors and Adventure section of the site. His role as managing producer requires him and his team to monitor the latest travel news and hot travel trends to keep the website and its accompanying The Traveling Type blog relevant.
When he’s not working, Kwin visits relaxing beach locations, cultural urban epicenters and prime destinations for outdoors enthusiasts, such as Costa Rica, Miami, Santorini, Barcelona, New York City, Paris, London and Brazil. Follow Kwin and his adventures @KwinMosby.