Meet Our Community

The Midwest Travel Network is made up of people that love sharing their travel expertise and experiences. We hope you will find this area of the Midwest Travel Network inspiring, as you make your travel plans. Our community enjoys sharing their travel stories so that you can have an enjoyable experience when you visit.

Together We Are Midwest Strong

Our network came together in March of 2020 when travel came to a halt. We continued to share travel stories and encourage others to plan for travel. Even in the darkest days, the members of our community came together to help others.

Meet Kay of Happy Trails Hiking

Kay Johnson is the owner of Happy Trails Hiking. As a former Performing Arts educator, Kay is now channeling her passion for America’s Parks and Public Lands into a new form of education. Kay is utilizing video, pictures, and the written word to promote traveling to our parks and the towns and cities around them. Be sure to also subscribe to Kay’s YouTube Channel, as she produces a lot of content each week to inspire you to travel.

Meet Lori of Lori Loves Paris

Lori Helke is an author and travel writer from Wisconsin. She is the founder of the travel and lifestyle blog Lori Loves Paris and is the author of the Beatrice the Little Camper children’s picture book series. Lori has made several appearances on Local 5 Live, a Green Bay Wisconsin TV morning show, and has contributed to several online and print publications. When she is not dreaming about traveling to Paris, you can find her exploring Wisconsin in a little 1969 canned ham camper named Beatrice.

Meet Sue and Diana of Food Travelist

Sue Reddel and Diana Laskaris launched Food Travelist to connect food travelers with great brands, destinations, and experiences. Traveling the world they seek unique and memorable food and drink in every destination. They aim to fuel the thrill of discovery for luxury, adventure, boomer, culinary, and LGBT travelers alike. Through recipes, stories, videos, and interactive communities like their weekly #FoodTravelChat on Twitter, they explore different cultures and bring the tastes of travel into every home. Frequent contributors to prominent print and online publications, they are popular speakers, brand and destination partners, and global ambassadors for the food tourism industry.

Meet Theresa of The Local Tourist

Theresa L. Goodrich is an Emmy-winning author with a penchant for storytelling and a keen eye. She’s the founder and publisher of The Local Tourist and Your Chicago Guide and author of the Two Lane Gems book series. Theresa has appeared in several Chicago media and has spoken on marketing, motivation, entrepreneurship, and storytelling. She mentors at the Bloghouse conference and is a speaker at the San Diego Travel & Adventure Show. She’s also spoken at the Chicago Auto Show and led the Midwest Travel Network Writer’s Workshop. When Theresa’s not writing, speaking, or on the road, she’s cooking and planning her next adventure.

Meet Dannelle Gay of The Traveling Cheesehead

Dannelle Fraser Gay of The Traveling Cheesehead, Operation $40K, and several other websites shares her travel & money-saving tips! Dannelle runs a very successful business, as she helps people travel and keep their budgets in line.

Meet Jay Goodvin

This guy has been around, man! While Jay’s family lived in Grundy Center, IA, he was born in Marshalltown back in 1978. Later, Jay and his family moved to Marion, IA, and then to Iowa City. In 1999, Jay took off on an 11 year culinary crusade that led him to Arizona, Montana, Cape Cod, The Florida Keys, The Black Hills of South Dakota, Austin, Central Illinois, and back to Iowa City in 2010. His love of traveling, food, and family drives his blog, The Iowa Gallivant. Iowa is an amazing state corner to corner and everything else between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

Meet Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine offers down to earth living for adventurous families through her popular blog Simplify, Live, Love. Travelers and homesteaders will appreciate all Michelle has to offer. If backyard chickens interest you, Michelle is your go-to gal.

Meet Megan Bannister

Megan is a Chicago native turned willing Iowan. She calls Des Moines home and loves sharing roadside adventures and road-tripping stories on her blog, Olio In Iowa.