We had the good fortune of connecting with Travel Journalist Maggie Espinosa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maggie, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
Since I began as a travel journalist twenty years ago, the industry has significantly transitioned. In the beginning, I predominately wrote for newspaper and magazines, peppered with radio interviews and television appearances. Now, everything has segued online — blogs, podcasts, and videos. Because of these changes, I’ve needed to create a personal website/blog to showcase my work, as well as continually curate content for my social media platforms.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As I write this, the world is in the midst of a pandemic and unrest. All aspects of my travel brand — curating content about far flung destinations for readers, hosting guests at my San Diego Airbnb, purchasing foreign indigenous items to sell on my online store (Global Personal Shopper), etc. — are on hold. For now, along with my travel contemporaries, I’m treading water to see what steps the industry will take next. Because my demographics are women ages 45-65, I cater to those who may be more trepidatious about venturing abroad at the first sign of border openings. The challenge will be determining their comfort level and providing them with the needed information to travel comfortably. I’ve learned through my years in this profession, in order to survive one must learn and then pivot to stay relevant. What ever will become of the travel industry after COVID-19, I will adapt and move forward.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m fortunate to live in San Diego, California. The city is on the top of most travelers “must see” list. Within one day, you can swim in the Pacific Ocean then hike around Cuyamaca State Park. The places I highly recommend are as follows: Coronado Beach: it ranked #1 U.S. beach on Dr. Beach’s list of the best. Del Mar Dog Beach: your privileged pooch can run off-leach on this stretch of sand. Little Italy: the hip, fun neighborhood is home to some of San Diego’s best restaurants, boutiques shops, even a walking tour. San Diego Zoo: San Diego has a lot of #1’s on “the best” lists. Our zoo is ranked #1 in the WORLD! Wow! North Park: the gentrified neighborhood is crazy fun to explore with seemingly endless eateries, music venues, bars, shops, a portion of Balboa Park, Farmers’ Market, and more. Torrey Pines Natural Reserve: the 1,500 acre park is home to hiking trails, gorgeous ocean views, and towering pines (no “s) trees. Old Town: located in the heart of San Diego, this is where the Spaniards first settled in 1820. The places to visit in San Diego could, and have, fill numerous books. Most visitors find there’s never enough time to see it all.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
More than once, I’ve had to reinvent myself in the travel industry. After years of writing for the traditional media, I had to create an online presence to generate income through affiliations and collaborations. Moreover, I needed to learn how to make the aforementioned happen. To do so, I enrolled in San Diego State University’s Master’s of Tourism & Hospitality Management program to learn the travel industry in the 21st century. The 18-month graduate degree, of which I completed in December, 2019, required the majority of my spare time. Throughout all of this, my husband provided support, love and encouragement, and he continues to be a constant support.
Tiffany Allen Photography (three photos) Miguel Espinosa (four photos) Debbi Rowan (one photo)