The Founders of World Footprints and Hosts of the multi award-winning World Footprints podcast are not typical travel journalists. Both lawyers, Tonya and Ian also have advanced degrees from world-class institutions including the London School of Economics and the University of Michigan. Their careers have been stellar—Assistant General Counsel at a University, federal political appointment as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, among others—yet they have chosen a life filled with travel adventures.
Travel has always been central to their lives. In fact, Tonya only agreed to date Ian after learning that he had traveled abroad. After a two-year courtship, Ian whisked Tonya away to Toronto where he proposed to her above the city in a small plane while another small plane passed them towing a banner that read: “Marry Me Tonya – I Love You”. The couple held a destination wedding on Bermuda and they honeymooned in South Africa.
In 2005 they set out to help people discover the joy of travel and opened a travel agency. The husband-and-wife team then parlayed their travel know-how and commentary into travel segments for local network television stations and a national cable show. By 2007 they caught the attention of a top Washington D.C. radio station to host their own travel program. The rest, they say is history…
As travel journalists, the Fitzpatricks have earned several awards from the North American Travel Journalists, the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation’s Lowell Thomas Award, and the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s “Golden Mic”. They’ve also received an African Community Service Award and Tonya has been recognized as a Top Woman in Travel Media and an Iconic Women Creating a Better World for all from the Women in Travel/Tourism International and Women Economic Forum, respectively.
Today, the Fitzpatricks travel the world covering everything from Olympic/Paralympic Games and sporting events (including the US National Taekwondo tournament where Ian has won two Silver Medals as a black belt in sparring) to festivals, White House State Visits, and indigenous communities. They bring history to life, share unique treasures from the destinations they visit—all in an effort to inspire, educate and connect communities around the world.
Under their direction, World Footprints has grown to become one of the most-reputable sources for meaningful, socially minded travel content — encouraging all to leave positive ‘footprints’ wherever they may travel.