World Footprints: The Story
“Take only memories, leave only footprints.”— Chief Seattle
World Footprints is a heart-centered Social Impact travel media company where travelers of conscience and culture can come for information, education and inspiration in the travel space.
From its inception in 2007, World Footprints has revealed untold narratives and has explored places that push beyond our comfort zones by opening a window to the world through powerful written and audio storytelling. It is through these stories that World Footprints helps people overcome their fears about traveling the world.
World Footprints was founded by Tonya & Ian Fitzpatrick, two media-savvy lawyers who have merged their passion for meaningful travel and their support for social justice. The multi award-winning World Footprints podcast is the cornerstone of the socially conscious company.
World Footprints continues to evolve but it is unique in its consistent illumination of our common humanity. The steadfast belief in our shared humanity is expressed in the foundational principle of Ubuntu, a Zulu word that translates “I am because we are” and also the Hindu phrase Tat tvam asi – “I see the other in myself and myself in others”. The philosophy of unity guides the impactful stories that are found throughout the World Footprints multimedia platform including the website, podcast and YouTube channel.
World Footprints offers a space for all voices to be heard and for fuller narratives to be shared even if they are uncomfortable because of the value those stories offer for growth and cross-cultural understanding.
In addition to the philosophical mission there are two prevailing messages that are amplified through World Footprints: the importance of ground-truthing–(finding your own truth about people and places in order to debunk misinformed opinions) and the transformative power of travel.
Throughout its history, World Footprints has partnered with a number of non-profit and advocacy groups like the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking. It has also welcomed world figures, thought leaders and celebrities, such as Maya Angelou, Jack Hanna, Bobby Kennedy, Jr., Ken Burns, chef Cat Cora and others to share unique insights on places and people.
Travel, culture, history and social impact are foundational to World Footprints.
Meet Tonya and Ian
The Founders of World Footprints and Hosts of the multi award-winning World Footprints podcast are not typical travel journalists.
Travel has always been central to their lives. Read more
World Footprints Editor Kellie Paxian is living the digital nomad lifestyle as she explores six continents (and counting — looking at you, Antarctica). Her office locations are determined by a mix of wanderlust and Wi-Fi.
From the top of mountains to the bottom of the ocean, there is no bucket list item that Kellie won’t chase. She is passionate about wildlife, adventure, and making the most out of every experience on her travels, whether it’s good or bad.
Follow her footprints across the world on Instagram at @kelliepaxian[ hide ]
Edward Cole is a professional photographer, videographer, editor, and on-air personality, with over 20 years of broadcasting and production experience. Currently, Edward is wearing many hats, as he’s a photographer/videographer for the Arizona Cardinals, Instant Replay Lead for the Arizona Coyotes, and Lead Photographer/Videographer for the Experience Tanner Ministry Team at Historic Tanner Chapel A.M.E. Church in Phoenix, Arizona.
Edward’s very passionate about taking photos, and videos, and editing them in a way which draws the viewers in and tells them a very unique story with each piece of content.
When Edward’s not busy in front of his laptop, he enjoys playing video games, and tending to his six chickens: Lucy, Polo, Smoothie, Gina, Pinky and Bombshell.[ hide ]
Ali Jennings is a freelance writer, house sitter and teacher currently residing in the UK. She has travelled to many countries across Europe, Asia and Northern Africa. Since starting writing in 2013, she has contributed to a number of travel and news websites and is currently working on her first book. When she is not writing and teaching, she enjoys tabletop gaming, ice hockey, photography, and learning languages.[ hide ]
Susan Powell is a 2003 Arkansas State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She has 20 years’ experience writing, 11 of which have been in freelancing. When she’s not helping clients with their content, she enjoys writing for herself, spending time with her family (her husband and two children) and working out.[ hide ]
Growing up in a one stoplight town in New Jersey, Eliza Amon longed to explore the wider world she read about in novels. After high school, Eliza travelled to the Soviet Union with a youth peace group, bartended in Paris, hitchhiked throughout Italy and studied Yoruba religion in Nigeria, before completing her undergraduate degree at Oberlin College.
After college, Eliza lived in San Francisco and New Orleans before landing a Fulbright Scholarship and moving to Carthage, Tunisia. After returning from a year in North Africa, she spent 18 years in New York, which served as a base for many trips, including to Indonesia and China, the Caribbean, Central America and Europe.
Eliza has worked as a journalist for nearly 20 years with articles published in The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine and Bloomberg News among others. Eliza currently lives in Seattle where she is thrilled to have the opportunity to discover new adventures in the Pacific Northwest.[ hide ]
Michele Bisceglie is the founder/chief executive officer of Butterfly Communications, a boutique firm that devises and executes strategy for nonprofits and for-profits that want to enhance and/or expand their capabilities, credibility, customer base, and stakeholder involvement.
An exceptional communicator and skilled strategist able to adapt to diverse and challenging environments, Michele has more than 20 years of experience guiding successful business development and marketing campaigns for both nonprofit and for-profit organizations including Boy Scouts of America, McKenna Long & Aldridge (now Dentons), Nixon Peabody LLP, ClubCorp, SchenkelShultz Architecture, Leadership Louisville Center, and Convergent Nonprofit Solutions.
Michele has a Yellow Belt in Legal Lean Sigma® and Project Management from Legal Lean Sigma Institute; is an alumna of Georgetown University’s Executive Nonprofit Management Certificate Program and Indianapolis’ Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series®; and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication (Journalism) from Purdue University.[ hide ]
Sangeeta Waldron has a rich cultural background – born and raised in London, then going on to complete her University life in India. She is also widely travelled.
Today, Sangeeta is a recognized, respected, award winning Public Relations and media professional with over two decades’ worth of publicity, branding, communications, crisis management, media and social media experience. She is a frequent speaker and spoke alongside the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan in December 2017 about being both a London and a woman in business.
Sangeeta started out her career writing speeches for previous UK Prime Ministers and Ministers and has also worked at the top level with big, powerful global brands such as the Economist Group; The Times; Cass Business School; including charities such as Breast Cancer Campaign.
She now runs her own successful London based PR agency, Serendipity PR and Media, working internationally across business, arts, culture and books in growth markets. Her cross-sector approach transcends geographies and cultures.
Until recently, Sangeeta was a contributing editor for Justmeans.com, part of 3BL Media, the largest global news platform on sustainable business news and corporate social responsibility, where she interviewed the Director General of the UN Geneva; Marcus Shingle, CEO, XPRIZE; Alastair Campbell, former adviser to previous British PM Tony Blair and many other high-profile influencers.
Sangeeta sits on different boards including the Federation of Small Business’s (FSB) Diversity Taskforce and previously was Chairman of Alternatives, which hosts all London’s wellbeing events with leading names such as Deepak Chopra, Russell Brand, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson and more.[ hide ]