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World Footprints:  The Story

“Take only memories, leave only footprints.” 

— Chief Seattle

World Footprints is a leading Social Impact Travel Media Organization where travelers of conscience and culture can come for information, engagement, education, entertainment and inspiration in the travel space.

The multi award-winning World Footprints platform was founded by Ian and Tonya Fitzpatrick, two (recovering) lawyers and social justice advocates who live a passion-driven life by inspiring meaningful and impactful travel while sharing the gift of our common humanity.  World Footprints was created on the philosophical principle of “Ubuntu”, a Zulu word that reflects our collective humanity–“I am because we are”.  This philosophy guides the socially minded stories that are found throughout the World Footprints multimedia platform including the website, podcast and YouTube channel. 

Through World Footprints, the Fitzpatricks offer a space for all voices to be heard, including those from underrepresented and marginalized communities. They welcome uncomfortable conversations, seeing them as opportunities to foster growth and cross-cultural understanding.

In addition to the philosophical mission there are two prevailing messages that are echoed 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.  These two messages are shared on World Footprints and at speaking events including three TEDx stages.  World Footprints mirrors the Fitzpatricks’ perspective on travel — no matter where one lives, the language spoken or the customs practiced –- we all share more similarities than differences.

The content-rich World Footprints website presents the stories-behind-the-stories of human interest that provide a deeper travel experience. Content is curated to also raise awareness about important global issues and encourage a sustainable consciousness towards our planet’s natural resources, history, cultural treasures and humanity. World Footprints invites visitors to examine the cultural roots of a destination and to explore travel with the lens of specific interest or social cause. 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.

What are the footprints you are leaving?  Do they support our common humanity? What about the sustainability of our planet? Do they build bridges across cultures or demonstrate respect and compassion for others?  Those are the values that are fundamental to World Footprints.

Meet Tonya and Ian

Travel journalists Ian and Tonya Fitzpatrick

The Founders of World Footprints and Hosts of the multi award-winning World Footprints podcast are not typical travel journalists. Between Tonya and Ian they have acquired six college degrees, two of which are law degrees and three degrees that were obtained at world-class institutions—the London School of Economics and the University of Michigan. Their careers have been stellar—Assistant General Counsel at a University, Delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (63rd) and 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. Read more



Kellie Paxian Professional headshot
Kellie Paxian
Full Bio

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.

Kellie has an English Language degree and a Marketing Communications diploma from her home base of Vancouver, Canada. With a professional background ranging from public relations and digital marketing to travel journalism, including working as editor for Daily Hive Mapped, Kellie is all about taking the magic of travel and translating it into content that educates and inspires audiences.

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

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Ed Cole, Audio and Video Editor
Edward Cole
Full Bio

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.

Follow and contact Edward on Instagram and on Twitter.

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Travel writer Ali Jennings.
Ali Jennings
World Brief contributor
Full Bio

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.

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Photo of World Brief contributor Victor Kanake.
Victor Kanake
World Brief contributor
Full Bio

Victor Kanake is a professional content writer from Kenya.  He is a passionate writer, avid reader and meticulous researcher.  Victor loves inspirational quotes and you can find many of them peppered throughout his website

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Susan Powell
World Brief contributor
Full Bio

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.

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Eliza Amon
Full Bio

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.

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Michele Bisceglie
Full Bio

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.

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Sangeeta Waldron
Full Bio

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, 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.

Follow Sangeeta on Twitter: @SangeetaWaldron; connect her on LinkedIn.

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