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Therese is always a magnet for children.

Here Therese Iknoian is in Somosomo, Fiji, getting immersed in the culture and doing what comes naturally — being a magnet for children.

Little did my parents know that a short trip to Europe in high school would launch a lifetime love of travel, languages, exploration and cultures. Since that short trip, I have been to nearly 30 countries and once had friends complain that I filled too many pages in their address books (yes, old-style paper books).

Therese acting her age.

Yes, I also have a thing for kids rides anywhere in the world, though sometimes fitting onto or into them is a bit problematic.

Trained as a news journalist, I first spent a decade as a daily newspaper journalist also earning a Pulitzer Prize as a member of a news team. Ah, but the independent life called and I launched a freelance writing career, writing articles and authoring several books (and getting my master’s in exercise physiology). All the while trotting the globe on news-gathering and reporting trips, that age-old light bulb finally went on with a thunk of my palm against my thick head: Travel! Why aren’t I writing about travel since everybody always wants to hear my tips and stories?

My writing focus finally turned to travel with the launch of HI Travel Tales with my husband, Michael Hodgson. Today, I combine writing with photography – an art I honed as a college student when photos were still developed in a dark room (Google it) and processing meant chemicals, not Photoshop. I returned to photography in recent years, gravitating to street scenes, people’s face, and shapes, shadows and light that tell stories and “paint” a picture.

Therese is always looking for the best photo, the best angle.

Fluent in German, I also run a translation business (ThereseTranslates), working primarily with outdoor and sports companies. A bit of a French speaker, too, I love to learn some of the language wherever I go — gdje je kupaonica? Мне нужна помощь! — often embarrassing myself (not to mention my husband) in the quest for cross-cultural communication.

Author Therese Iknoian, high on the Via Ferrata Tridentina in the Dolomites.

I am hanging high on the Via Ferrata Tridentina in the Dolomites.

As a writer, I have authored non-fiction books, including two editions of Fitness Walking, as well as Tai Chi For Dummies and Mind-Body Fitness for Dummies. I have also written for Fitness, Health, Backpacker, Women’s Day, Men’s Health, Parenting, and Shape, to mention a few, and was the “Ask the Coach” columnist for Trail Runner from 2003 to 2010.

My mantra on travel exploration stems from my father: “I’ve been kicked out of better places than this.”