About Annika

I’m a lifelong traveler, having grown up bilingual and bicultural, with two countries (the United States and Sweden) to call home. Since my first plane trip (from Boston to Stockholm) at the age of five months, I’ve ridden camels in the Gobi (and other places), braved the winds at Cape Horn, watched polar bears from a tiny boat in the Alaskan Arctic, snorkeled with sharks in the Gal├ípagos, tracked cheetahs on foot in Namibia, camped on a beach in the Ecuadorian rainforest, rafted the Zambezi River below Victoria Falls, ventured into ancient tombs and prehistoric caves, tubed through a cave filled with glowworms in New Zealand, climbed Mayan pyramids in Mexico, driven solo across the United States four times, and stood face-to-face with the massive moai heads of Easter Island. From my Swedish mother and my Norwegian-born grandfather I learned to love the natural world, spending a big part of my childhood summers outdoors. When not exploring the woods, lakes, archipelagos, fjords, and mountains of Scandinavia, I was climbing trees and building backyard fortresses in leafy suburban Massachusetts.

I’ve also been a writer for most of my life, at least since the third grade, when a friend and I wrote a series of plays about a family of walking, talking, and ice skating (!) paper bags. That was just the beginning. After a few detours into other fields, I have now been working in communications for more than two decades as a freelance writer, editor, and occasional translator. In addition, I have been photographing people, wildlife, and places around the world for most of my adult life and have accumulated an extensive portfolio of travel images.

My work has appeared in publications such as Lonely Planet, Smithsonian, BBC Travel, Sierra Magazine, Time Out, and many others. I have also contributed to guidebooks to Sweden, Norway, and the United States, as well as two forthcoming nature-focused books, Lonely Planet’s The Joy of Birdwatching (August 2024) and Atlas Obscura’s Wild Life (September 2024). For several years I served as news editor for Ethical Traveler, an organization that seeks to use the economic clout of tourism to protect the environment and human rights. I am a contributing writer for several forthcoming  

A native speaker of both English and Swedish, I am also fluent in Spanish and speak varying levels of German, French, Italian, and Portuguese. My degrees are in environmental studies (B.A., Middlebury College) and Latin American studies (M.A., University of Arizona), and I also studied international development at Uppsala University in Sweden. As an undergraduate I spent a semester in Ecuador focusing on comparative ecology and environmental issues, while as a graduate student I conducted research in Mexico City on the relationship between environmental groups and the media. I recently returned to Seattle, Washington, which I previously called home for over 14 years.

When not typing away at my computer or seeking out new stories to tell, I can often be found helping other travelers explore the world as a professional tour leader. I trained as a tour manager and guide at the International Tour Management Institute (ITMI) and have been leading trips to destinations across the globe since 2001.

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