Our Team

Our Talented, Worldly Lost Girls Team…

Mona Lisa Macalino, Deputy Editor Mona Lisa is a native Californian who is now living in New York City, fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. On a sunny day off, she wouldn’t think twice about jetting off to the nearest beach, bathing suit on and beach bag in tow. Thanks to her family’s love of the sun, she has visited Florida, Southern California, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Hawaii. In her spare time, she collects travel pamphlets and lives vicariously through the Travel Channel and her fellow Lost Girls. In college, she planned her dream trip around the world, making sure to include a trek through Australia, an elephant ride in Thailand, sightseeing in London, and curry sampling in India. Although her trip never came to fruition, she’s had the travel bug ever since and is waiting for her chance to get lost. Follow her adventures as an early twenty-something year old on generationygirl.com. One thing I’d never travel without: A Moleskin journal to write about wacky characters and interesting places off the beaten path. My favorite way or place to “get lost”: Soaking up the sun with a good read and strawberry lemonade, preferably on a beach!

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Mary Desmond, Section Editor Mary focuses on content related to travel guides, dispatches from the road and Caribbean Travel . She also contributes to both the Syracuse-based newspaper The Stand and Citypath.com, a new website extensively covering New York City. Previously, Mary worked in London for the Liberal Democrat News, a weekly newspaper covering politics in the UK. This spring, she will receive her degree in Journalism and International Relations at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School. Mary went on her first trip to Italy at age 7 and hasn’t stopped traveling since. She plans to have visited all 196 countries on earth–including South Sudan– by the time she’s 50. One thing I’d never travel without: My camera, I love to document every minute of my travels, even if it means annoying my unassuming travel mates with constant candids. And, a towel.  Favorite way to get lost: Turning down winding streets–with no particular direction, or using culinary preferences as my guide.

Alex BaackesAlexandra Baackes, Friday Section Editor Alex is a native New Yorker now living and working in Southeast Asia. She juggles her time between blogging at Alex in Wanderland, filming underwater video, and doing freelance design work. In her time off you can find her with her nose in a guidebook, dreaming of the next adventure. One thing I’d never travel without: My camera! Well, can I take all three of them? My favorite way or place to “get lost”: Somewhere near a body of water, whether its scuba diving, whitewater rafting, or lazing around on a beach. Follow Alex on Twitter.

Susmita BaralSusmita Baral, News Intern Growing up, Susmita traveled all over the United States (California, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Arizona, South Carolina, North Carolina, New Jersey, and more) thanks to her parents cross-country moves. She discovered her passion for traveling (and an appreciation for cultures and traditions from around the world) on a trip to Rajasthan, India as a ten-year-old girl. One thing I’d never travel without: I’m indecisive, so the two things would be my digital camera and sunscreen! My favorite place to get “lost”: Again, I’m indecisive, so France or Greece.

Kristen Putch, Acquisitions Editor Kristen is a writer from Central New York. She graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in May 2009 with a degree in journalism. She currently works for The York Dispatch in York, Pa. and has interned at the Syracuse Post-Standard and AmLawDaily.com. Her work has appeared in local publications, as well as several online magazines. She is also a foodie who firmly believes in cupcakes, karma and the Beatles. One thing I’d never travel without: A camera to document my journeys. My favorite way or place to “get lost”: Put me on a sunny beach with a warm breeze and crashing waves. Follow her on twitter.

Nancy Yeomans, Air Travel News Editor Nancy is an avid traveler who has completed a marathon (26.2 miles) on all seven continents, as well as countless other runs all over the globe (including Antarctica and Death Valley). Her home base is Newburyport, Massachusetts where she lives with her husband, step-son and their three cats. She keeps busy working as an Air Traffic Controller as well as a travel agent. One thing I’d never travel without: is actually 2 items-a tube of lip balm with a hair elastic wrapped around it. I’m addicted to lip balm, and the elastic is essential to keep my long hair out of my face. My favorite way to “get lost” is to run. There is no better way to acquaint myself with a place. Thanks to my runs I’ve discovered sights, sounds and neighborhoods that I would never have encountered otherwise. It’s also a great way to clear my head after a long travel day.

Kissairis M. Munoz, Contributing Writer Kissairis is a writer and travel junkie whose high school trip to Italy sparked her desire to experience the world. During a semester in Madrid during college, she discovered the fun of solo traveling and hasn’t stopped since. After graduating from Syracuse University, she moved to DC where she worked in communications while earning a graduate degree in U.S. foreign policy and escaping on two-week jaunts from work to places like Argentina, Chile, Egypt and Israel. After slaving for the man for four years, she sold her belongings, packed two suitcases and moved to South Korea to teach English. Aside from being a nomad, she enjoys running and hours-long brunches with friends. Favorite way to get “lost”: Eating my way through unknown locales. From sidewalk cafes to chatting with street meat vendors, food is one of the best ways to get to know a new place. One thing I’d never travel without: I don’t care what I need to do to make room for it or if I get judged by more back-to-basics travelers, I never go anywhere without my flat iron.

Rachel Simon, Social Media Specialist Rachel is a recent college graduate, who is orginally from New Jersey and now living in Boston. Her traveling bug began in 2010 when she went to England and Israel within a span of 4 weeks. Since then, she’s been to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Switzerland. Her goal is to touch all 7 continents. She juggles her time between blogging at Rachel Writes Things, revising her young adult novel, and dreaming of where she’ll travel next. One thing I’d never travel without: my digital camera to capture the memories!My favorite way to “get lost”: If I’m not traveling, I love getting lost in a book.

Jacqueline Nochisaki, Section Editor Almost every year growing up, Jacqueline spent entire summers held captive in the family minivan with her three little sisters, driving around and touring every corner of the U.S. on long family vacations. Turns out, those same trips that tore her away from school friends and pool parties are now some of her favorite memories—and they were certainly the start of her travel bug. She began telling people about her plans for a someday, year-long, around-the-world adventure long before she knew that real people actually did crazy things like that. Ages later—and still in the planning stages—she’s thinking 2012 may (finally!) be the year. One thing I’d never travel without: A notebook and a bunch of colorful markers. My favorite way or place to “get lost”: Ireland. No doubt. Something about the million shades of gorgeous green, the Guinness, the guys’ accents…