Prestigious Travel Journalism Award

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We here at Wander With Wonder are humbled to be a winner in the 2020-21 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition, taking an honorable mention in the Travel Journalism Websites category. The annual competition is sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation.

In honoring Wander With Wonder, the judges said: “This is a rich website with deep content from freelancers covering the gamut of experiences. With easy navigation and broad coverage of everything from eat and drink to product reviews, this site is a feast for travelers. Readers can re-experience places once visited long ago or find new discoveries.”

Wander With Wonder - Lowell Thomas Award

2021 Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Journalism Website

We were in great company. The other Travel Journalism Websites honored include (Gold), (Silver), and (Bronze). Congrats to all of the winners!

As the founder and publisher of Wander With Wonder, I want to extend a huge thank you to each of my contributors. We never could have accomplished this, offering you—our readers—exceptional travel journalism, without so many great freelance writers. In the judging, the judges commented that the one drawback is the “places like Mississippi and Nebraska need Wander writers.” We take that as a challenge and look forward to covering more great content in the coming year.


Winners of the awards, the most prestigious in the field of travel journalism, were announced on October 4 at the annual conference of SATW, the premier professional organization of travel journalists and communicators. This year’s gathering—the first in two years because of the pandemic and one that was undertaken with extreme caution—was in Milwaukee, WI.

Milwaukee WI for SATW 2021

I enjoyed exploring Milwaukee during the 2021 SATW conference. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

I particularly want to thank the judges, who had no small task in judging the 1,278 entries received in this crazy year for the travel industry. The 27 judges are all from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. In total for this year, the SATW Foundation presented 104 awards in 27 categories and more than $22,000 in prize money to journalists. The awards are named for Lowell Thomas, acclaimed broadcast journalist, prolific author, and world explorer during five decades in journalism.

This has been a difficult year for so many, but we in the travel industry have had to pivot and recreate ourselves. All of my contributors looked for ways to redefine travel throughout 2020 and 2021. The judges acknowledged that after examining the entire body of work for 2021. They explained that “Winners proved their mettle by producing original, useful and often moving stories that covered the moments and moods of the past year. Travel journalists were nimble and resourceful and showed in numerous ways the enduring value of their work.”

2021 Lowell Thomas Award Winners who were present in Milwaukee, WI

We here at Wander take those words to heart. We will continue to bring you travel experiences that you can enjoy near or far, great recipes, fun product reviews, and ideas for ways to bring travel home when you can't get out there on the road. Let us know if there's something you want to see!

I'm so blessed that my husband, Bill Graham, has also joined the team this year. Together, we all look for those “wow moments” wherever we go. We love sharing stories of the people we meet along the way, the places we explore—whether around the world or across the street—and the sips and bites we encounter along the way. We look forward to bringing you many more amazing ideas for places to Wander With Wonder! For more information about the awards, including a full list of winners and judges’ comments, and SATW, visit and

Wander With Wonder Receives Prestigious Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award

Written by Susan Lanier-Graham

Founder and publisher Susan Lanier-Graham has traveled the world for the past twenty years, filling a passport or two along the way. She has wandered through the jungles of Thailand, explored the mysteries of the Great Pyramids, and shared the night with a leopard in Zambia. She sailed in the Mediterranean, sipped her way through Burgundy canals and Champagne caves. She followed Rembrandt’s footsteps through Amsterdam. Susan found her center on the red rocks of Sedona and soaked up an exquisite sunset over the Indian Ocean in Bali. Susan is always looking for wow moments around the world or across the street to share with adventure lovers everywhere. She has authored more than 75 books and hundreds of magazine articles. Susan is an award-winning travel writer and member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA). She is a Certified California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). Susan's work still regularly appears in print and online. Susan is an award-winning travel writer, a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and is a Certified California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). Susan has worked as an ambassador for Travelocity and is currently a travel ambassador for Rocky Mountaineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online in a variety of publications. These include various AAA publications, Postcards for Travel Leaders,,,, So Scottsdale, Uptown, Green Living AZ, Life Refined, Modern Luxury,, WHERE Arizona, WHERE Traveler Phoenix + Scottsdale, and more.

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