Last year, a group of students created a new publication, called the Stanford Traveler, to share student travel stories with the Stanford community. The Stanford Traveler team now hopes to eventually partner with other universities to share stories of unique travel experiences around the world.
“Stanford Traveler is an online magazine dedicated to sharing students’ travel stories, whether they be from study abroad or just personal travel,” said Kali Coleman ’18, the founder and editor-in-chief. “So many people have so many amazing stories, and it’s important to be able to share them.”
The publication was officially recognized as a student group in March and has published two bi-monthly issues. The magazine is currently on hiatus while the group focuses on web development.
Coleman’s inspiration came from the Princeton Traveler, a magazine at Princeton that features student travel stories online. She worked with Kate Kaneko, a senior at Princeton and the editor-in-chief of the publication, to create the Stanford Traveler.
The online platform features stories that are particularly distinctive or novel. Madeleine Lippey ’18, who served as managing editor last year, wrote an article called “The Elastic Zipcode” for the magazine’s first issue about her experience in Bhutan.
“It was definitely interesting to write about somewhere I knew I’d probably never return to. That’s what made my experience most memorable,” Lippey wrote in an email to The Daily.
Coleman described Lippey’s piece as “an interesting perspective on the country.”
“As someone who has lived internationally and has always loved travel, and as an English major, I felt that Stanford Traveler would allow me the opportunity to combine creativity and experience,” Lippey said.
For Coleman, one of the most exciting aspects of the magazine is its integration with photos. Each issue’s landing page is tiled with photos of each travel experience. Individual articles include a large photo at the top of the page and multiple smaller ones accompanying the piece.
Alexis Kallen ’18 got involved in the Traveler after hearing about it from Coleman, who lived in the same dorm. At the time, Coleman had just begun formulating the idea.
“It was a really cool process to see through and be a part of,” Kallen said.
Since only a few students were involved at the start, each one got to take on a leadership role. Kallen is now the public relations manager.
“[Working for the Traveler] was my first exposure to any type of journalism, and I really like it,” Kallen said.
Kallen wrote two articles last year for the magazine, one about her experience in Peru and the other about Nicaragua.
“One of my favorite parts of the publication is reading other people’s articles,” Kallen said. “The prompt is just to write about your experience, so to see how people interpret that is really awesome.”
She said she likes that writing for the Traveler allows for more artistic and creative writing, which many Stanford students don’t have a chance to explore because of academic classes.
In the future, Coleman hopes to come out with a print version of the magazine, perhaps a “year in review.” She also wants to keep in touch with Kaneko to create an overarching publication for multiple universities.
Coleman encourages interested students to reach out and get involved through email or Facebook, especially people with a programming background who could help with web development. She has already been happy with the level of interest in the magazine.
“It’s great to meet with people and hear outside perspectives,” she said.
Looking forward, the magazine wants to feature more experiences from students who studied abroad. Kallen also mentioned that she would like to see a series modeled after the New York Times’ “36 Hours in…” articles, which can function as travel guides when exploring a new city for a limited amount of time or simply as informative pieces about eclectic world cultures.
According to Kallen, the group hopes to reach out to the Bing Overseas Studies Program or other study-abroad programs to encourage participating students to share their stories with the Traveler. She is also working on an outreach plan to recruit new writers, especially freshmen.
“I definitely think there is a need here at Stanford, within the ‘bubble,’ to celebrate curiosity and wanderlust,” Lippey said. “Travel isn’t just a token of youth or college or a wild summer, it’s a lifestyle, and one that we all have a stake in.”
Contact Sarah Ortlip-Sommers at sortlip ‘at’ stanford.edu.