Our Team

Declan Aylward

declanm aylwardDeclan Aylward is the Editorial Director of Great Escape Publishing, which publishes nearly thirty home-study programs, including The Ultimate Travel Writer’s ProgramTurn Your Pictures into CashImporting Fortunes and Money-Making Travel Blogs. Declan is also the Editor of The Right Way to Travel, which features articles geared to help writers and photographers improve their skill, sell their work, and earn an income through travel.

Over the course of his career Declan has been a travel writer, a journalist, a photographer, and an editor—so he knows the industry from every side. He even spent a few years in Amsterdam, running a nationally distributed newspaper from his basement.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten overseas? While in Osaka, Japan, I went into a bar called Bar Hormone with some friends. We were hungry so ordered the “hormone platter” assuming it was simply the most popular platter and as such bore the bar’s name. Turns out it was literally a platter of hormone glands and I now know what it’s like to eat a chicken’s medulla oblongata. Chewy. The Japanese staff were so impressed with a table of westerners gamely finishing the platter that we got a round of drinks on the house.

Bonnie Caton

Bonnie is the Creative Director for Great Escape Publishing, a regular contributor to The Right Way to Travel, and creator of the Breakfast Stock Club, which helps folks to get up-and-running selling their photos in online stock photo agencies. She got her first travel articles and photos published after attending the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop six summers ago in her hometown of Portland, Oregon. Before joining Great Escape Publishing, she taught English in the South of France and vagabonded through South America and South East Asia, dutifully testing all of the local foods and massage techniques.

Favorite travel tip: Don’t book a hotel room when you can rent an apartment! It tends to be cheaper, offers more room, and lets you live like a local, with a kitchen and living area. Recently, some friends and I found a cute apartment right in the middle of Paris with a balcony for half the price we would have paid for a hotel room in the city. I like to use Airbnb.com or Vrbo.com to book.

Christina Merchant

Christina is the Workshop & Events Coordinator for Great Escape Publishing. Over the last three years, Christina has planned events in San Antonio, Portland, Phoenix, Miami, San Diego, Boston, Albuquerque, Washington, D.C., Ecuador and beyond. She has worked alongside dozens of writers and photographers to build fun and educational workshop agendas that will help attendees find success in these fields.Christina graduated from Washington & Lee University with a degree in journalism. She spent her junior year studying and living in Paris, Christina graduated from 
Washington & Lee University with a degree in journalism. She spent her junior year studying and living in Paris, France, where she fell further in love with the city and language, and realized that travel needed to be a permanent part of her job. In the last five years she’s traveled to London, Paris, Copenhagen, the Greek Isles, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. She currently resides in Washington, D.C.
 
What’s your favorite thing that you’ve eaten abroad, and why? While in Ecuador on one of our photography workshops, I got the chance to eat a fruit I had never heard of before: Cherimoya. This moment was memorable, because I was on a two-hour taxi ride with a driver who spoke no English. I speak just a few words of broken Spanish. Needless to say it was a pretty quiet ride. Somehow we started trying to converse and I was telling him about how amazing the fruits are in Ecuador and how I can’t believe there’s such variety. He came alive when I said this-and at the next turn, he pulled over at a local roadside stand, purchased two Cherimoyas, and we sat in the car and ate them together. He had to demonstrate how to break open the sweet fruit, and eat it without letting the seeds get in the way. It was not only delicious, but it was a great way to share an experience with someone when language was clearly a barrier.

Alyssa Terwall

Alyssa Terwall is an Event Coordinator and Marketing Assistant for Great Escape Publishing. Before joining the Great Escape team, Alyssa graduated from California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo with a degree in education emphasizing in mathematics.  She realized her excitement for travel while studying abroad in London, England. Following graduation, Alyssa worked as an intern for Child and Youth Services in Germany with the United States Army, and in The Netherlands with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

(NATO). Alyssa’s passion for education, travel, and culture has taken her to Luxembourg, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Belgium, Ireland, Northern Ireland, France, Spain, Peru, and Iceland. She currently resides in Washington, D.C.

What’s your favorite part about traveling? Getting lost. I’ve found that I discover the most amazing sites, interesting people, and fascinating places when it’s all unplanned. If you’re not on a time crunch, throw away the itinerary and just explore! My favorite days have been the ones I’ve spent wandering around a city I don’t know, with absolutely no agenda. Sometimes you just have to walk out the door, go left or right, and see where it takes you.

Jenna Eustuce

Jenna Eustuce

Jenna Eustace is the Events Manager for Great Escape Publishing. Jenna’s duties include marketing and running GEP’s workshops, which help people to turn their passion for photography or writing into a lifestyle.

Before life as an events manager, Jenna studied Marketing, Advertising, and Online Media. During her time in college, Jenna opted for a semester in the Czech Republic as a foreign exchange student. It was here she learned she was a natural born wanderer, and so it began! Jenna has traveled far and wide to places such as Dubai, Panama, Poland, Hungry, Spain, Italy, France, and England. As she always says, “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done while traveling? That’s easy, jumping out of an airplane at 15,000 feet with a stranger strapped to my back, hoping the parachute would work.

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