Who’s the man behind the beard? I’m a Canadian freelance journalist, editor and nomad hunting for stories that fascinate me. My work has appeared in TIME, National Geographic Travel, The Guardian, BBC Travel, American Airlines (p.90), Travel + Leisure, ESPN, Thrillist, CBC, Vice, Air Canada, Beside, Dazed & Confused, The Toronto Star, Motherboard, The Montreal Gazette, Askmen and more. I’m also a Lonely Planet guidebook author of books about Armenia, Morocco and France.

Hablo español, parle français, y falo português. If you need me, I’ll be eating everything at a local market or taking shots of Wi-Fi at the nearest café. Otherwise, the number to dial is: joelbalsam1@gmail.com

4 thoughts on “About

  1. Hey Joel,
    I am studying to be a journalist from Liberty University. I was really impressed seeing your profile and wondered what does it take to succeed in freelance journalism like you?
    If it’s ok, I would love to hear your story about how you learned the trade and even worked for National Geographic!
    Are there still new opportunities?
    Any tips on a beginner journalist?
    Do you know of any part-time work or resources that could help improve my skills?

    I hope one day I could be where you are, with a lot of hard work and determination!

    Thank you for your time, please let me know what you think.
    Sincerely,
    Leanne Huang

      1. Hey Joel,
        Sorry my life has been really crazy since last year. My husband and I moved to Maryland from Virginia and at the same time my mother came down with the Delta variant. So, there was a lot going on right after I messaged you last year. The good news is my mother pulled through and she is doing well. We are settled in Maryland, and I finally have an office set up for the first time in two years after moving out of a one-bedroom apartment. I am currently still going to school online and now we are expecting our first child!
        I have more time now that I am transitioning to be a stay-at-home mother. I hope to continue learning about what it takes to be successful in a career like yours. I am excited to be a mother, but I also want to keep sharpening my skills as life progresses.
        Right now, I wish I could do more, write more to help towards the Ukrainian crisis.
        I have restarted my WordPress News Blog and would like any advice of how to not only report solid journalism but how to make sure that I am reaching a broad audience.
        Do you have any advice about how to make a blog successful?
        Do I need to use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to be successful or other social media sites?
        Are there any things that bloggers should not do as a first-time blogger?
        Hope you are doing well and take care!
        Leanne Huang

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