Walking with World Footprints

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  • Published on November 20, 2023
  • In Originals

Ron Stodghill and the founders of World Footprints, Tonya and Ian Fitzpatrick, talk about how they’ve found and experienced hidden histories around the world.

DETOUR publisher Ron Stodghill interviewed World Footprints’ CEOs and co-founders Tonya and Ian Fitzpatrick about the origin and development of their company.

World Footprints is a social impact travel media company where travelers of conscience and culture can come for information, education and inspiration in the travel space. 

“It’s about storytelling and place making that those stories contribute to; encouraging people to wanna explore places, learn about the culture and history,” Ian said. 

World Footprints is a leading developer of social-impact traveling journalism. Throughout its history, World Footprints has partnered with a number of non-profit and advocacy groups like the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking

“We started a travel agency with the goal of making sure people had immersive type experiences so that they connected to the communities and really understood the transformative power of travel,” Tonya said. 

This company connects travelers with more niche and culturally authentic expeditions, allowing them to learn the more realistic effects of how different cultures and societies influence and impact each other. 

“We specifically look for those stories…because generally it involves history–not the history we grew up learning about,” Tonya said.

Stodghill asked the two CEOs about what kind of histories they discovered for themselves while traveling purposefully and the two discussed places such as God’s Little Acre, America’s Colonial African burial ground in Newport, Rhode Island which is right next door to the Newport Jazz Festival

World Footprints is now focused on planning travel with small groups of people that include Ian and Tonya. The two wish to continue building their journalism ethos through recording stories of lesser-known places and their histories and defending their importance. The company website displays stories and work by the two CEOs but also guest journalists depicting their own unique experiences, education and challenges when traveling. 

“World Footprints has really given us the courage to share stories and hopefully get people to build bridges…I can’t imagine traveling to those places by myself,” said Ian.

Campbell Hamai is a journalist and associate producer with Detour through the Meredith-McClatchy Scholarship sponsored by the University of Missouri-Columbia, Missouri. She is passionate about elevating the work and voices of POC authors and creators. Hamai can be reached through email at campbellhamai@detourxp.com. 

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