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Maureen Jenkins: Luxury Travel's Chicago-Based Globetrotter

Meet Maureen, Chicago native, multi-beat reporter, & passionate traveler


Maureen Jenkins: Luxury Travel's Chicago-Based Globetrotter

Maureen in Paris, where she spent a year researching a book.

Photo courtesy of Maureen Jenkins
Maureen Jenkins

An Observer of Travel & Trends, Rock Stars & Religion

Luxury Travel Guest Author, Maureen Jenkins, has seen the world.

Maureen grew up in Chicago and studied at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University just outside the Windy City. She later earned a master's in Theological Studies from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, on Northwestern's campus.

(Were you wondering about the seminary degree? Says Maureen, "My idea was to be able to report and write thoughtfully about religion and pop culture for secular newspapers. After all, how else can a reporter get an article about spirituality-tinged tunes by Lauryn Hill, Alanis Morissette, and Jewel onto the front page of a newspaper's 'Faith & Values' section?")

Maureen has spent most of her career in newsrooms across the U.S. She has been a staff reporter at the Rockford (Ill.) Register Star, The Oregonian, Charlotte Observer, Arizona Republic and the Chicago Sun-Times (two stints).

Along with religion, Maureen's beats have covered the lifestyle realm: fashion, dining, entertainment, celebrities, and travel.

Besides her work for Luxury Travel, Maureen's freelance writing includes news articles and feature stories on lifestyle subjects for the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Ebony, JET, and Today's Chicago Woman magazine.

Maureen also maintains two blogs: Urban Travel Girl, which "encourages black women to live globally through international travel," and TCW Travel Connection for Today's Chicago Woman.

Maureen's Aviation-Related Other Life

Before her current foray into full-time freelancing, Maureen worked for The Boeing Company in Employee Communications. She also supported Boeing Commercial Airplanes' Latin America, Africa, and Caribbean sales team.

She was also an award-winning reporter and writer for Boeing Frontiers, the monthly employee magazine of the world's largest aerospace company.

Her Frontiers reporting, largely about international business topics, took her to cities including Paris, London, Reykjavik, Dubai, and Riyadh, whetting her appetite for global travel. "I haven't looked back since," she says.

Maureen's First Foreign Base: Florence

In her first move abroad, Maureen spent nearly a year living and working as a freelance writer and communications consultant in Italy. Based in Florence, she wrote about food, travel, lifestyles, and pop culture for publications including the Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business, Black Enterprise, and Working Mother.

Maureen's Favorite Address: Near Paris

For all of 2012, Maureen hung her chapeau in the tiny village of Samois-sur-Seine, known as the home of Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt.

Maureen is back in her native Windy City, but keeps her carryon bag half-packed and admits to being "madly in love with my passport, a well-worn treasure." This pocket-sized, navy blue-clad booklet has accompanied Maureen "from Montreal to Monaco, Barcelona to Buenos Aires, Rome to Riyadh, and many, many points in-between," she says. "My passport declares that my nationality is American, but I feel like a citizen of the world."

A lover of foreign languages, Maureen has studied Italian in Chicago, Rome, and Florence; French at Chicago's Alliance Française, in Seattle, and in France; and Spanish in Chicago and Seattle. Although she's an ocean away, Maureen is still a member of the Chicago Sister Cities (Paris and Milan) Committees.

Maureen's motto: "You're never more than one flight or train ride away from an amazing adventure. It's all about experiencing the world."

Read Maureen

Where to Keep Up with Maureen

Read Maureen's Latest on Luxury Travel

  • What enchants visitors to Northern Italy's vibrant, young, chocolate-obsessed Torino
  • A lot more than the Running of the Bulls (like world-class medical care) awaits luxury travelers to Pamplona, Spain
  • A look at why a tiny royal principality tucked into the French Riviera is an enduring magnet for the international jet set and their yachts. Meet Monaco
  • And a close-up look at a Monte Carlo club where the vibe is hip: Black Legend Monaco
  • An hometown look at a Mies van der Roje masterpiece tower transformed into a luxury hotel, The Langham, Chicago

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