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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico alum creates online travel magazine

Chico State alumna Julie Kern and Jessica Vitorelo have turned their travels into a magazine, “Wanderlove.” Photo courtesy of Jessica Vitorelo.

Traveling the world in your early 20s old may seem out of reach for most college students. How exactly does a broke, busy and stressed college student plan a backpacking trip through Southeast Asia? Or a scuba diving adventure off the coast of a small Indonesian island?

Well, Chico State alumna Jessica Vitorelo and her longtime friend and business partner, Julie Kern, have figured it out.

Viterelo and Kern
Jessica Vitorelo and Julie Kern ride motor bikes during their travels in Italy. Photo courtesy of Jessica Vitorelo.

After graduating from the recreation, hospitality and parks management department from Chico State in 2012, Vitorelo moved to the Bay Area and began working in the food and beverage industry. It did not take long for her to realize that was not for her. After a year and a half of working long hours, Vitorelo and Kern embarked on a vacation that would change their lives.

The two embarked on a three-month backpacking trip through Southeast Asia. When the three months was up, the two still were not ready to head home. So, they stayed for another two months. Even after that, they still did not want to return home to their regular lives, so they found summer jobs in Italy.

Vitorelo and Kern received emails from friends and coworkers asking how they were able to jet-set on such an incredible journey. Eventually the duo realized the opportunity they had in front of them, and “Wanderlove” was born.

“’Wanderlove’ is an online travel magazine providing travel inspiration, guides and advice for the adventurous 20-somethings,” Vitorelo said.

After “Wanderlove” launched in December 2014, Vitorelo and Kern embarked on various business trips to Indonesia and Hong Kong and established partnerships with yoga studios, surf and bike retreats, scuba schools and spas across the globe.

Kern and Vitorelo travel to Bali. Photo courtesy of Jessica Vitorelo.

“It has been an amazing journey so far and I am truly happy with where we are headed,” Vitorelo said.

“Wanderlove” specializes in adventure travel. Whether it is motorbiking through Vietnam or hiking to Everest Base Camp, the magazine has the advice to get there.

“Wanderlove” provides its adventurous readers with personable, relatable and honest advice about how to get started on their trips across the globe.

“We write the way we talk, and as such, want our readers to feel like they are getting advice from a trusted friend,” Vitorelo said.

Chico State students are in their prime time to travel, study abroad, go on a summer vacation and explore, but actually getting started can be tough, Vitorelo said.

Air Terjun Banyumala, Bali
Vitorelo and Kern explore a waterfall in Air Terjun Banyumala, Bali. Photo courtesy of Jessica Vitorelo.

“We want to inspire the young 20-somethings to get out there and experience this incredible world of ours,” Vitorelo said.

Vitorleo and Kern will soon be heading to Belize for a month to research their next guide. There, they will partner with hotels and activity companies in order to offer “Wanderlove” readers the best advice and information for planning their trips.

“We think that Belize is an up-and-coming hot spot for travelers, and we want to lead the way,” Vitorelo said. “We plan to continue taking these trips throughout the next year in order to bring more insight to more places for our readers.”

The two hope to expand their company by hiring travel writers and “Wanderlove” ambassadors who share their same passion for traveling and exploring the globe.

“If Chico students want to share their travel stories, they can submit articles online for a chance to be published on ‘Wanderlove,’” Vitorelo said. “In the far future, we plan to expand our site and include a community section where travelers can share their stories with each other.”

Whether someone is an experienced traveler or has never left the country, “Wanderlove” offers advice, tips and inspiration from the first steps of planning to arriving at their destination. The next time students get that feeling to jet-set and explore, they can check out “Wanderlove” to get motivated and inspired.

Sabrina Grislis can be reached at [email protected] or @sabrinagrislis on Twitter.

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