About Rooted Wanderings

Rooted Wanderings is a travel site dedicated to helping you plan your next adventure.
From local travel to international travel, our nationally syndicated travel writers cover it all!

matt heffner

Matt Heffner – Founder & Writer

Ever since he jetted off to Estonia at the age of 14 he’s been bitten by the travel bug. He will never get tired of exploring new unique places across the globe with a special place in his heart for agritourism and nature retreats any adventure off the beaten path.

Owner and Director here at Rooted Wanderings and also at Awesome Mitten and VisitMaine.Net.

His work has been featured on Probe the Globe, Wealth of Geeks, Savoteur, MSN, and others. Learn More.

Ashley Pichea

Ashley Pichea – Content Manager & Editor

Ashley Pichea is the Content Manager for Rooted Wanderings and curates in-depth travel guides and deep-dives on hidden gem destinations across the US for sites like Awesome MittenVisitMaine.Net, and more.

Her work has been featured on Fox News, CBS Detroit, ABC Detroit, Boston 25 News, Yahoo! News, MSN, Savoteur, and more. Learn More.

She is also a wife and busy mom of five kids ranging from preschool to high school. Her personal website, PicheaPlace.com, features faith, family travel, and home management.

James Andersen – Writer

James Andersen is an award-winning journalist and editor who was born and raised in Metro Detroit but currently resides on the shores of Lake Huron in Alpena, Michigan.

His work has been featured on MSN, U.S. News & World Report, and others. Learn More.

When he’s not knee-deep in research or writing travel guides for RootedWanderings.com, AwesomeMitten.com, and other travel sites, he can be found fishing, cheering on Detroit sports teams, and spending time with his wife and two dogs.

Jennifer Hardy – Writer

Jennifer Hardy is a journalist and content creator with more than 30 years of experience covering news, travel, and safety from coast to coast. When she’s not behind a keyboard, she’s out in nature with her golden retrievers.

Her work has been featured on MoreThanJustParks.com, HuffPost, and more.

leah heffner

Leah Heffner – Founder & Writer

Leah sees Rooted Wanderings as an extension of so many things about herself. She has always loved highlighting specific areas and finding the best parts of any adventure or destination. It’s the perfect opportunity to combine her extensive business knowledge with her love for exploring.

Her work has been featured on Awesome Mitten, VisitMaine.Net, and Smoky Mountain Wanderings, among others.

Nina Thomas

Nina Thomas – Writer

A lover of new experiences and fun road trips, Nina enjoys local and worldwide travel. She seeks authentic adventures ranging from wilderness camping to fine dining.

Her passion is to share her experiences with others, so they can get the most out of their travels. Her travel motto comes from a woman she met locally who told her, “Always have a trip planned.”

She’s the author of the book, “How to Be Your Own Travel Agent,” available on Amazon.


usa today
readers digest
cbs detroit
self mag
philadelphia inquirer
wxyz detroit
travel fashion girl
featured on Boston 25 News

The Rooted Wanderings Mission

You know the best thing about traveling – besides, ya know, the new experiences, amazing memories, and learning new things? It’s coming home and sleeping in your own bed after the time away.

Rooted Wanderings may sound like an oxymoron but in reality, it’s the idea that to really enjoy travel, adventure, and exploring, that we need our roots to run deep at home.

Our community and hospitality are a huge part of our focus and it’s these deep roots that help us to take flight as we wander.

And then, we get to take community and hospitality on the road with us. Whether that’s making new friends or realizing that home feeling is more about the people we’re with than the place we are.

For us, Rooted Wanderings is the juxtaposition of loving our garden, our community, and our bed while also loving to get out and explore – and how we appreciate each of them more by having the other.

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