And, if you want to get even more specific, it was the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess’ director of public relations – and Phoenix Open 4th Hole Hostess with the Mostest – Valerie Lee who really connected me with Dena.
At the time, I thought I was just meeting one of Valerie’s friends. Little did I know I was hanging with a big-time, international online media superstar!
Dena, a veteran travel journalist whose bylines have graced Great Golf, Modern Luxury, Life Refined, Robb Report, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons and more, is the founder and editor/curator of The Travel Diet. I would totally get into how much I love this site – and its impetus – but I don’t want to steal her thunder.So, welcome to #MediaMonday, @DenaRoche. Time to share!
What do you want to tell the blogosphere about yourself today?
I’ve got to say that hanging out with Alison and Valerie in the posh Fairmont tent was a great introduction to the Phoenix Open. Yep, I’ve lived here for many years and this was the first time I made it to this iconic local event. I think I feel like a native now!
Growing up in Wisconsin I knew I wanted to be a journalist by the time I was in high school. But at that time it wasn’t about travel and luxury, it was about tennis. I played on my high school and college teams and my dream was to work for Tennis Magazine. Amazingly, I got an internship at Tennis Magazine. Less than amazing, they went under hiring freeze during that internship. I freelanced tennis stories for a bit-covering Wimbledon for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is still one of my favorite journalism experiences-but there isn’t much of a market for a dedicated tennis writer. So I branched out into health writing, meandered a bit into the “dark side” working several PR and marketing jobs, started a technology business and eventually had the bright idea to combine my passion for travel with the fact that I actually was a trained journalist. I’ve been covering travel and luxury lifestyle stories since 2007.
In addition to being a regular contributor for international, national and regional print and online luxury publications, I am the creator of The Travel Diet. The Travel Diet brings readers the best in luxury travel with a wellness twist. No matter if you’re on safari in Africa, strolling the streets of London, having an a-ha moment at a destination spa or sipping your way through Burgundy, The Travel Diet shows you how to do it and incorporate wellness along the way. You can follow my travels on the site and through social media.
Around town I am always on the lookout for things that intersect the luxury, wellness and travel worlds and I’m putting more of a focus on my corporate writing focused on business, health/wellness and luxury brands.
For those of you I haven’t met around town yet, I’ll leave you with some random factoids and look forward to meeting you soon!
You can connect with me at
Twitter, Instagram @denaroche