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This Media Monday makes us want a vacation!

It comes to us from the very well-traveled Dawn Gilbertson of the Arizona Republic. While Abbie and Scott have known her for years, Alison actually started “stalking” her on Twitter in the past year. At first, Alison was following Dawn’s tweets because she worked the US Airways beat (where Alison’s hubby works).

But soon, Alison found Dawn was the queen of cruise information! As a fellow lover of cruises, the two connected. Now, while Alison still stalks Dawn on Twitter, it is a friendlier – and reciprocated – kind of stalk!

Take it away, Dawn!

What do you want to tell the blogosphere today?

I’ve been doling out travel trips — solicited and unsolicited — since I returned from my first visit to Disney World in 1978 and immediately planned my eighth-grade science teacher’s upcoming trip.

Today, I’m fortunate to get paid to do it.

Last summer, after more than 20 years as a business reporter, I was named consumer travel reporter for the Arizona Republic. I write about all things travel, from local resorts to travel trends like resort fees and Southwest Airlines’ frequent flier program changes.

It’s a dream job that has already taken me on six Allegiant Air flights in seven days, a 24-hour buffet binge in Las Vegas and to an aura-reading in Sedona.

I recently started a travel blog on azcentral.com called Now Departing, featuring breaking travel news, deals and tips.

Until the beat change, I spent my entire career in business news, covering everything from agriculture to airlines. A business editor at the Syracuse Herald-Journal in New York convinced me to give it a try during an internship when I was a journalism student at Syracuse University.

I interned on the business desk of the Chicago Tribune after graduation and a year later landed at the Phoenix Gazette. I will never forget the blast of the rental car air conditioner when I turned on the car at 11 p.m. one August night when I flew in for the interview. It was my introduction to Phoenix.

I’ve been here every since, except for a one-year sabbatical in Columbia University’s M.B.A. program, where I aced accounting and finance and almost had to drop out of Dynamics of East Asian Business. Earnings, conference calls, mergers and bankruptcies never got old for me, but the chance to be a travel writer was irresistible.

One plus: my kids (ages 14 and 11) and friends are certainly more interested in my stories now!

I love to travel for fun, too. A few of my favorite things:

  • Crystal Pier Hotel in San Diego
  • Beach House Inn at Hermosa near Los Angeles
  • Running or biking along Lake Michigan in Chicago
  • Walking for blocks and going to the theater in New York and London.

My favorite vacation with kids: Hawaii and cruises.

On their wish list this year: Royal Caribbean's new Allure of the Seas.

My wish list: a visit to Venice.

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio


  1. Dawn and I share a pretty major love for cruising – and writing. So happy someone who really knows her stuff on the topic is reporting for Arizona’s biggest media outlet. And her blog is pretty darned fantastic.

  2. The Allure is on my list, too. For now, I’ll look forward to the Alaskan cruise we’ve got planned for July 2012.

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