I always had a knack for the written word and the tangibility that putting thoughts on paper offered. As I matured and searched for ways to turn my passion into a career, I committed  to journalism with my first internship at Bermuda's National Newspaper. From there, I attended Emerson College, where, along with awe-inspiring courses, I held physical and virtual internships—including a contributing writer position at USA Today College and print internship at Scene Magazine—all of which contributed to breaking boundaries in my personal and professional development. Since graduation, I have taken on a number of pursuits, from living and working as Associate Editor for I Love Chile News in Santiago, Chile, to contributing at The Huffington Post, taking over as Editor in Chief at Scene Magazine, then Brand & Editorial Director at Electrify Magazine in NYC. The growth from these roles all led to my final decision to enter the freelance world to focus on the stories I want to share most. Peep below to get to know me off the resume!

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Hometown: 

Bermuda. Currently living in NYC.

First writing experience? 

I started with poetry and song lyrics. From there, it turned into really loving english essay assignments, documenting family trips, and eventually, my first internship with Bermuda’s National Newspaper, The Royal Gazette. 

Why the focus in travel? 

My family always moved around but we didn’t actually start visiting international destinations together until I was a teenager. While I still experienced teenage angst, I think this helped to forge a healthy bond among my family as we shared experiences like salsa dancing in Seville, wine tasting in Mendoza and cooking classes in Slovenia. It just really showed how much more there was to the world than the 22 mile island I grew up on. It also emphasized how these experiences of culture and food bring people together. I’ll never forget those early memories, and that’s definitely what inspired the long-term dream.

Favorite country? 

It has to be a tie between Chile & Morocco.

Why? 

After college, I took a three month writing position in Chile. It was definitely a transitional time in my life and starting my first official chapter of “adulthood” in another country, only continued to broaden my horizons and solidify my dreams. Many people were worried about me as a solo female traveler living in a South American city, but the strangers who became friends, and city that became home couldn’t prove them more wrong. It’s a life opportunity I’ll forever cherish. Morocco was an unexpected trip, where my flight was booked two days before I left. So, I packed all my light, airy clothes and got on a plane; carefree and so curious. Wandering through the souks, listening to the call to prayers, and taking a step into the old world, stimulated all my senses to fall deep for the country. 

If I could hop on a plane tomorrow, where would I go?

Namibia. Or pretty much anywhere in South/East Africa.

People or places? 

I love writing about the connection of people to places. Or people to things. I’m a huge fan of digging into the cultural side of a story, whether that’s food or fashion, beauty or business. The ability to write on a variety of topics and individuals, and share people’s passions with a larger audience, is my passion that makes all the hours of pitching, writing and research worth it. 

Inspiration? 

There are absolutely a handful of journalists, writers and photographers I’m grateful to look up to, but sentimentally, my inspiration will always be my parents. I only want to make them proud, so everything I do is with them in mind. 

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Want to know more about me? Have a story angle brewing? Interested in collaborating? I’m always looking to meet new people!! Shoot me a note: jilliandara1@gmail.com

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