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Island Experts

We love the islands -- pretty much every island these Island Runaways have ever visited!


And while we've got lots of experiences to share, no two people can be experts on ALL the islands worth visiting. So we are recruiting Island Experts, friends and colleagues who are fellow escape artists, travel professionals, photographers, and writers to share their wealth of experience with us...and you. If you're interested in writing a post as a guest Island Expert, click here for more info.




Island Expert: Jamaica


Deanne Allgrove has written for print and television for advertising campaigns, documentaries, and travel features.


Her two main loves are travel and her island home, Jamaica, so she is thrilled to encourage all you island runaways!

Island Expert: British Virgin Islands


Chrissann Nickel is a freelance writer, yoga instructor, and trainer of toucans on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. She is the creator and Editor in Chief of the humorous island life website, Women Who Live on Rocks, which celebrates the eccentricities unique to island living. You can connect with Chrissann on her personal website, or, if you’d like to get a glimpse of her everyday life on a little island in the Caribbean (with toucans!), link up with her on Instagram.  



Island Expert: Martinique

Frantz François-Haugrin is a busy professional on the island of Martinique, but fortunately for Island Runaways, he finds time to contribute guest posts. Bienvenue, Frantz, et merci!





Island Expert: Puerto Rico

H.H. McKinnon is an anthropologist and curator. She has worked at the National Museum of the American Indian, part of the Smithsonian Institution. Currently, she curates exhibitions  independently, often on the subject of indigenous peoples of the Americas and natural resources. On her mother's side, her family hails from Puerto Rico.

Island Expert: Cuba

Gilberto Lucero has an MA in English from the New Mexico State University and an MFA in Poetry from the University of Miami. He taught ESL and English for 15 years in the States and abroad until the birth of his twin son and daughter. He is currently living in Vancouver, BC with his husband and children.


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Island Expert: Cuba

William "Harris" Strickland is the author of a new novel entitled Hemingway Lies and the Search for Sam, now available on Amazon. This excellent work of fiction follows the protagonist Hawken through teenaged angst to adventures on the tropical isle of Cuba and in Africa on safari. Harris also runs Travel Leaders, a company specializing in safari travel, fishing expeditions, adventure travel, and legal travel to Cuba.

Island Expert: Malta

Ruby Z. moved from Serbia to Malta with her family two years ago. She is an actress with a career in theater. About the Maltese archipelago, she tells us, "I enjoy the beauty of the island immensely and I find serenity and peace visiting the beach every day in every season." We're delighted that she not only emailed in a travel tip to our blog, but also took the time to develop it into a report about her adopted home. Thank you, Ruby!

Island Expert: Rum & Florida isles

Writer and professor Rich McKee teaches at the State College of Florida. An awesome guitarist, singer, and amateur rum expert, this award-winning author also penned The Clan of the Flapdragon, a hilarious pseudo-academic essay collection. Recently, he’s received attention for his gonzo Florida novel The Culprit, and – hot off the presses! – The Trickster, which involves ancient Calusa artifacts, a murderous poacher, unusual animals, and a horrific hurricane. Follow Rich's book page on Facebook for more news and adventures.

Island Expert: Key West

Lisa Beech Hartz is a published short story writer and poet and the founder of The Muse writing workshops in Norfolk. After adventuring from Miami to Arizona, she now makes her home in Virginia, where she is a Director of Seven Cities Writers Project, a non-profit focused on providing workshops to underserved populations, including at-risk kids and the homeless.


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