About Compass Roam

Hello Travelers!

I’m Jillian and welcome to Compass Roam!  If you’re seeking a thoughtfully designed luxury family vacation packed with adventure, recommendations for 5 star accommodations, tips on where to go for the most delicious food, insider info on must-do activities, and advice on the best travel gear, then you’ve found the right corner of the blogging universe. 


Here’s the cliff notes version of my blog/me if you are pressed for time: 


Life long travel lover.

Detailed planner. 

Former history teacher.

Wannabe member of the Finer Things Club (for those Office fans out there!)

Wife and momma.


Why make Compass Roam your go-to resource?

I want Compass Roam to be your most valuable resource for planning your next spectacular family vacation.  You can rest assured that I have scrupulously vetted the accommodations and excursions featured on my site.  Here, you will find all my travel guides, tips, observations, and must-do activities consolidated in one spot.  


If you’ve landed on a family travel website, we probably share the same craving for exploration, and yearning to share those adventures with our kids. I simply love travel, planning trips, and then chatting about it.  When I say I have a passion for planning, I really mean it -- think color coded post-it notes everywhere, hundreds of saved inspirational photos, and well worn travel journals filled with details of voyages.  As a former teacher, I have adapted my lesson-planning and organizational skills into creating family vacation guides that make dream journeys come alive.


I’ve really enjoyed putting my travel knowledge to work helping friends and family plan trips, and through those experiences I realized my research and itineraries could be of value to people.  The internet is a phenomenal tool, but it can also feel like a black hole sometimes -- we’ve all been there.  Vacation brainstorming should be exciting and fun, not feel like a chore.  Therefore, it is my hope that the guides and sample itineraries will inspire your own future family travel.


Sit back, relax, and enjoying checking out Compass Roam!  


My travel style

I have experienced travel through many perspectives -- as an individual solo female, later as a couple looking for romantic and adventurous getaways, and more recently as a mom -- one who refuses to let the challenges of traveling with kids get in her way.  Once I became a mom, I funneled my researching skills into discovering the best travel gear, family friendly hotels, and experiences that won’t make you feel like you are sacrificing quality by bringing your little humans in tow.


On Compass Roam you'll find...

  • Luxury family accommodations that have all your family needs covered.
  • Awesome and off-the-beaten-path experiences that will make you feel like a local.
  • Insider tips on the most scenic and family friendly outdoor adventures.
  • Fabulous foodie finds that will appeal to adults and kids alike.
  • Advice on the best travel gear to make your adventure smooth sailing.
  • As an added bonus, there’s also plenty of destination inspiration for kid-free (woo-hoo!) vacations too 
Is this site for you?

From teacher to blogger

My first career passion was teaching, and for 7 years, I lived my dream job teaching Global History at the Bronx High School of Science.  In my PowerPoints, I tried to incorporate my pictures and stories of adventures abroad.  My students jokingly “ohhh-ed” and “ahhh-ed” at the  “pretty pictures” (their words, not mine), and at the end of every school year, many of them remarked that my photography brought the history lessons to life.  This revealed to me the thirst we humans share in yearning to experience one another’s microcosms.  


So how and why did I transition to blogging?


When I first contemplated this new adventure, I began by researching the existing bloggers out there.  Pouring over their stories and diverse backgrounds, I noticed that many shared a similar courageous narrative: they bravely realized that they were not in love with their careers, quit their jobs, packed up their belongings and now travel the world…for a living!  That’s so cool.


To be honest, I am not that cool.  I did not initially quit my job to start this blog.  Instead, what happened was 6 pounds, 7 oz of pure cuteness.  I had a baby girl, and it was during my maternity leave that I was finally able to combine my two (now three) passions.  After a few months learning the mom-ropes, I got back to traveling, and altered my old daily life of lesson planning into one of itinerary planning, and changing diapers.


So, while luxury travel may technically be my “niche,” a love of history is what inspires each destination, and a desire to show my daughter all the breathtaking parts of this world is what keeps my drive going.

Let's Get Personal

Before you put all your travel trust into one person, it may be helpful to learn a few things about their perspectives. So here are some tid-bits to keep in mind about me:  

  • I enjoy meeting all types of people:   I’m from Philly (read: E.A.G.LE.S.), but I married a Canadian Newfie who cheers rather loudly for the Patriots.  So, compromise and acceptance of others is a constant part of my marriage (love you hun!)


  • Even those across the aisle trust my bipartisan views...the food aisle that is: I have been a vegetarian (technically pescatarian) my entire life, but that doesn’t mean I only dine where the meat don’t shine.  My carnivore-husband quickly learned when we dated that I take food seriously.  I'm always searching for the healthiest, freshest, most interesting food available, and will venture far and wide to enjoy a wonderful meal.   You may find me in a vegetarian-only joint from time to time, but I can also just as easily enjoy a good steakhouse (crabcakes and fish, here I come!).  


  • “Honesty is the best policy,” for both vacation reviews and dishwasher loading:  I know you’re here to get a truthful opinion, so that’s what I’ll give as you read my reviews.  This is a quality of mine that my husband can vouch for.  His dishwasher loading “skills” are often on the receiving end of my honest feedback.

Also, how rude of me!

Let me introduce you to my co-travellers and sometimes guest speakers on the blog.


My husband: Niall -- he currently tells people he’s an astronaut, but in reality he’s actually a spy (oops -- cover blown). He loves body surfing (and thinks he invented it), adrenaline junkie experiences, and pool time with Claire.

My daughter: Claire -- she loves sneaking candy, jumping off the diving board, pretending she’s Elsa, playing with baby-dolls, and twirling in dresses.  She's only 3, but shares her father's thirst for extreme adventure. This should be interesting...

girl holding lollipop

My son:  Maverick -- he’s the newest edition to our clan and has already traveled quite a bit!  He seems to enjoy stroller rides through the park and drinking milk poolside.  Little guy’s already got some good taste.

Stay and hang out!

If you’ve made this far down the page, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you want to be friends?  Please stay in touch and send me a note at hello@compassroam.com if you have questions or comments about the blog. Need a vacation idea? Check out the latest blog posts.  And if you want to hear from me some more you can:

  • Sign up for the Compass Roam newsletter (I won’t spam you, or share your info).
  • Sign up for FREE itineraries to help make your vacation planning even easier.

Time to start roaming!



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