About Joan Mead-Matsui

Welcome to joanmatsuitravelwriter.com

Joan Mead-Matsui, award-winning freelance journalist, travel writer, photographer, and videographer

Travel and writing about my journeys – what could be more satisfying? Travel writing allows me to combine two of my lifelong passions.

Hello, I’m Joan Mead-Matsui, a freelance travel writer, award-winning journalist, copywriter, photojournalist, and artist. Prior to jumping on the travel wagon, I was a full-time freelance journalist, photojournalist, and part-time visual artist (chigirie.com).

I got my start in communications years ago as an assistant to the owner of an advertising business. As my career evolved, my broad-based background opened many doors as the director of public relations for an architectural, engineering and design firm, sales consultant for Comcast Sound Communications and Muzak, and the sole proprietor and educator for a business I created: Mrs. Matsui’s Origami (handmade paper creations).

My journalism career grew out of a large-scale multicultural kids’ festival I chaired for a children’s museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Kids Around the World festival attracted more than 500 children and their families.

You can read more about the festival by following these links.



As the media contact person, I had many opportunities to work with Kristie Ceruti, former editor of The Abington Journal. After preparing press releases, feature stories and ad copy for months, I’d found a niche. On a whim, I stopped by The Abington Journal office in November to ask for my first assignment.

Fast Forward Seven Years

Throughout my journey, I’ve amassed a portfolio of more than 1,000 published feature stories that have run in a variety of publications, from  The Abington Journal, The Times Leader, The Dallas Post and The Weekender to Happenings Magazine,  Natural Awakenings, and Local Flair, regional lifestyle magazines in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The four Keystone Press Awards I earned during my eight years at The Abington Journal were the icing on the cake.

Keystone Press Awards

2013 – First Place, Niche Publication, Contributing Writer, “My Edition: News for Youth,” Division 7
2013 – Second Place, Series, “Isn’t it Romantic?” Division 7
2012 – First Place, Special Project, Contributing Writer, Clarks Summit Centennial Special Edition, Division 7
2011 – Second Place, Sports, “One Million Flies Strong,” Division 7

I joined the team at Happenings Magazine, a regional monthly publication in 2013. There I covered a wide array of stories from personality profiles to healthcare, and building and industry throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.


Writing ad sponsored stories for The Times Leader allowed me to explore B2B copywriting for advertisers.  

I decided to take a hiatus and explore new opportunities in 2015. At about the same time, David Good, M3 Marketing, LLC owner invited me to cover a press tour and the grand opening of Kalahari Resorts and Conventions on behalf of visitpoconos.com. I also enrolled in a “full monty” travel writing course and two photography classes.

Interests and Hobbies


Art, (named Artist of Distinction, “Abrakadoodle,” national children’s arts’ education program) Martial Arts (studied Taekwondo and Aikido), photography, tennis, Zumba, yoga, cycling; hiking, downhill and cross-country skiing; horseback riding and fly fishing

One-of-a-kind lodging and amenities


Each of the destinations I’ve visited since May 2015  has been unique and extraordinary. You’ll find detailed wrap-up and exclusive feature stories accompanied by up close and personal photos to help you plan your vacation, weekend getaway, honeymoon, or day trip. You typically won’t find “reviews” but you’ll find honest reports.

Wondering where to go for nouvelle cuisine, a rejuvenating spa treatment, a beach or fly-fishing vacation or a truly thought-provoking art exhibit?

You can begin your journey in Pennsylvania at one of many outstanding resort destinations surrounded by breathtaking scenery, shopping and culture galore. Or make your way to the Tailwater Lodge in Altmar, NY, an upscale fishing lodge only steps away from the celebrated Salmon River, best known for world-class fly fishing.

Edmondo Granci gave award-winning journalist her first official travel writing assignment.
Edmondo Granci

Thanks to Edmondo and Maura Granci 


I am grateful to friends, Edmondo and Maura Granci for their support and encouragement. Many thanks to Edmondo for arranging my first official weekend travel assignment in December 2015 at Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mount Pocono.

Edmondo was the vice president of finance and chief financial officer at Mount Airy Casino Resort when he passed away in February 2016. He graciously made arrangements for me to visit the resort and is the inspiration behind my travel writing business and this website. You’ll find my stories about the luxurious Mount Airy at joanmatsuitravelwriter.com/mount-airy-casino-resort and visitpoconos.com.

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