About Us

Downtown Traveler is an online magazine for urban travelers who crave arts, culture and adventure.

Since our launch in 2010, We’ve made it our mission to uncover exciting destinations and cultural attractions around the world. We believe “downtown” is a state of mind, not a point on the map. Our contributors hail from Chicago, Kuala Lumpur, Kampala and beyond.


Leslie Koch

Based in: New York City
Passions: Arts & culture, street art, photography, adventure travel (camping, hiking, snorkeling)
Travel Bio: Leslie is a researcher and writer with a passion for travel and art. She has backpacked around the world, visiting 17 countries on 5 continents in one year. She enjoys exploring cultural attractions in the United States and around the world. All opinions are her own.
Twitter: @LeslieTravel
Click here for Leslie’s stories

>> Have a story idea? Want to be featured in Downtown Traveler? Contact Leslie at lesliekochtravel@gmail.com

Jake Semmel

Based in: New York City
Passions: Adventure travel (hiking, skiing, camping, scuba diving, kayaking), road trips
Travel Bio: A veteran of round-the-world travel, Jake has eaten ants in Laos, gone sky diving in Australia, bungee jumped in New Zealand and scuba dived with sharks in Brazil. He enjoys taking long, winding road trips in the US and overseas, as he doesn’t have much opportunity to drive in the Big Apple.
>> Click here for Jake’s stories

Featured Contributors

Martha Rivera

Based in: Los Angeles
Passions: Music, film, biking, art, food, planes, trains and especially automobiles that are headed out of town
Travel Bio: Martha is a travel addict always plotting her next adventure. Born in Mexico City, she moved to the US at the age of six. She has lived everywhere from Washington DC to New York City, Bologna and even Missoula, MT. On her world travels, she has discovered that Sydney actually has delicious Mexican food, London has a great bike path along the canals, and it’s possible to get scabies at a Panama eco-lodge! When she’s on a trip Martha has three main goals: hunt down the best coffee, check out the local food markets and get lost walking around & then find her way back again.
Instagram: @BabyMarfy
>> Click here for Martha’s stories

Juno Kim

Based in: Seoul
Passions: Finding comfort in adventure travel (backpacking, hiking, camping) and proving that city girls can rough it!
Travel Bio: South Korea’s leading travel blogger, Juno writes under the handle Runaway Juno. She has backpacked her way across Asia, North America, New Zealand and now Europe, and is a lover of craft beer, street art and science.
Twitter: @RunawayJuno
>> Click here for Juno’s stories

Lauren Koch

Based in: Oakland & Brooklyn
Passions: Art, photography, food, digital trends
Travel Bio: Lauren Koch is a native New Yorker who enjoys exploring Oakland’s art and food scene. Lauren founded the art blog Inside and Outside the Dominion to share her musings on the digital world and alternative culture.
Twitter: @surehillary.
>> Click here for Lauren’s stories

Mei (aka “Ciki”)

Based in: Kuala Lumpur
Passions: Food (fine dining to street food), photography, health and fitness
Travel Bio: Mei is an avid traveler who has journeyed throughout Asia, Australia and Europe. Despite her reputation as a diehard foodie, Ciki manages to stay fit and healthy while trying tasty dishes around the world. She shares her fitness tips on the Cikipedia blog.
Twitter: @cikipedia and @agentcikay
>> Click here for stories featuring Mei

About the Author

I'm a New Yorker with a passion for travel and art. I founded DowntownTraveler.com after returning from a year-long backpacking trip around the world. Find me on Twitter at @leslietravel.