About Chichaku


We are travel people – people who love new faces and new places – at home and when we travel. We reach across the boundaries of language and culture to make new places familiar and new faces new friends.

Chichaku – what does it mean and where is it from?

Chichaku ("chi-cha-ku" also spelt Cheechako, or Cheechaku) means ‘Newcomer’ in the Chinook Jargon trading language. Chinook Jargon was a simple language used by people all along the west coast of North America to make trading simple between people speaking several languages and from different cultures. We are all Chichaku when we travel. This website is for all the Chichaku around the world.

Chichaku will tell you about places you want to go – what to do when you get there and how to get there in the first place. We send our writers out to personally try out the experiences in our articles. If you are a business owner Chichaku is the best way to get your business known to
those wanting to travel and experience the world around the corner and around the globe.

We strive to make Chichaku the perfect place to plan your next trip, to get deep into your next destination – to really allow you to get a ‘deep dive’ intensive and totally immersed experience the next time you travel.

We want to share the world with you in your own language. Sign up and join the Chichaku family, create your own profile on our blog and share your travels and travel tips with the world.


Whether that travel is around the world or around the block the depth of experience can be the same. To start planning click here.


Our Editors


Regional Editors


Sandra Phinney

Atlantic Canada Regional Editor



Sandra Phinney is an award-winning writer/photographer who has penned scores of stories for mainstream publications, in-flight magazines, online web sites and travel guides. She’s written two books and delivers writing workshops. 


Although Sandra has travelled to various parts of the world doing everything from dancing with Bedouins in Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert to looking for panthers in the Belize rainforest, she’s especially fond of the region where she lives—Atlantic Canada. As Chichaku’s Atlantic Canada Managing Editor she continues to be amazed at what Atlantic Canada has to offer. For her track record in promoting Atlantic Canada Sandra was awarded a TIAC National Award for Tourism Excellence in 2009, presented by The Globe and Mail.  


Sandra serves on the board of the Travel Media Association of Canada and chairs the Atlantic-at-Large chapter of the Professional Writers Association of Canada. She lives off the grid on the Tusket River outside of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. In her spare time she practices Tai Chi and does wilderness canoeing.



Michael Browne

New York City Regional Editor


mike_brownMichael Browne is a travel writer and editor based in New York City. In addition to his work at Chichaku.com, he has written extensively on the hotel industry in New York as the NY Hotels Examiner for examiner.com and on tourism and travel as managing editor of Travel Agent magazine in print and online. Follow him on Twitter at mbtravel.



Linda DuBois 

California Regional Editor

Linda_DuBoisLinda DuBois has been a fulltime professional journalist since 1987, serving as a news reporter, feature writer and editor for regional and national print and online publications. Linda is grateful to be a lifelong resident of California, where she enjoys traveling throughout its many beautiful regions. She’s thrilled to have the chance to share her home state’s countless virtues with Chichaku readers.



Lanee Lee

Southern California Regional Editor

Lanee_LeeLanee Lee is a Los Angeles based writer who uses her craft to pursue her passions - travel, artisanal food/spirits and maximizing quality of life. Lanee has traveled extensively - always in search of those golden moments of bliss. You can follow her latest adventures: www.laneelee.com, @wanderlushdiary on twitter



Kris Bordessa

Hawaii Regional Editor

Kris_bordessaAs a resident of Hawaii, Kris Bordessa takes advantage of every opportunity to explore the islands. From rainforest hikes and environmental issues to the music and culture of the islands, she’s always delving deeper into what makes the islands magic. She’s the author of several books, writes regularly about Hawaii for various publications, and is perpetually learning the C chord on ukulele.



Maria Schenderlein

Germany Regional Editor

MariaMaria Schenderlein, based in Leipzig/ Germany, has been working as a cultural manager over the past decade and accompanied various classical music festivals as production manager and head of PR. Maria is now running her own PR agency and enjoys writing and being the mediator between the creative sector and the press. In her spare time, travelling is a must do; whether far or near. She loves sharing her travel experiences and all that is to know about Germany with the Chichaku community.



Ferne Arfin

France Regional Editor 

Ferne France photo

Ferne Arfin has been a journalist all her working life and a travel journalist since the Millennium. A London-based American, she's written stories about France for national and international newspapers and magazines in the UK, USA and Europe. She's also written several books, has taught creative writing in British prisons and has published a number of fictional short stories. She also writes extensively for the web.

Ferne's first visit to France in the 1980s turned her into a confirmed Francophile. She has been going back regularly ever since, writing about and enjoying what every region has to offer. In the past few years she has interviewed international jazz musicians at Jazz à Juan, Europe's oldest jazz festival in Antibes/Juan les Pins, has gone skiing in the French Pyrenees and traveled a seven kilometre cable car to the top of the Pic du Midi. She's also an inveterate Paris shopper and regularly travels by train through the channel tunnel to catch up on the sales.




Helen Harper

Britain Regional Editor

UK editor clipart

Helen Harper is a long-time Londoner who never tires of the city on the Thames but, nevertheless enjoys discovering every corner of the United Kingdom. She likes nothing more than pointing her car in a new direction, taking off to see what she can discover and writing about it for magazines, guidebooks, websites and blogs.

During the past twenty years, Britain has changed dramatically. It's more welcoming, cleaner and greener than ever before. London's restaurants now rank with the best in the world and award winning restaurants are scattered all over the British Isles. In her writing, Helen likes to debunk the myths and misconceptions people have about the British - their "bad" food, their "warm" beer, their stand-offishness and their strange sense of humour - none of them true. An inveterate history buff, she also likes to dig deep into the origins of local customs, place names and idioms to unravel the complicated and fascinating stories of what makes the British who they are today.



Natalie Trent

France Regional Editor

Natalie Trent

Natalie Trent, who has been living in the Minervois for over 10 years, has made friends with many locals in the region who have shared their passion and knowledge about the area with her.  While running her B&B in Azille at the hub of the Minervois, she has learned a lot about the area’s best visits and little known tourist sites. Sign-up for Natalie’s free guide to the Minervois & the South of France for more information or visit her website http://www.dolcevita-azille.com



Mike Gerrard and Donna Dailey

Arizona Regional Editors

Mike Gerrard

Donna DaileyMike Gerrard and Donna Dailey are award-winning travel writers who live just outside Tucson. They travel frequently throughout the American South-West, and their work appears in publications worldwide. Donna is a co-author of Dorling Kindersley's Eyewitness SW USA guide, and has also written guides to New York, Chicago, Orlando, Denver, and Los Angeles. Together Mike and Donna publish a website devoted to the Pacific Coast Highway: Pacific Coast Highway Travel. They are also co-editors of the 101 USA Holidays website.


See more of their work at www.101holidays.co.uk/usa, www.Pacific-Coast-Highway-Travel.comwww.mikegerrard.net and www.donnadailey.com.



Jackie Chow

General Editor

Jackie chow

Born and raised in the Netherlands, Jackie Chow has immensely appreciated the experience of living and traveling in Portugal, China and Canada. Now settled with her family on Canada’s west coast in Vancouver, she continues to feel the lure of adventure in other countries. She not only writes about travel in her birth country but also loves traveling in and writing about her beautiful home province of British Columbia. True to her Dutch roots, she enjoys using her bike to get around. She rides an upright bike so she can see more. As a Chichaku she thinks traveling by bike is often the best way to really explore and get to know new places and people. place names and idioms to unravel 



Section Editors 


Stephen Beaumont

Chichaku Beer Editor 

Stephen Beaumont photoStephen Beaumont has been documenting the world of beer for over two decades, authoring, co-authoring or contributing to a dozen books in the process, including 2012’s The World Atlas of Beer, co-written with Tim Webb.


When not drinking or writing about ale and lager, he can usually be found talking about them, whether at a beer dinner in Atlanta, a festival in São Paulo or a competition in Milan.




Brendan McGuigan

Chichaku Wine Editor

BrendanBrendan McGuigan is a writer, traveler, and lover of wine. He makes his home in the wilds of Northern California, in Mendocino County’s wine country. He is always in search of small-scale, boutique winemakers, offering a different take on a classic varietal, or reintroducing heirloom varietals to the mainstream. His favorite contemporary wine is the 2001 Jean-Luc Colombo Amour de Dieu."