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Elisa Parhad

Elisa Parhad grew up with a fishing rod in her hand and a camping pillow under her head. Born in Seattle and raised in Albuquerque, she spent summers and weekends exploring the Pacific Northwest and Southwest, as well as Montana, Wyoming, Colorado. Family trips often involved a car, a national park, and walks in the woods. With a rockhound for a father, road stops involved old mines, ghost towns and a good dollop of 49er history. 

After studying Cultural Anthropology and International Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin, she moved to Japan for a year to teach English. She came back with the idea of a book that could explain what she saw in the landscape. This came to fruition in the form of a series called “Guides for the Eyes,” which she publishes through her company, EyeMuse Books.

Hoping to find writers for the series, Parhad started attending travel writer conferences, which taught her how to pitch and write for outlets such as Sierra, BBC Travel, LA Times, and Travel + Leisure. Her areas of expertise include family travel, road trips, outdoor adventure, national parks, hospitality and travel trends. 

As a parent who sees tremendous value in both general travel and exploring the outdoors, Parhad typically spends time on the road with her husband and two sons. She lives near the foothills of Pasadena, California. 


  • Topics of expertise: Camping, hiking, national parks, family travel, the American West, road trips, cultural history
  • Years of experience in these topics: Elisa has been exploring the outdoors since she was a young child—fishing, hiking and camping with her family. She also grew up in the Pacific Northwest where nature is part of daily living.
  • Favorite topic to write about: Elisa is intrigued with the cultural histories of the world’s places—from the making of America’s national parks to the reason people in a particular area paint their doors a certain color. She also loves writing about trends, and why people do what they do
  • Favorite travel destinations: Elisa loves mountains as opposed to beaches, and the extremes of completely unpopulated places (mountains, lakes, etc.) and large, populated cities.
  • Past applicable professions: Elisa was a “cool hunter” for several companies, tasked with finding the next thing that will spark the way we live, think, work, play. 

Education and Experience:

  • Education: University of Texas at Austin for International Business and Marketing and Cultural Anthropology
  • Awards: Best Travel Book for the New Mexico Book Awards in 2010 
  • Books or other publications: New Mexico: A Guide for the Eyes, Southern California: A Guide for the Eyes, Los Angeles Is…, New York Is…, Pool Party
  • Other place you write for: BBC Travel, Travel+Leisure, LA Parent, LA Times, TripAdvisor/Viator

About the Author:

  • Location: Pasadena, California
  • Places You’ve Lived or Extensively Traveled: Japan, Eastern Europe, and the Western United States: (the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico)
  • Preferred Pronouns: She/her

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