Meet the Mag - Yolo Journal

  • 3 min read

We recently discovered Yolo, a travel journal from the US. It publishes three times a year and each issue is a collection of travel stories from around the world. Sometimes there's a loose theme (adventure, the Med...) but what we like about it is you never know where the next story will take you. With different contributors for each story writing about their personal trips, you get to experience places through their eyes. Some notice the architecture, some love the sounds of a place, some revel in its history.  The latest issue has a lovely blend of trips you could take this year (Puglia or the Dolomites in summer, anyone?) and once-in-a-lifetime destinations like the Galápagos and the Skeleton Coast in Namibia. We asked the editor, Yolanda Edwards, to tell us a little bit more about how and why she started the mag.

The latest issue, Spring 2024 has just arrived. Grab yourself a copy here or browse our collection of Yolo issues. You only live once...


Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to make a print mag.

I’m a longtime magazine editor and for years I’ve worked in travel editorial—in my 20s as a photo editor at Condé Nast Traveler, then as the travel & lifestyle editor at Cookie (RIP) and later as the creative director of Condé Nast Traveler. I’ve always gotten the best advice from people who travel a lot, and have great taste—not necessarily writers. I’ve also planned trips just from seeing a photo of a place and falling in love with it. So I wanted to put something out there that was really an inspiration starting point, gathered from different creative and curious people. 


When and how did the idea for Yolo come about?

I've always felt that travel magazines were missing out on the opportunity to show real finds from interesting people; instead, they spent a lot of money to pay people within the industry to go around for them. Sure, the stories were beautifully written, but my feeling was that people wanted to feel transported and see images of beautiful places. I think we all want to know what people with taste have found on their travels… and we don’t really care as much about what new hotel is opening in what town. I wanted to make a visual platform, in print, for this kind of content. So when I lost my job at Condé Nast Traveler in 2018, I thought it was the right time to test this idea. I knew a lot of photographers and great travelers who weren't given enough credit for their travel advice or great photography. I started contacting all my friends and contacts and once the first issue was out in the world, more people reached out to me and this network of really fascinating and creative people started to grow. 


How would you describe Yolo to someone who didn’t know it? What’s your elevator pitch?!

The premise of Yolo Journal is timeless stories, personal experiences, and emotional storytelling that is about place. It’s not about be-all end-all guides created with search algorithms (instead of people) in mind. We don’t aim to be comprehensive—we know you have your smartphone right next to you—but we wanted to create something beautiful, filled with interesting ideas/tips/leads that can bring you somewhere, and is a jumping off point. 


Finally, (we ask everyone this), in this day and age, why make a print mag?

I’m a forever lover of the printed page, and I think, in a very noisy landscape where we are inundated with images and information, to be able to sit down with a magazine, that speaks to you, and isn’t filled with loads of distracting ads, is something we all want. There is a 'getting lost' feeling that happens when you look at print. We’re so activated when we are looking at our screens, and while they are amazing tools, it’s important to be able to turn off a bit.

Well quite. Thank you Yolanda.


Fancy some travel inspiration? Browse our collection of Yolo issues here.  





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