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About Sand In My Suitcase and Us

Welcome to Sand In My Suitcase! We’re humbled you want to know more about us and our blog.

We’re George and Janice Mucalov, once practicing lawyers, now travel writers and blog publishers – much more fun, don’t you think?

To dive right into our blog, start here.

Our award-winning blog is about luxury travel (splurgey and affordable).

Exploring both exotic and close-to-home places. The wonder of discovering different cultures. Tasting the world via food and wine. Dreaming where to go next.

All interwoven with a twist of adventure!

Who we are

Passionate travelers, we’ve been roaming the globe ever since we were young.

George was born in Romania and raised in Germany. Janice was born in England and raised in Australia. We met in Calgary (Canada), moved to Vancouver a few years later and now live in Victoria, BC.

We started our travel writing careers as travel journalists, contributing to leading print magazines and newspapers like USA TodayThe Globe and MailToronto StarSouth China Morning PostVancouver SunenRoute, TravelAge West and AAA Carolinas GO.

Then, when the Internet began reshaping the way we search for and read information, Janice launched this luxury adventure travel blog in 2012, with George’s enthusiastic support.

Today, it’s a top-ranked source of trusted travel content, with thousands of e-newsletter subscribers.

Best travel blog awards!

Sand In My Suitcase won 1st Place for “Best Travel Blog” in the 2017 Society of American Travel Writers (Can. chapter) annual awards.

And we’re tickled that we’ve won many more travel writing and blogging awards too!

Janice Mucalov

Founder + Chief Luxury Writer

Driven by wanderlust and an unapologetic taste for traveling in style, Janice is perpetually on the hunt for bucket-list places and experiences to write about. She’s the planner. And the worrywart. Her happy place? Paddling a SUP board.

George Mucalov

Editor + Co-Publisher

George is Janice’s travel companion, researcher, editor and more. Curious about the world, he’s a history and culture buff, stoked to learn about the people and places they visit. He’s said to sound Irish, though he’s never been to Ireland. Yet.

Our travel style

We confess – we’re luxury lovers.

Yes, that includes swank villa resorts with private pool suites.

But we also love discovering affordable boutique inns oozing charm and character.

Where we like to travel

Winter destinations

Like many people, we can’t wait to escape the cold in winter and head to warm sunny places.

We’ve visited Mexico (especially Los Cabos) so many times, it’s almost our second home. (For more Los Cabos goodness, see our Cabo Visitor blog.)

Hawaii and Caribbean destinations, like the island of St. Martin/St. Maarten, are also favorite winter escapes of ours.


Our joint love affair with Europe started when we first visited Portugal together, just after getting married.

And, LOL (though it wasn’t funny at the time!), we had everything stolen from our rental car – including our passports and all our money. We were left with just the swimsuits we were wearing!

Anyway, we think we’re somewhat savvier travelers now.

And in the spring and fall, we love getting our fix of culture (and sharing our insights with you!) by visiting Mallorca, Croatia, Italy, unique Greek islands and other European destinations.

George has family in Germany, so that’s also a natural draw for luring us back to Europe.

British Columbia

Come summer? We’re happy just to stay put, discovering more fun experiences and places in our home province of British Columbia.


Oh, we should mention we also have a crush on cruising – especially small ship and river cruises.

What we like to do when traveling

When we travel, you’ll find us hiking, snorkeling and bicycling.

Sussing out cool museums. Gaping at UNESCO sites. Strolling city streets from end to end (poking our heads into this and that).

And having fun!

Ethnic cuisine and good wine? Losing ourselves in long conversations with local guides and people?

Also a big part of the enjoyment of our travels.

Travel writing memberships

We’re both members of the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC).

Janice is also a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA).

Meaningful travel

While we enjoy traveling well, we’re not totally hedonistic :-).

We try to travel responsibly. And if possible, we prefer to write about hotels, cruises, tours and experiences that help in some way to make this world a better place.

We also donate to Doctors Without Borders.

We write what we honestly think

All views and opinions expressed in our travel articles and posts are our own. We dish on the good – and tell you about the not-so-good.

We adhere to the codes of ethics for professional travel media set by SATW, TMAC and NATJA.

See our editorial and disclosure policy for more, including how we create and write content.

Discover our travel blog

Okay, enough about us. Maybe you’d like to now take a peek at our travel posts?

Start here! This will take you to our destination travel guides, most popular posts and more…

If interested in advertising or partnering with us, see our Media Kit.

To contact us, please send an email.

About the authors

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!

T. Peskin

Thursday 25th of January 2018

Hello, I saw your Pinterest board Travel The World and it led me here! Love your travel blog and all your amazing photos. I wanted to see if I could possibly be added to the Pinterest board as a collaborator. In any case, we now have a new travel blog to read through in the wee hours of the night!!! Thanks so much for the consideration!


Tuesday 1st of March 2016

So glad l found your blog! Great site and photography. I look forward to diving into the posts :-)

Janice and George

Tuesday 1st of March 2016

Thank you! We're happy you enjoy our blog...

Hung Thai

Friday 19th of February 2016

Hi Janice and George, fellow Pacific Northwesters, just dropping by to say that you have an amazing site and I look forward to reading more. I created a group for travel bloggers who want to connect with each other and would like to invite you to join. Have a great one!


Friday 18th of December 2015

Very nice blog with pleasant writing. Hope you will continue this for a long time!

Chaitali Patel

Monday 30th of November 2015

Stumbled upon your blog and now look forward to keeping up with your travels around the world! :)

Janice and George

Tuesday 1st of December 2015

Happy you enjoy our blog :-)