This blog is about both travel and sustainability.

Wanting to see the world and caring about keeping it in good shape? I think those are pretty compatible interests.

As it turns out, I’m not alone. A lot of you have written to say you found me via one topic and stuck around for the other. Thank you for that!

Ketti, the travel writer behind this blog, grinning in a desert arroyo, and modeling the dress code for UnCruise in Baja: Casual with light layers. ©KettiWilhelm2023
This is how excited I am that you’re here!

Tilted Map” means a different way of looking at something familiar.

I chose the name because I believe we can make any kind of travel more sustainable – it’s just a matter of looking at things differently. (And no, it doesn’t have to be boring, or expensive, or involve a kayak or a hut in the rainforest.)

If that sounds interesting to you, drop your email below and I’ll send you my latest articles and insider updates:

The Classic Bio:

Hi! My name is Ketti Wilhelm, and I’m the founder and writer of Tilted Map. 

The Quirky Anecdotes

As a millennial, I know my bio should share quirky anecdotes about me, like how many cats or plants I own. (No cats – I travel too much. Lots of plants that are drought-resistant.)

Or maybe my favorite cocktail? (A rye Manhattan or, lately, a French 75.)

But I think the traditional bits of biography below are important, too. 

Manhattans in Kansas City

Why Listen to Me?

I never expected to be one of those people whose careers are exactly what they studied for but, in an alternative sort of way, I am just that:

I have a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a minor in International Development from the University of Montana, and a master’s in what I generally shorten to Sustainable Business from the University of Bocconi, in Milan, Italy.

I’ve also traveled to dozens of countries and lived abroad in China, Italy, France, and Spain. (Since the name of this blog is an homage to my love for maps, you can see them all mapped out below.) 

I can’t find a photo to match the seriousness of this section, so here I am with my solar panel & the van my husband and I converted.
  • Visited & written about – CLICK for articles!
  • Visited but have NOT written about

It’s not about being perfect; it’s about doing better.

I’m not perfect, and I don’t believe in preaching perfection – don’t get me wrong, I would if I thought it would help. But I think reality is more useful.

Ketti, the traveler writing this review, wearing a bright orange life jacket and grinning with a glass of champagne in her hand during the safety meeting on the first night of the Baja UnCruise trip. ©KettiWilhelm2023
Kicking off my first “cruise,” a very alternative one, in Baja California.

Imperfection is power.

Not trying to be perfect lets us work in the gray areas – where people actually live, and where change can happen.

  • I don’t flight-shame.
    Look, I travel a lot, and when I cross the ocean, I don’t do it in a sailboat. (But I did add up my carbon footprint from flights last year, and learned a lot in the process.)
  • My garbage doesn’t fit in a mason jar.
    I use the term “zero-waste” for my reviews of products that are produced responsibly, with less packaging and designed to replace single-use items. But I don’t mean “zero” literally; I mean we can do better.
  • I’m not even vegan.
    While most of the Italian recipes I share are meatless (and damn tasty), I’m not vegan.

What Sustainable Travel Means Here

To me, “sustainable travel” isn’t the same as “eco-travel.” Meaning it doesn’t only apply to nature tourism and the outdoors. There are more sustainable ways to do every type of travel.

A lot of dollars flow through the travel industry. One of my biggest goals is to help readers spend their travel budgets with companies that operate ethically, and do their best to protect the environment. (Because in every industry – airlines, hotels, cruise ships, whatever – there are companies doing better than the rest.)

I believe in trying to do the best we can, while still living our lives and getting out and seeing this beautiful world. 
Ketti Wilhelm, the author of this blog, walking across the deck of a sail boat, while on a scientific research trip with Sail & Explore. ©KettiWilhelm2022
That’s me! On sailing trip in Greece that turned out to be both embarrassing and illuminating.
I’m also passionate about supporting the businesses – usually small businesses that real people pour their lives into – to make better possible. 
I even built a map of sustainability-focused small businesses, which you can add to!

The tech to create this one is powered by another small business, which happens to be founded and run by women (as, coincidentally, many of the eco-minded I’ve written about). Read more about the map and the original businesses on it in this blog post.

powered by Proxi

Why I Started Tilted Map

I’ve always loved to do two things: write and travel. When I finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, I moved to China, started writing for travel magazines, and started my first, very personal, blog.

So I had already been living abroad and travel blogging for years when I went back to school in Italy for my masters in Sustainable Business & Energy.

When I finished the program, the only job I wanted was to combine the two – travel and sustainability. That’s how Tilted Map began.

More About Me (The Personal Stuff)

So far, I’ve lived abroad for five years of my life – but I grew up in the mountains of Northwest Montana, right on the border of Glacier National Park. I’ve always been a nature lover, and that’s part of why I’ve been writing about sustainability and the environment ever since I started blogging. Currently, my home base is in Boston.

Adding a note to a box on a hike in Alaska.

I left Montana after college, with a job teaching English to 300 university students in China, a side-hustle as a freelance magazine writer… and just one word of Mandarin.

(If you want some short, fun reading, my old posts about China are some of my favorites.)

And while living in China, I met the man who would become my husband. He’s from Italy, and when we were both ready to leave China, we spent six months backpacking around New Zealand and Southeast Asia to get to know each other.

(Trust me: After living in a minivan for two months with someone, you know whether the relationship can work or not.)

Sustainable travel blogger Ketti Wilhelm (center) and her husband on a tuk-tuk in Thailand. ©KettiWilhelm2022
Making our way through Thailand, somewhere near the Malaysian border.
So we moved to Italy together!

I studied Italian full-time for months, while fruitlessly applying for jobs, we got married in Milan, and I went to graduate school for Sustainability & Energy Management at Bocconi University.

I fell in love with a lot of aspects of Italian culture – and I love to write about cultural differences between the US and Italy, which, of course, includes a lot about food culture.

Fresh off the plane after moving to Italy! I still get excited about graffitied walls and vintage Fiats.

I’ve also briefly held a desk job in France (during which I time I wrote only one post about France, and it’s about toilet paper). I spent a semester studying in Spain, and some summers guiding students around Nicaragua and the Caribbean. And had healthy stints as a nomad with a backpack in between.

[My mostly-serious tips for how to move abroad are all in this post.]

Questions? Ideas?

Whether it’s a product to test, a book to read, or a destination that’s doing something uniquely sustainable, I’d love to hear what’s on your mind! I might not have the answer, but I spend a lot of time testing products, calling experts, and tracking down answers for this blog, so fire away.

Now, what to read next?

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