Alumni Update: Chelsey Knuth

After completing my Urban Geography BA in 2018, I launched an Instagram account called “The Wisconsinista” that combined my passion for tourism with my knowledge of Wisconsin and its geography, both environmental and cultural.

Through sharing travel guides, hikes, tips, and local attractions, I aim to inspire Wisconsinites to embrace travel at all scales and seek out adventure right in their own backyard. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought extra importance to this mission as international travel shut down around the world and staying near home became the norm.

In the nearly four years since its inception, more than 13,000 Wisconsinites and Midwesterners have become a part of this online community. Through conversation and content creation promoting the beauty of the Midwest, we are collectively manifesting a positive shift in the dialogue about this region within the mainstream tourism industry that so often labels it as “boring” and ignores its value as a vacation destination.

As word of this passion project has spread, so too have opportunities to discuss it on larger platforms. I have not only received sponsorships from Wisconsinbased businesses and Midwest tourism boards to help promote their products and destinations but have also made media appearances ranging from guest speaking on Discover Wisconsin’s “The Cabin” podcast to acting in a Kwik Trip commercial!

Through it all, the driving force of my mission and brand is my love for place, space, scale, and all things geography. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to study this in-depth at UWM and for the passion my professors had for this state that helped to fuel my own.

If you would like to follow along on my adventures across Wisconsin, the Midwest, and beyond, you can do so on Instagram or on Facebook by searching @thewisconsinista.