Barbara Noe Kennedy

Headshot of Barbara Noe Kennedy


  • University of California at Davis
  • University of Missouri

  • Former longtime senior editor of National Geographic Travel Publishing
  • Author of several guidebooks including National Geographic Walking Washington, D.C. guidebook and National Geographic Traveler: Provence and the Côte d’Azur
  • Freelance travel journalist since 2015, with stories appearing in TripSavvy, Fodor’s Travel, Lonely Planet, Washington Post, BBC Travel, World War II magazine, and more


Barbara's first job out of college was with The Asia Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco that promotes democracy in Asian countries. Because of that position, Barbara moved to Bangkok for a year, where she decided to try writing. She wrote for the Bangkok Post, Asia’s largest English-language newspaper, and some luxury magazines. She covered horse racing, tin smelting, and other topics.

From there, Barbara returned to the U.S. to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. For her externship, she was sent to Bulgaria to work on an English-language newspaper, but decided to send a letter to National Geographic Traveler asking if they needed an intern. They said yes, and that internship turned into a 23-year career with National Geographic. During that time, she helped develop the travel book program while freelancing on the side for the Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, and London Telegraph. Barbara also contributed to the NatGeo blog, books, and more. She left her position in 2015 to focus solely on writing and editing as a freelance travel journalist. Her work has appeared in TripSavvy, Fodor’s Travel, Lonely Planet, Washington Post, BBC Travel, World War II magazine, and more.


Barbara earned her bachelor’s degrees in international relations and French from the University of California at Davis, and her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia. While at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Barbara took a reporting class where she was able to explore travel through a religion beat.

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