About Us

kris tom first avenue minneapolis
Yes, we did see Prince at Minneapolis’ First Avenue many times.

Kristin and Tom’s Story

Kristin Henning and Tom Bartel are life-long Minnesotans. Almost. Kristin is born and bred, Swedish heritage, classic Minnesotan who gets anxious if she’s too far from the Mississippi River or one of the state’s 14,000 lakes. (Yes, in true Minnesotan understatement, we only claim 10,000 lakes on our license plates.) She grew up in Saint Cloud, just blocks from the Mississippi River and owned a canoe long before she had a car.

Tom moved to Minnesota from Iowa in 1969 to go to college (where he and Kristin met) and never went back. Even though he’s been in Minnesota for more than 50 years, Kristin sometimes, when she’s feeling particularly feisty, reminds him of his dubious provenance. Tom responds by saying he’s Minnesotan by choice, not by accident.

Kristin and Tom, it could be said, have writing about Minnesota deep in their genes. They were the founders of the weekly newspaper City Pages, and also of The Rake Magazine. After 30 years in publishing, and a few more years spent teaching journalism at the University of Minnesota, they decided to sell their house and begin traveling the world.

Even before taking to the road full time, Kris and Tom were students of the world. They’ve spent months in London going to the theater, a summer in Rome studying Latin, three months in Florence studying art history, and have visited nearly every major museum and church in Europe. They’ve lived in Madrid and Quito while teaching English, and earned their keep house sitting in Spain, Chile, Australia, and elsewhere. The results of those travels can be seen on the much-awarded world travel blog Travel Past 50. (You can see a lot more about Kristin and Tom, including a partial list of their awards and press coverage on Travel Past 50.

Kristin and Tom bring their considerable experience as professional writers and photographers, publishers and marketers, to MN Trips. It’s only natural that they enjoy sharing their personal travel stories and love of their home state. Please join us as we re-explore our favorite places.

If you’d like to work with us, please see this page.