Raised in Cayey, Puerto Rico, Melissa spent her childhood years writing adventure stories in her bedroom, pretending her backyard was the set of the film Romancing the Stone—she was Joan Wilder, of course—and planning on one day becoming a professional explorer. She started what would become a collection of dozens of journals when she was nine years old, filling them with articles and personal stories. Today, you can find her driving through dirt roads that lead to hidden swathes of turquoise-lapped sand in Vieques, eating saporous roti in a beach shack in Anegada, or hiking the impossibly lush and humid Piton peaks in St. Lucia. She now writes for Fortune 500 companies, Silicon Valley startups and print and online publications, including Lonely Planet, Matador Network, MasterCard, Princess Cruises, USA Today’s 10Best, SF Gate and others. She married a Jack T. Colton type and they sail together in the Caribbean.