About Penguin and Pia

Penguin and Pia is a bilingual (English and German) website – created by Eric and Lisa Wychopen – dedicated to travelling and exploring Europe and North America since these are the two regions of the world that we come from and know best.

You’ll find everything from detailed city guides and day trip recommendations to full country itineraries, transport options, packing advice, and more.

As our website has grown, we have been lucky enough to share our knowledge with reputable websites and publications such as BBC TravelTravel ChannelBusiness InsiderUSA TodayMashable and Matador Network.

Every post on Penguin and Pia has been created by us or one of our contributors. Below you can learn more about the people who make this site a reality!

Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or looking to explore a new place for the first time, we hope Penguin and Pia is a great resource to help you plan your trip!

Why Penguin and Pia?

So, why the name “Penguin and Pia”, you ask? That’s a good question. After all, the logo of this very website depends on it.

As the story goes, we have a love for animals – penguins, in particular – and falling in love long distance can be quite tough. One year, Eric sent Lisa a stuffed penguin – named “Penguin” – for her birthday from Canada.

Months later, while travelling together in Krakow, Poland, we stumbled upon a stuffed animal shop where we found another penguin. It was love at first sight. We bought her, Lisa later named her “Pia” – and the legend was born. We originally named the blog after them and the rest is history.

We still have our two stuffed penguins to this day. They serve as a reminder of our travels, our opportunities and challenges of dating long distance, and how fortunate we are to have found each other.

Meet us

We’re Eric and Lisa Wychopen (a married couple in our early 30s) and we’re the creators of Penguin and Pia.

photo collage of young couple posing in four different locations.
Clockwise from top left: The beach in Sitges, Spain, riding the Sea-to-Sky Gondola in Squamish, BC, Canada, Greenwich Park in London, UK, and on a boat cruise in Cologne, Germany!

Between the two of us, we’ve lived, worked, and studied in several European countries and travelled extensively (across Canada and most of Europe). Some of our more local experiences in our home province of Ontario, Canada have been documented on our sister travel site Ontario Away.

We’ve been lucky enough to have some amazing experiences on our travels – and we are eager to explore places more deeply – and more sustainably – in the future.

Now based near beautiful Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada, we use our location to explore the rest of Canada (it’s a big place) and also try to spend a few months a year in Europe visiting family and friends.

Eric Wychopen

Co-Founder, Content Creator & English Editor

Eric is a Canadian & Hungarian content creator with just under 50 countries under his belt. He’s volunteered in Australia, taught in England, studied his Master’s degree in Edinburgh, Scotland, and lived in the UK, Netherlands, and Canada.

He has a love for travel photography, sampling local food and drinks (read: beer), and connecting with others from across the globe.

Next to writing on Penguin and Pia, he has also contributed to companies in the travel space such as Sherpa, Matador, GoOverseas and Spot.

man with black sunglasses and blue shirt posing with spanish city below.
woman with long hair smiling at camera with green bushes behind.

Lisa Wychopen

Co-Founder, Content Creator & German Editor

Lisa is German content writer who studied Business and Languages/Cultures at university.

She spent a year in the United States during high school, went to university in Copenhagen, Denmark, did an internship in Edinburgh, Scotland, studied abroad in Bilbao, Spain, and lived (with Eric) in the Netherlands.

Having travelled to over 20 countries in Europe – and having lived in 5, she now calls Ontario, Canada her (second) home.

Meet Our Contributors

Penguin and Pia wouldn’t be possible without our contributors. It is their local knowledge and skills that make this website the best it can be. Learn a little bit about them below!

Laura Oxley

Canada and UK Travel Enthusiast

Laura is a Canadian content creator who has called Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and the UK home.

Her travel experiences have taken her to the volcanoes of Central America, the waterfalls of Hawaii, the castles of England, and to many other places.

In addition to creating She Who Wanders, her work has been published on HI-Hostels Canada and Nomadasaurus.

woman holding camera in hand wearing green hat and jacket standing in street.

Natalie Collins

Spain Travel Enthusiast

After leaving England in 2017, Natalie lived in a surfer town in Morocco for a few years before settling near Barcelona with her foundling street dog Zina.

She is a writer and affiliate manager, and co-manages a surf brand in the UK. Her travel style is slow travel, exploring cute European towns and quiet beaches, and indulging in the culture of local food and wine.

Other contributors to Penguin and Pia include Minna from Estonia, Greg from California, United States, and Peter, a Canadian living in New Zealand.