A Mini Adventure

casual outfit

Since I graduated from college, backpacks hold a different meaning than they did in school. Their sole purpose is no longer lugging around twenty pounds of books to and from class (thank goodness). Nope, to me, a backpack now symbolizes something much different—adventure.

It all started with a post-graduation trip through Europe. I packed up my gigantic backpack, and remember throwing it on my back, nearly falling over under its weight. Despite my novice backpacking skills, the trip was pretty epic. Somewhere along the way, I started falling in love, became more open-minded, and learned to live more intentionally and in the moment—I’ll be sharing the full story on Backpacks.com soon! Thankfully, by the end of the trip, I’d gotten stronger from lugging that big thing around and was confidently slinging it on my back in just a few quick motions. That backpack was with me through some pretty memorable adventures, so whenever I look at it, I’m transported back to how I felt in those moments.

Speaking of backpacks, I recently snagged this cute new pack on Backpacks.com—a newly launched website that has the best backpacks for every journey, whether you’re going hiking or simply to work. It’s made by Brooks and has been ideal for day-to-day city living.

work backpack

striped shirt
summer outfit

casual summer outfit

The longer I’ve lived in Chicago, the more I notice how I’ve unintentionally edited my wardrobe to fit my city lifestyle. I’ve traded out numerous pairs of heels for flats and sneakers, and finally traded out my cross body computer bag for this backpack. Now that I’ve had it for a few weeks, I’m kicking myself for not investing in one earlier. It’s made city-living infinitely easier. Being able to be hands-free while hopping on the train or walking around town is so much nicer! I love the understated blue (also comes in grey, black and brown) and all the sneaky zipper pouches for keeping keys and wallet safe while I’m on the train, and keeping my things organized on the inside.

No, this backpack wouldn’t carry enough for a six-week trip to Europe, but it’s given me a new sense of adventure in my own town. Last week, instead of sitting inside my apartment and working all day, I decided to get out and shake up my routine. I brought all the things I would need for the day, threw on a comfortable outfit—a striped tee, jeans shorts and sneakers—and left with no real plans in place.

Finding balance, taking time to relax, and halting worried and stressful thoughts has been the theme of my life this month. I’ve become such a planner and walking out the front door with zero plans felt pretty liberating! And also a little scary—would I get anything done today if I hadn’t planned for it?!

stripes and jean shorts

striped shirt

casual weekend look

I started my morning at a neighborhood coffee shop, doing my best to not start making plans for the rest of my dad and instead, just let myself decide what to do in the moment. It wasn’t exactly easy for me, but it was a good practice in mindfulness. I eventually got hungry and walked to lunch at Beatrix and then strolled around my neighborhood, stopping at this little inlet to enjoy the sounds of the water lapping up against the side of the dock. Taking moments like this to enjoy the stillness in the bustling city gives me a new sense of appreciation and thankfulness.

Eventually I went home to take Oliver out for his afternoon walk, but my mini adventure that day was just the reminder I needed to get outside of my own bubble more often. Adventure comes in all shapes and sizes, it’s just a matter of perspective!

What adventures have you had lately? How can you incorporate more adventure into your everyday life?

BTW, a perfect day in Sonoma, and where did you meet your spouse?

In collaboration with Backpacks.com.

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