Welcome to Perpetually Packed!

perpetualHello there!

My name is Whitney, and I suffer from wanderlust. I try to live normally and stay still, but I always have the overwhelming desire to travel… wander… explore!

My friend, Sunny, says that we were gypsies in a past life. Traveling is just in our blood, our souls.

During my holiday break, I was asked, “Why don’t you have a travel blog?” And my response was, “Well, why don’t I?!”

So here it is. Two of my greatest passions: traveling and writing.

My goal for this blog is to inspire others to wander about.

I plan to document all of my travels, both domestic and abroad. I’ll write about where I go what I experience.

When traveling, I try to live like a local. I hate resembling a tourist, so I learn about the culture and blend in. It’s the best way to meet people and find amazing places that aren’t on the tourist maps.

And speaking of maps, forget them! Just explore and get wonderfully lost.

Wandering the earth has taught me so much about life, love, humans and myself.  By relieving yourself of distractions, you can experience it too.

Come on this journey with me. See my experiences, and then go find your own.

That’s it for now!

Until next time, happy travels!

P.S. – To learn more about me, visit my About Me page!


Love and (wander) lust

I love exploring and going on adventures. I’ve been in love with it as long as I can remember. When I was 5 years old, I wanted to go to Africa. In middle school my favorite city was Paris, though I’d never even been outside the U.S. As I got older, I had opportunities to travel outside the States, and I jumped on them. After I saw the world outside my small hometown, I wanted to travel and live and never come back. And that’s what I’ve done, for the most part.

So what’s holding me back, if even just a little? The second love of my life: romance. I love being in love. I love seeing people in love. I’m a sucker for romance. And I’ve been fortunate enough to love during my life. I’ve had flings and long-term relationships. I have loved and been loved in return. But something was missing in all those affairs: my first love.

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Coming off a traveling high and (not so) patiently waiting for my next adventure

Me in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, summer of 2015

I always get a high when I travel. It’s a rush of newness, excitement, adventure and maybe even a little fear. It’s an adrenaline rush.

Then whenever I leave, I feel a profound sadness. Coming down off that high is brutal sometimes.

Some vacations give me enough of a break that I don’t mind getting home to real life. But those are always the trips that are familiar, places without a sense of adventure.

When I’m somewhere exciting, I never want to leave. I’m like an adventure junkie; whichever place holds the highest level of excitement is where I want to be.

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When getting older scares you, remember how far you’ve come

Flying over Lake Michigan to Canada
Flying over Lake Michigan to Canada

I’ve been feeling pretty crappy emotionally lately. I couldn’t figure out why for weeks. I was stressed, unhappy and dreading my birthday, which I’ve never done before.

My birthday trip came at a perfect time. Traveling and exploring someplace new always helps me clear my head. It seems like being separated from the place I feel stressed gives me the space and perspective I need to figure things out.

And it turns out that I’m getting older. Go figure! I turned 28, and it really hit me that life is flying by. It’s been 10 years since high school and almost 10 years since I first went to college.

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2015: my goals for the year

A few friends celebrating the start of 2015
A few friends celebrating the start of 2015

Well, it’s not exactly New Year’s anymore, but 2015 is still pretty fresh. And I want to share my goals for this year with you.

First of all, this post is late because I’ve been so busy this year. I moved to Chicago in September and started my full-time job. Since then, I’ve been working 40 hours a week, going to school full time and trying to get my life and apartment organized. It’s been crazy! Things are finally starting to slow down, so I’m hoping to post more often.

I love resolutions because I love planning my life. It excites me to peer into the future and try to see what will happen. I have so many things I want to achieve in my life. New Year’s offers a fresh start and a renewed fervor to get stuff done.

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Packed for summer: Saying goodbye is never easy

I had the most wonderful time in Chicago this summer. I’ve known I was meant to live in a large city, and I’m so grateful I got the opportunity to do so this summer.

Leaving Chicago... but I'll be back!
Leaving Chicago… but I’ll be back!

Even more exciting, I got asked to stay. At the end of this month, I’ll be moving on from Nebraska. A fresh start in a big city is precisely what I need at this time of my life.

I came to Nebraska five and a half years ago. I moved for a relationship that didn’t work out, but I stayed. It’s not so bad in Lincoln, Neb. Plus, I had state residency, so school was cheaper. I broke my three-year hiatus and started taking classes.

I figured out what I wanted out of my life. I learned to love myself. I found out how to say no to people and things that were bad for me. I made and lost friends. These last years in Nebraska have been the hardest I’ve ever had to live through.

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Loneliness and sacrifice: The heartbreaks travelers don’t talk about

A lot of people see traveling as an easy life, a permanent vacation. They think you’re not really living your life. You’re procrastinating, running from responsibility. You’re carefree.

But it’s not true.

An Orthodox Church in Vladmir, Russia.
An Orthodox Church in Vladmir, Russia.

I’m not saying that living a wandering life isn’t wonderful, rewarding or exciting. But I am stating that it’s not all 5-star resorts or running off into the sunset. Sacrifices must be made.

You have to make difficult decisions about spending money. You can’t own anything that will weigh you down. It can strain relationships. It can be stressful, difficult and worst of all, lonely.

But when you’re a traveler, it’s not a choice. It’s who you are. No place really feels like home, so you travel to be happy. The whole world becomes your home. You wander to feel fulfilled, to learn new things, to taste adventure. It’s how you embrace and contribute to the world.

But oh, can it be lonely.

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This summer marks Wrigley Field's 100-year anniversary!

Packed for summer: A classic Chicago experience

I’ve been in Chicago for a little more than a week, but today felt like the most
Chicago-ey one yet.

This first week, I was trying to get into a routine: find my way to work, get my job done, come home. I didn’t really explore much; I left it for my weekend, which ended today.

Shortly after awaking, my boyfriend and I went for coffee. We visited a library and a used book store in Little Italy/University Village, where I live. For lunch, we stopped at a small, Italian hot dog restaurant. It seemed like a family business with a mother and her adult children working.

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27 things I’ve learned in my 27 years

I turn 27 today!

Fall 2010
Me during autumn 2010

I’m so grateful to be spending my birthday week doing so many amazing things: relaxing, traveling and witnessing my friends’ wedding. I am also spending my birthday in New York City, my favorite city in the world!

Life is long, wonderful, painful and beautiful. Through all the ups and downs, all the good and bad, we learn. We figure out how to appreciate the tender and simple moments of life while flexing our strength and endurance when the hard times show up.

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Traveling on a budget: Saving up before the big trip

Money. Blech. Am I right?

Unfortunately, it’s a necessity. It causes lots of anxiety and doubt for people wanting to travel. Because of this, traveling on a budget is one of the top inquires I’ve had.

I know it seems impossible, but almost anyone can travel. Yes! It’s true! I don’t make much money at all, but I still travel because of my priorities and lifestyle choices. Many people just write traveling off because they don’t have spare cash flowing into their bank accounts. Here’s a secret: Most people don’t! Traveling takes planning and sacrifice. I promise, it’s doable.

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