27 in 27 Goals Recap + A New List | RebeccaWanderlusting

27 in 27 Goals Recap and A New List

What a year it has been.  27 was an interesting age to be; there were certainly a lot of ups and downs.  I feel very proud of what I’ve accomplished in this year, and it makes me hopeful for the year ahead.  Though there were some losses, I also feel like this year brought me some amazing new experiences.  I always start the year with a list of goals correlating with the age I turn, and my list of 27 goals proved to be quite the challenge.  I think I did pretty good considering.  Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Canadian AdventureDONE! – I went to Toronto and Niagara in Ontario in October.  Read about that trip here, here, here or here.
  2. Take a Trip on an Amtrak TrainDONE! – An Amtrak train transported me in style from Union Station in Chicago to Union Station in St. Louis.
  3. Run a Race – My friends, I tried my best to make this happen.  I signed up for two different races this year and couldn’t do one due to an injury and the second one was cancelled on me due to a crazy storm.  This one will have to be added to next year’s list.
  4. Have an Article Published in a MagazineDONE! Magnificent Mile– It was an online magazine but it still counts! I wrote something for Viva Lifestyle & Travel this summer about the here in Chicago.
  5. Read More Non-Fiction  – DONE! Out of the 25 books I’ve read so far this year, 15 of them were non-fiction.
  6. Be Better About NetworkingDONE! – Thanks to Shapr and attending local events, I can confidently say I am better at networking than I was at the start of this year.
  7. Find a CollaborationDONE! – I started the year with a new blog, co-written and edited with a friend of mine (which is now no longer a thing, but that’s totally fine – live and learn!) and am now endqqing the year as one-seventh of a wonderful group of women that host fundraisers for charities in the Chicago area.
  8. Figure Out my Personal StyleDONE! – It was a lot easier to work with a personal style when I don’t have to spend all my fashion money on suits like I used to.  I utilized Stitch Fix and shopping all the good sales to get some key items that suit my simple style.
  9. Invest in a Solid Wardrobe StapleDONE!  – As I said in #8, I was able to get quite a few key pieces like some great black booties and a camel colored trench.
  10. Go to MexicoHALF DONE! This trip is booked but I won’t be going until next month.
  11. Write More Fiction – There was not enough time this year to work on fiction writing, but I’ve got high hopes for the future of my fiction writing.
  12. Make & Sell Some Candles – This was a lofty goal. I made the candles but just ended up burning them myself, so at least I did half of it.
  13. Take a Yoga ClassDONE! – I found a yoga studio by my old apartment that I absolutely loved (Yoga for All Beings in West Town) and went to frequently.  Now, I’m attending a gym in Wicker Park that offers a multitude of other classes that I’ve been exploring.
  14. Learn to MeditateDONE! – I tried out the Headspace App to work on this one and I’m not entirely sure that sitting still for so long is for me, but I’m happy that I pushed through to make it work.
  15. Get a New TattooDONE! See for yourself:27 in 27 Goals List | RebeccaWanderlusting
  16. Explore a New Chicago NeighborhoodDONE! – Lincoln Square: neighborhood guide coming soon.
  17. Get a New JobDONE! – I started a new position as a Catering Sales Manager back in February and have been much happier since.
  18. Go to a National ParkDONE! – The Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
  19. Master Conversational French – I wish I could have accomplished this one! I’m switching over to Spanish now though in anticipation of my Mexico trip.
  20. Get a MassageDONE! – I visited the Spa at the Four Seasons for a massage and dinner by the pool earlier this year.
  21. Buy a Piece of ArtDONE! – Technically I won my pretty flamingo print in a raffle, but regardless of how I got it, it’s here and it’s lovely.
  22. Make Homemade PastaDONE! – This was not the most delicious meal I ever made.  In fact, the homemade noodles looked more like soggy french fries than anything, but I’m glad I tried and I think it will be much better next time.
  23. Take an Educational ClassDONE! – I’ve already talked about my creative non-fiction class quite a bit here but I would be happy to take another class with Gotham Writers any time.
  24. Go on a Trip Without Writing About ItDONE! – It was our yearly trip to Wisconsin but it was still nice to travel without the pressure of having to come up with new content.
  25. Organize a Clothing Swap – Nope. Just didn’t happen.
  26. Make Something for the ApartmentDONE! – Two woven yarn wall hangings, one for over the bar and one for over the bed.
  27. Go to a PlayDONE! – A Winter’s Tale outdoors in Forest Park in St. Louis.

27 in 27 Goals List | RebeccaWanderlusting

21.5/27 GOALS DONE – I think that’s pretty good!


This year’s list includes a classic literature reading list, a few travel goals (a mother-daughter trip, a beach vacation and visiting a new country), seeing a favorite musician in concert, checking out some new Chicago attractions and mastering some new recipes.  Here’s hoping 28 is my best year yet!

What are your goals for this upcoming year? 

27 in 27, Halfway Point, RebeccaWanderlusting

27 in 27: Halfway Point

It’s official.  The move is over, the wedding is over, we are unpacked and comfy in our new home, and I can finally get back to business.  We love the new apartment and our new neighborhood! We moved from West Town up to Logan Square and I think it suits us.  The 606 (Chicago’s answer to the High Line in New York) is a couple blocks South of us and we are so close to so many fantastic restaurants and bars.  Plus, our apartment is full of sunshine and has so much more space than what we had before!  Here’s a sneak peak:

27 in 27, Halfway Point, RebeccaWanderlusting

Though I could write about the new place all day, that’s not what I’m here to talk about!  I wrote one of these posts last year, detailing my goals for the year and where I’m at so far.  Yesterday marked my half birthday, and I’m not nearly close to being halfway through this list.  But, I’m confident this second half of the year is going to be much more productive.  I’ve got big plans for the next six months, not limited to the following list.  So, without further ado, here are my 27 in 27 goals:

27 in 27, Halfway Point, RebeccaWanderlusting

  1. Visit Canada (for the first time) – we have plans to head north in the Fall to visit Toronto and Niagara Falls. I’ll keep you posted on this one.
  2. Take a trip on an Amtrak train – no plan on this one yet.
  3. Run a race – Almost done! I’m signed up to run a half marathon with my sister in September.
  4. Have an article published in a magazine – I haven’t even begun to think about this one but it has always been a dream of mine to be published in a travel magazine
  5. Read more non-fiction – DONE! and still working on it!  So far I’ve read “My Life on the Road” by Gloria Steinem, “No Baggage” by Clara Bensen, “All About Love” by Bell Hooks, “The White Album” by Joan Didion, and “The Lost Continent” by Bill Bryson.
  6. Be better about networking – DONE! Thanks to a little app called Shapr
  7. Collaborate on a new project – DONE! My friend Jen and I created a new blog called A Strong Female Lead which focuses on female empowerment
  8. Figure out my personal style – This is a work in progress. Because most of my wardrobe consists of work clothes, I’m trying to find some sort of happy medium.
  9. Invest in a solid wardrobe staple – To piggy back on the last one, this is still on my to do list.
  10. Go to Mexico – I’m trying to work this out for my next birthday, but we will see!
  11. Write more fiction – my writing habits have fallen by the wayside so far this year, but as I said, I’m picking it back up now.
  12. Make & sell candles – Halfway there.  I made the candles, I have the Etsy shop, I just need to put the two together.
  13. Try a new yoga class – DONE! There was a studio by our old apartment that I went to quite a few times.  Now I have to find a new one by us.
  14. Try meditating – DONE! I’m amazed I can sit still for that long.
  15. Get a new tattoo – still trying to decide what I want, I’m thinking nature themed.
  16. Explore a new neighborhood – DONE! I’m looking at you Lincoln Square!
  17. Get a new job – DONE! Happily employed as a Catering Sales Manager now.
  18. Visit a National Park – Not done. Any suggestions?
  19. Master Conversational French – Non. But I do have Duolingo and I will be better about using it.
  20. Get a massage – DONE! Read all about that here.
  21. Get new art for home – DONE! A beautiful flamingo print that is currently hanging above our record player.
  22. Make homemade pasta – Not done yet, but I’m really looking forward to this.  Thanks for the inspiration Master of None!
  23. Take a new class – I don’t know what kind of class I’d like to take yet.  Maybe a cooking class, or maybe I should pair this with #19 and head to the Alliance Francaise.
  24. Go on a trip & not write about it – It’s planned! Fourth of July in Northern Wisconsin.
  25. Organize a clothing swap – This is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I have yet to plan it.  But I will.
  26. Make something for the new apartment – Maybe some art or maybe some shelves, who knows. I’ll keep you posted.
  27. See a play I’ve never seen – Nope.  Suggestions?

Wow… that’s a lot of goals to accomplish in six months.  9/27 Done and 18 left to tackle.  Wish me luck!

Share your goals for the year in the comments!

27 in 27, Halfway Point, RebeccaWanderlusting

2017 Travel Plans, RebeccaWanderlusting

2017 Travel Plans

I love the new year.  It brings all new possibilities for travel, not to mention a tax return to fund said travels.  As I mentioned in my 2016 review post, my 2017 travel plans will be on a pretty tight budget.  That doesn’t mean that I won’t be traveling this year, just that my trips will be on a smaller scale than last year’s vacations.  While not much is firmly set in place, I do have some big plans (as always) for this coming year and I’m excited to share them!

2017 Travel Plans, RebeccaWanderlusting

I’m planning on taking four main trips, one for each season, with a few more sprinkled in between for good measure if I can swing it.  The two countries I most wanted to visit this year are Mexico and Canada, because I’ve never been to either and we’re practically neighbors.  Other than that, I’m planning on traveling domestically by plane, train or automobile.  Here’s how it all shakes out (hopefully):

Winter/Spring 2017:

  • A girls’ trip to Mexico! What better place to escape the Chicago winter than the sunny beaches of Mexico? Right now I’m thinking Playa Del Carmen or Tulum with a day trip to Chichen Itza.  My besties and I are thinking we’ll rent a house on vrbo.com and just relax in the sunshine.  This is still in the works, so I don’t have all of the details confirmed, but it’s the trip I’m most looking forward to!
  • Mike and I are planning on revisiting Grand Rapids, MI for a long weekend in April to see my favorite, Aretha Franklin at DeVos Performance Hall. Hopefully, we’ll stay at the JW Marriott again and hit all the places we missed the first time around.

2017 Travel Plans, RebeccaWanderlusting

Summer 2017:

  • Canada! I don’t care who I go with or how I get there.  I’m going.  I want to see Montreal first, but I would certainly take Toronto as well.  In a perfect world, I’d like to drive there and spend a night on the way there or back near Niagara Falls.  Right now, I’m just dreaming, but I’m confident I can make it happen.

2017 Travel Plans, RebeccaWanderlusting

Fall 2017:

  • A solo trip somewhere in the States. I’ve got my eye on somewhere in the Northeast like Boston or Maine or even back to New York.  Hopefully it will be  somewhere I can get some great seafood and clear views of the Atlantic Ocean.

2017 Travel Plans, RebeccaWanderlusting

Winter 2017:

  • Mike and I are both dying to get to the desert. My Aunt and Uncle own a house in Arizona and we’re thinking of flying out there and hopefully using it as a home base to visit Saguaro National Park, Antelope Canyon, and all the other natural beauty the state has to offer.  Maybe we’ll rent a car and bring our camping gear to spend a night under the stars.

2017 Travel Plans, RebeccaWanderlusting

All that’s left is to figure out the budgets and actually book my 2017 travel plans and I’ll be set!  If you have any good recommendations for any of these destinations please share them in the comments.

What are your 2017 travel plans? Where are you most excited to visit?

26 in 26 - Halfway Point, RebeccaWanderlusting

26 in 26 – Halfway Point

A while back, I wrote this post about my 26 in 26 goals for life between my 26th and 27th birthdays.  Now that we are just passed the halfway point, I thought I’d share the list in its entirety and check in with how I’ve progressed through it so far.  The 26 tasks are either things that I have always wanted to do but haven’t made the time for yet, or things I’ve gotten started but want to improve upon.  I have until December 4 (when I will turn 27, ugh) to complete everything, but I still have quite a few things left to do.  Here’s where I’m at:

  1. Finish all the books I currently have on my shelf: This is a work in progress!  I’ve read 15 books so far this year thanks to my daily commute and my inability to sleep on planes.  Most of them have been by Mr. Stephen King, who dominates three out of the twelve shelves in my library.
  2. Go camping: The camping trip is booked!  For early next month.  I haven’t camped since I was really young, so this will be a baby step back into the world of sleeping in tents and peeing in the woods.  We’re planning on camping near Matthiessen State Park, just south of Chicago.
  3. Take an Amtrak train somewhere: I have romanticized taking an Amtrak trip for years, and I so want to do this sometime soon.  I just don’t know if it will happen this year.  The problem with train travel is it just takes so long and I’m running low on vacation days :(.
  4. Have something I wrote published again: Last year, I was lucky enough to have a short story published in Sheriff Nottingham (a literary journal).  It hasn’t happen yet this year, but I would like to have something else published, either fiction or non, online or in print.
  5. Master a new recipe: Done! I have officially mastered the bibimbap recipe, but I am always looking for more to learn!
  6. Host a costume party: This has not happened yet either, but I am hoping to host an all out 70’s disco party.  BEFORE Halloween though, so the holiday doesn’t steal my thunder.
  7. Paint a picture: Done!  I can’t vouch for how well it’s been done, but I did enjoy making it!  Painting is so relaxing, I wouldn’t mind adding it to my growing list of hobbies.  Here’s a photo of my “beautiful” painting from Instagram:
    26 in 26 Halfway Point, RebeccaWanderlusting
  8. Learn to play the ukulele: Do I get a half point for owning the ukulele? I need to sit down to watch some youtube videos so I can check this one off the list.
  9. Write more short stories: Done!  Perhaps this is what I can get published. 🙂
  10. Learn French: I started learning on DuoLingo and lost touch with it. I need to get back on this though because it’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
  11. Invest in a good pair of shoes: They haven’t been purchased yet, but I have my eyes on these.
  12. Take a fitness class: I’ve been getting by with Sadie Nardini’s yoga videos, but there are tons of options in our neighborhood to complete this one for real.  I can’t wait to try one out.
  13. Get a start on that novel I’ve been meaning to write: Done! It’s something that I’ve been chipping away at in my spare time.  As much as I love writing about this blog and real life adventures, I love writing fiction just as much.
  14. Find/Create an additional source of income: Still working on this one!  I’ve put some things out there, we’ll see if anything comes back.  I’m feeling pretty hopeful about it!
  15. Have a spa day: Done!  I went to the Mario Tricoci Spa on Michigan Ave and wrote about my experience here.
  16. Travel to Canada: This trip had been planned for April, however plans changed and we ended up doing a smaller trip instead.  I haven’t lost all hope for this trip, so maybe we can fit it in on a weekend before the end of the year.
    26 in 26 - Halfway Point, RebeccaWanderlusting
  17. Start running again: I know, I know.  I’ve had seven months to do this simple thing, and I haven’t yet.  That’s not to say I haven’t been working out, I just haven’t done this.
  18. Join Trover: Done! If you don’t know what Trover is, it’s a website to share travel pictures and tips for different destinations.  You can find my Trover profile here.
  19. Reorganize my wardrobe: Not quite done.  I would really like to get rid of most of my clothes and create a more grown-up, capsule wardrobe.  It’s a work in progress.
  20. Pay off my loan: Done!  Simple as that.
  21. Start treating this blog like a business instead of a hobby: This is another work in progress and goes with #15.  I’m trying though!
  22. Go on a Chicago Boat Tour: Last year, this was on my list and I waited until it was too late.  This year, I will book this even if I have to go by myself.  I’m thinking of booking this one.
  23. Sell clothes, books and movies I don’t use anymore: Halfway done!  I’ve done quite a few rounds of selling things I don’t use and donating a lot of other things, but there’s still more I could get rid of.
  24. Have a Woody Allen Movie Marathon: Done!  The only reason this is on the list is that I love Woody Allen Movies, and wanted an excuse to watch more of them.
  25. Attend a new music festival: Almost Done!  I’ll be going to Pitchfork Music Festival next weekend!
  26. Take a class: There was a writing class at the Newberry Library I wanted to take, but I would have missed the first two classes due to travel.  Hopefully, I’ll find another one!26 in 26 - Halfway Point, RebeccaWanderlusting

Status: 11/26 done! Here’s to five more months!

26th Birthday, Bucket List

26 in 26

My 26th birthday is tomorrow, December 4.  I will be entering into the mid-to-late twenties bracket of life.  I feel pretty good about it, actually.  I’m only having a quarter-life crisis every other day, and I’m trying not to question what I’m even doing with my life more than once a week.  I’m kidding…mostly.  I am really very grateful for everything I’ve been able to accomplish in the past year, with this blog, travelling, and other miscellaneous personal accomplishments.  However, I am eager to do more this year.  Maybe not more in volume, but more in the sense that I’m taking steps to put myself on the path I actually want to be on.  Last year, I made myself a list of 25 things I wanted to achieve, and I did pretty hickorynutfalls2okay I think.  I missed a couple of things, like “go camping”, (which I really wanted to do but couldn’t fit it in anywhere) and “Chicago Boat Tour” (no excuse for this one, it’s literally just a CTA bus ride away), but I also accomplished more than I thought I would.  I checked off “get published” with my short story in Sheriff Nottingham Holiday Harold, I went on my first ever solo road trip to North Carolina, I saw a concert I never would have picked for myself (aka – Metallic at Lollapalooza), and I got the opportunity to go to China for Nighttimework.  This year, the list is 26 items long of course, and I fully intend on completing each and every task on this one.  After all, now that I’ve written about here, I’m holding
myself accountable to finish it.  This year I want to write more fiction and more on travel, I want to go on more trips (even if they’re little ones), I want to read more, I want to do a cross-country Amtrak trip, learn French (Bonjour!) and so many other things.  I’m hoping this will be a big year (though, I do say that every year…) and I promise to keep this little ol’ blog updated through it all.

In the immortal words of the Doors, “the time to hesitate is through”.


Cheers to 26!