Packed Suitcase | New Design, New Mission… My Travel Blogging Manifesto
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New Design, New Mission… My Travel Blogging Manifesto

New Design, New Mission… My Travel Blogging Manifesto

After nearly 4 years, it’s time to shake things up around here!

Today I’m unveiling a brand new site design, created by the talented team at Hop and Jaunt. We’ve been working together tirelessly over the last few weeks to develop a look that embodied the fun, bold and whimsical emotions that I feel about travel. And, honestly, who could have designed it better than 2 fellow travel bloggers?!

Also, a big shout out to Michael Tieso from the Art of Travel Blogging for helping me transfer everything from Blogger to WordPress. With 4 year’s worth of content, it would have been impossible for me to do it alone, but he made it all seem easy.

It’s been a long road, but I absolutely love the end result and I hope you do, too.

And the changes don’t stop there. They extend far beneath the surface.

Stepping back just a moment, let me just reflect and say that Packed Suitcase originally started as a simple blog with the sole purpose of sharing my occasional travels with my closest friends and family.

Over the years, it’s all changed drastically. I went backpacking in New Zealand for a month after losing my job, and found new inspiration. Then, after being published on some notable websites, I began expanding my posts to write about every possible travel topic. At the same time, I became active in the travel blogging community in my hometown of Washington, DC and around the world through Twitter.

With all this, I noticed a huge change a-brewin‘. All of a sudden, my small little blog became a destination for many internet strangers who stumbled upon my site searching for itineraries, bucket list ideas, packing lists and more.

With the sudden attention, I became afraid that people didn’t want to hear my thoughts. And perhaps even more than that, I was terrified of offending anyone . The internet can be a cruel and scary place, sheltered by the veil of anonymity. So, in order to stay professional and unbiased (and to avoid any potential criticism), I veered so far over the line of neutrality that, over time, I lost my voice.

With the new design, it’s the perfect time to announce that I am no longer afraid. I’ve found my voice.

Moving forward, I’ll be infusing my personality and opinions into every post. I happen to think I have a fun and positive outlook on life, and frankly I’m liberated to be able to better share it with you.

I’ll still be doing my share of practical, helpful travel-planning posts, because that’s just the sort of girl I am, but I won’t hesitate to let you know what I really think. Additionally, I’ll start sharing some of my most treasured travel stories, both the good alongside the bad (like the one where I ended up in a Venice canal… now that’s a story!) I’ll be producing (and starring in?) more travel videos, too.

The final change is that Packed Suitcase will now have a newly defined focus. My overarching creative filter. A tagline! “Dream. Pack. Go.”

  • DREAM: I’ll help you satisfy your thirst for travel with wanderlust-y content such as bucket lists, gorgeous photos, travel quizzes, riddles and more.
  • PACK: Think of this section as all the essentials. Practical stuff like packing lists, playlists, itineraries and tips to help you get the most out of your travels.
  • GO: Here, you’ll read all about my own adventures and travel hijinks. Whether I’m skydiving from 15,000 feet, eating a 10 course tasting menu or hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, hilarity and good stories abound.

So, whether you are first-time visitors, other travel bloggers, faithful readers or real-life friends, I hope you can all find something of value here and can all happily co-mingle. Thank you for stopping by- I hope to see a lot more of you around here!

And while you’re at it- why not stay in the loop by following me on Twitter and Facebook! Subscribe to get updates of my latest posts here.

Enjoy the new Packed Suitcase and let me know what you think of the new look in the comments!

12 Comments
  • Dad
    Posted at 08:09h, 12 September Reply

    Great looking blog, that totally reflects your personality.

    • Chris
      Posted at 09:37h, 12 September Reply

      Thank you! Glad you like it.

  • Jill Weber
    Posted at 09:49h, 12 September Reply

    I like this! I love reading your blogs (and I can say “I knew her when…” 🙂

    • Chris
      Posted at 10:39h, 12 September Reply

      Aw, thank you Mrs. Weber! 🙂

  • erin graves
    Posted at 11:54h, 12 September Reply

    Love the new look Chris! Congrats on the redesign and finding your voice. Look forward to hearing what’s on your mind! 🙂

    • Chris
      Posted at 15:33h, 12 September Reply

      Thank, Erin! I’ve got a whole slew of posts coming. It’s amazing how a change of perspective opens up a whole new world of creativity and inspiration.

  • nicole
    Posted at 12:46h, 12 September Reply

    love the new look!

    • Chris
      Posted at 15:33h, 12 September Reply

      Thanks Nicole!! 🙂

  • Mandy Kilinskis
    Posted at 16:11h, 12 September Reply

    I love the redesign, Chris! The colors, the tagline, the Instagram feed – fantastic!

    I can’t wait to see what comes next! 🙂

    • Chris
      Posted at 20:22h, 12 September Reply

      Thanks Mandy! I will say that as I started planning the new layout, including my instagram feed was a must. Glad you like the new look.

  • Claire
    Posted at 00:08h, 02 October Reply

    Hi Chris,
    love your site, been having a little explore and getting inspired. I don’t think I’ve found my true voice yet and can relate with getting a little choked thinking about “eveyone” being able to read what I say. I’m enjoying it though and like you I’m doing it for me and those who are involved in my life so it eases the pressure and they know I’m a goof so it doesn’t matter!!

    It helps to see how you’ve grown with your blog and inspires me to not give up.
    Nice work
    Claire

    • Chris
      Posted at 09:54h, 02 October Reply

      Hi Claire,
      Thanks for stopping by and reaching out! It can be daunting to be vulnerable when writing, but in some ways it’s much simpler when you embrace being yourself versus having to be so guarded. We just have to OWN IT! 🙂

      Your blog is great! Looking forward to following along with all of your adventures!

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