This post was created in collaboration with Chase Freedom Unlimited. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thanks for supporting brands that make Sophisticaition possible!
I’m a few months into one of my 2019 goals, my exploration of Chicago neighborhoods with Chase Freedom Unlimited. I’ve been to Wicker Park, River North, and Logan Square so far – all areas I’d been in once or twice for events, but never truly let myself walk around and discover. I’ve loved getting to know different neighborhoods and finding new spots outside my usual go-tos. I may have enough intel after this adventure to make a complete Chicago neighborhood guide!
Over the last few months, I’ve picked up some tips for those looking to venture outside of their comfort zones and try new places, areas or neighborhoods. It can be so easy to get caught up in our routines of going to our favorite restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, nail salons, etc. but when we try new things, we grow as individuals.
I’ve learned to never judge a book by its cover… or a place by its storefront. Some of my favorite discoveries have been “hole in the wall” or off the beaten path!!
One of my best suggestions for exploring new places is to look up recommendations online before venturing into a new area, just to know the lay of the land and to have some ideas in mind. That way, you know someone else out there enjoyed it, and can generally avoid any weird quirks the neighborhood may have (like all shops in a district being closed on Tuesdays… thank goodness I looked that up online before going!!)
Finally, embrace the uncomfortable. I truly feel that we grow when we challenge ourselves, even with little challenges like going to new places. It’s important that we don’t stay stagnant and I think in my three years in Chicago, I kind of got stuck into the same-old-same-old. It’s been really nice to shake things up!
Along the way, I’ve been using my Chase Freedom Unlimited card to earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, meaning every coffee and pastry I’ve bought as I’ve explored have in turn given me more fun money to spend on future neighborhoods! Having a cash back credit card is clutch 🙂
I’m always earning on every purchase, bringing me one step closer to my goal of further exploring my city!!