Photos from Jetting Around’s 3rd Anniversary Celebration

| November 13, 2013 More

JA’s anniversary was an occasion to celebrate travel, world cultures, and languages. Here’s a photo recap of the afternoon. 

The event was held on October 20, 2013 at Multilingual Connections (MLC), a language school in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood. I chose this venue because of the spacious and bright Language Café on the second floor. As a Spanish student at the school, I’ve enjoyed the room many times and thought it would make a great party space.


Our party room – Language Café at Multilingual Connections in Chicago

In addition to letting me use the facility, MLC offered attendees speed language classes in Spanish and Italian. This seemed to be especially popular with little Lucia, daughter of my friend and fellow blogger Francesca of The Working Mom’s Travels.


Parli italiano?


Class in session. On the right: staff members of the Chicago Fire, my favorite soccer team


From the left: my friend Francesca, Fabiana (Italian teacher), Tony (Spanish teacher), Francesca’s daughter Lucia, who took the speed classes, and me

The party brought together my friends, readers, partners, other bloggers and photographers, and people completely new to Jetting Around. What a group! I wish I’d had more time for a conversation, but thankfully, I will see many of these folks again.

I enjoyed hearing different languages around the room, including my native Polish, and seeing that some guests brought their children. That’s because I started traveling when I was little. Without those early trips with my parents, perhaps they’d be no JA today?…

Here are some of the party-goers:

With friends

Friends (clockwise from the left): fellow Chicago Fire fans, Paweł – the event photographer, Paweł’s mom & Zuza of Zuzapix Photography, Francesca of The Working Mom’s Travels & Ted of Traveling Ted, my Spanish/Portuguese teacher Tony

With partners

Partners (clockwise from the left): Heidi from Options Away, Jen from Project Travel, Laura from Safara Chicago (we color-coordinated!), Chum (manager of musician Mike Mentz), Ann from Costa Rica Experiential Adventures, and Molly from Greenheart Travel


Travelers, language learners, friends old and new…

One of my favorite moments of the event was a presentation with Greenheart Travel about volunteering abroad and cultural exchange. I was fresh off a trip to Ecuador with the organization, and got to share photos and stories from working in a day care center.


I shared stories from my time volunteering with children in Ecuador…

Untitled Export 227

… and Molly from Greenheart Travel talked about cultural exchange programs

And then there was cake:


Has it really been three years?…


“You’re cutting it straight!” Lucia was impressed with my knife skills


Hmm, chocolate!

While the guests were eating, Lucia helped me draw winners of the raffle. Prizes included a bootcamp language class from MLC, signed CDs and a private concert in Chicago by singer/traveler Mike Mentz, gift baskets from Travel with Ann: Costa Rica Experiential Adventures and Joey’s Soda and Snacks, and a handmade scarf from Safara Chicago


Raffle prizes included gift baskets, language classes, and a private concert by one of JA’s interviewees


My helper did a great job drawing winners (one was her mom, but we promise it was not planned!)

A few facts and secrets: 

  • There was no 2nd anniversary. Someone who had attended the first one asked me about it and I promised to have a celebration in 2013.
  • Travel Day with was the name we used to promote the party outside the JA community. I like it and might use it again.
  • I initially didn’t plan to serve alcohol, given that this was an afternoon event. But a few messages from friends made me rethink – we ended up with tequila and Argentine wine.
  • Snacks included chips and salsa, made according to my own recipe. I’m not aware of any cases of food poisoning…
  • The party playlist had tunes by JA’s interviewees: Alfonso Ponticelli (gypsy jazz), Grażyna Auguścik & Paulinho Garcia (bossa nova, jazz), and Mike Mentz (travelpop).
  • Towards the end, my friend Tony and I showed a surrealist short film that we shot together a few days before.
  • All photography was done by Paweł of Travel in Pixels, a friend and fellow Chicago Fire supporter.

Thank you to everybody who made this party possible and for supporting Jetting Around. See you next year! 

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Category: Event Blog


About the Author (Author Profile)

Pola Henderson is a travel writer, city explorer, expat, and event host. Traveling has been a part of her life since she was three. Pola grew up in Krakow, lived in Chicago for many years and is currently based in Paris, where she teaches Business English.

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Sites That Link to this Post

  1. One year of JA Café: Travel Talk Over Coffee | March 31, 2015
  2. Event recap: Meaningful Travel: What, Why, How | November 17, 2015
  1. An amazing time was had by all. The chocolate cake, meeting Costa Rica Ann and little Work Moms Travel were some of the highlights for me.

  2. So much fun! Here’s to many more years!

  3. avatar Leah says:

    This is so cool, Pola. I would have loved to be there. The express language classes are a great touch. Oh, and I’ll be borrowing that dress. :-)

  4. such a cute idea to do a party! looks like a great JA birthday party indeed :)

  5. What a fun celebration! Wish I could have been there – especially because so many of my favorite people were in attendance! xx

  6. Neat celebration! Congrats, Pola!!

  7. avatar lola says:

    looks like an amazing celebration. congratulations!! you deserve all the best.

  8. avatar Mary Anne says:

    Happy Birthday! It’s great to have such fun travel people to work with.

  9. feliz cumpleaños a JA …. congrats to you for three years, it is always important to take the time to celebrate success and milestones…

    stay celebrating, Craig