Hey there, I'm Julia!

If I had to describe myself in only one word, I think I’d pick practical. Or maybe planner. Better yet, practical planner. For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt most confident leading a group of friends or family on an adventure, knowing I’d spent weeks and months crafting the perfect trip.

Research and planning puts me in my happy place. It’s where I feel calm, knowing I’ve exhausted every potential outcome and am fully equipped to handle anything.

That seems out of place for someone who writes about the outdoors, right? Well… I beg to differ.

Exploring national parks or remote destinations requires more planning than almost any other type of trip. You can’t just show up and go. You need reservations, permits, gear, and some basic know-how to get around. That’s where I come in.

I’ve spent years exploring and roadtripping national parks, going on hikes, camping on the weekends. And of course, exhaustively researching things along the way. 

Well Planned Journey is where I share my passion for planning with you.

my mission is to share carefully-crafted, extensively researched articles on a topic near and dear to my heart: America’s national parks.

I’m probably a lot more like you than you think. 

I work a full-time job with limited vacation days. I do most of my travel on weekends or holidays.

I am a chronic snoozer. I can’t tell you the last time I actually got up when my alarm went off.

As much as I love the outdoors, nothing beats cuddling up in bed with a fuzzy blanket and re-watching movies I’ve seen too many times. Some of my favorites include Day After Tomorrow, Lord of the Rings, and Remember the Titans.

I’m accident-prone. If there’s a wall, I will 100% run into it. Trust me when I say, always carry a first aid kit on a hike!

I studied engineering in school, but don’t really use my degree (sorry, Georgia Tech). Today, I work as an analyst in the tech world.

Soft pretzels are my weakness. And maybe s’mores… s’mores are great too.

I’m happiest when sharing knowledge with others (it’s true, I read it on my Myers-Briggs results). That’s why I started Well Planned Journey, to help you discover more of America and feel empowered outdoors. My happiness is just a totally awesome side effect.

how it all began

2008

I visited my first national park. I was in high school at the time and went to Tuscon, Arizona with my family. We visited Saguaro National Park while we were there. I held a tarantula and posed in front of way too many cacti (I was in high school, okay…)

And so my national park journey was born.

2013

Halfway through college, I spent the summer in Europe as a part of a study abroad program. In only 3 months I visited 10 countries and made some lifelong friendships.

It was here that I found my passion for traveling with friends and family. While I’m sure solo travel is good for the soul, good company makes my heart happy.

2016

After graduating college, I went on a month long adventure around Australia, New Zealand, Bali, and Thailand. While I loved seeing Sydney, the Barrier Reef, and the beaches of Bali and Thailand, it was New Zealand that stole my heart.

This trip was where I truly discovered my passion for travel planning and the outdoors.

While I mostly explore the United States these days, I can’t wait to visit New Zealand again. I had an emergency appendectomy 10 days before my trip, so I didn’t get to bungee jump and it still haunts me to this day 😂

2017

I visited my first national park as an adult: Redwood National Park. It was mystical and eery and majestic, more than I ever thought a place could be. I’ll never forget how tiny I felt (in the best way possible) next to the giant coastal redwoods.

After this trip, I decided I wanted to check every national park off my bucket list.

2019

After years of long-distance, I moved across the country from Atlanta, Georgia to San Francisco California to join my boyfriend. Together we explore national parks, awesome hikes in the Bay Area, and road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway.

Most of my trips are with Evan, my partner in crime. He’s a semi-professional photographer, free spirit (someone has to balance out my Type A personality), and maker of amazing cocktails and food. You’ll find a lot of his photography on Well Planned Journey and can check him out on Instagram.

2020

Like many of you, I found myself with a lot of spare time around March 2020. Yep… Well Planned Journey is a COVID baby! I started this blog to share my passion for visiting America’s public lands and I’m still doing that today. 

I’m so happy to have you here on this journey and I’m ready to join you in planning the national park trip of your dreams!