About Marissa + the Little Things

“There are no little events in life. Those we think of no consequence might be full of fate.”

-Ameila Barr

Woman in pink short sleeve blouse standing on rooftop terrace with Chicago lakefront in background

Meet Marissa

Operations Strategiest, Events Specialist, Travel Content Creator

Marissa is the Founder of Little Things Travel, Head of Operations at Wanderful, and Conference Director of the WITS Creator + Brand Summit, an international gathering that brings content creators, industry members, and thought leaders together to learn, collaborate, and build a more ethical and diverse travel industry. 

Marissa is a 2020 CIIC Media Award recipient for her virtual event work with Wanderful and she was the agency lead on an award winning multicultural campaign for the 2019 Gold Adrian Award for Outstanding Travel Marketing. 

Her love for travel was sparked when she studied abroad, an experience that inspired her to launch Little Things Travel, and kicked off her career as an advisor in international education while earning her MBA.

From encouraging young people to study abroad to supporting women travelers around the globe, Marissa is an advocate for travel as a driver of positive change. 

Where I’ve Been

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Where Ive Been


The Story Behind the Little Things

I will always call Chicago home, but the rest of the world still beckons me to explore. Growing up, I had the privilege of taking many family vacations. They were mostly around the United States, with the occasional trip out of the country – Italy, Turks and Caicos, and occasional visits to Mexico. More often than not, these trips involved beaches, and laying around on a beach was exactly what I wanted to do at the time.

In my second year of college, that all changed. I studied abroad for the first time. It was a summer term advertising program in the British Isles. I was excited and petrified at the same time. I had never traveled without my family before, and I was going to be all the way on the other side of the world. It should come as no surprise that I had a blast and the experience sparked my eternal wanderlust and yearning for knowledge.

Woman in white shirt and black leggings wearing sunglasses standing on hill outside with view of green grass and Edinburgh, Scotland cityscape behind her

Hiking Arthur’s seat while studying abroad in Scotland

When I arrived in Ireland, I was pleasantly overwhelmed by the unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells that greeted me. The vivid green grass, the colors surrounding Dublin Castle, and the Irish accents were only the beginning. I did my best to relish each and every moment of my experience, but I knew my memories would eventually fade.

And just like that, Little Things Travel was born! What began as a way to simply keep track of my travel experiences has turned into a full on part of me in which I can share all my best travel tips and tricks, and share the ways that I make the most of the little things in life.

I have always been a strong believer in the importance of appreciating life’s simple pleasures, but ever since that study abroad trip I have craved visits to every corner of the world and have a constant desire to learn about each of their people, traditions, and cultures. Traveling has taught me more than I could ever have learned in a classroom, and it truly has transformed my life.

Little Things Travel is your travel guide to the world, while ultimately appreciating the little things in life.

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”

–Miriam Beard

Why Little Things?

Something spectacular happens when you start paying attention to the details. Have you ever noticed that? It’s like time slows down, and each moment is savored as you soak in the world around you. Feel the smooth green grass between your toes, smell the freshly baked bread from the nearby bakery, listen to the sound of the light breeze, and observe the shadow cast by a single cloud off in the distance.

Many times, this is easier said than done. It comes more naturally while traveling and exposing yourself to a new place, but it’s much more difficult when going through your daily routine at home. Appreciating the little things means you need to enter a state of mindfulness, something that can be difficult at first but will become easier over time with continued practice.

My challenge to you is to appreciate the little things both at home and abroad.

This site will serve as a reminder for you to always appreciate the little things no matter where in the world you are, while also sharing plenty of tips, guidance, and stories along the way!

Here are a few of my top posts to get you started: 

Woman in jeans and red jacket standing on grassy cliff with the ocean and green and brown cliffs behind her underneath a blue sky

“You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.”

-Eat, Pray, Love