Passion Passport celebrated its three year anniversary at the end of June and to mark this special occasion, we hosted a spectacular gathering at 360Chicago, an observatory atop the Hancock tower with unobstructed views of Lake Michigan and the Magnificent Mile. Staff Ken Pao, Elliot Vernon and Jessica Schaffer were joined by over 150 community members, and it was a true pleasure to connect in person, match names to Instagram handles, and talk travel, passions, and creative pursuits. We are always so appreciative of opportunities to get to know one another offline – what a bright, thoughtful and inspired community we have!

“Meeting up with people you know have a mutual interest in traveling, exploring the world and the neighborhood around you is a unique experience, and doing it 1000 feet above the city made it that much sweeter.”-@wesleytaylor

PC left: @tonialeung, right: @cmykchicago

Dusk was ushered in by a beautiful sun set, and as the sky turned from blue to pink to orange, we all gathered around together, snapping photos and sharing laughter. Ken, Elliot and Jessica briefly addressed the group, thanking everyone for their support and encouraging their continuous involvement in all things Passion Passport. The last three years have been chock-full of excitement and growth: of Instagram challenges and twitter chats; of inspiring blog posts videos; of travel excursions around the world. There is only more to come in Passion Passport’s future, and we cannot wait to have our community involved.

“Not only has Passion Passport proven itself to be a wonderful inspiration for travel, but also in community building. This little meet up in Chicago was a great way to recharge my creative juices and provided a mini-reunion for the Chicago Instagram community. It was a pleasure to see so many friendly faces in one place!”-@cmykchicago

And so, we say cheers to three years past and to all those to come! Thank you, 360Chicago, for offering a space that allowed us to celebrate and to dream, and thank you, Passion Passport friends and supporters for all you have contributed and all you have inspired.

PC left: @toritorsion, right: @mollypg

“By the time I made it to the 94th floor, the sun was beginning to set. The sky was breathtaking and the sun was fiery pink. I spent a few minutes chatting with friends, catching up and enjoying the view before I realized, “Oh, I should take some pictures!” I realized, instead of trying to document the experience that I should just relish it. After all, how often do you get to see beautiful views like this with people you really enjoy spending time with? Thanks for a memorable experience, @passionpassport & @360chiviews!” -@mollypg

PC left: @insearchofperfect, right: @kenpao

“The most rewarding and powerful effect Instagram can have on a community is meeting real people and making in-person connections because of the app. For me, the highlight of the event was meeting amazing photographers (such as Craig from @thecraighensel and Dennis from @ddesigns_, among many others) whose work inspires and pushes me to become better at my craft. This opportunity to shake someone’s hand, ask a question or two, and chat about favorite spots to shoot in the city was invaluable – thank you to Passion Passport for bringing us together!” -@insearchofperfect

PC: @wesleytaylor