A Travellerspoint blog

Chicago

My love affair with a beautiful city

sunny -17 °C

DSC08955.jpg

I never thought about starting a travel blog until my recent trip to Peru. I wish I had started blogging once I started traveling, but guess better late than never! I always tend to wordsmith and be too verbose when writing, so my challenge is be to be concise...

I guess it's best to start with where I am now - Chicago. I can't describe Chicago in a simple blog entry ... even after calling Chicago home the last few years, I still feel like there's so much more I could get to know about this wonderful city. All I can say is that despite suffering from homesickness and winter blues for a lot of the time that I've been here, I love this city and I have made it my home. During the fall last year, I wrote a list to help remind me during the unbearable January/February winter months of why I love this city:

- Lake front for running, biking, swimming, beach-going, picnicking
- My triathlon group and training
- Public transport system that allows me to not need a car
- Great offering of concerts
- Summer!!
- Snow, bright sunshine on a freezing cold day, White Christmas/
- Easy access to travel
- Cost of living that enables me to live alone in a nice neighbourhood

Next Sunday will mark my three year anniversary with Chicago. This milestone brings me to stop and reflect on my time here. Looking back, my decision to come to Chicago was more a push to leave Melbourne, rather than a pull to go to Chicago. I was stuck in rut and had a couple unhealthy relationships that I needed time away from. I craved independence and needed to find something to be passionate about. Being so far away from home allowed me an excuse to take a time-out from "real" life expectations. Being able to "start fresh" in Chicago without existing boundaries and expectations, I have been able to stop and get to know myself. I discovered what I want in my life, what makes me happy, what I am passionate about. I've been completely selfish the past three years, and I don't feel guilty about it. Cheesy and cliche, huh?

Because of these reasons (and many others) of why I love Chicago, it was very hard to finally decide on a date to leave my lovely city. This week I had an "official" meeting with my manager, to get the ball rolling on transferring back to Australia. We're talking about something that's not happening for another 6 months or so, which seems a bit silly cos it sounds forever away, but I feel in a way I need the time to mentally prepare to leave. If you haven't figured by now, I'm a bit sentimental. For a while now, I've been discussing my ideas with my friends, but the work meeting has made them feel real and tangible.

It is this feeling of setting my ideas in motion and making plans to reach my goals that has inspired me to start this blog. They are by no means grand plans or anything crazy, but they are pretty significant and kinda scary to me. I'm hoping that by blogging and thinking that someone is reading, it will keep me accountable, and more importantly, prevent me from chickening out! So here it goes...

Goals for 2013:
- End of August/Early September: Finish work in Chicago
- Early September: Take ~2 month sabbatical and travel around North and South America
- November: Move to Melbourne (hopefully with a job lined up)

I know this is a travel blog and I'm not really writing about travel right now... but I think the process behind planning a big trip/moving countries kinda counts, right?

Until next time,
A

Posted by alwaysexploring 03.02.2013 19:40 Archived in USA Tagged city chicago skyline

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