I want to start this post off with complete honesty. I didn’t expect to be as homesick as I have been for the last few days in Chicago. I miss my family and friends that I use to see every day. I’m anxious about the uncertainties I’m currently feeling. I still have to change my address for all of my bills so they show up to the right place. I’m currently back to only one part-time job which is also nerve-wracking.
But with all of those bumps in my current road, I still have a solid list of reasons why I moved to Chicago.
1. Distance from Home
I’ve always known I wanted to move away from Saint Louis and find a different city that is utterly my own. During the last year and a half since college, I started to become a bit of a homebody– and that scared me.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved my surroundings, my friends, my jobs, and I even started to appreciate Saint Louis on another level. At the same time, I realized that I wanted somewhere bigger and more diverse. I had dreamed about NYC, Boston, and Philly, but I came to realize that the distance from my family was going to play a major role in my decision.
Chicago isn’t super close, but in comparison to the 20-ish hour drive to NYC, I can handle six hours and still get the big city experience I was craving.
2. The Neighborhoods
I’ll be honest, I haven’t done much exploring since getting here. In my defense, I’ve only been here for five days and still have to get life stuff straightened out before I go on any crazy explorations.
I am truly excited about hoping on and off the L and seeing if I can guess what kind of neighborhood I’m in. There is so much diversity through every inch of this city. You can go a mile in one direction and end up in Little Korea. Choose a different route and you’ll end up in Little Sweden.
Each neighborhood has a different vibe from the next. Nothing makes me more excited than having so many different communities at my fingertips.
3. The Culture
There is SO much going on in this city, it’s not even funny. I’m counting down the days until Taste of Greektown on the 24th, one of the bars in a neighborhood a few L stops down from me is an Office pop-up bar until the 20th, and there’s a free Summer Concert in Millenium Park this upcoming Monday.
I don’t think I could ever get bored here and I’m looking forward to finding all the free (or at least affordable) adventures I can find.
4. The Food
Chicago was voted the best food city by Bon Appetit in 2017, and I’m starting to see why. Since deciding to move to Chicago, I’ve seen endless videos on my timeline pop up for new and quirky restaurants I need to try. Snow Junkie, Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co., and Paco’s Tacos are three that first come to mind.
One that I’ve already decided is a tried and true favorite is Chicago Bagel Authority. I went there when I came to the city for Saint Patrick’s Day and I’ve already made it back since moving in to my apartment last Friday. It might be my new addiction and I’m fine with that.
5. The Views
I’ve had a lot of moments where I just find myself in awe with my surroundings. From the beaches of Lake Michigan to the view off my own porch, I’m slowly falling in love with the alleyways and skyscrapers around me.
It’s an interesting combination, Chicago. There are moments where you feel completely immersed in the city (like when I try to fall asleep with the street lamp right in my window). Other days I’m in a park or at the beach and only remember I’m in a major metropolitan area when I look at the skyline. It’s really an awe-inspiring experience.
6. Public Transportation
Trains, buses, water taxis, Lyfts; take your pick. If it’s a form of public transportation I’m probably in love with it. Public transport is so easy here in Chicago and I find comfort in the fact that I don’t have to own a car to get around.
There’s something amazing about riding through the city on the L as the sun is going down. The way the red brick almost melts into the glowing yellow of the street lamps and the sun. It’s as if the city’s skyline is on fire.
7. An International Airport
Seven and six kind of coincide. Chicago O’Hare International Airport is officially within CTA distance from my apartment. There are DIRECT flights to major cities for under $100. I seriously can’t with this one.
After being raised by East coast parents, I’ve always been on search for Dunkin’ Donuts anywhere I go. Chicago legitimately has a Dunkin’ at almost every CTA stop. There’s a Dunkin’ down the street from me (I only have to turn left). This is a small joy, but it is still important to my brand loyal heart.
9. Job Opportunities
There are many more opportunities here in Chicago when it comes to my career. Picking up and leaving my jobs behind at home was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.
I did transfer to a Barnes and Noble here in Chicago for the time being and the job search has officially started. I’ve even already had interviews. I’m optimistic that I’ll find the right position for me here in the city. If you know of any companies in Chicago in need of a hardworking individual with writing, editing, marketing, and research skills, let me know!
This might be the last reason in my list, but I think it’s the most important. I know so many people who have a list of “Shoulda Woulda Coulda” and I don’t want that. I know I had the possibility of being okay with my life in Saint Charles, but when my friend told me she would have a room in her apartment available on August 1st, I knew I needed to jump.
I don’t know how things are going to turn out. I know it’s going to be messy. I know it’ll be tough at times. But I also think this is going to be a beautiful adventure.