Tuesday, February 07, 2012

#15 City

I'm coming back to the 30 Days of Indie Travel Challenge on BootsnAll. Prompt #15: CITY What is your favorite (or least favorite) city and what do you love (or hate) about it?

Traveling is one of my top priorities. It's why I'm a super budgeter and couponer, why I cook at home more than I eat out, and why I don't buy a lot of new clothes. It's why my passport looks like this:

There are lots of cities I've enjoyed visiting and lots more that I intend to get to. But if you know me well, you won't be surprised to learn that my favorite city is Chicago.

I grew up in the suburbs, so my experience of Chicago was pretty limited the annual French class trip to the German Christmas market (I know, it makes no sense). A few years ago, I decided to leave France, grab the cat from my parents', and move to the city proper.

I wanted to be young in a city with energy. I wanted to start my career in a place I already knew I felt comfortable. I knew enough people that I had roomates to live with and wouldn't be completely lonely on the weekends. Okay and yeah, maybe my boyfriend had just moved here.

Compared to other large cities in the U.S., I like Chicago because it's not trying to prove anything to anyone. I'm not here because I'm trying to make it big, write the world's next big novel, or win an agency award for a killer headline. I'm here because I enjoy a reasonable cost of living, can ride my bike everywhere, and grab a few really delicious tacos a few blocks away. I like how social this city is, and I like that I am surrounded by people who are working hard because they love what they do.
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
- Carl Sandburg, "Chicago"
I could go on and on, but today's a new day, and Chicago is waiting for me.

In case you were wondering, the cat says she likes it here, too.

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