Before you land on this page arguing that Chicago should rightfully be added under The Midwest page of my travel blog, just know that I purposely made it its own category for a reason. Chicago may be at the heart of the Midwest and in the same state I grew up, but it feels worlds apart. And because there is just SO much content to cover being the third biggest city in the nation, it gets to stand alone.
For those who haven’t heard, I recently made the move back to Illinois — residing in downtown Chicago — in September 2022!
To catch you up to speed on my journey circling back to the Midwest, I was born and grew up in Southern Illinois and Missouri and also attended college there (learn more about my connections to the Midwest here). In January 2020, I moved out to Seattle, WA, swearing I would never return to the boring Midwest and make the most of myself on the West Coast.
I did, in fact, make the absolute most of the start to my adult life on the West Coast and had a lot of my “firsts” there — starting my first job in the city, publishing my first book, starting my first business, moving in with my amazing boyfriend, and even starting this lifestyle blog!
But even so, the West Coast hadn’t impressed me just as much as I thought it would (granted, there was a pandemic that put a damper on things). Without getting into the negatives, I am so grateful for the experiences I had on the West Coast, but I am even more thankful to be given this huge breath of fresh air with this move to Chicago. My boyfriend recently landed a new career, which is actually what brought us here.
As a kid, I knew the basics of why Chicago attracted so many people, including my family: Giordano’s deep dish pizza, the Magnificent Mile, an endless supply of restaurants and shopping in general, and the beaches and lake, of course.
Growing up, my dad absolutely LOVED Chicago and would drive up the entire family from Southern Illinois to spend the weekends here all the time. Even during Chicago winters, which I hated but endured several times so we could visit my sister who went to college at UIC. Back then, between the awful winters and having my over-protective parents within driving distance of coming to see me, Chicago was not it for me.
But now, being 26-years-old and having seen and explored parts of the world on my own, I’m ready for Chicago. My boyfriend and I currently live in the heart of downtown in River North within walking distance of literally everything.
Dive in with me and learn about all the cool things to do as I explore my new city!
A view from the 94th floor of the John Hancock building, which is owned by the Hearn Company! (I knew I’d be a billionaire one day…)