Chicago (and Traveling Alone)
Last week I took a little solo trip to Chicago, mainly for Market Days but also to check out a new city. Chicago has always been on my short list of cities to visit, and I felt that it was a good time in the year (and in my life) to finally take the plunge. This was also my first solo trip and I may already be addicted!
I must say, following this trip, Chicago is a great city. I’m glad I made it my first stop in my traveling solo series (if there ever will be such a series)! And at this time of year the weather was absolutely amazing. The four days I was there it never got past 85 degrees and the humidity was practically zero.
I’ve always been more of an urban guy, so while some people might balk at the fact that I took a vacation to Chicago, I absolutely loved it. To me, Chicago wasn’t as crazy as New York, and the city just felt cleaner and more sophisticated. I also loved their public transit system. I was able to get everywhere I needed to go and only had to Uber once (and even that wasn’t totally necessary)!
The arts are HUGE in Chicago. I could feel it as soon as I stepped off the plane, right there in the airport. Everywhere you turn there’s music, sculptures, paintings, even the buildings. For someone like me, it was almost paradise. I got to check out quite a bit of the urban art and the Art Institute as well. The latter is a gigantic museum, and I would have needed a whole weekend just to go through it in its entirety! But spending a few hours (like I did) was better than nothing.
I had no idea so many famous works of art resided in the Art Institute! I couldn’t stop taking photos, but I kind of had to because the battery in my phone is absolutely terrible.
I also checked out The Field Museum, which was just okay. I much preferred the Art Institute, but maybe I’m biased. I think the Natural History Museum here in Washington is one of the best. I didn’t get to take an architecture cruise, but that’s on the top of my list for my next visit there.
Traveling alone was a really interesting and eye-opening experience. In the weeks leading up to the trip I was so nervous at the thought. Every day I would Google things such as “how to travel alone” or “is traveling alone safe” and read everything that I found. While I was nervous, I really wanted to take this step as kind of a confidence booster and really do something totally on my own, with no help from anyone. I think it has definitely boosted my confidence and unearthed some skills and traits I never thought I had. It was also really liberating. I was completely on my own and didn’t have to worry about compromises. Plus, waiting for a table at restaurants was nonexistent since it’s easy for them to seat a solo diner!
Overall, it was a really great trip, and I’m already thinking about where to go next! As long as my bank account continues to cooperate…