One of my favorite things in the world is to travel! I love the experience of getting to meet new people, try new things, and most importantly, challenge myself. This last weekend gave me just that!!

Last Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, three friends and I took a road trip to Chicago (which I like to call Chi-Town because it makes me feel cool). Chicago is one of my absolute favorite places to go, and I go quite often! This was a completely new situation for me though; before last weekend I had never been the one to actually do the driving, that’s what everyone else is for duh! This year that was not the case! It was a long six hour drive in a little PT Cruiser with three friends, and it was great!! Like I said, I have been there multiple times and they had not, well at least not with MY family! In these four days we did a variety of things: went to The Smoke Daddy (a BBQ place with live music), spent a day at the beach (got a little sun burnt), attended the musical Book Of Mormon (which was AMAZING), went shopping, took a nap (because shopping wore us out), and went to a Train/The Script/ Gavin Degraw concert (to die for)!! But it wasn’t really the big things that made the trip so eventful, it was all of the little things put together.

So back to the meeting new people, trying new things, and challenging myself. First of all, I got to meet my first slightly crazy person on the train! He was a nice crazy, but a tad creepy none the less. We were about to get off at our stop so we moved up a little bit and stood next to the seat where CP (crazy person) was sitting. He looked at me and asked me if I wanted to sit down, I said, “no that’s ok but thank you,” and the next thing I know he’s calling some chick out about having pink hair and a guy about wearing a straw hat! It was totally calm and playful but hilarious all the same!! Oh the people you meet!

Next there is the idea of trying new things. At first I didn’t think I would be able to say that I tried anything new at all this last weekend, mainly due to the fact that the whole point was to show my friends all of the things I knew about ie the best sushi place, The Smoke Daddy, the beach, and so on. But there was one place I had never been to before, Navy Pier! All the times I have been to “the big C” and I have never been to Navy Pier! And it was pretty nice! We took some photo booth pictures, had some gelato, and were photo bombed by some seagulls, it was absolutely great! That is what I love about Chicago, no matter how many times I go there, I always seem to find something new and exciting to explore. Even if it’s some place I have already been, there are so many people that it has an entirely different story surrounding it!

Lastly is the idea of challenging myself. I am always up for a good challenge, especially if it is a goal I set for myself, because nothing is more rewarding than saying “Told you so” to yourself! I find ways to push myself in almost everything I do, this last weekend was no different. My big dream is to one day live in Chicago (or a big city in general, but it’s at the top of the list), so every time I am there I try to prove that I know my way around. And let me tell you, I’m getting good! I have traveled by train, taxi, and bus. I am quite pleased to say that last winter I was even able to give a stranger directions in Chicago (and they were accurate!) That part of traveling was no big deal, my cousin would ask me where to go and I could tell him, and if I couldn’t I would find a way to figure it out. No, the hardest part this time was driving. Most of it was highway and that wasn’t too bad, but I was in charge of getting us through Chicago traffic as well. Luckily we had good planning and missed most of the Chi-Town craziness. On the way home I didn’t even use a GPS, I had great directions from my cousin and was able to get out of town with no trouble at all. The idea of driving started out as a huge problem for me, but once I was on the road, I realized how easy it really was if I just kept focused. We all made it back safe and sound so I guess that’s a good sign!

Who knows where I will end up in the future? I know where I’d like to end up, but that’s not always in my control. Even if I never live directly in Chicago, the things that I have learned in the many times I have been there will help me in so many aspects of life. From the crazy people I meet on a train, to the sights not yet explored, and the challenges to be mastered, I have learned so much and will learn much more. All I have to say is, “Bring it on!”


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