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Visiting Chicago this time around felt different than the last two times due to the fact that Jennifer and I decided to stay in the city instead of commuting back to Waukegan on Metra daily. We decided to stay at Essex Inn, which is situated right in the center of everything on Michigan Avenue. It's in the process of renovating so things were a bit messy (one out of three elevators were out of order and our sink in the hotel room was the size of a dessert plate -_-) but aside from that, I think we got a pretty good deal considering that we're two college students traveling on a budget.
The museum that I was most pleasantly surprised by was the Jane Addams- Hull House Museum located on the campus of University of Illinois-Chicago. While I first heard of Jane Addams at her work with the Hull House during my junior year of Honors American Studies in high school, I didn't realize the extent of the work that residents accomplished. This small self-sustaining community of female intellectuals were dedicated to improving social issues that affected other females and sought to find adequate solutions. The Hull House settlement provided quality education for children, formed interest groups, inspired change in the society. After reading the placards, I was extremely impressed by the highly organized structure of the settlement house and the successes that they have in the Chicago area.
Chicago is always a fun city to visit, but next time, I do think the HI Chicago hostel would be the more affordable option for lodging. The only issue with choosing a hostel for our stay was luggage. I had to bring 3 suitcases back home because I need to pack for my semester abroad (and permanently bring some things back to Atlanta) and that is not very convenient if we didn't have a hotel room.
Since we stayed in the city, I was happy that I got the opportunity to try more foods that Chicago has to offer. Cafecito has amazing Cuban coffee (order their cafe con leche!). Everything on the menu at Goddess and the Baker sounds amazing. The fried chicken combo at Crisp was to die for (plus $27 was enough to fill three stomachs!).
On a more serious note, many people often ask me where I see myself living post-graduation, especially since I spent my life in multiple cities and love traveling around the world. Hong Kong? Atlanta? Minneapolis? Chicago?
For me, my career will most likely be the decisive factor to the city that I choose to live in. I am open to living in any large urban area and would love to be an expat for a period of time in my life. As for settling down in the future, I don't see myself relocating permanently in East Asia. My personality, the values that I hold, and the vision that I see for myself align better with Western values and beliefs. Let's see where life decides to take me next...
college student. junior. international studies major. over-the-top foodie. travel and lifestyle student blogger?
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