Sometimes I need to escape from Chicago. As much as I love living in a concrete jungle, a break from the city does me a lot of good. I usually board the Amtrak and within an hour of leaving the city, fields of corn and soybeans surround me
There’s grass on the ground, cows lounging lazily in fields and no skyscrapers. It’s easy to forget that a sprawling city like Chicago is still in the heart of the Midwest. For the next few days I’m on a mini (working) vacation in Champaign, Illinois.
What are some sure signs that I’ve left the city for Champaign?
Grass! The grass in my neighborhood is sparse at best and the view from my apartment is unfortunately another person’s window. I love seeing lush acres of grass and feeling the softness beneath my feet.
Flowers! When I step outside in Champaign this time of year I’m greeted with the smell of fresh flowers.
Trees! I love looking up and seeing trees form a canopy in my backyard.
There also seems to be more wildlife in Champaign. While Chicago’s rat population isn’t going anywhere, I miss squirrels, birds, chipmunks and of course this little sweetie.
Turns out, I need a little nature in my life. The sound of construction outside my bedroom window every morning and the hours spent on my laptop inside my small apartment probably get to me more than I realize. One of the great parts of Chicago is the proximity to peace and quiet. And when I’m ready for the hectic pace of the city again, I’m just a train ride away.