Throughout my professional career (and at this point, it’s longer than i want to admit), i’ve traveled to Chicago for work. Every visit has been fantastic. On various trips i have been fortunate enough to visit Navy Pier, shop the “Mag Mile” and West Loop areas, and attend cooking school.
But over the years, i found my trips were limited to the same 10 block radius and realized i had never actually done much outside of my formal meeting schedule. If you travel for work you know how backwards this is. You fly in, meet, work, meet, check email, and fly out. If it’s an overnight trip you fly in, meet, work, meet, check email, meet for dinner, entertain, crash from exhaustion, get up, exercise, rinse and repeat.
I was back in Chicago last week for a conference. Since a 2013 goal of mine was to get out and see more when i travel for work, i was determined to break the typical cycle.
With that in mind, there are two things I have always wanted to do in Chicago. 1: Walk through Millennium Park. It has bothered the hell out of me that i was here on a regular basis for four years, working right across the street from this park, and never once walked through it.
After my meetings ended on Tuesday, i took a leisurely stroll through the park. It’s quick, takes 10-15 minutes at a brisk pace (making it even more pathetic that i never did this before). What i loved most about my walk was finally getting to see “the bean.”
It’s just a bean in the park, but it’s cool. It’s also symbolic of Chicago (to me at least) because there are all kinds of sculpture art around the city. I know other cities (NYC, Minneapolis even Washington DC) do stuff like this. It just stands out more in Chicago.
The second thing i’ve always wanted to do is go to the Sears/Hancock/Willis tower sky deck and stand on the glass balcony overlooking Chicago. Yeah, this is total tourist stuff. But i have a deep rooted, irrational fear of falling. I love views but the fear of falling has bordered on near paralysis at times. I wanted to do this to push myself waaaaay out of my comfort zone and see if i can start overcoming this fear.
Mother Nature, could have cared less, and sent the biggest, baddest storm to Chicago. There was hail, thunder, lightening and rumor has it the Causeway was closed as well as some schools. Total bummer.
While i fell short on my wish list, i think i get an A for effort. When i’m back in Chicago what should be on my to-do list?