Moving to Chicago: Where We Stand Now
Will and I moved to Chicago a few days before the New Year. It was exciting and scary and thrilling, but most of all it was cold. We had an airbnb for ten days in Lincoln Park, but we were eager to settle. The airbnb was fine, but we only had a microwave and a mini fridge, so after several microwave dinners, we were both seriously craving Weekend Oats and Chipotle Bowls—which we hadn’t had in a year. Moreover, we were craving routine. We threw ourselves into finding a home with extreme determination. We divided and concurred, searching, flagging, setting up showings. On our first weekend, we lined up about a dozen showings between two days, primarily in the surrounding Lincoln Park neighborhood. By the end of Sunday, we decided to make a decision.
So to backtrack a bit: After Medellin, Will and I flew to Jacksonville, Florida to visit his grandparents. We try to go each winter, and it was a wonderful mid-point. The weather still felt tropical, and we weren’t on a set schedule. From there, we stopped at my parent’s place in New Jersey. I cut my hair which felt symbolic and cathartic. And I caught up with friends from home which completely filled my heart.
Then up to Will’s parent’s place in New Hampshire for Christmas. We got our first taste of snow all year, soon to be our reality.
It was a whirlwind for sure. There was so much to process being back stateside, but the litany of flights felt like we were back on the road. It seemed, well, familiar. Once we landed in Chicago, it was tough not to process what’s next. Our next flight, accommodation, destination. We’re simply here. There’s no time limit.
So how does it feel? There’s a lot of feels. Moving anywhere is no doubt an adventure in itself. However, moving to Chicago in the beginning on January is particularly challenging. I get pangs of nostalgia for the spontaneity of each day. But mostly, I just miss the sun and walking outside without bundling. However, the small victories we’ve experienced are enormous. Eating dinner at our dining room table, hanging up a picture, filling a pantry with familiar ingredients!
The appreciation for a reliably hot shower won’t diminish for years. Will still is an awe of the feeling turning a key and walking into your out own place. Waking up in our own bed. It’s a luxury, for sure. It’s been too cold to really explore, but so far, we really love our neighborhood.
We know we’ll love Chicago. And I know even more so once it warms up—or at least, so we’ve been told. We’ve already experienced an intense polar vortex, with temperatures colder than Antartica. And for someone who struggles with the cold in general, it’s been…character building. We continue to channel The Year Away. The things we’ve learned. Perhaps our biggest takeaway is that things will work out. Perhaps not how you anticipated, but they will indeed work out.