With it being my first time to visit Chicago I obviously started the day being the standard tourist. First things first:
SKY DECK TOWER & THE BEAN
As it’s the Sunday before independence day I was expecting crowds. My experience of the Sky Deck Tower can be described in one word: Queue. We queued outside, inside, and once at the top queued to get our legendary photo on the glass platform to show the world. I found myself thinking WHY? why as humans do we feel the need too follow the crowd, and tick things like this off our list? Don’t get me wrong, The views were amazing, but somewhat over shadowed by peoples desperate attempts to obtain the perfect photo of themselves in a tiny 4 foot rectangle.
It all comes back too that magic word: Intention. What do we intend too do with these photos? Do we simply take them for the benefits of others, or maybe we do it too feed our own ego as a statement. Do we feel we have to try and prove something to the world? I really hope that authentic travel and experience isn’t lost, I like to think that people still have the capacity to value where they are and what they are doing, instead of just focusing on what will look good on their social media and how its going to make people perceive their lives to be somewhat better than which it is.
So feeling rather irritated and anxious due to the amount of people we head down into the street and find our way to The Cloud Gate nicknamed The Bean. Sadly I was only greeted by the same story of people perilously trying to get the perfect snap and even getting shitty with others if they got in the way.
I suppose I can’t write this without sharing my reasons as to why I also feel the need to congregate round such landmarks. For me its simple; I’m a collector of experiences and places. I hope when I’m 90 (Yes yogis live that long) I will just marvel at how such a small girl made her way around this huge world visiting so many cities and places as she went. As yes, of course I love an Instagram worthy pic as much as the next person.(I am a millennium after all) but I like too think that I don’t get so wound up on taking the perfect photo I actually forget too appreciate the moment; to really see the place in all its glory!
So after my touristy shit was done I experienced what was my favourite part of the day. Leaving my colleague who wanted to do some retail therapy and going on a 3 hour solo bike ride on the Lake Trail of Chicago.
THE BIKE RIDE
What is better than getting on a bike and just going?
Just me, the breeze my bike and my thoughts! I was grateful to be able to use my jetlagged body after such a long flight. I was grateful for the sun, the water and the nature around me. I was grateful to witness everyone being out on a Sunday, embracing the weekend and each other.
Most of all I was grateful to witness that all to familiar reality that seems lost too me at times.
I am aware that my job puts me out of touch for its so far from “normal” routine. Come to think of it I have no routine. I work silly hours. I’ll be on different time zones to my friends and family. I’ll spend a lot of time alone, even in Dubai if my friends and I have different flights we will go weeks without a catch up. So witnessing that kind of simple life and knowing it still going on gives me a kind of peace I cant really explain. Like I’m a spectator of the routine in the places I visit. Always a nomad, a guest within the city. I am in no way complaining, I love my job and the perks it gives me. I just love these little reality checks, these little confirmations that the worlds still turning as I once remember and feeling what was once familiar.
So thank you Chicago, you truly are breath taking and thank you for reaffirming why Sunday’s have always been my favourite!
Peace and Love