Monday, May 3, 2010

The Explorer

Ever since I moved to Chicago, I made a goal for myself that I would explore the city I desperately wanted to live in. My goal of course seemed minor, but I knew it would be easy for me to make excuses and reasons for not exploring/trying new things. One of my biggest regrets is when I lived in New York City the summer before my senior year in college working as an intern at a PR agency. After each long week of work, I would be too exhausted to do anything. I would tell myself next weekend I will. Sure enough, in my last few weekends in NYC I was scrambling to fit everything in. Now living permanently in my dream city, it is easy to delay activities and for me to use my same excuse, next weekend I will. When there is no deadline on when to accomplish things, it is easy to put them off and I wasn't going to let that happen.

Yesterday my BF asked me to join him for a bike ride along the lake. At first I was hesitant. (For those of you who know how crazy Lake Shore Drive can be along with riding bikes in the streets of Chicago- my first reaction was no thanks.) He of course persuaded me to attempt this journey and that I would be in for a real surprise.

Riding a bike in the city is no easy task. Between pedestrians, bikers who think they are cars, crazy taxi drivers, impatient drivers, and CTA buses, you are lucky to make it in one piece. As we made our way to Lake Shore Drive, I found myself becoming excited and giddy for my adventure. As we rode towards downtown on the main strip, I realized this was my first time this spring being on the lake front. With the smell of the water, the breeze in my face, and the warm spring air, I could not help but to feel energized.

After riding my bike for a few miles, I could start to feel my legs burning. I was not expecting the ride to be much of a workout, but boy was I proven wrong. The burning was soon forgotten as we passed Navy Pier, the Chicago Yacht Club and arrived at the Buckingham Fountain. The fountain had just been turned on for the first time this spring and it was beautiful. My BF and I stopped to admire the beautiful gigantic fountain spewing water high up in the sky. Our trip did not end there. We continued our journey past Grant Park, heading towards the Shed Aquarium.

The path continued along the lake behind the Shed Aquarium and I soon saw another beautiful building ahead. The building was the Adler Planetarium. In all my years and trips to Chicago, I had never seen the Adler Planetarium nor ventured so far on the Lake Shore Drive path. As we rode farther away from downtown, the more beautiful and breath-taking the Chicago Skyline view became. Words cannot begin to explain how memorable my adventure was. I was an explorer in my own city, traveling down a path I had never gone down before.

Every day our life is on a journey. Some days we know where we are going and what we are doing, other days anything is possible. Sometimes it is easy to follow the paths of others and astray from taking our own path. We are the pilot of our own lives and need to remind ourselves that it is okay to take a different direction. Who knows where the path we choose will take us, but in the end, it will always be worth it.

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