Ever-changing cities

Whenever I see a plane fly by, I always wish I were on it. I don’t mean that I wish I could fly away from the place at which I’m standing. No, I’m not an escapist. But there is a hunger I feel in my gut–an incurable craving for going somewhere. 

It doesn’t even matter where I’m going. It could be a brand new city, one I’ve been to before, or the place I call home. Every time I travel, a new way looking at my surroundings sneaks its way into my luggage.

Living in London means the countryside is infinite; Istanbul knows no such thing as personal space; and Chicago genuinely cares about everyone who steps foot within the city limits. While visiting each of these places, I compare things I see to the place I just came from and to the memories of everywhere I’ve been before that. 

You'd be hard pressed to find the edges of Charlecote Park. I've tried.

You'd be hard pressed to find the edges of Charlecote Park. I've tried.

Parts of Istanbul pops everyone's personal bubble. 

Parts of Istanbul pops everyone's personal bubble. 

I recently spent some time in Chicago. Growing up a few hours away, I’ve visited this metropolis more times than I can count. It’s familiar, it’s homely, it’s mine. But this time around, I felt like a stranger. Since the last time I’ve been in Chicago, I’ve traveled to my fair share of foreign countries. Returning to the place I call ‘second-home’ means I have a whole new lens to look through.

Compared to my little hometown, I always thought Chicago was SO old. But after visiting the 6th century Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, I now know what ‘old’ is. And the evidence of London’s deep history makes its age impossible to ignore. Chicago now falls into a new category of old, one I just made up the other day. It’s a modern day, industrial old (it's a working title). I noticed details of the city I never saw before because this time around, I was redefining the city as I took it in. I was updating the color and realigning the details.

Chicago has external fire escapes and an overground train, giving it an old industrial feel.

Chicago has external fire escapes and an overground train, giving it an old industrial feel.

That’s the thing about traveling, I always end up tweaking what I thought I knew to be true. I can’t travel without changing a little bit.