Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois | Litterless

When I first moved to Chicago a year and a half ago, I only knew one person (and, barely, at that). And, yet, the city so quickly felt like my home. There are so many things I love about living in the city: walking e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e (and public transportation when I can't), the people I've met, and the volume of new places to explore. What's been harder is the fact that, despite my adoration for public transit, I've found that I'm hopelessly suburban at heart. I love stepping out of a front door onto grass, taking a walk in the woods, and sitting on a large back porch that is equally enticing for large dinner parties or a summer nap.

I live in Chicago, though, and I plan to be here for a long time. So, I find nature where I can, scraps of it here and there: in parks and and medians and windowboxes and lakefronts. Spending time outdoors each day brightens my mood and keeps me calm, settled, and content in a city where the pace of life is anything but. If you need some encouragement to make room for outdoor adventure in your life, consider this it.