City boy vs Adventurer

I guess the difference between him and I, a city boy and an adventurer, is pretty simple: he’s okay staying here. He was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, same as me, but he has no desire to leave. I’ve never wanted to stay. Ever since I can remember, I have thirsted for travel. I have been staring out plane windows, watching the shadow of the wheels touch the ground and felt the windows shaking as the brakes do all they can to slow the plane before the end of the runway since before I can remember. He closed his eyes because he thought we would crash into the Hudson when we landed in New York City. He had never been on a plane before. He hadn’t travelled much at all except to Milwaukee and Saint Louis.

I can’t imagine being stuck in one place my whole life, but that’s all he has ever wanted. He’s always wanted to live in Chicago and spend his life working here. He never had an interest in even seeing New York, or Michigan, or anywhere else, until I begged him to go. He told me New York had nothing for him and he didn’t care to see something that would ultimately mean nothing to him, but I made him go with me.

I’ve been to New York a couple times now, and it’s the only city I have ever loved. I think the reason I love it so much is because it’s so big, so it would take a long time to see everything. There’s always more to see. With Chicago, I can’t seem to find anything new to explore. I haven’t seen it all, but it’s all the same. Business buildings and scattered artworks line most streets in the city and the suburbs are littered with nothing but home after home with strip malls and parks that the city calls nature, but it’s nothing more than a couple trees planted and maintained by county workers.

The beauty of traveling is that I can never see the whole world. Even if I have gone to every country and seen every coast of every ocean from every city in every country that lines those oceans, I will never have seen everything. It’s impossible to see everything in the world before I die and that’s exactly the beauty in it. How can I sit still in the same city for my whole life when there’s an entire planet out there? Chicago is just a small corner and he can show me everything great about the city, but I will never understand his desire to stay, but he says this is home. He can’t leave because this is where he belongs because it’s the city he knows and the city he’s comfortable in.

It’s odd. It’s almost like traveling has always been the only option for me. As a kid, I ran around the woods near my house and climbed the trees in my backyard just to feel like I wasn’t near a city. He has always cherished the moments he spent with his parents downtown. His family went to North Avenue Beach for a family outing. My family drove until we lost cell reception and set up camp. We’ve grown up with different views on the world and I’m still shocked that we have been able to share these views with each other. City boy told me that I have instilled a bit of a travel bug in him. I’ve been too shy to tell him I’m starting to see what he loves about Chicago.