If you have ever lived in a major city with a solid public transit system, or have visited and had to navigate your own way around, you know that it can be a tricky situation. How often do they run, which stop do you get off at, do you need to change lines, etc.

However, the system in Chicago is actually pretty simple. There are a limited number of color-coded train lines you can take, all of which are clearly identified on easy-to-read maps. And if you can’t make sense of it yourself, the people here are nice enough to help you if you have a question.

Sounds simple, right?

Wrong. Well, sort of.

Today I was heading home from work and switching from the red line to the brown line. Once I get onto the brown line train, I only have one stop until I get off and walk a few blocks home.

Just. One. Stop.

My commute on the brown line is a whopping three minutes, if that.

Welp, count on me to mix things up.

I had my nose in a book (what else is new) and walked onto the purple line train instead of the brown line. Normally that wouldn’t be an issue. Get on the wrong line and you just get off at the next stop a minute or two later and head back.

However, the purple line train I got onto was a non-stop express straight into the suburbs. Once those doors closed, I was stuck for a solid 25 minutes with nowhere to go but in the wrong direction.

Want to hear an embarrassing confession?

I’ve done this before… the only difference was the book I was reading.

To be honest, I was instantly annoyed. I would have gotten home around 7 o’clock if I had gotten onto the right train, but now I knew I was adding almost an hour onto my commute. I was tired, hungry, and wanted to watch the Yankees vs. Red Sox game!

But since I knew I was stuck with no other place to go, I griped for a minute and then decided to cut my losses and make the most of it.

So I laughed at myself on Twitter and then used the extra time I had to knock out a few more pages in my book.

And instead of taking the (correct) train home, I called an Uber and had them drop me off at a sandwich shop around the corner from my apartment where I ordered a meatball sub and a delicious side of mac n’ cheese (comfort food, obviously.) While that is certainly not in line with the healthy eating habits I try to follow, tonight certainly felt like a justified “screw it” occasion.

And through it all, I couldn’t help but realize the importance of rerouting. Whether you’re (literally) heading the wrong way and need to redirect yourself entirely, or just need to make a slight adjustment, there is a constant demand to adapt time and time again. Yes, it can be frustrating. But I would argue that trying to resist the inevitable curveballs will only make it more difficult to get back on course later on.

And do you want to know what the greatest part of the entire situation was? I still made it home, am sitting on my bed blogging, and truly believe I am exactly where I belong.

It’s funny how taking a different path can still get us exactly where we’re meant to be, isn’t it?



It happens every year, particularly in the summer. The sun comes out and all I want to do is hop on a plane or jump in a car and go somewhere new. And that’s just what i’ve been doing lately.

A few weeks ago I spent some time exploring the beautiful city of Boston (don’t worry, I stayed away from Fenway Park. Go Yankees!) Last weekend I went to Pittsburgh and packed in as much adventure into my 36-hour trip as possible. A few days ago I booked a trip to visit my friend in Chicago over 4th of July weekend. I’m heading to Toronto for a concert tomorrow, and to top it off, I have my family reunion in Maine later this summer. Needless to say, all of my senses are urging me to wander.

As i’ve traveled from place to place, i’ve had more time than usual to reflect on what this mysterious life is all about. More specifically, i’ve thought about how critical our location is in determining how our life unfolds. 

Think about it. Almost everything that happens to you is predicated upon where you live: the work you do, who you surround yourself with (and who you meet by happenstance) your daily routine, your successes and failures…. it’s all victim to your location.

A woman who I know through social media and respect very much wrote a short Facebook post the other day that made me think about my notion of location in a new way. She said, “Sometimes, home isn’t where you live. It’s where you come alive.”

At some points in our lives, we choose the location and the home that invigorates us; maybe we move away to a new city for school, a job, or a relationship. But at other times, I think it’s fair to say that our home can also choose us without much rhyme or reason. As though choice and serendipity work together to place us where we belong.

And the idea that our home isn’t necessarily a physical address, but more of a place that makes us feel our most genuine and joyful selves, is a calming thought in my chaotic mind. Isn’t it peaceful to know that we can have multiple places which we call home?

Because if that’s the case, then the idea that location dictates nearly everything about our life isn’t so scary anymore… it’s actually pretty exciting.

Where to next?
Exploring Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania