My name’s Rebecca and I’ve never wanted to be anything but a writer.
I don’t recall the exact origin story of realizing this was so. However, I do remember that in 2nd grade the kids voted on their favorite class story to include in a big book the teacher put together. Some kids liked my story about a chicken going to the psychiatrist so much they raised their hands twice. I thought I might be onto something. Plus it was an early lesson on the old Chicago adage, “vote early and often” (though no bribes were offered, I swear).
I earned a Bachelor’s in English at the University of Illinois Chicago. For over a decade, I lived in Chicago, working as a medical transcriptionist and writing creatively on the side. I loved the great diversity of the city, getting by without a car, and exploring the nooks and crannies of the different neighborhoods. For four years, I blogged part time at Gapers Block, a newspaper-style blog, whose motto is “slow down and check out Chicago.”
Meanwhile, my comfortable professional gig was becoming less and less comfortable. Something had to change. In August of 2013, I moved to the cornfields of DeKalb for grad school at Northern Illinois University. I’ve made it my mission to appreciate what’s unique about the area rather than constantly compare it to city life. Want to hunt for morel mushrooms? Visit a winery? You can’t do those in the city. Also, there are hills in Illinois; who knew?
My aim for this site is as a bit of a “micro-travel” blog, spotlighting what’s unique, affordable, and feasible in a short road trip. I don’t have time to drive all over the great state of Illinois, so I’ve confined my scope to the 815 area code, which covers roughly the northern one-third of the state, excluding the Chicagoland area.
I tend to fear change. I can count the physical buildings I’ve lived in on one hand. I’m adventurous, but I like having a solid sense of home. Also, travel requires this thing called money, and if I had more of that, I doubt I would have moved. But what’s that old saying – something about lemons you plant, or blooming where you drink lemonade? Join me as I figure it out in my drives in the 815.
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