Having a pm discussion with another member, this topic came up. My contention would be that for better or worse, love or loathe the area one was raised in, somehow it represents 'home.' I guess I've been thinking about this after a number of years of visiting other locales around the country, appreciating how much better the weather, scenery, even the 'pace of living' is than Chicago environs. Now that I am considering applying for positions in other states I'm coming to realize this will always be 'home.' Oh mind you, I'm very aware of the good things about this area, well probably any major metro area and I've enjoyed those benefits more than most. Yet, no one can enumerate the pitfalls of this area as myself. Be it the flatness, the corrupt politics, the out-of-control taxes, the draconian laws... When I've gone 'east', I've enjoyed the museums, national parks, perhaps the more different will be the change in topography, (not flat) and the vegetation. Going south, weather. Both oceans. West is definitely vastly different than IL. Mountains, temperatures, desert, oceans. Yeah, it would take the ocean to overcome Lake Michigan. Yet, none strike my heart the way the Chicago skyline does, whether from west of the city looking east or out on the Lake looking west. Granted it's a man made beauty, but a sight nevertheless. Wherever I end up, I know that in my heart I'll always be a 'Chicago girl' at heart. While there's a good chance my kids may move from here, all my 'bestest' friends will stay for the foreseeable future. I almost wish I was 'gone' so I could come here on vacation for a week or so, staying downtown.