On population.

I miss Chicago every day. Literally. Yet I’m satisfied where we’ve settled. Life is good. Very good. And I am thankful for all the people along the way who have welcomed us into their worlds as this strange adventure continues to unfold.

When I say I miss Chicago, what I really mean is that I miss the vibe of a city. As we prepare for a quick trip to San Francisco, I find myself comparing the pros and cons of living in medium-sized Midwest college town and life in a thriving metropolis—full of people, competitive rental markets and great restaurants.

I believe I’ve come to a conclusion. Based on personal experience, I think a comfortable life in an affordable world is good for the soul. The day-to-day is not a battle. Going to the grocery store is not a challenge. Sitting on the porch can be an event and mowing the lawn can be an accomplishment.

However, if living in places like Springfield, MO are good for the soul, I suspect living in a place like Chicago or San Francisco can be good for the brain. Life is happening every second. The view from your front door is like a postcard. The skyline is inspiring and the general population seems to be happy—almost honored—to be there. Each day is unpredictable and exciting in both good and bad ways. Your best day at work could be ruined by a crowded bus that smells of pee.

As we’ve said before, the solution is simple. Live low-key, but travel often. Strike a balance of some sort. And whether you find yourself on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere or a city street in the middle of everything, enjoy the beginning of the holiday season.

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