A Weekend in Milan

I’ve always wanted to go to Italy. Something about the food, the cars… the men – it’s enough to get any woman excited. And as far as Italian cities go, Milan would have been as good as any to start off with. But when Michael and I embarked on a 13 hour trip to Milan, we ended up driving to the Village of Milan in Illinois, instead.

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Close enough!

With the year coming to a close, this trip represented a solid reminder of my 2015 goal to volunteer, write, and explore. It also allowed me to reap the rewards of how far I had come by taking some well-needed time off. So far we’ve had a blast!

We had dinner at an Irish pub:

We went exploring nearby in Iowa and saw the cutest sheep!

And then we went hiking in the pouring rain (and this time I spent more time in front of the camera, for a change):

Tomorrow, we leave Milan for Peoria, but it’s been great while it lasted. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. One day I’ll make it to Italy, France, Spain and all the other countries I want to visit. In the meantime, I hope my blog continues to inspire people to take risks and chase their dreams.

Just a few months ago, I was a payroll tax analyst at a dead-end job more depressed by my ambition than inspired by it. I had big dreams and wanted great things, but every day I spent at Xerox set me farther and farther behind.

Today, I look forward to waking up every Monday morning to write. And I enjoy every second of every day spend alone, and with the people I love.

The lesson? Never be too afraid to chase your dreams and do the things you love. More often than not, the main obstacle between “getting by” and living the life you want isn’t a degree, or capital, or slaving away for a promotion. It’s the willingness to take risks.

I can’t promise you success if you do…
…but I can promise you won’t ever have the life you really want, if you don’t.

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. Wade says:

    Hey, that’s right in my neck of the woods! We live in Rock Island, IL. It looks like you two had a wonderful time; it’s wonderful to get away with the people you care about, even if it’s not to an exotic location in a distant land!

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    1. Alexis says:

      Oh wow! Right by you?! The coincidence! Too bad you didn’t say something sooner. We’re in Peoria now. Thanks for dropping by and checking out the post. 🙂

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      1. Wade says:

        I know, so random! If you guys find yourself in the area again, let me know; I’d love to take you two out for a drink and some conversation! Where are you guys headed next? Peoria is on the way from here in Rock Island to my hometown of Mattoon, in Central Illinois. Regardless, I hope you two enjoy your time together here in my home state! I enjoyed your post and as always look forward to the next!

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      2. Alexis says:

        Haha yeah. Michael is a northern boy, so we came to see his dad’s side of the family.

        That would have been great. We were there for three days too. I’m not sure we’ll be headed back there on this trip, but we’ll be back for sure at some point. His bestie lives in Milan.

        He says he’s never heard of Mattoon. What’s it like there?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wade says:

        Well, we figure on being here for at least another year, and it’s likely to be longer, so next time you’re up, we’d be happy to meet you all! Mattoon is a small factory and farm town about fifteen miles West of Charleston, IL (home of Eastern Illinois University) and roughly forty-five miles South of Champaign, IL. That may give him a rough idea of where the town is. It’s not exciting to most people, but the area is home to me… It is the bagel capital of the world, however, and home to the original non-chain Burger King. Kind of an odd place, but there are worse places to grow up than among the cornfields!

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      4. Alexis says:

        We? Who else you got up there with you? Are you there for work? Where are you headed afterwards?
        Well he doesn’t find Peoria exciting and it’s home to him. I really like it here, despite the cold. You know as a Caribbean girl I’m still just adjusting to the northern weather. Haven’t seen any snow since I’ve been here though.

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      5. Wade says:

        I’m sorry, I should have clarified! “We”is my wife, Clarissa,and myself. She’s in India for the month, so I’m prepping for backpacking overnight at Yellow River State Forest in northern Iowa this weekend. Just a little trip, but I’m stoked for it. I came to the Quad Cities about two and half years ago for a three year contract job, which is up in May, and after following me up she found a job at Augustana College and as a a yoga instructor. She wants to stick around for her work for a little longer, so we’re not sure when we’re leaving or where we’ll go, but we’ll stick around for a little while anyway.

        I’ve driven through Peoria a lot, but haven’t spent much time in the city itself, but it seems like a nice place. I can imagine that it would take some time to adjust to the cold; I’m a midwesterner, so the last week has actually been pretty warm by my standards for December. I don’t know how long you guys are around, but the temps are supposed to drop this weekend, and you may see a little of that snow!

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      6. Alexis says:

        Haha. I was wondering! That sounds like a great opportunity. Michael and I will be in Atlanta at least until he finishes school. After that, virtually anywhere is fair game. We’re thinking of heading west, but who knows?

        We just left today and it was bloody well cold by any standard! It was 17 degrees. I wasn’t sure we’d make it out alive lol. We’re still driving south at the moment. About 27 degrees now in southern IL.

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      7. Wade says:

        Sometimes you just have to wait and see what opportunities arise before deciding where to go. That’s what we’ve decided anyway. It was a chilly weekend, that’s for sure. I was actually camping in Northern Iowa on Saturday night, and I spent a lot of time curled up next to a fire! Of course, today it’s near 50 degrees and raining. The midwest, there’s nothing else quite like it, lol!

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      8. Alexis says:

        Yes, that’s the plan. I’m keeping an open mind, as long as he doesn’t try to convince me to go to Alaska. Illinois was cold enough lol.

        Oh, Atlanta is just as temperamental. You’ll have a freezing night and then be sweating the next. I once had to go pull out sweaters in the middle of May!

        Maybe it’s America and maybe it’s climate change. Who knows these days? Earth is a funny planet to live on.

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  2. jelocastillo says:

    I adore Italy! I’m so grateful for having been there! Have you been to Rome and Sorrento?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alex says:

      Thank you! But in the blog post I actually wrote about going to Milan, Illinois. I’d love to go to Italy, but I haven’t made it there yet.

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      1. jelocastillo says:

        You’ll enjoy it so much if you go!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on TwoToneTheArtist and commented:
    Hiking in the rain in Iowa, December 2015.

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