4 Tips to Explore the Chicago Music Scene

Explore the Chicago music scene at night

There is always a good reason to discover the Chicago music scene during a city trip. It is safe to say that this urban stage breathes music. From its suburban neighborhood veins to its vibrant heart, electrifying tunes and suiting melodies will surprise you everywhere. Therefore, a trip to this exciting city is not complete without a visit to one of its delightful music venues. Here are four of the must see sites that will suit your ears and tickle your dancing nerves.

1. Schubas Tavern

Head over to Southport Avenue and enjoy the warm atmosphere and intimate setting of Schubas Tavern. As with a lot of other music venues in Chicago, this venue is a strong promoter of promising talents from the city and the surrounding region. It is a cozy venue and a perfect place to cheer for local artists. They know how to find this place and they certainly know how to give a good show. Look for comfortable Chicago hotels near Schubas Tavern to enjoy a few special nights of musical satisfaction.

2. Metro Chicago

When talking about music venues in Chicago, Metro requires a special mention. Over the years, this beloved concert hall on Clark Street has gained an iconic status in the music world. Several of the worlds’ most famous musicians played at this venue. For many of them, Metro was the one that catapulted their careers. This was certainly the case for well-known bands like The Smashing Pumpkins, Depeche Mode and R.E.M. Metro also played an important role in the rise and promotion of music genres like grunge and industrial.

3. Reggie’s Rock Club

Head over to Reggie’s Rock club if you are in need of some high-quality and high-volume musical styles. This club in the South Loop area focuses on loud and energetic music genres like hardcore, old school metal and punk. Make sure to visit the attached record shop if you want to buy some used CDs or vinyls. Play them at home to bring back memories of your musical trip to the Windy City.

4. Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House on Rush Street

Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House is a comfortable dining and drinking spot. You can grab a bite, have a drink, and listen to wonderful blues music. Rush Street is a popular destination for nightlife entertainment enthusiasts. After visiting Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House, you might want to stay a little longer and explore other music venues on Rush Street. Luckily, there are a lot of excellent hotels in the nearby area. Grand Avenue is a good spot to start searching for a comfortable Windy City hotel.

The Vibrant Chicago Music Scene 

No matter if it is rock, jazz, dance or blues, music is everywhere in the alluring city of Chicago. Dance in clubs until the early morning, cheer at your favorite artists during festivals and concerts or just sit back and relax at a charming music bar in one of the city’s back alleys.

5 Ways To Travel The World At Home

Foreign food - Ways to travel the world at homeWays to travel the world in your own backyard

Do you really have to travel? Maybe you do not have the money, will or time to visit unknown destinations. However, you can still experience the whole world, if you use a little bit of creativity and imagination. What if I tell you that you can experience the world from the comfort of your own chair.

These five convenient ways to travel the world will bring you to far away destinations, introduce you to new cultures and let you experience extraordinary adventures. And the good things is, you do not even have to pack your bags and leave your house.
 
 

1. Travel books

Do you want to discover the world without leaving your chair or bed? A travel book can be the perfect solution. A good writer can take you to all kinds of exotic places. And the best thing is, you will experience them from the comfort of your own home. Who still needs to see the real thing..

2. Food and drinks

One of my favorite ways to experience a foreign culture without traveling. Food is an excellent way to learn about new cultures. Step out of your comfort zone and visit exotic restaurants in your home area. Eat Ethiopian food with your hands, burn your mouth at Indian curries or sip traditional Afghan tea. The choices are endless. You can also buy yourself a nice cookbook and make all kinds of foreign dishes at home.

3. Hosting travelers

Join community sites like BeWelcome or Couchsurfing and open up your house for travelers. Hosting is a great way to meet people from all over the world and learn about their countries. Sometimes I had more then five nationalities in my small little apartment. Which was a truly awesome and educational experience. Soon you will have friends from all over the world, while you never left your hometown.

4. Music and dance

Music is an excellent way to tickle your senses and experience different cultures. Try to broaden your music styles by listening to songs from unfamiliar countries. Enjoy rhythmic African sounds or colorful south american songs. There is a whole musical world out there for you to discover. The only thing you have to do is hit the play button and relax or dance.

5. Movies and documentaries

Relax at home and enjoy movies or documentaries about far away places. They can amaze you with all kinds of incredible things that the world has to offer. You will travel through the deepest oceans, the largest forests and the most extreme deserts. Of course you will experience no discomforts because once again, you will never leave you comfortable house during your trip.

Do you know of any other way to experience the world in your own backyard? As an armchair traveler, what is your favorite way to escape from daily live?

Useful links

  • Travel the world without leaving home: The article that inspired me to write this blog post. Author Alastair Humphreys traveled the world in the very diverse city of London. He munched his way around the city, eating at restaurants with kitchens from all kinds of countries. A very inspiring article.
  • My top 10 travel books: Do you want some tips for good travel stories? You can find a selection some of my favorites in the top 10 travel book section.
  • Back to the Home Page 

 

4 ways to get in contact with locals

 

4 ways to get in contact with locals. For example by engaging in sports activities with them.4 ways to bond with locals

Your trip becomes a total different experience when you get in contact with local people. They can provide you with “expert” information about their country, and you will often be surprised how friendly and hospitable they are compared to people who work in the tourism business, who often seem fatigued about foreigners.

Once in contact with locals you will notice that many of them are really friendly. They show a genuine interest in you, are willing to give you advice and love to tell you about their culture. However, sometimes they are too shy to approach you. Here are 4 ways to overcome boundaries and get in contact.

1. Sports

Recently, when I strolled along the bedding of the Mekong river in Laos, I was invited by some local boys to join their football game. I never reject such an offer. It is a great way to get in contact with local people. A fun aspect about sports is that it does not necessarily require you to talk, so for some people it it a more easy way to be in contact with you.

Shyness disappears and there is a lot of fun involved when you are playing a (football) match with each other. A park is a good place to get in contact with local people who are playing sports. While traveling in Southeast Asia I noticed that a lot of people come together in the parks, to do sports activities like aerobics, running and playing badminton. Good opportunities to join them.

2. Language

Try to learn some words which exceed the standard tourist lines like thank you and hello, when you travel abroad. Many locals really cheer up when they notice that you talk to them in their language. Often they are to shy or unable to speak English. Having some small talk with them in their own language is a great way to make them feel happy and at ease.

3. Music

Many people love to dance and sing songs. A really nice way of bonding and sharing a cultural experience is by playing music with each other, but if you do not play an instrument then try to join them in other musical activities like karaoke, dancing in clubs, or partying in bars.

Dancing can take away boundaries because it is a physical activity, so language is not that important. Singing songs together also can be a lot of fun. Many people know English songs even though they do not speak the language, and listening to songs from the country that you visit is a nice way to learn more about the culture of your destination.

4. Couchsurfing

If you want to have a great local experience then I recommend joining the Couchsurfing community. Couchsurfers are people who share their home with travelers. Couchsurfers do not stay in a hotel/hostel but instead choose to stay with a local. It is a great way to get to know more about a country and culture, because your local host is an expert on the subject.

Get in contact

Remember to get out of your comfort zone when you want to get in contact with locals. Usually they are eager to talk and bond with you, but often the are to shy to actually approach you. Be the first one to take away that boundary and you could have many wonderful experiences with locals.

Do you often get in contact with locals? How do you usually approach them? What was the most memorable experience you had with a local?