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Ali’s Journey – The differences between Wisconsin and Illinois

The differences between Wisconsin and Illinois.

Being born and raised in Wisconsin, we’ve tended to think certain things about our buffering states. Well, that kind of changed last year after moving to Illinois. Here’s the differences between Wisconsin and Illinois that we’ve noticed.

1. Driving. Yes, Illinois drivers on average tend to drive fast, however, they get the heck out of the left lane when someone is wanting to pass. They also tend to be very courteous and conscious drivers. Letting you in when you have your blinker on, multiple lanes stopping so you can cross traffic, and even moving up at a stop light so you can make a right hand turn. Surprisingly enough, we have found Illinois drivers to be better, more patient and kinder drivers than our Wisconsin drivers (sorry guys, just speaking the truth). Do note, that this is in the suburbs I am talking about, not downtown. 😉

2. Bumper Stickers. There are little to no political bumper stickers on cars in Illinois. In fact, there are hardly any bumper stickers on cars here at all. It’s quite refreshing.

3. People are friendlier. Sorry Wisconsin but this is just truth! Even though we’re only 2 hours from Madison, people ask you “how are you doing” instead of “hi” or not even looking or answering when you say “hi”. When you’re in line at TJ Maxx or Target people actually have conversations with you. When you check out at grocery stores or other stores, the check out people are friendly and talk to you as well. People are much more conversational and friendlier.

4. Go green Illinois. Sadly, Illinois could use some major work in this area. They are plastic happy! At Target they’d don’t even have paper bags for an option, only plastic. When I bring my own bags into the grocery store, I don’t get any sort of a credit for doing so. They’re a bit behind on this area and it’s quite sad and painful for me.

5. Sales tax is WONK. Insane in the membrane!!!!! In Plainfield where we live it’s 8.5%. In other counties it can be almost 11%.

6. Property taxes are insane. Illinois has the second highest property taxes in the entire United Sates of America.

7. Diversity. This has to be one of my favorite things! Growing up in a small town, which was all white and then moving to Madison for college and to raise Maxwell, I haven’t experienced much diversity in life. I’ve loved the people we’ve been blessed to meet, who are from so many different countries and backgrounds. It’s so refreshing to learn and be around people that have different upbringings, traditions and beliefs. I love it!

8. U-turns are legal. That’s right, at every light, you can make a U-turn. At every light I’ve been at, at least. It’s pretty great.

9. Beef and cheese. I have to admit, this is something I took for granted in Wisconsin. These are must haves in our home! Now I get it when people from other states talk about how great our beef and especially our cheese is. I just assumed you could get good cheese and beef anywhere. That is not a true statement. There is nothing like our cheese and I will forever be a cheesehead! 😉

It’s been fun to get the opportunity to compare the two states. I know that no matter where we live, there are pros and cons and there is no perfect place. A home IS where the heart is.

I’d be curious what you’ve observed when you’ve moved to a different state. Feel free to share below.

Shine Brightly,

Disclaimer: Please note that we live in the west suburbs of Illinois so I’m sure things differ based on where in Wisconsin and Illinois people live.

6 thoughts on “Ali’s Journey – The differences between Wisconsin and Illinois

  1. Beth Thomas

    Hi Ally-
    I can totally relate to this! You are on point about friendliness, conversationalists, and overall courteousness when it comes to driving. I moved to Wisconsin from South St. Louis and there is a notable difference! Thanks for posting! I’m so glad it’s not just me thinking this! Glad to hear you are enjoying West Chicago. My boyfriend is from there and he notices these differences too.

    Beth Thomas
    Platteville, Wisconsin

    1. AliAli Post author

      Hey Beth,
      So glad you agree and noticed the same thing. What are the differences between Wisconsin and St Louis, I’d love to know! Thank you for your input!

      Shine On doll!

  2. Renee Shanesy

    Hey sweet Ally!
    We moved to Telluride, CO a month ago, known as “the CO mountain town of CO mountain towns”. Really cannot compare to Madison, a thriving metropolis in comparison, but immediately noticed the beef & cheese ‘lack thereof’ thing. I’ve found one brand that’s acceptable but it costs a small fortune. Also, the produce quality is far inferior, although I think being so deep in the mountains plays a factor; although I lived in boulder & denver years ago and remember their produce was a click below as well. Nice farmers market in summer, although when compared to Madison’s, well, nuff said… Now the people. Everyone, regardless of age, is active, for FUN. And the sunshine, ahhhh, regardless of time of year, there’s no lacking vitamin D. We moved here for the lifestyle and that does not disappoint. Meeting people who actually reside here year round is a challenge, although we’ve met a number of interesting part-timers/vacationers. We’re considering starting a blog titled ‘chairlift chatter’ (interesting stuff you learn on a ski chairlift) since we’ve already had some hilarious encounters!

    1. AliAli Post author

      Hey cute stuff!
      HA! Glad you noticed the beef and cheese thing as well! There is nothing like Wisconsin beef and cheese! 😉 OMG, I love the name of the blog, you should totally start it, what fun. So are you liking it as much or more than living in Wisconsin????

  3. Andrea Hedquist

    Hi Ali. Great to hear you’re enjoying your new surroundings and neighbors. 😄 still miss ya tho.

    This is an easy one : Florida vs Wisconsin.
    Hands down Wisconsin wins my ❤️ Over Florida. While Florida has all the sunshine, beaches and carefree attitude, Wisconsin is more friendly and a nicer place IMO to raise a family. Florida encourages a lot of transient people due its tax laws and hot climate. It’s certainly easier to survive being homeless when it’s not -10 degrees outside.

    I found it hard to make real connections with Floridians and I found the people there rather flaky and superficial, not to mentions the median age given all the retirees. With some exceptions of course. Plenty of uninsured drivers in FL and overall not great schools unless you pay for private education.

    So, I guess I’m a Midwest girl at heart. WI reminds me of my home in Derbyshire, England and we embrace the winters snowmobiling. However, we have found the further you go Up North (in WI) the friendlier people get. Could be time for us to move ?

    Take care my friend, ❤️Andrea
    Let me know when you’re in town again for a meet up.

    1. AliAli Post author

      Hey doll, miss you too!
      I can understand that one girl, I’d be with you! Even though I haven’t lived in Florida, I don’t think it would be for me personally. I also agree with you, the farther north you go in Wisconsin the friendlier the people get. 😉 Thanks for your input!
      Keep shining brightly sweet one!

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