Posted: 6/12/2019 | June 12th, 2019
The end is here. After four months in Europe, I head home tomorrow.
When I came to Paris earlier this year, everyone asked if it was forever.
And, when I said I wasn’t sure, people would reply, “Oh, so you aren’t really moving there, huh?” — as if to say that only a forever and ever move is a real move.
But I did move here. This is where my stuff is. This is my home (even if it might only be temporary).
In my world, there’s no such thing as a forever and ever move.
I have no job that keeps me anywhere in particular. No boss to call me into the office and say, “Matt, we’re transferring you to the Paris office. Pack your bags. We got your visa. You’re there for the next five years.”
No. I get to taste the milk before I buy the cow.
My time here was always an experiment: could I live in a city I loved so much? Would daily life in Paris be as magical as travel in Paris?
No matter the answer to those questions, I always had to leave for the summer. Books and conferences don’t launch themselves!
So will I come back? Did I love Paris so much that I’m ready to make this the spot where I put down my roots?
While walking through the Luxembourg Gardens recently, I realized two things:
First, I don’t miss New York City. I haven’t thought about NYC in a long, long time. I really am over living there.
While I miss my friends and local haunts, I don’t miss the noise, crowds, or fast-paced lifestyle.
I’ll always have a place for NYC in my heart.
And I will visit often.
But my time living there has truly come to an end.
As I’ve alluded to many times, I want to settle down. I’ve been a leaf blowing in the wind long enough, and it’s time to plant roots.
Today is my birthday.
I’m thirty-eight years old.
My next move is the move. One that has to last longer than a few months. I don’t want to restart my life anymore.
So, is Paris that place? Do I really want to settle down and try to live here? Sign a lease? Get residency visas and a bank account? Start paying taxes here?
Paris has become my little respite from the world. A city that comes alive at night when the cafes overflow with people, the traffic disappears, and the orange glow of the streetlights makes the city seem mystical.
I loved living here. This city inspired me. I’ve slept more, eaten better, wrote more, read more, and relaxed in ways that I haven’t in years.
I’ve gotten into a nice routine here, made a few friends, and frequented my boulangerie so much I don’t even need to order any more. They know it by heart.
I’m sadder than I thought I’d be about leaving. These last few days have made me melancholy. I’m really going to miss it!
But, as much as I love – and will miss – Paris, this is not my forever and ever city.
It doesn’t feel like home the way other places have.
It was what I needed when I needed it.
But it is not my home.
Instead, my mind goes constantly goes back to one place: Austin.
It calls to me.
Over and over again.
There I can get space, nature, nice weather, and land. It’s my Goldilocks city.
So I’m moving back to Austin.
I haven’t second-guessed that decision once.
Which, being a Gemini and all, means it’s probably the right one.
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For more in-depth information, check out my guidebook to Paris written for budget travelers like yourself! It cuts out the fluff found in other guides and gets straight to the practical information you need to travel and save money in one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world. You’ll find suggested itineraries, budgets, ways to save money, on- and off-the-beaten-path things to see and do, non-touristy restaurants, markets, and bars, and much more! Click here to learn more and get started!
Book Your Trip to Paris: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner or Momondo to find a cheap flight. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned. Start with Skyscanner first though because they have the biggest reach!
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. My favorite places to stay are:
- St. Christopher’s Canal
- 3 Ducks Hostel
- Les Piaules
If you’re looking for more places to stay, here for my favorite hostels in Paris. And if you’re wondering what part of town to stay in, here’s my neighborhood breakdown of the city!
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- World Nomads (for everyone below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Need a Guide?
Paris has some really interesting tours. My favorite company is Take Walks. They have expert guides and can get you behind the scenes at the city’s best attractions. They’re my go-to walking tour company!
If you want a bike tour, use Fat Tire Tours. They have the best and most affordable bike tours in the city.
Want More Information on Paris?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide to Paris for even more planning tips!