I should have booked a $400 ticket to Paris and other thoughts

Sometimes I do things that surprise myself. Like saying no to a European flight sale that includes a $400 plane ticket to Paris herself. Two weeks later I am seriously kicking myself. Why, Emily, why? Why why why why? It’s like my own advice to ‘just book the flight’ means nothing. So it got me thinking: what was I thinking?

I should have booked a $400 ticket to Paris

Why I Should Have Booked a $400 Flight to Paris, and Other Thoughts

After just having gotten back from Iceland, I felt, well, a little lost. It was a trip that I wasn’t used to. I didn’t treat myself to anything special, I slept in a van for fives days, and I ate ramen noodles every night. I missed my little comforts: the sound of my boots clacking on the pavement and the coats that I love to wear so much. While Iceland definitely had its moments and changed my perspective on traveling, I still came home to the feeling that I had missed out on something.

When I saw there was a European flight sale, I jumped at the opportunity to see what cities were included. Almost every single city was $400 – $500 from Phoenix, a rare find. It made the $700 ticket I scored to Copenhagen look like an evening at Eleven Madison Park for a party of 20. Having not been to Paris since 2012, I thought I would have a look. I knew I’d go solo and my French was/is pretty good. I studied for five years throughout high school and college. And there she was. My $400 ticket to CDG from PHX.

I could leave in early December and freeze my ass off, but there would be zero tourists. Can you imagine The Louvre all to yourself? I could spend an entire day there.

But this time, I hesitated. I knew the fairs would only last about 48 hours, with flights being booked each hour leaving slightly more crappy flights behind to find their brave owners who don’t mind long layovers. I told myself I’d check back in 12 hours. 12 hours passed and I still couldn’t pull the trigger. Then 24 hours passed and it was 10:00 pm when I said to myself, “if it’s there in the morning then it’s meant to be.” The morning came and flights began to be slightly more difficult to pull off, but still do-able. Still, I hesitated…

I should have booked a $400 ticket to Paris

So what happened?

Being a travel blogger has its ups and downs. It’s the one market in the blogosphere that isn’t really over saturated because it’s so hard to do. You either quit your job, pack up your stuff, and start your new life with nothing, hoping one day blogging around the word will pay off. Or, you live a life where you’re able to just go go go, without time or money holding you back. You have to be pretty wealthy to be in that position. Don’t get me wrong, you can do anything if you set your mind to it! And that’s why I exist.

Being the kind of travel blogger I am is hard when there are other parts of you that are so different. Wanting a family, having a pet, nurturing relationships, doing well at work. A lot of these things take precedent. And not just for me, but for a lot of other people as well. Sometimes I feel guilty for taking too many trips or I feel as if I should quietly push my plans for a next trip down into the depths of my soul. Because as we (women) know too well, we’re taught that we cannot have both.

When I passed up a $400 ticket to Paris, it’s because I was the only one holding myself back. I have a great support system at home, but in my head, there are internal whispers. “Is all this traveling responsible? You could be saving that money instead. Aren’t you being kind of greedy compared to other people? Will you be taken seriously at work?” I let my fears about society dictate how I felt about my next trip, and I failed myself. Do I regret it now? Immensely. Paris in December, alone, would have been a dream.

I need to practice what I preach. When the price is right you buy the ticket and you don’t look back. Life is too short to feel guilty or to feel society’s pressures. Of course, sometimes you shouldn’t buy the ticket. Maybe it was in fact just my gut telling me that now wasn’t the time. But, to quote one of my favorites, “Paris is always a good idea.”


  1. I can totally relate to this post! There have been a few times where I’ve felt guilty about traveling, and it has forced me to miss out on opportunities. I definitely agree that life is too short to think that way. So thanks for sharing this…your words are very inspirational! ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. $400 bucks? Whew. Talk about a deal. You had me breaking out in a cold sweat just thinking about a deal like that!
    I think that your guilt and the things that you question, are all things that travelers face. The thing is, you are the writer in the story of your life, you get to decide what is good for you, and what other people think, honestly… Doesn’t matter. Of course you need to hold down your job, but I always tell people… “I work to travel”… I live to travel. I have a family, but I take my kids with me. If travel is your passion, the rest is just hot air. You do you. You do travel. 2 countries a year? Make it 3. As long as you’re happy, that’s what matters.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Tammy! You’re right, I think a lot of us go through this. You comment definitely hits home and makes me feel better. It’s not often I meet other people like myself who consider traveling just something you have to do! So I totally get it. I relate so much.

  3. I feel you on a deep level, Emily. There were a lot of times when I spotted a wonderful travel deal which got me excited but I’ve never bought the ticket. Sometimes I feared to go alone because no one wanted to go with me at that time. Other times I started thinking that no, I cannot do this because there are still accommodation, food and other things that I’ll need to pay for and it will be too expensive. Truth be told, I probably could have pulled all those trips myself but I simply feared and bolted away because it was unplanned and spontaneous. So the next time I see a good deal, I promise to take it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    -Leta | http://www.thenerdyme.com

    1. Right, I’ve had a lot of those thoughts too! Sometimes, it’s just a money thing and sometimes you just don’t want to be alone. For me I think it was a little bit of both this time, and just feeling guilty for have JUST gotten back from a trip. Being spontaneous is definitely not something I’m good at!

  4. I can totally emphasise with you on this one, there are so many times where I’ve had regrets on not doing certain things but I’m trying to not torture myself with ‘what ifs’ (after all, it does nobody any good!) and concentrate on making the right decision next time!

    I’ve no doubt that next time when another great opportunity comes up, you’ll grab it with both hands. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Musings & More

  5. I know how you feel it’s the weird guilty feeling of not making something that you had the chance to do but everything happens for a reason. Don’t think too much about it you will find a similar opportunity for sure ๐Ÿ™‚


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