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?
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…
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.”