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My last photo in Austin on the way to the airport on a foggy morning.

I am back in Paris after almost four months of visiting the States and I have to say it feels like home. It’s so great to be in my own place with all of my things, my bed, my kitchen. When I planned to go to the States I was thinking of actually finding a place to buy over there, a home to stay in when we visited. In fact, I wanted to be there 1/3 of every year. Then I got there. We looked around Austin for something suitable and I came to the conclusion that we couldn’t afford a third place. We might have swung the monthly mortgage but the taxes were unbelievably high. We looked at condos but there is the home owners fee, not to mentions that most were for lease, not for sale. Plus, I don’t like leaving a place empty for most of the year. And we weren’t sure we even wanted to live in Austin even though we have good memories from when we did. In fact, we aren’t sure about living in the States at all. The groceries there are really high, a shock after France where I can get a good bottle of wine for four Euros, not $12. The time spent sitting in heavy traffic at unending red lights really got to me and you have to drive everywhere as there isn’t a good public transportation system. Austin is almost as bad as los Angeles when it comes to traffic but it doesn’t have the wide freeways to handle it. There are still narrow winding roads in central Austin. We had a medical issue which I may write about at some point and I will never travel without travel insurance again. The cost of medical treatment and medicines was just shocking and I don’t know how people without a lot of money can do it. There are things I don’t like in the States now-the guns, the crime, the religious right putting themselves into politics, the politics itself, just the ways of thinking that I encountered there. I know we had some terrorist shootings here in Paris and they probably aren’t over but you can just as easily get shot in America at a movie or on the highway as everyone seems to have a gun. So I’ve decided to be happy where I am and try to enjoy each day and, as long as we can, visit friends and relatives hopefully twice a year, until we are forced to do different. Life can always surprise you so I will be open to change.

6 thoughts on “Home

  1. Welcome home. I’m convinced that home is wherever my husband and I happen to be, and my own pillows and bed are the bonus!

    Your reasons for not feeling drawn to the States are the same for me, for my hope to remain in Munich for as long as possible. I savor my visits with family, but rejoice to return to Europe.

    Food prices and quality play a part, driving brings frustration, and politics really grate on my nerves while in the States.

    I hope the health issue is resolved. That’s scary. Good advice about travel insurance, for sure.

    Enjoy being at home!

  2. Sad to have to say but I agree with you. I live in Austin and the traffic is INSANE! And I agree on all the other points. Not to mention, I am a big Francophile and love being in France. Wonderful lifestyle.

  3. I think you made a wise decision.

    We have no traffic in my hometown in PA or at the beach, so I stay near one of my homes most of the time. I have become a very nervous and cautious driver.

    WOW, 4 Euros for a bottle of wine is amazing!

    Hope the health issue is resolved. Take care.

    J

  4. is food really cheaper in France than the US? Interesting. I guess I didn’t pay much attention when we were there or maybe it was because the euro was much higher on those trips.

  5. I am happy to hear that the long trip brought some clarity in your thinking. Public transportation is a big issue in the States. Slow. Unreliable. Ancient. Non existent. Expensive. Take your pick.
    I also mostly agree on your other points. My wine in Paris costs 6.99 however.
    Welcome back and see you soon !

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