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Lifestyle

I Lived In Europe And I Can NEVER Go Back To Small-Town America

I want to be part of a city that is always moving at the speed of light.

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woman in paris
Alyson Amestoy

I've been pretty clear in my dislike of my small Midwestern town. I think I've made at least two articles here about how I feel about where I live, so this is not a new topic on it. However, I have new insight into it, having lived in Europe for a month.

At the time that I'm writing this, I am finishing up a month-long study abroad in Paris, France. I flew out from Minnesota on May 31st and began my journey in Paris on June 1st. And it has truly been a journey. I am living in the heart of the city, riding public transportation daily, and trying my best to speak French like a local. And I love it. I never want to leave.

In my small hometown, there is nothing. The nearest mall is around an hour away. There are two fast-food restaurants in town, and everyone knows everything. In Paris, the world is at my fingertips. I can walk down the street for a pain au chocolate (the best thing every created, btw) or hop on the nearest métro station and be at the Eiffel Tower or the Champs-Élysées in less that 10 minutes. I can meet a new person on public transportation every day while also picking up a conversation with my server at the local café that we were talking about yesterday.

Paris makes me feel free in a way that I never did in my small town. I may only be one person in a population of over 2 million, but I have never felt more myself. I have never felt so independent or so excited to go out and explore the world. There is always something new to discover in Paris. I don't have that back home. Paris is always active, always pushing toward the future. I love the speed. Home is slow, barely moving forward. It plods along, slower than the tractors that drive along the side of the road.

I can't go back to somewhere that crawls forward. I crave the hustle and the bustle of the line 1 métro station at 9 a.m. when everyone is trying to get to work and there is no room on the train. I crave a brisk walk down the street, past people cruising through the streets on their motos and teenagers smoking on the sidewalks.

Paris is everything that I've always wanted. I want to live somewhere that is a constant adventure. Sure, I want to keep traveling and I totally intend to, but I wrote this article to say that I can never go back to stagnation. I love it here. And sure, I'll come back home to see my family. But I'd so much rather they come and visit me. Because Paris is so much better than any hole-in-the-wall town could be.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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