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My First Fall in Paris

Change of Seasons & Changes in Me
Fall colors in front of a Haussmannian building in Paris
Landen Kerr
Last updated December 4, 2022
“Fall 2018 was my first actually living in Paris. It was filled with reminders of that earlier autumn I’d spent discovering the city – the scenery, the changing leaves, and the crispness in the air. The memories brought excitement – it was as if I had insight into what was going to come next…”

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I’ll never forget my first fall in Paris. I was studying abroad and I didn’t know a soul, a word of French, or much about the city at all. I set out to discover the city by myself. I wandered without a specific destination in mind and without a game plan.

I soon realized that not only did I not mind being alone, but that I in fact loved it—a feeling which can probably be attributed to the fact that my time alone in Paris had a very defined beginning and end. 

Fall 2018 was my first actually living in Paris. It was filled with reminders of that earlier autumn I’d spent discovering the city: the scenery, the changing leaves, and the crispness in the air. The memories brought excitement. It was as if I had insight into what was going to come next even though everything seemed to be a bit up in the air.

The season flew by as I figured out my new normal. I wasn’t exploring as many new places throughout the city, but rather trying to root and establish myself in my new neighborhood. 

Louvre museum seen from the Tuileries Gardens in the fall
Photo by Landen Kerr

This time of year is very much a checkpoint for me to assess how things are going because it always takes me back to that very first fall in Paris. This year, I’m meeting autumn in a much more grounded place in my life. I can check the boxes for the three things that I didn’t have that first year: friendships, language, and a familiarity with my surroundings.

This feeling of calmness has allowed me to again experience the season with new eyes. Everything enchants me: the golden afternoon light on the buildings, the deep blue skies, the yellowing leaves on the trees and ground, and an infectious autumnal energy. It’s an exciting, happy time, and a time when I feel like I’m once again renewing my love for this city. 


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