#14: Why I Decided to leave New Orleans (again) and Why I’ll be Back

The decision to move temporarily from New Orleans back to Memphis is something that’s been on my mind for a while, weighing the pros and and cons of both sides.

I ultimately pulled the trigger for a couple of reasons:

  1. I luckily found a friend to sublease my room for a couple months (giving me the flexibility to come back), and
  2. I wanted to save money on rent for a couple months since I’m currently only working part-time for Gilded (and I have another part-time job in Memphis working catering at Only & Only BBQ)

If it weren’t for the friend subleasing and the fact that I have the opportunity to work at another job in Memphis, I might have decided to stay. But the fact that I have the flexibility to come back to New Orleans (especially during Mardi Gras season, whatever that’s going to look like), made me much more willing to make the move back home for the time being.

How I made this decision (and a lot of other decisions)?

The quote below is something I think a lot about when making choices like this one. I read it in Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans (which I reference so often that I might as well write a summary on the book soon):

“How to thrive in an unknowable future? Choose the plan with the most options. The best plan is the one that lets you change your plans.”

Derek Sivers

Derek Sivers, who is a musician and founder of CD Baby, uses this principle (and others) to guide his life and I couldn’t resonate more. The future is definitely uncertain and unknowable, now more than ever. Choose the plan that allows you the flexibility to change those plans.

The above principle is something I’ve lived by for a long time (even before I read about it in Tools of Titans): make decisions and plans that are flexible so that you have plenty of options. I’ve always liked that freedom. This past weekend is a perfect example: during my move back to Memphis last week, I put off leaving for three straight days waiting for the right time to leave (and of course, having one last fun weekend in New Orleans).

For some people, this idea probably made you cringe: why can’t you just choose a plan and stick to it? For others, it probably made you think of all the times you’ve changed your mind on something too: dinner plans, road trips, college majors, careers, or whether you want to continue reading this article or not (if you’ve made it this far, kudos to you)!

The flexibility is ultimately why I made the move. Having more financial freedom in the short term (while also sacrificing the fun I would be having in New Orleans) AND being able to spend quality time with my family and home friends are great reasons for me. Luckily, I’m in a position where I’m able to move back home with my family still, and I definitely recognize that privilege.

On the other hand, I absolutely love New Orleans and the freedom of living on my own. New Orleans is one of those places that’s hard to pin down exactly what makes it so special. It’s just so unique and has something for everyone (plus the winters aren’t bad). A lot of my friends think of New Orleans as this place where you only party on Bourbon or Frenchman Street, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Even during COVID, it feels like there is always something going on: whether it’s a jazz band playing on the bayou or watching the Saints with your friends. I will definitely miss that city, living right next to the bayou and City Park, and most importantly all of the amazing people in it (expect a future story on New Orleans).

Ultimately, all decisions have opportunity costs. But I’m confident that this decision is going to give me the most options moving forward. Plus I’m excited to be home for the holidays!

Memphis friends, if you’re in town let me know – I’d love to catch up.

And New Orleans friends: I’ll be back soon, I promise.

Cheers to moving back in with your parents during COVID,


P.S – If you made it this far, thank you! Next up for Day 15, I’ll be writing about my experiences with Venture For America. Subscribe to my email list to be one of the first to see it in my weekly email newsletter.

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Published by Jonah Baer

Florida State student | Memphis, TN native

3 thoughts on “#14: Why I Decided to leave New Orleans (again) and Why I’ll be Back

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