I always knew this blog would have an expiration date. Anything with new in the title isn’t going to be new forever. As it turns out, though, it’s time to end this blog for two reasons: 1) I’m feeling less like a newbie and 2) I’m moving. It’s time for me to be new somewhere else.

My fiancé, Chris, recently accepted a wonderful job in Belfast, Northern Ireland, so we will be moving there this summer. We had originally planned to stay in New Orleans for a long time, but budget cuts and the possibility of more at the university where Chris works made us both worry about his job security, so he started applying other places. Moving to Europe is going to be a big change and a huge move, but I’m excited for the adventure.

While I am looking forward to learning more about our new home, leaving New Orleans is causing me just as much stress as I felt when I moved here. When I first got here, I was afraid I wouldn’t find new friends, and I had no idea where anything was. Now that I’m leaving, I’m sad to leave the friends I found, and I’ve finally been able to navigate the city (mostly) without my GPS.

I know I'm going to miss New Orleans. Of course I’ll miss the main attractions everyone loves, like the restaurants and Carnival season, but I think I’ll miss the smaller nuances of the city even more: the Friday crawfish boils at Mid-City Yacht Club; the amazing macarons at Sucré; the Wisner path along Bayou St. John; the "poets for hire" on Frenchmen Street; the eggplant sandwich at Mona's. These were the things that made New Orleans special to me. They were the parts of New Orleans I found without the touristy guidebooks, and they were some of my favorite hidden gems in the city.

I have a lot more to say about what I'm going to miss about New Orleans, so I'm writing one last post next week for this blog. In the meantime, thanks to everyone who has been following my weekly posts. You have all helped me find my way in New Orleans, and your emails, comments and tweets helped motivate me to explore the city, try new activities and give me an outlet to ask questions, voice frustrations and share advice. New Orleans is a very special place and I learned that through writing this blog.