The hardest part about returning home

It is easy to say my head has been amongst the Parisian rooftops for the past 10 days. It is SO easy to fit right back into Paris life. I have been traveling back and forth for the past 5 years and the minute my feet land at CDG it feels like I am home. My language skills are a bit rusty on the entry but that doesn’t stop me. As I drive into the city from the airport my eyes adjust to the hues of blue and grey. I hit the ground running stopping for coffee and exploring the city rain or shine. Even if I am gone for just a few short months (this year it was from January to April) I notice a few spots have changed in my favorite neighborhoods. A new place has opened or another place has closed. Paris is constantly changing. The classics remain the same and lucky for me most of them have stuck around over the years. 

I have a routine on my last morning in Paris. I typically go for an early morning walk in my neighborhood and grab a baguette and snacks for the plane ride home. I have one more morning coffee and I am off for the airport. I cry pretty much every time I leave Paris. I remember the first time in 2013, it was like I was leaving someone I loved behind. It gets easier knowing that I have a return date or plan. This year I was lucky enough to be in Paris twice and fingers crossed I have a plan to come back later in the year for a project or two. The tears were minimal this round and passed before I boarded the crowded flight home. 

The hardest part about returning home is the feeling that no matter how long I spend in Paris, it feels like one big dream. The look and feel of Chicago is very different from Paris. Yes, I have my routine and favorite places to go, but it isn’t the same. The minute I boarded the plane and the language around me switched to all English I felt as I could be anywhere in the world. Does anyone else feel as though they are stuck in one long dream or is it just me? 

The only thing that reminds me that my time in Paris is real are my photographs. I captured a lot of Paris and every trip is so different. I am looking forward to going through my images and opening them all as they are wrapped presents on Christmas. It truly feels this way! 

My days are super long. I wake up before the sun to catch the sunrise and finish shooting after the last light. Every night, I will back up my images on my hard drive and take a quick peek on the computer of something I shot during the day. I stopped trying to play catch up, edit and write in the moment.

Once I am back in Chicago, I will go through the process of looking at each day individually and finding the images to share and sell online.

The newest images will be available on the website early next month. If you want a way to support me as an artist the easiest and best way is to purchase a print. 

P.S. Don’t miss The Paris Diaries ( I will be adding to this as soon as I am home) Paris Safety Tips for Travelers

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  1. Id love to know what you pack for your beauty routine while away in Paris? I’m about to got to London from France for a week away from my French village and I’ve just gotten addicted to my new Caudalie detox night oil. It’s 30mls so I think that’s ok in a carry on? But you know….. how much stuff should you really take away with you? I’ll be there for 6 full days. Love to know what you Do? Xx

  2. You are blessed to have visited Paris. I have never been, but hope to go someday. I have been teaching myself the language because I love it so. It’s so lyrical. Do you conduct business there, or are you travelling strictly for leisure?
    In any event, I wish you continued success. Bonne chance à vous!

  3. I understand how that feels-I once described to someone that it’s like missing a lover. Your heart hurts when you’re away from Paris ❤️

    • exactly! I feel like it is one big love affair with a city. I explained a little of the feeling on my video with Corey.

  4. Rebecca
    Like you I miss Paris the minute I leave and start planning my return. I always rent an apartment and wondered if you ever do? Would I live there? No, I have too much going on here. My dream is to do a month or more. For now your blog and a few others give me my weekly dose of the city. I’m lo9ki g forward to your photos

    • Hi Bonnie!

      I spent a good amount of time there renting apartments. My first one was three months back in 2013. Airbnb makes it harder these days but I prefer to go back for a month vs a week. There is always so much to do and I never want to leave. You should look into monthly rental options!

  5. Looking forward to your pictures, Rebecca. We were there the same time as you and I kept wondering if you would appear around a corner 🙂 I followed your style suggestions and felt dressed appropriately; merci! A beatuiful dream, it was…

    • Hi Jackie!

      You never know, we may have crossed paths. I ran into two other readers! It was so fun and such a thrill to meet in person. I am so happy you had a beautiful dream trip and you were dressed well 🙂 Thank you!!


  6. Hi Rebecca!
    I can totally relate! Paris has become my favorite place and it does feel like a dream when I return home. I was just there in March and the first week of April. It was still cold and wintry, so I missed the beautiful Paris spring except for a lone tree filled with blossoms at the Eiffel Tower! I’m looking forward to your pictures! I’m excited to be able to return for a short trip to Paris in August and experience a different season.
    I loved your cafe chat with Corey! He mentioned that we had coffee while I was there and asked if I follow you. Of course I do! I was following you long before I found out about him! I’m the one that bugs you every year about when I can buy your beautiful calendar! Speaking of, you do have one coming out for 2019 I hope! 🙂
    Thank you for your great blog and all the wonderful information you give us about Paris! Maybe our paths will cross there someday!

  7. More than leaving Paris I find quite difficult not returning to Paris more frequently, I miss the city and its style life so deeply. I think there is no other city in the world where I can feel an live the things that I lived in Paris.

  8. Loved this post. I find coming back to the U.S. after a trip or time spent abroad is always difficult. This year i don’t have any trips to Paris planned which is difficult as well. My solution to this – I’m working on a plan to move abroad! I’m wondering with your frequent trips and projects in Paris – have you thought about moving there?

    • Hi Giana! Thank you. I have thought about it a lot and this is probably my most asked question. Since I run a business in the US, taxes would be complicated if I moved to France. I would have to pay in both and that wouldn’t be easy on the wallet. If you have a job in France that brings you there it may be easier.

  9. Here’s something that made my recent departure from CDG a little less sad: I wore my newly-purchased scarf for my flight home. As I approached security, the man took one look at me and asked, "Première, madame?" HA! I replied, "no, monsieur, "regular." I’m pretty sure it was the scarf 🙂

    • That is amazing!! I am so happy to hear the smallest but sweet comment put a smile on your face. Thank you for sharing! xo

  10. I lived in France for a summer as an exchange student in high school, but I’ve never been to Paris. If all works out, I will finally have a chance to visit there this fall. In the meantime, I’m so grateful to have your lovely blog and gorgeous photos! Each post is like a little trip to Paris. Merci!