Some travellers suffer great distress when France, and most often Paris, doesn’t live up to their expectations. One of my closest friends – a very seasoned traveler – was very concerned before our first trip that France wouldn’t live up to my lofty hopes and I would join the ranks of those disappointed visitors.
I guess it could have happened but it didn’t. I was smitten almost as soon as I stepped off the plane on our initial visit to France.
No, for me, the struggle with disappointment never occurs while I’m in France. Rather my issues kick in almost as soon as I’ve left France.
I go into withdrawal. I want to back – immediately (if not sooner).
And I know I’m not the only one who feels like this – many of you have commented that you find yourself feeling exactly the same way after a trip to France. Reentering your ‘real life’ can be hard, even a little depressing, but there are some things you can do to make the transition a little easier.
Managing Your Withdrawal Symptoms After A Visit To France
- Look at your everyday world with the same wonder you experience France. Concentrate on the little things and live mindfully rather than living your life on auto-pilot. You never know – where you live might be just as amazing as France when you look at it through a different frame.
- Look for ways to bring France into your everyday life. This might be as simple as displaying souvenirs from your trip in your home or framing a favourite photograph from your time in France. Alternatively, you might like to take this idea a step further. Our Frenchify Your Friday series has stacks of creative ways to bring a little bit of France into your days (and no, you don’t have to save them for a Friday).
- This next tip needs to occur while you are still in France – make sure you take the time to soak up the experience. Many travellers seem to race from museum to monument and don’t slow down enough to ‘just be’. Slowing down allows you to savour all that France has on offer and leaves you feeling more satiated. Compare it to luxuriating in a long lunch as compared to gulping down take away. Heading home satisfied makes for a far nicer reentry – even if there are still a few things left on your to do list.
- While I’m on the topic of to do lists, leaving a few things on the agenda for a future visit can make returning home somewhat easier. The thought that you have to go back gives you something to look forward to.
- If you want to take tip four to the next level, do what so many regular travellers do and start planning your next trip on the flight home. Having clear goals keeps your mind future focussed and stops you from wallowing what has been and from thinking you’ll never get to travel to France again. The ultimate version of this final tip is to always more than one trip to France booked. Extravagant? Maybe. But I can vouch for the fact that it works.
Do you have any trusted methods for managing the withdrawal symptoms that come following a trip to France? If so, I’d love for you to share them in the comments section below.
And until next time – au revoir.
12 thoughts on “Managing Your Withdrawal Symptoms After A Visit To France”
Consider souvenirs that you will use in daily life, rather than trinkets that gather dust. Fabulous French lingerie. A cool set of knives. Those tiny spoons they use with coffee. Beauty products you can’t get at home. You’ll feel French every time you use them.
Thank you Taste of France – I couldn’t agree more. I don’t think there is day that hors by that doesn’t see me using something practical I’ve hauled home from France and it definitely makes a difference when I’m missing the place!
Three words: Google Street View!
When I miss Paris so much I want to cry, I go to Google Street View and wander around my favorite places. I also do this before a trip to familiarize myself with locales where we will be staying and visiting. I probably know Paris better than my own hometown.
What a brilliant idea Anita! I’ve used Street View to research a new area but never just to play. Love it! Thank you so much for sharing.
I think all your tips are wonderful, especially living more mindfully when back at home and slowing down to savour and appreciate things when in France. This year we are due to return to Australia in August (winter!) and already I am thinking of extending our stay – at least until our spring. Another tip is the French class – you meet like-minded people and have a chance to continue to hear the language.
I always leave a few euro bills tucked in my passport for the ‘next time’. This creates an inexpensive insurance policy to be sure that I return. It would be such a shame to waste them! 🙂
Thanks for reminding me of this tip Alisa. I also hang onto some Euros. I even keep some notes in my purse to remind me that I am always saving to go back – it sometimes slows down potential impulse buys!
I too was worried about being disappointed but was completely enthralled. I loved every minute even though I was quite sick for the first few days. I did/am suffering from withdrawal symptoms eight months later. Can’t wait to go back.
Thanks for commenting Pieta. Yes, it’s amazing how long those withdrawal symptoms can last when you fall for France. I really hope you get to return to France soon.
I particularly love tip number 5, Janelle. Getting some details down while it’s still fresh in your mind – what you want to do more of etc – is a great way to both plan your next trip and not feel down about getting home. Merci!
My pleasure Fiona. Thank you so much for commenting – it’s so lovely to have you here. I’ve long been a fan of How To Be Chic and can’t wait to find out more about your upcoming book!!