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.