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Paris Trip Part 1: getting there

photos of the The Seine & me standing in the Place de la Concorde (Champs-Elysées & Arc de Triomphe in background).

Paris Trip Part 1: Getting There

I can't believe it's already been a couple weeks since i've returned from Paris but I had the most wonderful time. Time is now flying by as I prepare for the National Stationery Show in New York but I wanted to post about my trip before too long.

I thought I'd post in 3 parts.. why i decided to go, my pictures , and my compilation of suggestions and tips for those planning their own Parisian getaway.

I decided to go to Paris very last minute and started planning the trip about 2 weeks before I left. I've been working so hard, non-stop for the past year and a half and it really started to take a toll on me after the new year. I felt like I just needed to get away for a week to recharge and find some new creative inspiration. So, I gave myself a reasonable budget and started looking at renting a house or apartment in a US city. On a whim I researched the cost of a trip to Paris (it's always been a dream to go) and was shocked to find it was coming out around the same price. So, why not? I hunted down a great 1 bedroom apartment for an amazing rate in Le Marais and booked the trip. 

I'm not a big planner, especially when I travel. I like to have some things planned and to be prepared to find my way around but I also love being spontaneous and the freedom to just wing it. So, I gathered all your wonderful suggestions (which were so helpful and I will organize & post into Part 3), downloaded some great apps (Paris Metro, maps, and a translator) and was on my way! 

the corner of the apartment building I stayed in in Le Marais (4th Arr.) and my work desk overlooking the courtyard.

The point of the trip was to see new things/creative inspiration, work on new product designs, and try to promote Rifle Paper Co. to a some shops in Paris. I rented an apartment so that I'd have a great workspace during the trip and immediately set up a desk area by my courtyard window. My overseas office consisted of my painting materials (paints, paper, and brushes), my laptop, travel scanner, and portable hard drive. 

I decided to explore the city each morning for inspiration and then came back to the apartment late afternoon to relax , sketch, and work. I have to say, it worked out wonderfully and I fell in love with Paris. It was everything (and more) that I hoped it would be. Oh, the cafes! I don't think you have to go far away or exotic to be able to recharge but it's something that I think is so important for anyone who works hard. It made me realize how little time I was taking on a daily basis to just relax and enjoy myself so I'm trying to make that a priority and I already see how it helps me work better. For example, I used to rush out to get lunch and often brought it back to eat at my desk while i worked. I've decided to take a longer lunch break and walk, instead of drive, to a place to eat and read a book while I'm there.. that little change has already made a huge difference. It's easy to forget that the breaks can actually make you work more efficiently. So, in that sense, the trip was wonderful for me. I feel refreshed, recharged, and full of new ideas.

On monday I'll post my photos from the trip and on wednesday i'll organize your tips and my own for visiting Paris (and traveling solo)...


p.s. Happy Easter Weekend!

all photos by Anna Bond

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Reader Comments (32)

very inspiring anna! I can't wait to read about the rest of your trip :)
April 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
sigh.... I lived there last year and this post made me miss miss miss it :) Im so glad you fell in love with that city - isn't it just perfection? xoxo.
April 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmma
wow, anna! you're a rock star! i'm so glad this trip worked out for you, and i can't wait to see you're paris-inspired designs.
April 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjosephine
I agree with Amanda...very inspirational and I too, am looking forward to posts on the rest of your journey! I am a firm believer that travel is essential for the soul!
April 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commentererica
You're brave-I'm such a planner...but I also know great things can come from spontaneity! Can't wait to see all of your photos...
April 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
Looks truly beautiful, Anna! Can't wait to see your gorgeous pics, and how this trip will inspire new works! I'm totally addicteed to Rifle Paper goods, and am desperate for a Parisian honeymoon, so maybe some Frenchy-chic paper goods will come out soon...?
April 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaty Potaty
i'm so glad that you had such an amazing time, anna!!! you're inspiring me to look at going to paris in the fall!
April 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
This is a dream trip! I'm really excited for the remaining posts. I would love to do something like this, so can't wait to read your tips and see more photos. Wonderful idea and I'm happy it helped. Best of luck at NSS!
April 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMissNatalie
This seems like such a fantastic idea - and Paris is such an amazing place, can't wait to see the rest of your photos and hear about your trip!
April 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTammy
Paris, Paris! A love story for me too... for me, the travel will be in 5 weeks! I can't wait! Have a good time there,,,,
April 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMireille
It looks beautiful on your way. For the summer I am planning a bit similar thing for myself. Brushes, papers and colors and me in a new place for a few moments. Let´s see what it becomes.

Happy walking, happy relaxed moments Anna!
April 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Emilia
Your trip sounds utterly delightful, and I can't wait to see your pictures and recommendations! But what you say about breaks adding to our productivity when we are working is so important -- I too am trying to more consciously choose some periods of relaxation rather than just work all the time in the mistaken idea that that means I'm giving my work 100%. Not the case.
April 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFionnuala
A lovely post with beautiful photos. I can't wait to see more and to see your Parisian inspired work.
April 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJill Wignall
Such inspiration! I just recently graduated (graphic design) and I was just talking to a friend about why on earth didn't go somewhere to recharge! Sometimes alittle R&R is fuel to the soul!
April 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle
wow, so incredibly inspiring. i've been dreaming of going to paris - didn't think of the possibility of it being work related, makes a lot of sense. thanks so much for sharing! xo macon
April 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMacon
what a great way to get some inspiration for your work! and spontaneous trips are always the best. it's a flood of nerves and excitement all in one. and you look soo adorable in your outfit! (i don't think you're wearing it in this photo..but i've always coveted your brown oxfords from a different photo. do you mind me asking where you got them?)

can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip and all the new products you'll be revealing!
April 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlinda
i'm so glad you had such an amazing time. i can't wait to see all of your photos and to write down all of your tips. my paris trip is coming up in June so I am excited to hear some of your suggestions. :)
April 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBriony
oh my!!! Looks so beautiful! A trip well deserved =)
April 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTruly Smitten
i'm so glad to hear you had such a wonderful time and were able to recharge! your pictures are beautiful and paris sounds so lovely... as it always does...
April 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterandrea
That's so awesome you were able to do that! How amazing to go somewhere yourself - that's something I definitely want to do this year too! And oh, Paree - looking forward to more about it. :)
April 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTrude

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