Tag Archives: black and white paris

Solo Travel in Europe

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A while back a friend proposed the idea of me traveling alone. I thought the idea was crazy and dismissed it. I was in my young twenties and was honestly too scared. 2007 rolled around and I decided to take a trip back to Italy. My first since studying abroad. I brought two of my best friends along to show them some of my favorite parts of Italy. This is when I first started waking up early to photograph. I thought this would be a good way to explore the city solo and get out of my comfort zone. To my surprise my two friends willingly woke up early to join me. I was happy to have them along but still wanted the experience of being alone in a city. They could sense that I wanted to stay in Italy since I had been talking about how much I loved my time abroad. At one point they both encouraged me to just stay and not come come. That would be crazy I thought… or would it be?

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Either way the seed had been planted knowing that I had the support of two of my best friends. I lost my job shortly after in 2008 and really wanted to follow my passion for being a travel photographer. Sometimes its other things that push you outside of your comfort zone. I have always been grateful for that little push. What did I have to loose? It took me a while to figure out my footing how I was going to make it happen and in the end of 2009 I decided I was going to go to Paris. Yes my family thought I was crazy but once I get an idea in my head its hard to let go of it. So I started planning. This was just a short trip 10 days total but my first solo trip abroad. I went using unemployment money and airline miles from my previous job. I did a lot of research on an inexpensive hotel and booked a ticket.

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My high school French teacher taught us how to use the metro and it all came back to me. This was my first photo as my arrival to Paris back in 2010. I remember it vividly. I was so excited to explore and can’t remember being nervous at all. I photographed the city from morning to night for a total of 8 days. I learned to much about the city by walking and exploring. Everything was new and exciting. I remember walking around the eiffel tower and thinking ” I wonder what it would be like to live here and be inspired by this every day?” That of course planted a seed to my move to Paris in 2013. After the trip I came back to Chicago and started really working on my etsy shop posting photographs and selling them. I can’t say it was overnight it took a little while to figure things out but by the following year I was completely on my own financially as a travel photographer. That was a lot scarier than going to Paris solo.

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When I talk to friends and strangers about solo travel the first thing they mention is fear. It can definately be scary going outside your comfort zone. The next couple posts I will talk about Staying safe while traveling, eating alone, perks of traveling solo and more. I would love to know your thoughts have you traveled alone? Love it or hate it? If you haven’t what’s holding you back?

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Winter in Paris

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I have spent every season in Paris. Between trips back and forth over the years I have covered them all. I have spent more time in Paris during some seasons and less in others, Winter being the longest season. I didn’t plan it that way it has just happened. The city changes so much from season to season. During the Winter its mostly locals and a few tourists. Its one of my favorite times to be in the city. You rarely have to fight crowds, you can usually find a spot on the terrace under the heater at a a cafe, and the city looks different without all the greenery. You can actually see the rooftops and the haussman buildings along the seine. As Springtime comes those trees fill with buds and bright green leaves pretty quickly. Here are a few of my favorite winter scenes in Paris.

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Stationary now available at Papyrus

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It has been 6 years since I was laid off. I remember clearly that Summer sitting on a bench in the park and making plans for what was next. I wanted to be a travel photographer and one of my goals was to have a card in Papyrus. Last year that dream came true with my first card! I was lucky enough to work with Papyrus again to make a box set of 4 assorted images. While in Soho this past weekend I popped in to see if it had hit stores and I was so happy to see it sitting on the shelves. I will admit I started crying tears of joy. Dreams don’t work unless you do! xo

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Cafe Life in Paris in Black and White

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Cafes are a big part of Paris life. Apartments are small and Parisians spend a good amount of their time at local cafes. People watching at cafes can last hours on end as there are always new characters and the wardrobes are pretty fantastic. Paris feels like walking on a never ending movie set. 

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Weekend Reading List

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The best baguette in Paris yearly contest happened this week. Here are the results from Paris by Mouth : 60 Boulevard Brune 

The small plate trend in Paris is on the rise. Here is Preston’s favorite spots from 52 Martinis written for HIP (Haven in Paris) 

Eating up Paris with Patricia Wells for the Washington Post 

I answered a few questions for the Pottery Barn Blog about being a photographer in Paris 

Stairs and cafe stops

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I am not sure which is more tired, my computer, my camera or my feet… That being said just a few photos for today. Of course one for the cafe collection that I have started. Thank you all for your wonderful feedback! 

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A Paris Monday

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I continue to be amazed by the beauty of Paris and all its surprises. I am finding hidden streets and new places to explore left and right. Today I was on the run as usual but it was so sunny and beautiful! The smell of Spring was in the air. It brings back so many wonderful memories of last year. Here is my day from Morning Sun, Afternoon Sun, Evening Sun and After Sun…

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