Thankful Thursdays – Instagram

Paris, Tuileries Garden, Jardin des Tuileries, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Rebecca Plotnick, @rebeccaplotnick, Paris photographer, red balloons Paris, red balloon project
Photo by Rebecca Plotnick

Since I started with Falling Off Bicycles in 2012 – and subsequently created Facebook and Instagram accounts for the brand – my world has been so opened up to other creatives. Before I returned to France in 2013, I was virtually approached by two lovely ladies who had also moved to Paris, one for love and the other for few months of adventure. They had both found my Falling Off Bicycles Facebook page – which I’ve all but neglected since –  before I pushed that aside for more time to devote to sharing on and perusing Instagram. Instagram that has opened so many doors, connected me with cool brands, interesting people, and photographers that inspire me. It is the only social media platform I’ve found with a legitimate community feel to it (despite the occasional cattiness), and I go to it multiple times a day for inspiration and a dose of cheer (I only follow cheery accounts, after all!). The photos I’m sharing today are from three walks I did with Instagrammers whom I have befriended and who I still enjoy walking the streets of Paris with (Amsterdam version to come).

  • The first photo is of me handing one of our red balloons to a young French-Turkish boy (truly one of the cutest children I have ever seen) and shot by Rebecca Plotnick. In case you missed it, click here for more Paris red balloon images.
  • The second photo is me shooting the stunning gardens at the Musée et Jardins d’Albert Kahn in Paris’ 16th arrondissement. Ms. Nora Serna captured this one.
  • The third image is one Nico Étienne took of me while we wandered Montmartre one afternoon in late April last year. His Leica camera produces incredible images… with the help of the gifted photographer holding it. 😉


Another reason I love Instagram so much, is that it continues to solidify how humans think in images. When people describe something to us, we create an image of the scene they set up in our minds, rather than thinking about the words themselves. Not only that, images have the power to tell a story in a flash as well as to touch us and convey emotion rapidly. They are instantaneous and yet live on for others to experience after the moment itself has passed. I love that Instagram enables me to share moments that struck me with beauty and meaning with people around the world.

Paris, Montmartre, vignes de Montmartre, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Nicolas Etienne, nicoet, Paris photographer
Photo by Nico Étienne
Paris, Paris 16eme, Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Nora Serna, @ohbeautifulparis, Paris photographer, musée Albert Kahn Paris
Photo by Nora Serna



In case you missed it, here is my France bucket list (to be updated/revised soon).


Thankful Thursdays – La France

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Bastille Day, fête nationale, Julia Willard red balloon photos, Paris, France, Paris red balloons


In thinking about what I feel most thankful for this week during this week of celebration and cycling, it seems only fitting to continue with the red balloon theme (see yesterday’s red balloons). Red, white, and blue for an American is usually symbolic for his or her own country, but for me they are the colors of all three of “my” countries, so I often find myself drawn to the combination of the colors. Since first going to France in 1999, my love for the culture and the country has grown exponentially, and I continue to be drawn to it, intrigued by it, frustrated by it, and madly in love with it. Every time I see another part of France, and I find myself in complete awe of how this (smallish) country can have so much beauty in it. I have heard this come up in French class and even in other European countries over the years – France really does have it all, from beaches, to mountains, to rolling hills, beautiful architecture, and a fascinating history to accompany it all. I can’t wait to explore more of it in just a few weeks.

In case you missed it, here is my France bucket list (to be updated/revised soon).