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“I must ransom my dream not just to see Europe but to reassure myself that I can navigate my elder years independently, confidently.

No I will “not go gentle” I will go to Paris!

Excerpt from Gail Schilling’s Memoir 

 

 

Borrowing from Dylan Thomas, the Welsh poet, and his famous adage “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” Gail Schilling’s story is the reason that I started this blog.

 

I wanted to share stories of women of a certain age who will not go quietly or succumb to that sense of feeling invisible as they age.

 

In Gail’s case, that meant taking a trip she dreamed of for 42 years.

 

As many women of our generation might relate, Gail’s life has been about everyone else.

 

Years ago, when she lived in Wyoming, her husband left her with 4 children ages  2, 4, 5, and 8.

 

Gail brought them up living on “hope and antelope” as she puts it, and working every job she could get from goat wrangler to freelance writer.*

 

It was brave, and as Gail says, she was strong back then.

 

But as the nest emptied and she arrived into her sixties, Gail’s confidence began to wane.

 

She asked herself “Am I still strong or do we lose resiliency and resourcefulness when we are no longer actively needed?”

 

With the strong urging from her son, Gail finally decided to put that question to the test.

 

She booked a month-long trip to France in the merry month of May 2010.

 

 

Gail’s Spring In Paris

No Chateaus Stays in This Story

 

However, this is NOT a story of a saved-up splurge for an all-inclusive sightseeing tour with luxurious accommodations.

 

There is no spending a month living in a chateau that is offered up by my last interview guest!

 

Oh no! Gail navigates her trip to Paris on what she calls her “squeeze the buffalo off the nickel budget.”

 

This is a trip of an older woman lugging around her own suitcase from Paris to towns all over France.

 

Gail stays in the most modest of accommodations, from B&B’s to hostels, as in sleeping in the same room with multiple others.

 

Even when she does score a single room in a Paris hostel, it was 6 floors up with no elevator. (a total of 99 steps!)

 

 

The view from Gail’s first B&B in Paris!

 

Looks like “Le Breakfast” made up for the view!

A Rich Story

 

Yet, this is one of the most textured travel accounts I have read.

 

Perhaps because Gail does it on a shoestring, and she does it alone, which allows for adventures that most people would not have.

 

Whether that means making new friends of all ages, getting lost, navigating a different language, and times when she really was lonely.

 

Gail uses all of these experiences to weave a unique journey of discovery from a mature woman’s point of view, while she revels in everything that Paris and France have to offer.

 

 

Gail in Collioure, a town on the Mediterranean that is now on MY list to visit.

 

“My journey through France has reassured me that I can open and close doors, both real and metaphysical.  I can solve problems and trust strangers. I can adapt when plans go haywire and even carry on when wounded by a fickle sweetheart.”

WAIT! Wounded by a fickle sweetheart?

Yes, there is more to this story.

You DO NOT want to miss this!

 

Travelling Solo in France as a Woman of a Certain Age

 

Join me for this interview with Gail Schilling

TUESDAY, April 6th 2021

12:30 EST/9:30 am Pacific/6:30 pm Paris/5:30 London  

REGISTER HERE

                                                                                                              ($22.50 CAD**)

Gail Thorell Schilling, author of Do Not Go Gentle, Go to Paris shares her story about taking a trip

she postponed for 40 years, to travel on her own all over France.

The dynamics of traveling solo held special challenges, as well as exciting opportunities,

that Gail says she might not have experienced otherwise.

It also helped her reframe “aging” and the power of being a Woman of a Certain Age!

You can also buy Gail’s Book HERE!

 

NOTE: Annual members do NOT need to register for this interview.

You are already registered.

AND Annual Members — Stay Tuned for the Giveaway Draw!

Next week I announce the first of Four Giveaways Draws for 2021!

It is an exciting gift but you do have to be an annual member to qualify!

(NOT an annual member yet? Click HERE to go to The Virtual Adventures Club to find out more.)

 

 

**NOTE: There is a small administrative fee ($22.50 CAD) for each interview IF you are NOT an annual member.

It is posted in Canadian Dollars, and if you are paying in USD, euros, or pounds, you will get the benefit of the exchange rate!

8 Comments

  1. Robin Siegerman on March 14, 2021 at 9:29 am

    So glad to see you are going to interview Gail Schilling, particularly since I narrated her audiobook! I’m a professional audiobook narrator originally from Montreal, but now Toronto, and came across your blog a couple of years ago after one of my many trips to Paris. I read your post about Gail, her trip and her book and knew I wanted to read it, if not narrate it! So tracked Gail down through a writer’s site, did a short audio sample for her and thus began my own journey, narrating Gail’s charming book! I’ve visited France numerous times, since my husband has family there, but it was wonderful to see it through Gail’s eyes. Since I grew up speaking both English and French, I am always on the lookout for books that are set in, or about France and French speaking countries so I can use my French accent and language. And Gail’s book was an absolute pleasure to read and bring to audio. So thank you for introducing me to her, and all your wonderful posts, that bring a je ne sais quois to my computer screen!

    • Diana Bishop on March 14, 2021 at 6:19 pm

      Robin, How amazing is that! Gail was just telling me how excited she is about her new audiobook — but I had no idea that you made the connection through my blog. I do hope you will be able to join us for her interview. I would love to promote you as well. I will follow-up with an email. Thank you so much for commenting. Diana

  2. Gretchen Greene O'Brien on March 14, 2021 at 9:31 am

    “Coming of Age” can happen at any time in one’s life – and often!!! Whether it is raising 4 children as a single parent OR travelling solo in one’s “mellow years” – WE CAN DO IT !!!

    • Diana Bishop on March 14, 2021 at 6:18 pm

      Amen to that Gretchen! My point exactly. This should be a very interesting interview. Thank you for the comment! Diana

  3. Trudy Van Buskirk on March 14, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    It’s so wonderful to see a “woman of a certain age” travelling around Paris and France … AND “on the cheap”! I’m going to read her book now 🤗

    • Diana Bishop on March 14, 2021 at 6:33 pm

      I think you would really like it. Enjoy! Diana

  4. Joanne Dierking on March 15, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    Wonderful! I have know Gail since 1980ish. She and her family were our friends and owned a business next to ours when they lived in Lander. She was my student teacher when she went back to school. What an amazing resilient life she has led. Her book is marvellous and yes, reminds us that as we age , we women can continue to be adventurous even when we go it alone. I just love the success she has had in life and with this book!

    • Diana Bishop on March 16, 2021 at 2:22 pm

      Joanne,
      Thank you so much for your comment. I hope you will join us for her interview. I think the world of Gail and
      her story will resonate with so many of my subscribers! Best to you, Diana

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