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  • Writer's pictureDiana Scalia


Updated: Dec 8, 2023

A few days ago, just before I flew to Paris, I had the joy and privilege of being a guest on StoryU Radio, for a show titled Expecting Good Things to Happen, hosted by my writing coach and dear friend Debby Handrich.

While there to chat up my new book The Bump Clause, Debby opened our conversation with a question about how I came to travel as I do; my jetting off to France to stay for the next three months is not such an ordinary thing.

Somehow I was inspired to say something like, I’m blessed with Wanderlust.

The quote Peculiar Travel Suggestions are Dancing Lessons from God is very meaningful to me. In an artsy journal bought on a whim, I found this quote inside and it spoke to me.

Soon after that, I was walking at the beach one January morning, just after I’d learned that a baby boy was born to friends in France. Having intention to visit them in the spring to meet their little one, I heard a very firm yet gentle voice telling me to Go to Mexico.

Really I wondered?? Mexico?? Hmm.

Again. Go to Mexico.

That June, with the fabulous company of my beautiful friend Mariella (in foto below, far left), I was off to Guadalajara to promote LA as a food city, and on to Puerto Vallarta for the first real vacation I’d had in years.

This launched an entire love affair with Mexico, especially Guadalajara. I was blessed beyond measure with the joy/privilege/pure pleasure of new food passions, friendships, and even one yummy, mutual crush on a very handsome gentleman. Over the next few years, I returned to visit about 10 times, including the autumn after Mama passed, which was very healing.

When I got this message to Go to Mexico, I did well to listen. It was the same voice that inspired me to go to Australia and New Zealand upon graduating university, a few years later to go to Greece, then on to Italy, France, and Spain, a little later in life.

My passionate love affair with France (from where I am writing these words) began when I intuitively I knew to say yes to hosting a French houseguest named Antoine, back in 2007... and that story has ultimately led to my now being the godmother of his daughter, my precious little Renata.

A year ago, with intention to visit France for an extended period because Renata had moved there with her parents, my angels suggested that I explore being a writer in Paris. Within 11 minutes I booked my own apartment in Paris for six weeks, wishing to live like a local. I practiced the most important things for that duration - shop, meet, cook, write, eat, repeat. Those accounts are found in my 44 Days in Paris posts here in La Vie en Magenta.

This last January (2023), when that extended stay in Paris ended, I was surprisingly guided to Bayeux, Normandie (foto below, right) to stay for the next month. In January again, I will return to Bayeux for the third time now, and stay in my same glorious apartment, from where I finished my book The Bump Clause, last winter.

This winter I am back in Paris for just a few days before I spend a month in the beautiful harborside city of La Rochelle (lead foto of mussels, above) through New Year's, before my time in Bayeux. I intend to complete my new cookbook during this time; let's see how that goes!

By now I surely believe that Wanderlust is just the flip side of Mr Vonnegut's curious quote; it’s like the action verb for following that strange travel guidance. In my experience, it's really just about showing up, and being open to surprise - in the best of ways.

My travel tales have all started as peculiar suggestions – some were firm yet gentle, others were very soft and whispery.

Each so far, have been – and I trust those yet to come, will be - all absolutely, positively, divine invitations to dance.

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