About Me

faraway places

As long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of “faraway places” — like the ones Mother told me about when I was  a child. Escaping into the fairytale world I visited in my mind was my way of dealing with real life.

“Going to China, or maybe Siam, I have the whole world to see,” she would sing in her less than perfect soprano voice.

We didn’t travel much when I was growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina. My mother was a nurse anaesthetist and worked long hours, often on weekends. My father was a merchant and took only a one-week vacation to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as I can remember. So as soon as I was old enough to travel alone, I took off. First stop, New York City to visit my favorite Aunt Rose.

faraway places

Aunt Rose

Aunt Rose was one of those “bigger-than-life” idols to me. A 1937 graduate of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Pharmacy, and the only female in her class, she was fondly known as the “May West of Chapel Hill.”  We bonded during my first trip to New York. I could see that, even at 50 years old, Aunt Rose was a dead ringer for the Hollywood queen — from the perfectly coiffed blond hair, to the long false eyelashes and blue eye shadow, to the buxom figure.

Aunt Rose owned New York — or so this sixteen year old ingénue from the Carolinas assumed. With only one day dedicated to sightseeing in the city, Rose drove her car from Jamaica Estates, parked it, and handed me our tickets for the Gray Line City Tour. That was my first lessonTake a guided tour of the new place you’re visiting. Do it on the first day. A tour gives you the highlights of the area and helps you figure out where you want to return to explore. A guided tour also makes it easier to understand a city map and to get your head compass oriented.

I learned my second travel lesson that day : wear comfortable shoes. After leaving the guided tour, we walked for miles through Chinatown and Little Italy. Fortunately we stopped along the way, popping into noodle shops and cafes with Italian pastries.

Before the day was over,  my senses were on over-drive.  I was hooked. Right then, I made a pact with myself that I would visit the “real” Italy and China .. and more. My unquenchable quest to see the world had begun.

The Barefoot Blogger is a solo female, retired from a career in corporate marketing and divorced after 40 years of marriage. Ten years ago, on a whim and following a dream, she moved from South Carolina to Uzes, France.

Travels for work and play have taken me through Europe, into parts of southeast Asia, West Africa, Central America, the Caribbean, Istanbul and Nepal.

“Life is an adventure” and I want to explore as much as my body and my budget will bear.

Please join me as I learn about the world and myself. Especially, stumble with me through France where I don’t speak the language. I promise you fun along the way … and we’ll all learn a lot.

If you’d like, share this blog with your friends and we’ll all travel to faraway places together!

For publications with Barefoot Blogger adventures click here

faraway places

“The meaning of life is to give life a meaning”

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26 replies »

  1. Hey, Deb,
    My name is Emily and I found your recently found blog. I was in Uzès last year for just a few days and I loved it there. I bought some fabulous earrings for myself and my daughters at this cute little shop in the center of Uzès. Then, I ended up spending nearly 3 months between St Remy and Nyons, working on a winery and a farm, through WWOOF. It was the best thing I’ve experienced in years! I, too, am divorced, have 4 children and was able to finally follow my dream, instead of everyone else’s. I can’t get my trip out of my head and keep researching where to buy over there, how other ex-pats have experienced their time there and if I can do it myself. I absolutely believe I can. The only thing holding me back, at this point, is my kids. They grew up without any grandparents around, and if they have kids in the future, I feel like I shouldn’t just abandon them without support.
    Anyway, I have enjoyed reading your posts and getting some perspective about your transition and your experiences, so far. It helps a lot to see others be successful in a new, very different place. I used to live in Hawai’i, and my sisters still do, because they’re locally well established. On the other hand, I have seen scores of people move there because it’s beautiful, to eventually find it too hard to be so isolated and costly to live there, and they end up leaving after just a few years. So, that slightly colors my ability to imagine moving away from what I’m used to, here in the US.
    Thanks so much for sharing your new world!

    • Hi again! Just checking if you received my reply. This was such a heartfelt message, I didn’t want you to think I didn’t get it.

  2. Delighted to find your blog! So interesting and pretty. Uzes and surrounds unfolds gently. Have any suggestions for gentle walks or cycles locally? 😊

    • Hi Melanie, sorry for the late response. Trouble with the app. Yes, be sure to check out Valle du L’Eure. Fab place to walk😘

  3. Hi Deborah
    Just discovered your blog. Look forward to learning as much as I can about Provence. Planning to stay for three months next year. Have stayed in Uzes twice before and hubby and I love it. You sound like my kind of person, enjoying life and learning.

    • You are going to love a long stay here. You’ll probably not want to leave. That’s what happened to me. Best decision ever! So glad you’re enjoying the blog. Let me know if you come back this way. Keep enjoying traveling!

    • Well, thank you! Welcome to my world! This venture into the “unknown” has been thrilling and mind-opening. I hope you enjoy the travels and the misadventures, too. Please let me hear from you often and especially if you head this way. Let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to talk about that can help you “dream to plan.” Love your title!

  4. Hi Debby,
    Viewed your video on you tube and hope your still enjoying life in France. My question deals with apartment rental. For comparison, a one bedroom apt. in US begins at $ 2400. Would this be in the range of an apt. in France?

  5. Hey cuz..how do I reach you? I want to share with you my absolutely incredible journey to South Africa this summer. I so enjoy treading your blog. Boy I knew you were a good writer but your skills are mind boggling….miss you soooooooooooooooooooooooo xoixoxoxox

      • Hi Deborah – This is Janice, John Drape’s friend and neighbor. I live in the old lofts near his house. According to him, we have a lot in common – other than knowing him – and should get in touch. So, hello and I look forward to following your blog and chatting about single travel adventures.


  6. I can’t believe you paid credit to Aunt Rose. I’m reading this blog and I have tears in my eyes out of missing Rose part and missing you enjoy your life you deserve the best

  7. Hi Debby,
    I have just looked at your blog and I really enjoyed reading it, thought the pictures
    were very good.
    I was suprised and delighted to find our bracelets mentioned on your blog, thankyou very much indeed for that.
    Hope to see you again soon!

    • So glad you found the blog. I love your bracelets and I’m sure my friends will too. Thank you for the gift. Hope to get by to see you next weekend for men’s bracelets.

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