Postcards and Pearls:Life Lessons from Solo Moments in New York

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A pilgrimage is internal.

An adventure combines them. One of my top items on my bucket list is crossing the mighty Mississippi. Abe Lincoln to Sam Clemens. Ulysses S.

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I want to visit the western Civil War sites as well as places Grant called home. Galena, IL is as far north for this trip. Walking over the Mississippi via the Chain of Rocks Bridge then driving over via the newer bridge. Tennessee offers up a scaled model of the Mississippi where you can walk the 1,mile alongside the actual river. Collecting maps. Downloading maps and other literature. Sent for information. Making lists and taking suggestions. Starting to really focus in on what I want to see and learn. You see, there are so many museums, historic sites and used bookstores between here and there.

I want to visit each and every place. The store will be open but the hours will be different. I hope everyone will be patient and understanding. Because my stories come from travels over a year period, my editor made a great suggestion for me to organize the book into thirds: travels before my world tour, during the tour, and post-tour.

Within that core structure, I wove in the stories from the other women as well as grouped stories thematically.

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WOW: It all makes sense now! I completely see that looking back at it. What do you hope readers will take away from this book? WOW: I think that message in the book is very clear and that readers will see that after reading it.

Postcards and Pearls - Life Lessons from Solo Moments in New York (Paperback)

In one of your postcards you said before you took your trip around the world you made a pact with yourself. How did this plan really take off in your life? Until I made that pact with myself in , I was in London when the epiphany came I had always come home from vacation depressed. But I believed that by putting the commitment out into the world boldly, in writing, and then keeping that commitment foremost in my mind by literally reading it aloud every day, twice a day to myself, that I would attract the people, information, and other resources that would lead me to a more authentic life.

The next year, a newspaper hired me as its director of strategic planning after 13 years in a health care career and that inside track led to freelance writing gigs with the paper while drawing a full-time salary. That was the same year I decided to travel around the world. Because I already had a writing relationship with the paper, it seemed natural to pitch the Journey with Gina column to them, which I did. And so, one short year after creating my Pact, I had significantly changed my life as I had dreamed. WOW: That is so amazing. I really applaud you for being able to accomplish your dream.

On a related note, how did you get the courage to quit your job and start freelancing?

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Describe your experiences with this huge life transition. Gina: I find courage to be a skill that, to be useful like any other, must be practiced. I have wanted to be a professional writer since age five, the year I learned to read.

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I was almost forty years old before I acted on that dream. That was because it took that long for me to be more uncomfortable with living an inauthentic life than taking a crack at my dream.

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As scary as it was to go for the dream Am I a good enough writer? Can I make money at it? I believed that after my world trip, had I arranged to return to my full-time job or sought other traditional employment, that choice would cause me to relax into a comfortable, familiar way of life. I believed I had to remove the security blanket of a full-time job and salary to be sufficiently uncomfortable to leap into freelance writing. I had already quit my job and had replaced it with a paid, six-month writing gig. I had momentum and I chose to run with it.

WOW: That was so bold of you! My last question is what was your favorite postcard from this book and why? I love this postcard for many reasons. I never get tired of reliving the punchline moment, which cracks me up every time. Also, that encounter epitomizes a solo travel dynamic of starting the evening out on your own, but winding up having an unexpected adventure because of the very fact you are solo; friendly strangers gravitate toward you because your energy is directed out into the world versus focused on the people you would be traveling with were you not solo.

WOW: Thanks so much, Gina! I have loved learning more about you and your inspiring book, Postcards and Pearls. Recent Posts See All.

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