Hi there Steph and thanks so much for inviting me to join this fabulous group of writers in your Spring Author Series! It's been great fun reading about everyone and getting to know them better.
[SK]: Hi Patricia! Thanks for joining me as we round out the Spring Author Series! As summer approaches, why don't you tell me a little it about your love of travel, maybe a bit about your favorite vacations?
In answer to your question about travel and vacations, I must admit I'm a travel junkie. There's nothing I love more than to take a trip … short, long, near, far … it really doesn't matter! I can be organized to leave at the drop of a hat!
It may be hard to believe, but I've never had a bad experience. Delayed luggage once or twice has been the worst of it and who can't cope with that?
When my children were young our major trips were always planned around them. If it meant taking time away from school, that wasn't an issue. As a teacher myself in later years, I always encouraged parents when they approached me about the possibility of their child missing some time for a family trip. What better education can there be for kids than to travel and what better quality family time?
Now that our children are grown with children of their own … yikes! how did that happen so quickly? … we still encourage them to continue the tradition of exploring the world together. From time to time we even manage to travel with our family, but in smaller clusters … with a blended family now of seven children plus spouses and six grandchildren, the logistics are a tad trickier!
Our greatest success in that regard was six years ago when we rented a five-bedroom house on a lovely property in the south of France for three months. All of our children came to visit at different times, some overlapping with others. Some staying for one week, others for three. They all say it was the best trip ever. They got to be kids again in many ways and everything just worked out perfectly. At the end of the trip a friend asked my husband which day was the best of the three months. He gave it just a second's thought and replied, "Every single day! Each one was special." Now that's the sign of a great trip, wouldn't you say?
We didn't include the grandchildren in that trip as we wanted the parents to truly have a special time together and the little ones were simply too young to handle the transatlantic flights. My new fantasy is to repeat this holiday again in a few years and have the grandchildren come too. Hey … it never hurts to dream, right? In fact, dreaming about trips is usually what gets the ball rolling.
In the last fifteen years my husband and I have spent a lot of extended time in Europe. As much as we love our homes in Toronto and Florida, Europe – and particularly the south of France – is the siren call for us. We prefer to settle in one area and really explore, do day trips, and feel like we actually live there. Sometimes we rent accommodation but we have also done seven home exchanges which have been immensely enjoyable and successful. If you've never tried it, I heartily endorse the experience. In fact, house exchange in France figures prominently in my next novel which I hope to have out this summer.
On the way to the market in the old town of Antibes…
I've told stories through photography all of my life and so morphing into becoming an author seemed like a natural thing to do. Last summer we spent four months living in Antibes, France (between Nice and Cannes) and much of my time was spent writing and researching my current work. I began posting about France on my website every Friday and that's become so popular I've been able to continue indulging my love for that part of the world. Hopefully it won't be too long before we return!
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to blather on about one of my favourite topics. If anyone is interested in more information about home exchange, by all means get in touch with me and I can direct you to some excellent sites. In these days of economic stress, a house exchange can go a long way to make your dream holiday affordable. How good is that?
[SK]: It's awesome! Thank you so much for the visit Patricia! You actually inspired me to schedule my own vacation this year.
About the Author
Toronto author Patricia Sands has stories to tell. In fact, she believes so do we all. Encouraging others to value and share their stories is part of what she works to accomplish through her writing and speaking.
A writer and published author, she is also a blogger and professional speaker: all this since she turned sixty-five. She feels that life continues to present opportunities no matter what our age and it is our choice whether or not we embrace these new possibilities. Be a “possibilitarian”!
A strong advocate for the importance of friendship, her talks stress the value of the connections women make in their lives and how we are able to empower each other.
Her award-winning debut novel, The Bridge Club, was published through iUniverse in September 2010 and was a finalist in the Foreword Reviews 2010 Book Of The Year (general fiction) and the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (First Novel – over 80,000 words). Also a Flash Fiction Finalist (Winter 2010) with Women on Writing, her work was recently included in the anthology “Canadian Imprints” published by the Writers and Editors Network. She is currently working on her next novel.
Patricia has appeared as a guest on radio and online television and is a sought-after speaker for women’s groups. Her passion is bringing her message of motivation and inspiration to encourage women to value their stories and to find the strength within to approach every challenge as an opportunity.
"It's never too late to begin something new," she enthuses. "As the saying goes, just do it!"
Buy the Bridge Club Today!