Essay for BBC Travel wins 2015 Lowell Thomas Award for Personal Comment


Very pleased that my essay about the unexpected pleasure of traveling through France alone has won a Lowell Thomas Award for personal comment. I’m in great company: Here is a list of the winners, and here, again, is my story. And this is what the judges said:

Marcia DeSanctis’ strong, first-person narrative captures what one is supposed to feel for France: recognition of its unquestioned cultural and culinary preeminence. Yet, because she inverts the expectations of the accompanied traveler, she introduces us to a flawed, humane and solitary France. The accompanied traveler carries the awareness of another; the solo traveler converses only with memories. DeSanctis captures the joy of not sharing canelés (traditional pastries of Bordeaux) and the freedom to live extemporaneously. “I was travelling alone,” she writes with a spark of recognition “but not a single thing was missing.”