N'importe quoi: Deported from France, Kristin dusts herself off and imagines the ideal career.
Join us here at home + A Santorini Caper

Depaysement: A Change of Scenery unlocks inspiration

1-Mas des Brun wedding anniversary

We would be so happy to see you at our winetasting this Saturday, September 26th at 3pm. RSVP to jm.espinasse@gmail.com (Photo taken for our 20th wedding anniversary, here at home last year. We celebrate 21 years tomorrow!)

WORD OF THE DAY: Dépaysement

    : change of scene, disorientation, culture shock

=> dépaysement is often used  in a positive sense, for "a change of scenery"

Hear Jean-Marc pronounce this example sentence:
Download MP3 or Wav

Le dépaysement. Ce séjour sur l'ile de Santorini a été un grand dépaysement. Maintenant, si vous voulez vous dépaysez, venez à notre winetasting ce samedi 26 septembre. Change of scene. The stay on Santorini island was a great change of scenery. Now, if you would like a change of scene, come to our winetasting on Saturday, September 26th.


by Kristin Espinasse

It turned out to be a very good idea, inviting myself along for my sister's Greek vacation. Sometimes you have to oser, or dare to ask what you secretly wish for. And when Heidi and her fiancé, Brian, agreed they would be happy for us to join them, my husband booked tickets from Marseilles to Athens, and on to the volcanic rock island of Santorini!

  Jean-Marc, Kristi, Heidi, and Brian

Jean-Marc also found us an apartment perched above the port of Ammoudi - a deal at 100 euros a day. We stayed five nights. To get to our nest, high up in the volcanic branches of the ancient port, we passed several fish taverns and climbed a series of steps so steep that they might as well have been rungs on a ladder or verticle fish nets! Would we tip backwards and fall into the bay, only to be fished out by the octopus hunters? No, we would reach our destination in time to unpack and sample the fresh grilled squid!

Chris, Kelly, Randy, Merry, Kim, Randy, Heidi and Brian

On the second day we met my sister, her fiancé, Brian, and friends on the catamaran they had rented for the week, in celebration of one of their birthdays (happy 60th, Merry!). And it was on that boat that my shrinkwrapped world began to loosen and expand.  From that first swim with my sister in the salty mediterranean waters, and the laughter of friends--to the many steps we took trekking across the whitewashed villages, a quiet transformation was taking place inside of me - until eureka! - a fountain of inspiration sprang forth on the flight home.
Falling in love with the useful, medicinal caper plant, in Santorini

If I now had a new passion and, finally, an overdue pitch for a magazine article it was thanks to the rough and steep terrain which gives way to aromatic Greek cuisine and an ancient mode of transport!  (There are no cars in the village of Oia, but you could hire a donkey or a mule....)


As for the new passion, I will tell you more about that soon. For now I am off to pitch a story to--of all places--a car and travel magazine! Wish me bonne chance. If all goes well I will be able to experience and share a quirky new adventure with you very soon! (For a hint of the subject see this photo at the top of the previous post).

Warmest wishes from Bandol, where it is now time for a Greek-inspired lunch--right after giving thanks for this enlivening dépaysement. May you, too, enjoy a change of scene very soon!


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BLOSSOMING-IN-PROVENCEBlossoming in Provence. When you purchase a copy of my book, you help to support this free word journal - and you help a friend to improve their French. Order a copy here for un(e) ami(e). Merci beaucoup!

I loved photographing each of these dogs, spotted in or near the town of Oia, Santorini. And it was heartening to see the many bowls of water and food left out for them by the ever-hospitable locals. Visit Greece!  See all of the photos from our Greek vacation, click here.

A Message from KristiFor twenty years now, support from readers like you has been an encouragement and a means to carve out a career in writing. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider a donation. Your gift keeps me going! Thank you very much.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety