2018 November Featured Journalist of the Month: Lynn Gagnon
Thursday, November 01, 2018 12:31 PM

Lynn Gagnon:

Joie de Vivre with an Accent on Camaraderie

“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.” - Mark Twain

Focusing on life’s pleasures didn’t come naturally to me.  A graduate of Wellesley College, I was raised to strive for achievement.  But when Denis first took me to Quebec the spring of my senior year, I experienced a delightful taste of “joie de vivre” and my outlook on life changed forever.  We married and moved to France where new friends taught me French along with the art of finding great pleasure in daily life … Joie de Vivre. 

Denis and I also enjoyed life abroad in England, Mexico and Canada.  I completed my doctorate in social psychology, learned Spanish, and worked in academics and business consulting while raising two daughters.  After returning stateside, I started a business which involved my daughters and took me regularly to Paris ... aah that Joie de Vivre!  Following retirement to Hilton Head, I founded the Wellesley Alumnae Club in S.C., ran the Art League’s Juried Art Exhibition, and served on the Orchestra League Board.   We later moved to DC for its rich cultural offerings and became travel bloggers.  Our travels and our writing about them literally feed my love of joie de vivre, and while I volunteer my time at many organizations in DC, my travels with Denis are by far my richest and most rewarding experience.

Lynn's Q&A:

What got you in to travel writing?

Quite simply, my fascinating travels with Denis led to my keeping a journal of our travels, to friends asking me to forward the journal onto them, to lots of great feedback, more interest, and voila...BonVoyageurs was born!


What’s the most challenging part of travel writing for you?

I like to be really descriptive and inclusive, so keeping the writing pithy enough is probably my biggest challenge. 


What is one thing [equipment or personal item] you can’t go without on the road?

A hotspot for my devices and an "open, inquiring" mind.


What’s your most unusual and/or memorable travel experience?

When an elderly lion came and lay in the shade of our Jeep right below my window in Ngorongoro Crater. I had to resist the urge to reach out and pet him.


What is the best piece of advice you could give to a rookie travel journalist?

Follow your passion. Write from your heart. Allow yourself time to proof your article, and ideally, read it aloud as you proof it. Let your passion come through in your writing.


Find Lynn's work: www.bonvoyageurs.com

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