We met a schoolteacher in our French class last year. She had been through a bad divorce and a worse bout with breast cancer, so at the age of 57, she took a chance. On-line, she found a garret in the heart of the left bank of Paris. Two days after school was out, she boarded a plane and spent her summer walking the streets of Paris, discovering things she never would've known about the city and herself had she gone on a tour. When we met her, she was planning her third summer in the same apartment, a small room at the top of an ancient, iron spiral staircase. She had never learned the language. Everyday she was in France, she would pick up a new phrase. Now she had decided to take a class. It wasn't courage that had led her on her journey, she explained. It was a decision to live without regret. "Non, je ne regrette rien," Edith Piaf.
A Writer's Paris, by Eric Maisel, will have you longing to take a chance, as will two websites: www.escapeartist.com and www.fusac.fr/en. But it doesn't have to be Paris, or travel abroad. Taking a chance requires that you step outside your comfort zone. "...throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain