NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- If you're going to be sad, why not be sad in Florence? At least that was the thinking of Pamela Hull, who, three years after her husband of 36 years passed away, decided to go abroad.
At the time Hull was living in New Rochelle and had two grown kids.She had a career as an interior designer and painter and had dabbled in writing. Her first book, "Where's My Bride?" a memoir of a marriage -- which she wrote at age 60 -- had just been published.
Paul's death from pancreatic cancer meant there was a lot of deep mourning, some therapy, and much inner soul searching, said Hull. When an opportunity arose to live in Europe for two months, she figured, why not?
The experience became so empowering -- and freeing -- she went to Rome. Then London. And eventually, Paris (though not all on the same trip). The result is her latest tome, "Say Yes! Flying Solo After Sixty,” a personal account of learning to live her best life.
It was a process that took many steps and was never easy.
"I was determined to make my life an expansive one, take it to higher levels of capability, find new creative outlets," she said.
She said talking to strangers -- which she'd always been good at -- helped, though In Europe, this often led to flirting. "Nothing that went anywhere," she said. "And were often with men half my age, the guy who sold cheese, or flowers, etc., but it was wonderful and felt so self-empowering. It makes one bold, gives one moxie."
Writing, she said, was cathartic. "It made me feel powerful that I could fill a blank page, a blank canvas, and produce something wonderful."
So far, the response to her story has been "phenomenal" as it's inspired others -- as well as herself -- "to take one's life to a more expansive level, to resurrect old passions, to find new dreams and adventures that will enhance one's life in so many ways and get rid of the feeling of helplessness."
It also let to the impetus behind her move to Manhattan, a dream she never knew she had.
Go to Amazon for more information. And mark your calendars. Hull will be speaking about her adventures at the Chappaqua Library on May 4.