My story: When I reached 40, I had achieved a lot: I had a thriving career as
a filmmaker, a comfortable-enough financial situation, and the
thrill of the city than never sleeps at my disposal. There was only
one thing missing—and it wasn’t a husband. It was passion. No
matter how much I worked, played, dated, or shopped, I felt like
a connection to something deeper—something lasting, moving,
something transformational—was missing. When I sat down to
consider what I’m really passionate about—where my wonder,
curiosity, and courage had disappeared to—what I really wanted
to do hit me. As it turns out, it had been right in front of me for
almost twenty years. My first love, my college obsession, the thing
I spent a decade chasing: flamenco.
The earthy-yet-mystical form of music and dance from Spain
grabbed my heart right out of my chest from the first moment
I saw it, and never let go. There’s actually a word for what made
me teary-eyed each time saw the fierce dancing and heard the
soul-piercing singing and trance-inducing clapping of a live
performance: duende. I can only describe duende (pronounced
doo-in-day) as the fiery spirit that takes over a performer’s whole
being. It’s a moment when deep-seated emotions come to light
In a magical way—and it never happens the same way twice
Understanding duende was, at first, a personal obsession,
then the basis for a Fulbright Scholarship and finally the
underlying theme of my first documentary “I’m the Tourist”
in which I followed a gypsy singer who lived in a caravan,
seeing if I could catch a spark of duende along the way. It
was exhilarating and meaningful and the whole experience
made me feel alive. But before I knew it, I was back in New
York and duende was nowhere to be found.
More than a decade later, pressed by deadlines, buried by
emails, and consumed by my daily routine, I was spiritually
disconnected. So I set out to get my duende back.
But this time, instead of being an observer, I would be a
participant and document my own journey. And I wouldn’t
just experience flamenco, but actively explore all the ways
in which global travel can bring a fresh perspective and
fulfillment to women like me.
Thus the Going Solo was born—a new kind of travel series
that takes as its premise the idea that everyday women
want to live life to the fullest; experience passion; challenge
themselves; take risks; and meet the world head-on.