Apiece Apart Travels: Discovering Southwest France with Photographer Gemma Ingalls

French Travelogue Gemma Ingalls

We love following women as they travel — drawn in by both the places they visit and the learnings that the journey inspires. Our Apiece Apart Travels series shadows women as they experience new places.

In late June, photographer Gemma Ingalls travelled on assignment with Flower Magazine to southwest France, near Bordeaux and the border of Spain. While there, she spent time as a solo traveler at Les Prés d’Eugénie, a country hotel, restaurant, and spa owned by nouvelle cuisine chef Michel Guérard and his family in the town of Eugenie Les Bains. The restaurant has held 3 Michelin stars since 1970, and the grounds are a fairytale dreamland of manicured but still-wild gardens, classic yet understated architecture, and thermal waters running through the entire property. 
 
While at the property photographing a floral workshop organized by Flower School New York, Gemma documented summer in southwest France, and put together a dispatch for us on what it means — sensorially, emotionally — to lose oneself in moments of travel. 

Photos and words by Gemma Ingalls

French Travelogue Gemma IngallsFrench Travelogue Gemma Ingalls

"Away alone. In-between times. Stranded from the clutter and comfort of business as usual.
 
I'm traveling for work, but I'm never alone. It's me and my work. As a photographer, I literally wear my work around my neck. I am looking at the world with that in mind, and through my lens, and the 'photographer' label, I am identified in the environment. 
 
But there are sweet moments of losing oneself temporarily. A letting go of the threads of familiar routine, and a shifting of vision, of consciousness. Solo travel allows me to discover moments and stay in them, rather than reacting and moving on as quickly as possible."

French Travelogue Gemma IngallsFrench Travelogue Gemma Ingalls

"My commute this morning takes me through arbor of grape vines, wet grass and lemon yellow roses. The slow steady sound of rakes, gardeners tidying the nights arboreal losses. I find a tree full of small golden plums. Eating from a heavy branch, my feet sinking into the fruit covered ground."

French Travelogue Gemma IngallsFrench Travelogue Gemma Ingalls

"Traveling, we are never alone. Rivers carve out canyon walls over time, and in this way travel unfurls, exposes, and reflects."