So, here we are in what seems like day number 1,162 of #SaferAtHome. We continue to read everything we come across regarding the current situation and what the future of travel may look like and we continue to be optimistic.

Because sometimes we just need a break from the news – good or bad – we are also spending time walking (our dogs are loving us), watching A LOT of (great) television, zooming with friends and colleagues, joining in webinars to help us keep up with what’s new and exciting, and baking. A lot of baking! And, of course, there is also reading, puzzles and gratitude.

We are grateful for and buoyed by our clients who have adopted the #DontCancelPostpone philosophy. We love your intrepid spirits and are working every day to rebook your trips. We WILL get out there again and it’s great to have something to look forward to. Inspiring your travels and desire to get back out on the road together when the time is right gives us a reason to go to work every morning.

Until we can once again jet off to faraway places, we’re still here and we’re staying strong.

Flash Drives For Freedom

Flash Drives for Freedom is a Human Rights Foundation-backed organization that reuses USB drives to smuggle banned news and information into North Korea. They scrub the drives and fill them with books, movies, Korean Wikipedia, and “other content proven to inspire North Koreans to disbelieve Kim Jong-Un’s propaganda and take a stand.” Three cheers for that, and the fact that they have reached 900,000 North Koreans so far.

To donate your flash drives: Click HERE

Leave It To A Librarian

Arranged by a libraian: Brilliant! Read the titles starting with the upper left.

Our favorite Zoom feature
Whether it’s a business, family or book group Zoom – who doesn’t want to look their best? There are lots of tips on the internet about lighting, position of your camera (mostly so it does not give a shot looking up your nose), what to wear, etc. But sometimes we follow all the suggestions and still don’t think we’re looking great so we head right to Zoom’s “Touch Up My Appearance” feature. The filter aims/trys to smooth over your appearance, making you look radiant and well-rested. You’ll find it under Zoom > Preferences > Video. There, next to “My Video” you will see the “Touch up my appearance” box to check. And voilà! A slightly better video version of yourself.

What a deal! 2 for 1 Masterclass
Right now, Masterclass is offering 2 year-long memberships for the price of one – with unlimited content. Every MasterClass follows the same formula. The instructor delivers 15 to 30 brief lectures. If the instructor does something inherently visual for a living, like cooking or sports, those lessons include demonstrations. The writers just talk. Each lesson comes with a PDF workbook containing a summary and links to further reading. The teachers are incredible! So far Anne has watched David Sedaris, Anna Wintour and Massimo Bottura. Audrey has watched Misty Copeland and Thomas Kellar. And Richard – naturally – went straight to Doris Kearns Goodwin.
They have been lots of fun to watch – and in small bites that we can fit in when we take a break from cleaning out our closets.

The song we can’t stop listening to
It will apply to all of you who are yearning to head out into the world. WARNING: It will make you incredibly nostalgic. And we dare you not to sing along. Just WATCH

Wisdom is all around
Both Stephen Colbert and On The Map Travel love the Lord of the Rings trilogy. And many times we find wise words in those books:
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” says Frodo.
“So do I,” says Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

All That Jazz
This smooth live stream radio airs 24/7 and is the home of gentle people and tranquil music. Just let the smooth vibes take over and enjoy! Make sure to check out the channel HERE for more Jazz, Bossa Nova, Morning Music, French music and more. Tea Jazz, Positive Jazz, Coffee Jazz, Morning Jazz! We love it!

We are star struck
The Chile Mobile Observatory free app showcases Chile’s status as the astrotourism capital of the world (the country boasts over 40 percent of the scientific observatories in the world). The Mobile Observatory features fascinating images of the stars, nebulas, galaxy collisions and colossal star explosions, and much more. Neil deGrasse Tyson and the spirit of Carl Sagan may be observing right along with you.

Celebrate Your Roots
Anne loves her Scottish heritage. How else would you explain her recent travels to Edinburgh to celebrate Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) with 150,000 other enthusiastic, kilt-wearing, Scottish dancing and fireworks watching Scots? And now that she won’t be there for a while, she’s discovered a new (to her) cocktail – the Atholl Brose that is made with a staple from your pantry (and bar) – Oatmeal. And, this traditional drink combines the liquid from oats soaked in whisky and honey. The resulting beverage takes on a nutty creaminess. You can find the recipe: HERE
Try it while watching “Local Hero”, “Brave” or “The Angels Share”. All these set-in-Scotland films are personal recommendations of ours! Anne is responsible for the Atholl Brose; Audrey is steering clear of that one and sticking with her Cosmopolitans.

Things to do while you are staying at home and you’ve already made 5 loaves of banana bread
Free Apps that are helping us manage these unusual times. Audrey is using Balance, a great meditation app that is offering one-year membership for free (right there the stress level dropped). Anne is finally learning High Valeryan using DuoLingo. Her son Sam is learning Russian in preparation for his first post-virus trip. For free exercise (though you still have to actually do it) there is FitOn (watch the promo HERE). Nike Training Club has waived the $14.99 a month fee for its premium service indefinitely. Now, downloading the app gives you access to more than 185 free workouts (yoga, cardio and more) which last from 15 to 45 minutes. WIN. WIN. WIN. And there are more word games to keep your mind fit than you can imagine. Our long-time favorite has been Wordscapes, but Four Letters, Word Search Pro and – naturally – Words with Friends are all winners.

Time for a Good Laugh
Let’s face it – Chernobyl is an amazing series. Ozark is too. But in these times, we are finding that we like to punctuate our serious tv watching with something a bit on the lighter side: stand-up comedy specials.

We realize that comedy can be a very personal thing, so here are some of our diverse recommendations. Some are irreverent, some a bit risqué, some simple and sweet (in a funny way). You’re bound to laugh during at least one of them! All are streaming on Netflix.
Iliza Schlesinger: Elder Millennial
Marc Maron: Why I Don’t Like Sports
Ellen Degeneres: Relatable
Bill Burr: I’m sorry you feel that way
Sebastian Maniscalco: Stay Hungry
Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby
Bo Burnham: What.
Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah
Trevor Noah: Afraid of the Dark

JustWatch
And speaking of streaming shows, here is a website designed so you never go back and forth between your services again to find out if a movie or TV show is available. Put in the movie or show you are thinking of, and it will tell you on which streaming services it is available. Brilliant! Click HERE

Quarantine Through Art
There is a reason (though we are not sure what) that the pandemic, our stay at home orders and art have become inextricably linked. For another creative example: Click HERE

Until our next Timely Travel Thoughts Home Edition is released, we urge you to:
#stayathome
#washyourhands
#flattenthecurve
#spreadjoynotgerms

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