Good morning. Buongiorno. Bonjour. Guten Morgen,

If, like us, you are missing travel so much, why not take this time to allow yourself to think about the first place you’d like to go when travel resumes? And, not just where, but how, you’d like to travel. We are thinking a lot about what these last months have taught us regarding the impact of travel on destinations and the planet itself. With oceans and rivers cleaner than we have seen in decades; with the skies clear and the air fresh, how do we, as responsible travelers, do our part to rethink how we impact our world while still keeping our love of seeing it alive? It’s not enough to just go back to the way we traveled BC (before Covid). We need to embrace the Next Normal.

Before Covid-19 changed everything, there was a lot of talk about over-tourism. Places like Venice, Machu Pichu and Bali – to name a few – were suffering from simply too many tourists and not enough care and concern about what those tourists were doing to negatively affect what brings people there to begin with.

We at On The Map Travel have always liked the ethos of “take only photographs, leave only footprints” when we visit any destination, but particularly those with such fragile ecosystems (think Galapagos) and we believe that the future of travel will include a slower pace with deeper and more meaningful experiences. We’ve never been the ‘travel for bragging rights alone’ advisors. We have always advocated for spending more time in one country than squeezing 2 or even 3 countries into a 10-14-day trip. We love really delving into the heart and soul of a country rather than skimming the surface.

The “well we will be in Italy anyway, so we can just pop over to Greece, France, Croatia, etc. while we’re there” mindset of traveling has never resonated with us because we want to meet the people, experience the nuances of the culture, food, history. We want to explore deeper and spend time off the beaten path (a rapidly disappearing option, but still possible) or just sit in a café and watch the city go by. And we want to promote being good guests with a respect for our hosts.

While travel in Europe begins to open up for EU citizens, we in the US will have to appease our appetites domestically and even that is still uncertain. So, for now, we dream, we plan, and we invite you to do the same.

In the meantime, enjoy this next installment. We welcome your comments.

She Said It Perfectly – The Best Explanation of Black Lives Matter We Have Heard
Click HERE to watch

A Little Bit of Change
We are not disorganized. Well, at least Audrey is not. So, during our time at home, as we (Anne) go through the many piles of papers we are reminded of A.A. Milne’s thoughts:
“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”
How true. And many of the discoveries made at Anne’s house (all 3 floors of it) were coins and bills from our travels. A euro here, a rupee there. Every time one was found it brought back memories of a wonderful trip. Plus, Anne will have some change in her pocket next time she visits any of these places. A Win-Win for sure. Audrey, on the other hand, knows exactly where all her foreign currency lives – in marked envelopes in a file drawer. Show off.

Music to Our Ears?
We have always loved the song “Lean on Me”. Here is our very favorite duet rendition of the song – filmed while in quarantine.
Watch it HERE

Hiram Bingham Would Have Loved It. Going to the high altitudes of Peru can make you feel a bit lightheaded – all that beauty, culture, and all those feet above sea level. It’s a wonderful, buzzy feeling. But since we can’t travel to this fantastic not-to-be-missed-in-one’s-lifetime destination right now we are mitigating our wanderlust with the iconic Peruvian drink – the Pisco Sour. But not just any pisco will do. We have fallen in love with the new Machu Pisco, a premium brand from a Peruvian women-created and owned company. You go girls!
You can find a recipe for a yummy Pisco Sour on our Facebook page. Click here:

Dance Like There’s No One Watching: Dance Church
No more streaming yoga or pilates for us. We have found our place at the internet’s latest church. This is NOT a religion, but it is something to believe in. Dance Church is a streaming class that has free form dance mixed in with some aerobic and core moves. But mostly it is 55 minutes of fun and the best quarantine stress eliminator we’ve found. Sign in for free (donate if you can) Dance Church sessions on Sundays at noon CST and Wednesdays at 7 PM. Call on your inner Stevie Nicks and twirl away!
Click HERE to dance away

Freddie Mercury Fan? Here’s a Double Treat.
Carlos Díaz Ballesta dressed up like Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury and put on a show for his quarantined neighbors from his balcony in Spain. In an enthusiastic performance he imitated the official Queen video of 1984 song, “I Want to Break Free.” Who do you think did it best?
Carlos: click HERE:
Freddie: Click HERE

A Quote from the Past That We Think Speaks to the Situation in the World Today:
“Circumstances are beyond human control, but our conduct is in our own power.”
~ Benjamin Disraeli

From Goop to Good Housekeeping
Are we late to the game or have you heard of this? Face Yoga
According to Goop, Face Yoga feels good, it’s free, and it makes your skin look better. There are forty-three muscles in our face. It only makes sense that exercising them would be good for you. But we cannot figure out which move is the downward dog of Face Yoga. Maybe the same as RBF? (if you don’t know what that is, Google it) More here: https://www.fragrancex.com/blog/face-yoga/

Here is Your Italian word of the day: Passeggiata
As evening falls in cities and towns across Italy, an evening ritual begins: The passeggia, (translation “to stroll”) a time-honored Italian tradition that is observed by young and old, couples and families. A passeggiata is not about getting anywhere in particular, but more for passing neighbors, saying hello, getting some fresh air. One thing for sure, however, is that people dress up a little for the nightly passeggia.

In this time of pandemic, we think that this is a wonderful (and healthy) habit to adopt. Take off our sweats, slip on something slightly nicer and head out into your neighborhood or local park. This is the time to say hello to everyone you pass (they can hear you from behind your mask!).
A passeggia traditionally ends with a drink and a snack (aperitivo, another wonderful Italian tradition) or a gelato. Now that some restaurants are opening, a stop at one of their socially-distanced outdoor tables would be a great spot to sit with a beer or glass of wine and say hello to those who pass by. Hey, they even did it on American Bandstand! Watch it HERE

Here is Your Italian word of the day: Passeggiata
As evening falls in cities and towns across Italy, an evening ritual begins: The passeggia, (translation “to stroll”) a time-honored Italian tradition that is observed by young and old, couples and families. A passeggiata is not about getting anywhere in particular, but more for passing neighbors, saying hello, getting some fresh air. One thing for sure, however, is that people dress up a little for the nightly passeggia.

In this time of pandemic, we think that this is a wonderful (and healthy) habit to adopt. Take off our sweats, slip on something slightly nicer and head out into your neighborhood or local park. This is the time to say hello to everyone you pass (they can hear you from behind your mask!).
A passeggia traditionally ends with a drink and a snack (aperitivo, another wonderful Italian tradition) or a gelato. Now that some restaurants are opening, a stop at one of their socially-distanced outdoor tables would be a great spot to sit with a beer or glass of wine and say hello to those who pass by. Hey, they even did it on American Bandstand! Watch it HERE

Anne, Richard and Winston (shown here) have been Passeggiata-ing all over Forest Park in St. Louis.

Here is Your Italian word of the day: Passeggiata
As evening falls in cities and towns across Italy, an evening ritual begins: The passeggia, (translation “to stroll”) a time-honored Italian tradition that is observed by young and old, couples and families. A passeggiata is not about getting anywhere in particular, but more for passing neighbors, saying hello, getting some fresh air. One thing for sure, however, is that people dress up a little for the nightly passeggia.

In this time of pandemic, we think that this is a wonderful (and healthy) habit to adopt. Take off our sweats, slip on something slightly nicer and head out into your neighborhood or local park. This is the time to say hello to everyone you pass (they can hear you from behind your mask!).
A passeggia traditionally ends with a drink and a snack (aperitivo, another wonderful Italian tradition) or a gelato. Now that some restaurants are opening, a stop at one of their socially-distanced outdoor tables would be a great spot to sit with a beer or glass of wine and say hello to those who pass by. Hey, they even did it on American Bandstand! Watch it HERE

Don’t Miss Your Shot
We think that wearing masks in public should be mandatory. This nifty one is our newest favorite: The Hamilton Face Mask. It’s a double-layer, machine washable mask with inner filter pocket. The Hamilton Group is donating $5 from each mask sale to benefit Direct Relief, a charity dedicated to supporting front line workers during this global crisis.

Don’t miss your shot! Be the first on your block to show
1) That you respect the health of others
2) that you are the coolest mask-wearer around and
3) That you love the musical Hamilton! Click Here to order your mask

We Are Finding Fun in Every Corner of the Country
Do you know YOUR state’s motto? We think everyone should. Some are straightforward, some are inspiring, and some are just plain confusing. We have had fun learning about these!
A few examples:

We love the no-nonsense, concise words from New Hampshire: Live Free or Die

California is very simple and succinct – why waste words? Eureka!

Maryland’s is a bit of a puzzle: “Fatti maschii, parole femine”. A Latin motto which translates to “Manly Deeds, Womanly Words.” Huh?

Oregon: She Flies With Her Own Wings. And who is this woman exactly?

Michigan’s state motto is the Latin phrase; “Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice,” meaning; “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.” We think this is Michigan’s version of Ram Dass’ mantra “Be Here Now.”

Kansas
“Per aspera ad astra” (To the stars through difficulties). NASA & Elon Musk would know about those difficulties. But we prefer the Toy Story/Buzz Lightyear version: “To Infinity, And Beyond!”

Then there is Alaska’s “North to the Future”. So, what – the future happens only in that direction?

Want to know YOUR State motto? Click Here

Drink Up! Another Surprising Travel Fact:
Russia only classified beer as an alcoholic drink in 2011. Remarkably, before then any drink with less than 10% alcohol was considered a ‘foodstuff’.

The Music of Our Lives
We love Nancy Meyers. We love her movies (She is the writer, producer, and director of a number of big-screen successes, including The Parent Trap, Father of the Bride, Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday, It’s Complicated, and The Intern — to name a few). And now we have a whole new reason to love her — the Nancy Meyers’ Spotify playlists. If you don’t have Spotify, it is worth getting it just to hear the fantastic mélange of classic songs, current songs, French songs, cool songs, oldies, etc. etc. A wonderful surprise with every track. It is the perfect background to a dinner (socially distanced, of course), a day in the garden or enjoying a glass of wine. You will instantly feel like you are transported to one of Meyer’s movies which is pretty much where we all want to live anyway.
Nancy Meyers’ Kitchen (307 songs)
Nancy Meyers’ Movie Goodness (86 songs)
Nancy Meyers (78 songs)
Nancy Meyers Film Scores (18 Songs)
At an average of three minutes a song, this is 24.5 hours of music!

In our next Timely Travel Thoughts: Home Edition, we’ll share more of our favorite Spotify playlists (Hint: Think Ina Garten).

We Are Happy Tree Huggers!
Iceland is #2 in the list of happiest countries in the world, so we figure they know a thing or two about how to best deal with the loneliness and sadness of COVID-19 isolation. And their suggestion? Hug a tree. It may seem like a strange practice, but research suggests it could help people combat stress and improve health. We tried it and we think they are onto something. Along with Dance Church, we have now included 5-minutes of hugging trees into our weekly routine.

Until our next Timely Travel Thoughts Home Edition is released, we urge you to:
#washyourhands
#embracethenextnormal
#wearyourmask
#spreadjoynotgerms
#DontCancelPostpone

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