How are you? I know that most people are doing fine, but it doesn't mean that each person is doing well, and I don't want to ignore that. Within one's circle of family, friends, and co-workers, some are facing their mortality, and considering the 'what if' that may befall them. It's actually that way every day, though, isn't it? There are always people we know struggling with illness, financial difficulty, problems at home, you name it. We just don't stop to think about it very long, and right now, with distractions at a minimum, there is time to think. As often happens, as I start to compose this letter, where I end up is not where I intended, and so I have two letters - that other one will come to you next week, because today, this is the one saying 'send me, send me! “Stay home and hunker down” are not words that I, as a travel professional and ever thought I would give as advice. However, in order to be socially responsible, even in my household we have cancelled travel plans (complete with kicking and screaming!) to help reduce the spread of this nasty bug. But, while I am willingly advising people to not travel under the current circumstances, I am looking forward, like you, to 'normal', when the world will open its arms to receive curious visitors; when we can be once again be poolside in paradise, or sightseeing in sunshine. If there was nothing to look forward to, why would we get up in the morning, right? It is vitally important to keep on DREAMING about your next vacation or adventure (or traffic jam, or concert, or check-out line. Normal.), yet embrace this time and use it purposefully. More on that next week. Since most people are at home, and schools are closed, I thought it might be a help to recommend some of my favorite travel-themed movies that can easily be found with the many streaming services that are out there. What better way to spend a couple of hours with your family than watching together, dreaming together and getting inspiration for your next trip? I'm guessing you probably already watched the apocalyptic disease movies, and may even have consumed a few dozen flicks in the interest of passing the time; but specifically to remind you that you'll be able to leave the house again one day, here are some you may not have thought of.
Mostly for grown-ups: - Eat, Pray, Love (2010) - A married woman realizes how unhappy her marriage really is, and that her life needs to go in a different direction. After a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey to "find herself” in Italy, India & Bali. - P.S., I Love You (2007) - A young widow discovers that her late husband has left her messages intended to help ease her pain and start a new life. Ireland is the star! - Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) – Based on the book by Frances Mayes, the film is about a recently divorced writer who buys a villa in Tuscany on a whim, hoping it will lead to a change in her life. The beauty of Cortona and the Italian people are featured. - Letters to Juliet (2010) – traveling to Verona Italy with her busy fiancé, a young American journalist gets involved in an adventure based on a love letter a tourist left at the monument to Romeo & Juliet’s unfulfilled love. - Mamma Mia (2008) & Mamma Mia: Here we go again (2018) – based on the wildly successful Broadway musical with a score from ABBA, this story tracks the lovely story of Donna and her daughter Sophie as they both grow and learn from the past. - The Way (2010) - An American father takes the journey on the Camino del Santiago to understand what happened with his son who died while attempting the journey himself. The beauty of France and Spain is prominently featured. - National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985) Just for giggles, follow the Griswold family through their comedic adventures in France, Italy & Germany. Because we all need a laugh right now!
And especially for the kids (but parents will like these too!): - Brave (Disney) – A great adventure story based in Scotland that also teaches girls that they don’t need that handsome prince to be awesome. - Moana (Disney) – The young daughter of the village chief discovers her calling and purpose by rescuing her Hawaiian island from an angry goddess, with the entertaining help of the demigod Maui. - Ratatouille (Disney) - In Paris, a rat name Remy longs to become a French chef. He befriends a young restaurant worker, Linguini, and “mentors” his human friend in the ways of preparing fine cuisine. - The Sound of Music – Need I say more? The adventures of the Von Trapp family and their nanny, Maria, set in pre-WW II Austria. A classic! - Madeline: Lost in Paris - A young schoolgirl in Paris embarks on many misadventures that cause her fellow students and teachers many headaches. Based on the book series. So pop some popcorn, cozy up on the couch together, and start dreaming. When the world calms down and you are ready to turn your new travel dreams into reality, I am here to make it effortless for you.
'til next week.