Sunday, April 12, 2020

Off-the-Beaten-Path Programs

Are you tired of being cooped up in cramped quarters during this spring of isolation? Do you feel the walls closing in or the idea of a distant destination is a grocery store or pharmacy?

If you feel the need to spread your wings if only figuratively, I recommend two travel programs on Netflix that may help you experience vicariously the wonders of the world in different ways—The Kindness Diaries and Dark Tourist

Be forewarned, these aren't your standard travelogues in the mold of programs featuring Rick Steves, Anthony Bourdain, Josh Gates, Conan O'Brian, Samantha Brown, Rudy Maxa, Joseph Rosendo, Richard Wiese, Burt Wolf, and many others. Let me add that I enjoy all these folks because they present unique views of the world, be it an adventure, cuisine, history, architecture, or whatever niche they pursue to pique the viewers' interests.
Leon Logothetis

Leon Logothetis,  a former London broker, seeks kindness and humanity on his global adventures. In the second season of  The Kindness Diaries, he drives a yellow VW bug from Alaska to Argentina (there are a few detours), asking strangers to put him up for the night, give him a meal, fill up his gas tank, and share stories. When Leon is moved by their heartfelt stories, he finds ways for them to spread their acts of kindness to others. Some episodes may bring tears to your eyes or touch your heart.
David Farrier 

In Dark Tourist, New Zealand journalist David Farrier takes you to places where folks don't usually travel (or want to) such as Kazakhstan, to a site with high radiation levels from Soviet nuclear tests more than 30 years ago; a tour of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's haunts in Milwaukee; and taking in some tacky commercialism at JFK's assassination site in Dallas. You may find yourself laughing, shaking your head, or cringing along the way. 

Both programs are entertaining, informative, and provide a different view of the world—from the confining comforts of home. 

Until the next time . . .


Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Time Flies, but I Won't Today

My wife and I had been counting down the days to our next trip to Europe—until the COVID-19 went from a Chinese epidemic to a global pandemic.

And today (April 8) we had reservations to board a United Airlines flight at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky., with stops in Washington and Frankfurt, Germany. The long journey would end the following day in Sofia, Bulgaria.
A few items set aside for the trip.

Over the next 10 days were going to travel to Belgrade, Serbia, and Bucharest, Romania. Along the way, we were going to sightsee places such as the Rila Monastery in Bulgaria, the Belgrade Fortress, Bran (Dracula) Castle in Romania, and the People's Palace in Bucharest. And a lot more.

Instead, we're self-quarantined in Kentucky, and patiently waiting for this world-wide scourge to pass so we can fulfill our trip to Eastern Europe.

Of course, we're disappointed but that's life. We'll survive and enjoy trips on another day, here and abroad. 

But the one thing we can't get back is time. When you reach a certain age, you realize the opportunities for travel (and other interests) dwindle and time is of the essence and something that shouldn't be taken for granted.

So stay healthy and safe. 

Until the next time . . .