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Thank you all

Hey all! My daughter and I were supposed to be flying to Italy on April 12th, which obviously isn't happening now. This whole forum is helpful for me, as I feel like such a jerk complaining about my canceled vacation to anyone else during this horrible time. I'm as scared and sad and worried as everyone else, every minute of every day. This Constant paranoia of getting sick/(dying!) or worse, getting my parents or anyone else sick... it's just so heavy on our souls. But of course we're still really bummed about not being able to go on this trip, too, and unable to really process it aloud without feeling selfish or emotionally disconnected from what is happening around us. It would've been our first time to Europe, and we've been counting down the days together since Christmas morning, when I surprised my (11 year old) daughter with the trip as a Christmas gift. (I actually booked it almost a month before telling her, so I've actually been counting down longer than she has, haha... Ugh) Every morning, we've asked Siri, "Hey Siri, how many more days until April 12th?" 😂 and now we just have no idea what to expect. I know most of you are going through the same/similar situations, so I just wanted to say thanks for being a place to let it out and commiserate with others over our "superficial" "first-world problems" so to speak. Hopefully we will all get through this together, and get back to some version of normalcy on the other side. Best wishes to you all. I pray that we all stay healthy and well through this.

Posted by
6073 posts

I'm as scared and sad and worried as everyone else, every minute of
every day.

I think you need to take a real break and try some yoga or meditation or whatever works for you. "Every minute of every day" is just too much for one's mental health, and it doesn't resolve anything. Since this is out of our hands, all we can do is our best to stay calm, follow the distancing measures, and remain physically and mentally healthy. There is still lots of joy to be found in the world even with these severe travel and mobility constraints. Good luck to you.

Posted by
12 posts

Agnes, good luck to you, as well. I agree; this kind of stress and heartache isn't sustainable for any/all of us. Thanks for the suggestions. I try to avoid the hype, rumors, and sensationalized news reports, but regardless, the reality of this is still scary. I live in an apartment below my parents, both of whom have had/currently have lung issues. I work as a Property Manager, so I'm still at the office as usual, which means daily contact with tenants. The paranoia of bringing something home is just not something I can't seem to push out of my mind for more than a few minutes.

Posted by
51 posts

I work in healthcare, so I’ve got a higher risk than many and I agree with Agnes. If you’re feeling afraid every minute of every day, you’re feeling more anxiety than you should. Yoga, meditation and mindfulness can all be helpful tools to manage fear as well as eating right, drinking plenty of water and getting some exercise. Additionally, there’s no shame in resorting to an anti anxiety if necessary to help you through an unusually difficult time.

I also agree that we’re very fortunate to be missing out on trips that most could never even dream of taking. That helps keep it all in perspective for me. Well, that and day dreaming about rescheduling my trip for the fall. :)

Take care!

Posted by
7109 posts

On PBS News Hour (i believe) yesterday, they had a grief specialist explain that we are all grieving, grieving what each and every one of us has lost now that we are self-isolating. In many places we are under a Shelter in Place Order and life as we knew it is gone. Although temporary, it may be many months and for now it’s very real and very difficult for most of us.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks for the comments. We all appreciate everyone working on the front lines, so my prayers/thoughts are with you (@KRS) and thank you for your work every day, but especially now! My daughter spends time at her father's house during the week, too, and his girlfriend works in an Urgent Care center, where they are currently testing people on a daily basis. She had a scare/quarantine a couple weeks ago, but the tests came back negative (after almost 4 days of waiting for results). So the increased risk from her exposure there has me on edge, too. It's just so surreal. Of course, trying to keep the fear and anxiety inside, instead of adding more stress to my daughter, doesn't help! I'm not usually an anxious person, so I've not often had to manage these kinds of feelings. I would prefer to learn to do so, instead of medicating the anxiety away without processing it and actually dealing with it. Appreciate the feedback though. Honestly, trying to balance the home schooling for her with working full time is right up there on the stress list! 😩

Posted by
12 posts

KRS, do you think travel might be an option by Fall? I don't think things will be back to normal enough by then, if we don't have a vaccine or cure of some sort by then...

Posted by
1451 posts

Hello Leelee,

I like to live by the "glass half full" mentality. It is not good for people to be watching or checking the news every second and wondering about the what ifs. Yes, this is serious. Yes, people are worried, upset and tired.

Over here in New England, weather has been pretty mild. People are walking and bicycling. Some are setting up their gardens = "new life."

Perhaps you and your daughter can practice some basic Italian with each other. There are tons of YT vids to teach you. Then? both of you will be ahead of the game and be ready to breeze through Italy!

If you belong to a church, many have set up live streaming so people can watch the services from home.

If you don't have it, set up a free Skype or Whats App account to connect with family and friends you cannot get out to see right now. I'm sure Face Time is pretty much the same, although I don't use that one. Of course, all parties will need to have the (free) Apps.

Maybe binge watch some of your old favorite shows or movies.

Drink a lot of water. Try out a new recipe (if you have all the ingredients of course.) I did the other day -- made a casserole that came out delicious, lol. I had all the ingredients in the freezer and fridge, so it was convenient for me.

Go out in your yard or patio and soak up some rays for a few minutes. Make some lemonade if you like it and "raise a toast" that in the coming weeks and months, we will see a brighter day. It may be a slow start, but we will get there.

Posted by
1870 posts

Leeleem,
I commend you for reaching out and expressing your feelings. There is no shame in reaching out and asking for help. You've taken the first step. I am a healthcare provider and recognize what you are experiencing. I agree with others who refer to this as a grieving process. As mentioned there are things you can do to relieve stress and anxiety, but at this point if this is consuming you it may appropriate to consult your healthcare provider. We are fortunate to have a 24-hr Crisis Line in my community if you are experiencing things like anxiety, etc. They can link you to appropriate services.

Hope this helps.

Posted by
328 posts

I hear you, and I share your feelings.

Unfortunately, I haven't even found this forum a place to commiserate about travel or daydream about future travel. People just have to keep finger-wagging and don't even let others dream or plan or talk about travel on a travel forum. :(

Posted by
1451 posts

don't even let others dream or plan or talk about travel on a travel forum. :(

Sure you can. And you can also watch travel videos and take a notebook/journal and start recording what your travel wishes are and where you'd like to go. Bookmark videos. Make notes for your next journey. It will come. Think positive.

Maybe change your screen saver to rotating pics of your favorite country -- mine is Italy and Sicily.

Anddd, whenever the picture of St. Peter's Basilica and the Piazza and other fav parts of Italy pop up, it brings me right back to the many times I visited! I relive those wonderful memories!

I did not make my travel plans to Italy for this year as I have done in the past because of other things. So, I am not dealing with cancelling, postponing or waiting on refunds. I feel for those who are struggling with that now.

Posted by
1451 posts

Leelee,

Another thought (adding to my above posts/suggestions) is maybe you and your daughter can pick a region of Italy. Read up on the history of that city or town. Perhaps choose an easy dish (with maybe 4 or 5 ingredients) to make from scratch that honors that part of the country.

You can still grocery shop, so purchasing those ingredients should be okay. If you like Tiramisu, you can make an easy one without the fuss of lady fingers. My favorite restaurant in Rome made one that was so creamy, chilled just right, and delicious!

Maybe re-create a little Italian cafe in your kitchen or dining room. Set it up as if you are there -- tablecloth, bread basket, place settings, etc. If you have them, wear matching aprons for fun.

Start making the meal...

Get white or purple grape juice to mimic wine for your daughter. Put on some lively Italian music.

I love Nick Stellino. He is on YT. https://www.youtube.com/user/nickstellino

He is a "story teller" besides being a great chef! He is from Palermo originally in his youth. He is funny and creates simple dishes for anyone to make. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRVCVXHn1jI

Oh and,,,,don't forget ole Dino.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHEojamzcTE

If you love pizza, make a simple Sicilian one. It takes homemade dough, some homemade sauce, authentic Pecorino Romano cheese. Brush the dough with a tiny bit of olive oil. Use a deep, 11 x17 pan. I can still picture my relatives making these pizzas. Lovely memories....

Posted by
186 posts

Girasole, thank you for linking to the Nick Stellino videos. Just what I needed!

Posted by
1451 posts

thank you for linking to the Nick Stellino videos. Just what I needed!

You are welcome, Laura! Enjoy :)

Posted by
11676 posts

Leeleem, since you are concerned about your parents who live upstairs, and you are still working with the public, I suggest the safest and best thing you can do for them is stay away, as hard as that is. Shop for them if necessary (or teach them how to buy online if that is possible where you live), teach them the rules of “social distancing” and maintain close contact with them by phone or Facebook. But do not have close personal contact.

You do not say where you live, but we are in Washington State and on “lockdown”. My husband and I are in our 70’s and our four kids are scattered around, and three of the 4 have children. We miss our grandchildren desperately, but they are we understand the rules. The youngest daughter called 2 weeks ago and made us promise not to shop for groceries more than once every three weeks. We won’t even do that; we filled our freezer and buy other fresh food online.

We FaceTime with the kids and grandkids nearly every day, but we all understand it could be months before we see them.

As for your Italy trip, we too were to be there most of March (canceled in the end of February) and have another for July, which we are sure we will need to cancel as well. We are now focused on staying healthy and keeping to our daily routine of exercise, contact with loved ones, reading and watching light (not dark) videos, and being thankful for small things.

Posted by
7109 posts

BB, i have not found that to be true. I started a thread 2 days ago asking posters what their favorite charming villages/towns are in Ireland in anticipation of my next trip and to add a more cheerful thread to all the covid related threads. I got many helpful responses and am enjoying each one.

Maybe you might like to start a similar thread with an upbeat question unrelated to covid?

Posted by
1711 posts

Leelee,

Another thought (adding to my above posts/suggestions) is maybe you
and your daughter can pick a region of Italy. Read up on the history
of that city or town. Perhaps choose an easy dish (with maybe 4 or 5
ingredients) to make from scratch that honors that part of the
country.

You can still grocery shop, so purchasing those ingredients should be
okay. If you like Tiramisu, you can make an easy one without the fuss
of lady fingers. My favorite restaurant in Rome made one that was so
creamy, chilled just right, and delicious!

Maybe re-create a little Italian cafe in your kitchen or dining room.
Set it up as if you are there -- tablecloth, bread basket, place
settings, etc. If you have them, wear matching aprons for fun.

Start making the meal...

Get white or purple grape juice to mimic wine for your daughter. Put
on some lively Italian music.

I love Nick Stellino. He is on YT.
https://www.youtube.com/user/nickstellino

He is a "story teller" besides being a great chef! He is from Palermo
originally in his youth. He is funny and creates simple dishes for
anyone to make. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRVCVXHn1jI

Oh and,,,,don't forget ole Dino....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHEojamzcTE

If you love pizza, make a simple Sicilian one. It takes homemade
dough, some homemade sauce, authentic Pecorino Romano cheese. Brush
the dough with a tiny bit of olive oil. Use a deep, 11 x17 pan. I can
still picture my relatives making these pizzas. Lovely memories....

GIRASOLE! Paisan!

How's it be in MA? Was going to be there end of April for cousin's daughter's wedding, which has been postponed to September.

So far, not so bad 50 miles north of Chicago. Our town mayor tested positive, but other than that we're 2 weeks in to the shelter-in-place, and I'm fixing to do it another 2-3 weeks for sure, maybe more. Trying to teach remotely from home, which is a better situation than some, including some of la familia in health care, and on the next-to-front lines.

So terrible about the homeland. I can't even bring myself to check the live webcam from Rome's Campo de' Fiori, which usually would be bustling now. Wonder how my friends at Roscioli's Forno bakery are doing?

Plans are still on for a trip to Rome next April. If it's safe, I'm going. Take care, my friend!

Jay

Posted by
1451 posts

GIRASOLE! Paisan!

How's it be in MA? Was going to be there end of April for cousin's
daughter's wedding, which has been postponed to September.

So far, not so bad 50 miles north of Chicago. Our town mayor tested
positive, but other than that we're 2 weeks in to the
shelter-in-place, and I'm fixing to do it another 2-3 weeks for sure,
maybe more. Trying to teach remotely from home, which is a better
situation than some, including some of la familia in health care, and
on the next-to-front lines.

So terrible about the homeland. I can't even bring myself to check the
live webcam from Rome's Campo de' Fiori, which usually would be
bustling now. Wonder how my friends at Roscioli's Forno bakery are
doing?

Plans are still on for a trip to Rome next April. If it's safe, I'm
going. Take care, my friend! Jay

Hello Jay,

I am well, thank you!! Hope you and your family are doing well also.

September is lovely in Boston and New England in general. Prayers that you will be able to attend the wedding and enjoy the festivities!

I agree, I am very, very sad about Italy for many reasons as you mentioned - "the homeland."

I have messaged friends in Rome area and up North. They are doing the best they can and hanging in there -- livelihood definitely affected of course. So far, they have not experienced tragedy. Keeping all of Italy in prayer.

I "hear you" about the sky cams :( like a ghost town...

My wish for you is that you will be able to return to Roma! next April. Before you know it, you'll enjoy overlooking Campo de Fiori from your balcony and maybe catching an ear to the lovely street musicians.

Take care too Jay :)

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks for all the great ideas. We've been watching videos about Italian history, learning the language, etc. since we started planning our trip, but now is certainly the time to do some more of that! Looks like a couple of us are in the same state! (MA)

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks for the mental health suggestions, as well. I woke this morning with a tight chest (not to be confused with the "shortness of breath" warning sign for the virus) and realize I'm not as in control of the anxiety as I hoped. I will definitely be looking into some meditation/yoga, per your suggestions, and I think it might be a good idea to try to get my daughter involved, as well. Appreciate the feedback, everyone!

Posted by
40 posts

During these trying times we are using Zoom to create virtual wine tastings with our friends and family that are also locked down in place. We have met many other Rick Steve's tour travelers over the years that have become friends; some even turned into travel buddies. We are all sad that this year's planned travel is slipping away from us . . . but grateful for all we have and sad for others that are truly suffering. The wine and conversation help. Just an idea.

Posted by
12 posts

I have actually been joking that I may come out of this with a drinking problem if I don't watch my wine intake. I've never been one to have more than one glass of wine in one month, never mind almost daily, as I am now, haha. Thankfully I get sleepy after half of a glass, (and have almost no tolerance for drunks, so I'm keeping an eye on myself 😂). Thankful that I am still working almost full time, or I would really have to find some new hobbies.

Posted by
68 posts

Hi! I feel for you and wish you the best! We have a RS trip to Italy scheduled in early September- so the "unknown" of whether this trip will even happen and whether its wise to even go if travel is allowed again (and this tour isn't cancelled)- is very stressful for me, after so much excitement and planning.
This is something that I did- I purchased the Rick Steve's TV shows compilation some time ago. I haven't had a chance before this to watch them. They are fantastic! It's fun to get out of your worried state and watch some good travel shows! You can live travel vicariously thru his fun and educational travel shows. I highly recommend that you and your daughter watch them! I think you can even watch on this site or You-Tube if you don't want to purchase the collection. Best wishes and safe health to you! -Lisa