May 6, 2020

Reinventing Travel - Part 2

As I have mentioned many times, I am very fortunate to have some wonderful colleagues and friends all over the world with whom I get to work. They are exceptionally creative and have an almost unreal instinct about what works for kids (and their parents too)! They are always amazing. Working with them feels like magic to me! 

So recently, when the corona virus thrust parents into the role of home-school teachers, I turned to these colleagues for some resources about their countries that families could use to learn about the world --- resources that would delight and engage both kids and their parents.  No surprises here!! Everyone responded enthusiastically with some totally interesting and often incredibly beautiful suggestions.  

First it was Raluca Spiac from Romania and her team at Beyond Dracula, Jan Shortland with Norwegian Adventures in Norway, and Letitia Dunlop with Original Travel, UK & Scotland in London. I’ve already introduced them in a precious blog.  ⏬


Now, please allow me to introduce three more of my oh-so-amazing colleagues and some resources for virtual exploring (and learning) they have gathered and sent for your use -—


Lauren Scharf and Julia Maeda are two very special friends and colleagues with Okuni, Japan Unbound in Japan. They consistently discover lesser-known destinations throughout Japan to help families encounter true authenticity --- from uni (sea urchin) farms in Aomori to 3000-year-old cedars in Yakushima; breakfasting with sumo wrestlers to foraging wild mushrooms with renowned chefs. And when families are especially interested in the way of life in Japan, Lauren and Julia go all out to introduce them to people, places, and experiences they would be unable to find on their own.

Having introduced you to Lauren and Julia, here are links to some of their favorite information about Japan ---


Jack Ezon is our dear friend with Embark Beyond based in New York City. Jack is amazing! He is never short of great ideas! I’m pretty sure he never sleeps! And I’m definitely sure he knows every hotel anywhere in the world! So here is a link to Jacks newsletter and tips we can all use right now from some of the hotels he really likes: 

  • The Hotels below are found in the Section on Wellness & Fitness
  • Santorini --- The staff at Canaves Oia offer some tips for creating a home spa
  • Maladives --- The Como Hotel offers tips for better sleeping
  • St Barths --- The Eden Rock offers suggestions on improving your core strength


My tried and true turn-to-expert about the US National Parks is Jared Dial, the Travel  Program Manager with the National Parks Conservation Association.

He always has the exact information I’m missing or can tell me exactly where and how to get what I need! So, I asked him if he would share some resources for discovering the wonders of our US National Parks, right now, when everyone is sheltered at home, unable to actually visit the Parks. So with a glint in his eye and a smile on his face (I’m absolutely sure he had both!), here are the ideas he sent:


Our friends at Beyond Dracula have sent us another way to learn about their country --- through their food. Yum is the word! Since it’s spring, some of their Easter delights are fresh on their minds.  Here’s a recipe for a traditional Pasca, a sweet, cheesecake-like-bread that everyone has on their table for Easter in Romania.

And here’s the way it looks just before you get to dig in!