The  Best And Worst Thing About Quarantine With A Little Help From My Friends

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The  Best And Worst Thing About Quarantine With A Little Help From My Friends

“The best way out is always through.”  Robert Frost

BEST: I’m doing qi gong, yoga and meditation and a beach walk every day. It is helping my anxiety and I sleep great. WORST:  I cancelled two trips and I’m not traveling.  JZ

BEST is cleaning my desk, watching great tv and finally finishing a series. WORST is not being able to hug & kiss my kids, missing my friends and working out in a gym! EH

BEST is being with my dog 24/7. WORST is cooking three meals a day for my husband. SR

 BEST is that I don’t have to get dressed up and put on makeup to go to work. WORST is not going out to eat, to the movies, a play or concert with friends and not having home cooked Sunday dinners with my kids.  Oh and not having my housekeeper!  JL

BEST is pretty easy.  My immediate family and girlfriend are here all day.  WORST is my fears for people who are facing huge problems  and also some personal health fears.  Just thinking about the worst list makes me sense my blood pressure increasing.  LA

BEST is catching up with friends and relatives virtually. Also more time for reading, Spring cleaning and watching Netflix. WORST is not going to movies, the Grove, shopping, church, and hugging friends. EM

BEST:  As an extrovert, I was delightfully surprised to find that I no longer suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), because there’s not much to Miss Out on.  Instead, I can be fully present and do one thing at a time. WORST: My husband has “underlying health conditions” that make true isolation necessary for him, which means I have to be extremely careful, too.  So my time outside is limited. LM

BEST is getting a lot of sleep, having the time to try new recipes and beauty products and catching up on movies.WORST is being alone, stuck at home and not seeing, hugging or kissing friends and family. It is worrying about losing jobs, money and the future. NC

BEST is remembering what I am thankful for.  WORST is thinking that I will never travel again.TN

BEST is eating good food and watching good movies and TV shows.WORST is not seeing my friends and getting fat. DB

BEST is the confirmation that I definitely married the person in the world I would most like to be quarantined with. WORST is the constant low-level non-specific anxiety.  LO

BEST  is that I am finally getting rid of shit in my house.WORST is that I can’t spend time with my mom.This Sunday is her 95th Birthday. SF

BEST  is spending all this time with my boyfriend, just the two of us.WORST  (aside from missing personal grooming – Brazilian wax, fillers etc) is not getting together with friends for a meal. CL

BEST is getting to sleep later in the morning  and reading the whole NY Times. I’m even doing the Friday and Saturday crossword puzzles.  Also, having the time to reconnect with people in my life that I haven’t seen or heard from in a long time.WORST is that I miss seeing the people in my life. Zoom just doesn’t cut it after a while. HM

BEST is slowing down and having time to do a new project.WORST is isolation. MU

 BEST is that life is way simpler and more meaningful. Time is slower and faster and I am more aware of how precious life is and that what really matters most doesn’t need a new pair of shoes, dress or anything else to make it special.WORST is not being able to touch, hug and kiss family and friends. My daughter is pregnant and I worry about her. DG

 BEST Being with my family all the time.WORST Being with my family all the time MA

BEST is learning to cook.WORST is having the Corona Virus. AA

Thanks for the help.

Stay Safe,

JAZ

Eating Out Alone When Traveling Or How I Conquered Solomangarephobia

Eating Out Alone When Traveling Or How I Conquered Solomangarephobia

A smiling face is half the meal. —- Latvian proverb

I am the wrong person to be writing this blog. I knew one day I would have to write it and I’ve been dreading it. Eating alone in a restaurant in public terrifies me. Is it a vestige of high school cafeteria days? Is it that strangers will think I have no friends and that no one loves me? Is it the pitying looks from waiters, hostesses and bartenders? There is actually a name for the fear of eating alone in public. It is Solomangarephobia and I have it.

I enjoy being by myself sometimes and I, like many people, learned that while traveling. I get to do what I want when I want to do it. I like museums, galleries, lying on the beach, flying somewhere, touring, shopping, working out, getting a coffee and walking my dog by myself. I can go to the movies and theatre alone with no problem.

It is only my own destructive thoughts that ruin the dining experience. I assume that I know what everyone else is thinking. Why do I have to think that I am pathetic and everyone is staring at me? Why do I jump into the self-conscious state of mind?

What if I was eating alone because I wanted to? Maybe I just wanted to relax or read. Perhaps my friends and family wanted to eat later and I was hungry now. Maybe I was craving sushi and no one else wanted it.

Eating with other people isn’t always so much fun.  I have dined with people and not had a good time. We are having an argument or I’m feeling depressed or bored by the conversation.  Perhaps I talked too much or said the wrong thing. Did I just say something stupid? Did they say something really hurtful or embarrassing about me or caused a scene at the table because they were brought the wrong thing? There are many times when I am out with people and after ten minutes, I wish I was home reading a good book. Once in a while even eating alone would have been preferable.

I avoid eating out alone as much as possible. I book hotels that have spas and gyms and make appointments at night. I stay out all day and have an early dinner in a café. I have a big lunch and just grab fruit, bread and cheese for dinner. I go to night markets and malls and grab something there while shopping. Of course there is always room service.

But I am a foodie so I love to try food in foreign countries. I have had  to go into a restaurant alone. Sushi bars, counters, bars or communal tables are good for people alone. I bring something to read. It feels better for me to look busy. I can’t check my phone because I turn off my emails when traveling to save some money. Reading has saved a lot of people from loneliness and sometimes you get caught up in a good book and you forget where you are. I have my notebook with me so I usually start writing a blog when I am there.

The first time I dined in a nice restaurant alone for dinner, I was at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. I had walked up and down the main street of Port Douglas for a very long time looking for a place where I would feel the least uncomfortable.  I was beyond starving and finally decided to go for the one that looked like it had the best food and ambience.  I immediately told the waitress it was my first time eating dinner alone in a restaurant. She had just moved from London and had eaten out alone a lot. I mentioned that I wrote a travel blog. She brought the owner over and he started chatting and bringing me all kinds of food to try. The people at the next table got involved in my food tasting. Australians are overly friendly which is so great most of the time. The next night we all went out for pizza at the owner’s recommendation (including the waitress). We are all fb friends now. It doesn’t always happen like that but it was good start.

I’m not naturally outgoing  but I do meet people  when I’m traveling.  When I don’t, what I tell myself now is -“face it, you are in a fabulous foreign country and you are eating amazing food alone. Don’t attach a story to it. The truth is everyone is much too caught up in themselves to really pay attention to you. It isn’t fun or easy eating alone but do it or stay home” Sometimes you have to be tough on yourself.

Fly safe,

JAZ

Everything The Internet Now Knows About Me From My Travel Blog

Everything The Internet Now Knows About Me From My Travel Blog

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends… The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy

What countries I have been to.

Countries I like. Countries I hate.

Countries that I’m afraid to travel to.

Places on my bucket list.

The coffee addiction.

My screen name. My website.

Where I live.

My dog’s travel anxiety. My travel anxiety.

Where I grew up.

My spiritual views. My religious views.

My racial views.

My meditation obstacles.

That i have kids.

My camera skills.

Mistakes I’ve made.

My favorite quotations.

That I like art. My favorite graffiti art.

My computer skills or lack of.

My social media challenges.

That I’ve faced challenges.

Languages I speak.

My favorite band. My favorite music.

How I pack.

My favorite TV shows My favorite movies.

My favorite documentary movies.

My favorite foreign movies.

That I get car sick.

That I’m afraid on small planes.

My favorite books. My favorite authors.

My favorite restaurants. My favorite foods.

My favorite interests and activities.

My favorite countries to eat in.

My perfect travel days.

How many times I post a blog in a week. How many people read my blog.

and

What I look like in a hat and sunglasses.

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Fly safe,

JAZ