This Monday marks a month since our life here in Minnesota dramatically changed. It was the first day my kid’s school closed and my husband’s office doors were locked, marking the start of our rapid move to our state’s Stay At Home order. As I look back over the past month, it is unimaginable how much the world and our lives have changed. It is also unimaginable how quickly and fleeting our once normal life was gone.

I’ve read a lot this past month on the spread of the pandemic, the dire circumstances of many people around the world and most of all, the psychological and emotional toll this virus has brought among us. I realize that I too have gone through the stages of grieving at not only the loss of my normal life but of the loss of something greater. The loss of life as we all knew it. While I continue to count my blessing every single day I still am grieving at the lives lost, the vast inequities that have viciously surfaced especially among the poor and most vulnerable, and even the selfish sorrow of the freedoms that I’ve lost for now.

While I’ve tried to keep myself busy over the past month by doing such mundane tasks as painting the trim, learning a new language and enhancing my skills for someday when I can get back into the job market, I’ve had an uneasy, almost guilty feeling knowing deep down that I am not doing enough. I have no medical or technological training and most volunteer activities are on hold.

I decided that I had to do something even if small. I realized that just because I’m not traveling and won’t be for quite some time, that I can’t let ten years of hard work on this blog go down the drain. So I came up with the idea of once a week posting a series of “postcards from around the world” to keep the spirit of inspiration and dreams of travel alive.  I will continue to do what I set out to do in the first place when I penned my first post on the blog: To offer people something else to read beside the gloomy, heartbreaking news. To offer inspiration, hope and a reminder of the world’s great beauty even in the midst of so much tragedy and sadness. I will end with something positive such as a company we can support that gives back in the fight against COVID-19. There is much good still being done in these dark times.

So here it is. My first week of inspiration. I hope it helps brighten your day and give you hope in these tremendously difficult times and days ahead.

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we will find it not”. – Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Condoriri Valley, Bolivia

Photo snapped: November 2015 Condiriri Valley, Bolivia

“Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Base Camp 2, Machete Route, Mount Kilimanjaro Tanzania

Photo snapped: En route up Mount Kilimanjaro, July 2015

“Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how….We Guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.” -Agnes de Mille

Hike to Lac Blanc, Chamonix, France

Photo snapped: July 2019, Lac Blanc, Chamonix, France

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give”. – Kahil Gibran

Torrey Pines State Reserve, California

Photo: Torrey Pines Reserve, San Diego, CA. Snapped December 2017.

In times of darkness, there is light. This past Friday, Love Your Melon released their new Face Mask Collection to purchase under their Buy One, Give One Program. For every face mask or headband sold, Love Your Melon will donate an equivalent product to the medical community so that they can continue to support front line health care workers, care providers, patients and families over the coming weeks and months. Love Your Melon funded the first 50,000 masks that were donated to children’s hospitals and nonprofit organizations supporting children battling cancer and their families. In addition to their Buy One, Give one Program, Love Your Melon will continue to donate 50% of net profit from all product sales to fight against pediatric cancer.


  1. I don’t know about anyone else, but these lifted my spirits. I get tired of all the negative news and reiteration of information. Yes, we need to have updates and reminders, but I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing and think that good news and non-related C-19 news would be welcome. So thanks for the postcards and stay well!


    1. Thanks Janet! Yes I’m so weary of the news these days. We just had a snowstorm here so I’m betting you are quite happy to be in Arizona!

      1. I’m happy here, but as you know, I do love snow (at least most of the time.) I may drive up to Flagstaff or into the mountains come winter time just to get my snow fix, especially around Christmas!!

      2. I love Flagstaff! we went skiing there a few years ago and it was great. There are also some really terrific restaurants there too.

    1. Thanks Heather! I’ve got to do something positive! Glad you are doing well despite the long lockdown.

  2. Beautiful photos Nicole. This weekly postcard is a great idea. Im still posting travel stories in the hope it will take people on a little adventure – even if only for a few minutes.

    1. Thanks Alison. I felt sad about the blog and the hopelessness I feel at times about this situation. I love reading your travel stories so please keep sharing. Someday I will have more to share! 🙂

  3. Wonderful idea to create a new series Nicole. Your posts always inspire and uplift us and your photos are extraordinary beautiful.

  4. An excellent idea Nicole. Nothing like some inspiration these days to keep us hopeful. It is hard to know what will happen to travel blogs, at least in the short term. I think your focus on social good will always be welcomed by readers. Perhaps after the pandemic even more than before.

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