We Will Get Through This; Do These Things to Stay Happy and Healthy

San Nicola


Ciao Friends,

Well, we can all agree that things have been nothing short of crazy.  There has been so much change every day that it can leave us with heads spinning. And sometimes things can look pretty bleak.

We will get through this but we do need some strategies to keep ourselves healthy and to keep our spirits up. And keeping our spirits up and stress levels  down are vital to remaining physically healthy.

I know a bit about overcoming difficult times. I have had three hip replacements. I had one in 2013 to reduce intense pain upon walking. Two years later the pain had increased rather than decreased and I found out that the hip implant was in wrong.

So I had a hip revision surgery to fix it. I had to confront the pain, the disability and the healing all over again.

Shortly thereafter, my other hip tore and it had to be replaced too.

Hip replacement surgery is intensely painful and each time I had to confront going through it, it was beyond stressful.

So I have developed some strategies for dealing with hard times and I know they will help you get through this rough time.

Photo credit Oleg Magni

1. Think beyond the hard times

As I was wheeled into each surgery, I was afraid. I knew I would wake up in intense pain and because I do not do well with pain killers, I had only Tylenol to see me through. In short I had to confront weeks of intense pain.

The one thing that got me through it was concentrating my attention on how I was going to feel the first day I noticed a decrease of pain. I thought about walking without pain again. I thought about my next Summer in Italy and who I would see and what I would do. I concentrated on the future happy times.

Sometimes I would just think about how I would feel as I left the hospital full of relief that it was all over.

Take some time and concentrate your attention on how happy we will feel when this is over. Think of how unified we will feel and how much smarter we will be.

Think of the plans you will make for the Summer, who you will see and what you will do.

This will keep you from feeling stuck an unable to move.

Photo credit Aleksandr Balandin

2. Turn off the news!

The news media makes its paycheck by holding your attention hostage. It does this by creating panic and chaos. They make you think that you NEED to watch to find out all threats to your survival and then they spin it to make it as scary as possible.

Turn it off! Get your news from a trusted source that has no agenda other than informing you.

Decumano Massimo, Ostia's Main Street
Decumano Massimo, Ostia Antica

3. Find and spread GOOD NEWS.

There is so much good news. The Italian singing in their balconies, communities coming together, babies being born and neighbors caring for neighbors.  Spread this far and wide and help others see beyond this situation.

Photo credit Andrea Piacquadio

4. Take this time to reconnect

I know we are not supposed to leave our houses but we have phones and Skype. Being home can make us feel isolated and alone. Connecting with people will bring your spirits up and help us all feel like we are in this together.

Rialto Bridge
Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

5. Join my new Facebook group.

I created a Facebook page called “All About Italy”. The purpose is to unite those of us who love all things Italian, and my Italian friends. If we are cooped up in our homes, we can connect with others with similar interests and stay connected through this time of isolation.

If you are not in love with Italy, find and join groups that are interesting to you.

View from the terrace

6. Go out in the sun

If you have a balcony or patio, go outside and get some sun. Vitamin D is important for health and getting a feeling of space is vital for mental health.

You can also look around and get out of your head where your worries reside. It is a welcome relief to escape for a time.

Sandals Royal Bahamian
Sandals Royal Bahamian

7. Make art!

It doesn’t matter one jot if you are a terrible artist. Make something! You may be surprised at how fast you become proficient! In any case, it will give you something creative to focus on and creative focus is the best remedy for boredom and upset.

If you are not into art, reorganize something, rearrange your furniture, make some great food.

Cruising sights

For entertaining videos, go to the Super Savvy Travelers Youtube channel.

8. Help someone else

Of all the points listed above this is by far the most powerful to make you feel in control. Elderly neighbors need groceries or other things and leaving their houses can be more dangerous for them. See what you can do to help them.

We are a strong and powerful people all across the world. United we can come through anything. And soon we will walk in the sun saying how glad we are that this is over and how much we appreciate our friends and neighbors.

Love you guys. Take care.



Oh No! Corona Virus! Should I Cancel My Vacation?


Ciao Friends!

First off I wanted to let you know that the picture here has nothing to do with the Corona virus but I know you would rather look at something pretty than a technician in a lab coat.

Now, this Corona virus is all over the news and several of my clients have had concerns, mostly because there have been a couple of cruise ships affected and these have been all over the news as well, making the situation look like a MASSIVE PANDEMIC THAT WILL KILL US ALL!

So the question is: Should I cancel my vacation?

First of all let’s keep this in perspective.

The Corona virus is not wide spread despite what we are hearing. World wide there have only been approximately 73,000 cases over the entire planet. Compare that with the flu virus which, according to the CDC is expected to infect 26-36 million people and possibly to kill 14,000 to 36,000 this year.

To date only about 2,000 people have died from the Corona virus. And of the people infected, the death rate is very low.

Only around 15 people have been confirmed with the virus in the US thus far and they are under so much quarantine that we may never see them again. (Ok that was hyperbole to make a point.)

And yet for some reason, the virus has been upgraded to “epidemic” status by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the Who (World Health Organization).

You can see more data on this virus and how it affects the travel industry in my Youtube video on the subject.

Because I am seeing so much hype on this, I researched what factors exactly determine when and whether something is upgraded to epidemic status. The determining factors I found incredibly vague and undefinable.

According to Slate.com, The CDC’s official definition of an epidemic is: “The occurrence of more cases of disease than expected in a given area or among a specific group of people over a particular period of time.”

Ok, What?!? What does that mean exactly? How does anyone know how many cases of anything are expected and in how much time when a virus first shows up? I don’t mean to be critical but shouldn’t there be some hard numbers or percentages attached to something that affects so many people?

There is sooo much hype on this particular virus and one wonders why. It appears that it is under good control due to the measures implemented by the Chinese when it broke out. Also the death rate is way lower than the flu which weighs in at about a 7% death rate of those affected every year.

That said, I received word recently that since the virus has been upgraded to epidemic status, a new set of circumstances with regard travel insurance enters the picture.

Yesterday I was in discussion with the people at Allianz which is one of the top carriers for travel insurance. I was told that because this virus has been upgraded to epidemic status, that literally NONE OF THEIR PLANS WILL COVER ANY PART OF IT. Apparently epidemics are specifically excluded from almost all insurance plans when dealing with travel.

I have clients who were worried because we have put together a complex trip for their entire family consisting of a cruise, land tours, transfers, hotels and the whole nine yards. They were super concerned that if enough clients cancelled their cruise, the cruise line would cancel the sailing leaving them stuck with flights, hotels and other non refundable costs.

So I called the cruise line and asked about these particular sets of circumstances. I was advised by the agent at Celebrity cruise lines that never in the history of their business have they ever had to cancel a sailing because not enough people were booked through.

It is my personal feeling that if people did cancel they would simply have a huge sale on the affected sailings and some lucky people would get magnificent deals on these cabins.

Again, let’s keep this in perspective. Although the cruise industry has been in the news a lot lately over this virus, there have only been two ships that I know of that have been affected.

There was one Royal Caribbean ship that worried that it had Corona onboard and turned out not to or that it had one depending on which hysterical news sources you listened to.

Then there was the Diamond Princess which continues to be in the news because the passengers were placed under quarantine after some cases were confirmed on the ship.

This was only ONE SHIP affected and yet the media has been having a field day, frothing at the mouth and creating fear and panic for anyone who was thinking of sailing.

Over 20,000,000 people cruise every year, most without ill effects.

So let’s look on the bright side.


First off it is Wave Season, This is the time of year when the cruise ships all compete for your business and try to entice you into booking trips for the rest of the year.

With this added weirdness about cruise ships and this Corona virus, you can pretty much bank on the fact that there will be massive deals and promotions where you can benefit from your research and knowledge of what is really going on.

So if you are planning on cruising any time, CALL ME! Let’s dig up the best deals!