Nepal cautiously reopens international flights

The country has decided to resume international flights while allowing domestic services to operate at full throttle, following a drop in Covid-19 cases in the country. Globe Aware volunteers interested in Nepal, can visit our site to learn more about our brand new volunteer vacation in Chitwan.


Nepal cautiously reopens international flights

The Cabinet has also permitted regular domestic flights by following health safety protocols.

Sangam Prasain
July 8, 2021
Kathmandu Post

Nepal cautiously reopens international flights while allowing domestic services to operate at full throttle, following a drop in Covid-19 cases in the country.

Tourism Joint Secretary Buddhi Sagar Lamichhane told the Post that a Cabinet meeting on Monday had authorised the ministry to resume passenger flights on international sectors based on the country’s needs and travel demand.

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Kenya should be a top of your post-pandemic travel destination: here are ten reasons why

Recently Globe Aware took an online survey, and the most requested travel destination was Kenya! Here are just 10 of the many reasons why we agree, and visit our website to learn more about the impact we make in this beautiful country! 


Longing for a once in a lifetime getaway? 10 reasons why Kenya should be at the top of your post-pandemic travel bucket list!

It’s the fantasy that’s been keeping us all going through a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions; the dream holiday!

So what’s your ideal escape?

For some it’s a white powder beach and crystal clear waters, for others it’s awe-inspiring landscapes. Or how about the chance to see nature’s most incredible creatures up close and personal or the adrenaline-filled fun of sporting adventures?

Whatever your dream holiday, you can do it all in Kenya!

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How to avoid airport lines and have a stress-free summer travel experience

This is the summer of the vaccinated travel has in the US, and it’s wreaking havoc on some of the nation’s airlines and airports. Here are some ways for our Globe Aware volunteers to avoid stress that comes with it.


I volunteer at a major airport and deal with hundreds of unprepared travelers. Here are 12 ways to avoid lines and have a stress-free summer travel experience

Thomas Pallini
Jul 1, 2021

  • Americans have been taking to the skies this summer more than any season since the start of the pandemic.
  • Airlines and airports are still adjusting to increased passenger levels, causing long lines and delays.
  • These travel tips will help flyers avoid lines and move through the airport easier.

The summer of vaccinated travel has arrived in the US, and it’s wreaking havoc on some of the nation’s airlines and airports.

AAA estimates that 47.7 million Americans will travel over Fourth of July weekend and air travel will likely see a large share of that number. Every day since June 22 has seen more than 1.8 million travelers depart from US airports and four days in that period have seen more than two million.

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Test Positive for COVID-19 While Traveling? Here are Eight Tips to Get Back on Track

If a Globe Aware volunteer tests positive for COVID-19 or learn that they were exposed to the virus while traveling, it’s important to be responsible, doing everything possible to avoid spreading it. Follow these tips to help spare other people the same fate and limit your added expenses!


What to Do If You Get COVID-19 While Traveling: 8 Tips to Get Back on Track

Getting sick while traveling doesn’t have to be a disaster.

Alicia A. Wallace
Healthline

It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic forced major changes to most of our lives. Countries all over the world continue to have a hard time responding to the spread of the virus and the resulting crises.

Since the vaccine became available, more countries have opened their borders. People who have been itching to travel can finally hit the road.

There’s still some risk in traveling during the pandemic, but it feels a bit safer.

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Volunteer While Traveling With Your Kids

Volunteer alum Jodi Lipson speaks of her Globe Aware experiences with her family, and find out how you can book your meaningful volunteer vacation.

How to Volunteer While Traveling With Your Kids

Looking for meaningful travel? Volunteering lets you give back and grow as a family.

BY KEN BUDD 
JULY 15, 2021
The Voluntourist

When Jodi Lipson’s daughter was seven, the duo embarked on a mommy-daughter adventure — and no, they didn’t travel to Disneyland. For one week, the pair did maintenance work at a hostel in Peru and helped local schoolchildren learn English. They soon worked on three more projects with volunteer organization Globe Aware in Guatemala, Cambodia, and Costa Rica. The experiences, said Lipson, who works in book publishing in D.C., have expanded the worldview of her now 13-year-old daughter.

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Bhutan’s king hiking, camping across mountainous kingdom to oversee pandemic measures

The king of Bhutan has taken it upon himself to hike across the country to help curb the Covid-19 pandemic because “his Majesty’s presence is far more powerful than just issuing public guidelines.” Globe Aware applauds the king’s continuing dedication and efforts to help his people.


Bhutan’s king has been hiking and camping across his mountainous kingdom to oversee pandemic measures

Matthew Loh
June 28, 2021

  • Bhutan’s king has been making personal trips across the country to visit remote regions and meet Covid-19 taskforces.
  • His Facebook page shows him donning a baseball cap, hiking attire, and a backpack on his treks.
  • Bhutan is one of the world’s most mountainous countries, with an average elevation of 8,000 feet.

The king of Bhutan has taken it upon himself to hike across mountains, visit remote villages, and trudge through leech-infested jungles to help his country curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck has been making trips by car, horse, and foot across his kingdom to supervise pandemic measures and warn his people of the coronavirus, according to the official royal Facebook page. He’s been making the trips over the last 14 months and has managed to span Bhutan’s eastern border – which is more than 400 miles long – reported Reuters.

One of his latest treks lasted five days across 41 miles, according to the royal Facebook page, in which he sported an outdoor backpack, hiking gear, and sometimes a pair of sunglasses or a dark baseball cap.

Camping on the slopes and among the trees by night, and dropping by rural settlements in the day, he has spoken to health workers in various regions and inspected several border posts.

Whenever he finishes a tour and arrives back in the capital of Thimpu, he quarantines himself in a hotel according to protocol, said Reuters.

The monarch is immensely popular among the people of Bhutan. He’s known for traveling to meet and discuss the country’s policies with his people. When he took the throne in 2006, he relinquished his absolute powers to turn Bhutan into a constitutional monarchy as part of a democratization process.

“When the king travels for miles and knocks… to alert people about the pandemic, then his humble words are respected and taken very seriously,” Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering told Reuters.

“His Majesty’s presence is far more powerful than just issuing public guidelines,” said Tshering, who accompanies the 41-year-old king on his trips.

According to the royal Facebook page, the king is concerned by a recent “large number” of community infections in the region.

Bhutan, a land-locked kingdom of 700,000 people that is surrounded by China and India, is one of the world’s most mountainous countries with an average elevation of 8,000 feet. Its southern neighbor, India, has been battling one of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks in the world but Bhutan has had relatively few cases.

As of June 28, Bhutan has reported 2,052 Covid-19 cases and one death caused by the coronavirus.

As a Covid precaution, Bhutan closed its borders to all but essential travel in April.

However, there is concern about “frequent interactions between people across the porous border” with India, according to the royal Facebook page.

“(The king) has been to all high-risk border areas time and again to monitor every measure put in place and to ensure best practices are followed within limited resources,” Rui Paulo de Jesus, the World Health Organization representative in Bhutan told Reuters.

Bhutan is currently struggling with a severe vaccine shortage. While it managed to provide around 90% of the country with one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, it does not currently have enough doses to ensure that its citizens receive a second dose.

The government is contemplating offering mixed doses of another vaccine to residents. Both Canada and Spain have already approved mixing vaccines, and studies have shown that taking the Pfizer vaccine as a second dose to the Astrazeneca vaccine is safe.

Travel Tribulations: How to deal with vacation constipation, swelling and other health issues

Stress, jet lag, cramped airplane seats, new foods and exhaustion all conspire to test your physical limits. Globe Aware volunteers can avoid these travel symptoms by following these helpful tips!


How to deal with vacation constipation, swelling and other travel symptoms

A. Pawlowski
July 2, 2021
TODAY

Travel can do wonders for the soul. It can also do a number on your body.

The very word originates from “travail,” or “painful or laborious effort,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Painful, indeed, as stress, jet lag, cramped airplane seats, new foods and exhaustion all conspire to test your physical limits.

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CDC Travel Guidelines Relax for More than 100 Countries

The new CDC travel guidelines now include specific recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Globe Aware volunteers should continue to check their destination’s page to stay updated on travel restrictions.


CDC Travel Guidelines Relax for More than 100 Countries

France, Japan, and Mexico are among the destinations with revised guidelines.

BY SHANNON MCMAHON
June 9, 2021
Condé Nast Traveler

On Monday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revised its coronavirus travel guidelines for over 100 countries “to better differentiate countries with severe outbreak situations from countries with sustained, but controlled, COVID-19 spread,” the agency said on its website. The new CDC travel guidelines now include specific recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

The 110 changes includes 61 places that have been downgraded from the highest Level 4 status to a Level 3, plus 50 more lowered to Levels 1 and 2, reports Reuters. The U.S. State Department has mirrored the CDC changes by lowering 85 of its own travel advisories for countries including Japan ahead of the Olympics, but told Reuters it did not lower all 110 advisories after taking into consideration “commercial flight availability, restrictions on U.S. citizen entry, and impediments to obtaining COVID test results within three calendar days.” (Returning to the United States still requires a COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours in advance.)

Countries downgraded to a Level 1, for “low” COVID-19 risk, include Singapore, Israel, South Korea, Iceland, and Belize. Level 2 “moderate-risk” countries include Barbados, Bermuda, Cambodia, Mauritius, Uganda, and Zambia. Countries downgraded from Level 4 (“very high” risk) to a Level 3 “high” COVID-19 risk include Ecuador, France, the Philippines, South Africa, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Honduras, Hungary, and Italy.

The new rankings are a result of revised criteria for each tier, with the highest Level 4 now assigned to destinations with 500 cases per 100,000 (more lenient than the previous 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 benchmark). For Level 3 and 4 destinations, the CDC recommends that travelers avoid non-essential travel, and be fully vaccinated (two weeks out from their final shot) if they do visit. Level 2 advises travelers are fully vaccinated, and that “unvaccinated travelers who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid nonessential travel to the these destinations.” Level 1 only advises that travelers be fully vaccinated.

CDC travel guidelines do not take into account the country or territory’s restrictions for Americans, however. Singapore, for example, which is classified under the lowest level, does not permit anyone traveling from outside Australia, Brunei, mainland China, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Macau to enter without quarantining for 21 days. Japan is classified as Level 3 by both the CDC and State Department ahead of next month’s year-delayed Olympic Games in Tokyo, though the Games will not allow foreign spectators to attend.

Regions where non-U.S. citizens are still barred from entering the U.S. despite very low COVID-19 case loads, including China, certain European nations, the U.K., and South Africa, could potentially see those restrictions removed following “an interagency conversation” that is “looking at the data in real time as to how we should move forward,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told Reuters. The Biden administration is reportedly working with those countries toward reopening travel after more than one year of restrictions.

We’re reporting on how COVID-19 impacts travel on a daily basis. Find our latest coronavirus coverage here, or visit our complete guide to COVID-19 and travel.

Couple travels the world recreating movie scenes

Over the years, this couple has visited everywhere from Rome and Iceland, recreating scenes from famous films! Have our Globe Aware volunteers ever done this before on a volunteer vacation!?


The couple who travel the world recreating movie scenes

Tamara Hardingham-Gill
CNN
June 25, 2021

(CNN) — After going on several big trips together as a couple, Robin Lachhein and Judith Schneider, both from Frankfurt, Germany, wanted to do something extra special for their next vacation.

They talked through various potential ideas before coming up with something that excited both of them — traveling to a movie location and recreating a famous scene.

In 2014, they visited Prague and re-enacted a clip from the 1996 film “Mission: Impossible,” making sure to document the moment on camera.

Over the next few years, Lachhein and Schneider visited everywhere from Rome and Iceland, to New York and even Utah, recreating scenes or promotional shots from films like “Thelma and Louise,” “The Hunger Games,” “Eat Pray Love,” “The Devil Wears Prada” as well as TV series such as “Game of Thrones” and “Downton Abbey.”

In 2018, the pair launched an Instagram account, Secret Famous Places, where they share their re-enactments alongside stills from the movies that inspired their shoots.

The account now has nearly 40,000 followers, with the likes of Oscar winners Hilary Swank and Marion Cotillard among those posting in the comments section.

Lachhein, 32 and Schneider, 31, who met at a friend’s birthday party 11 years ago, say they’re thrilled that their slightly unusual hobby is gaining such attention, particularly as they never planned to share the images with the world.

“First we just want to take the pictures for our living room, so we could have great memories from the spots we’d visited,” Lachhein tells CNN Travel. “But more and more people reacted to these pictures.”

According to Lachhein, some of their friends assumed the images had been Photoshopped, and were stunned to learn that they’d actually traveled to the spots featured in the movies, dressed up as the characters and taken their photos at an identical angle.

“We were laughing when we first talked about dressing up like the actors, because that’s a lot of work,” says Schneider. “But then we gave it a try.”

They also go to great pains to make sure that the angle is as close to the original picture as possible.

“You have to get the right angle, the right perspective and stand in exactly the spot where the actor or actress was standing,” explains Lachhein.

The first shoot they did didn’t quite go to plan. After dressing up in their costumes, putting on the appropriate make up and going to the Charles Bridge in Prague to mirror a pose from Tom Cruise in the first of the “Mission: Impossible” movies, it began to rain uncontrollably.

Lachhein and Schneider had little choice but to turn back and reconvene the following day. Thankfully they were eventually able to get the shot they needed, and soon began planning other movie location trips.

However, recreating an iconic film or TV scene isn’t as simple as just turning up at the location one day and pulling out a camera.

The couple often have to do a lot of planning in order to determine exactly where the spot featured in the sequence they want to focus on is, as well as how to get there.

They walked for hours to get to the spot where Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling dance in the 2016 film “La La Land,” while villagers were on hand to help them find a specific rock in New Zealand from the 2008 action-adventure movie “10,000 BC.”

“If it’s not that big a movie, then it’s a little bit difficult,” explains Lachhein. “Then there’s many hours of research on Google Maps trying to find the overview of the area.”

On some occasions they’ve had to gain permission to take photos in a particular place, as was the case when the pair re-enacted scenes from 2020 movie “Tenet” at Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, Italy and “Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones” at Lake Como.

Then there’s the small matter of making sure they have clothes identical to those worn by the film or TV characters they’re posing as.

“We always try to use things we already have so that we don’t buy a lot of stuff,” says Schneider, recounting how they made a necklace out of a piece of steel for a particular scene from “Star Wars”.

“Or we borrow from our friends. Sometimes it’s very easy, you might need jeans, white shoes and a shirt. But for something like ‘Game of Thrones’, it’s very complicated. We have to improvise a lot.”

One of the most popular images on their account is a recreation of a sequence from the 1994 movie “Forrest Gump” taken in Monument Valley, in which they enlisted a group of travelers to stand in the background to make it look more authentic.

If the place they need to feature happens to be in a popular tourist spot, such as the bench from 2014 film “The Fault In Our Stars” starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, which is located next to the Leidsegracht canal in Amsterdam, getting the image they need can be even more challenging.

“There were a lot of people who wanted to sit there,” says Schneider. “So we waited, and waited until it was empty.”

Their painstakingly precise efforts have proved to be a hit on Instagram, with Swank giving the account her seal of approval when she commented, “That’s incredible!” on their image from her 2007 movie “P.S. I Love You,” which also starred Gerard Butler.

However, Welsh actor Tom Cullen, who played Viscount Gillingham in “Downton Abbey” was the first star to post a message, writing “nailed it” on their image mirroring a scene from the popular ITV show captured outside Highclere Castle in the UK.

“At that moment, we had maybe three pictures and 300 followers or something like that,” says Schneider. “So that was very nice [of him].”

As they both work full time, Lachhein and Schneider plan their trips within the six weeks vacation time they’re allotted each year.

Although some of their followers have assumed the pair’s trips are financed by their families, they stress that they pay for everything themselves and don’t earn any money from their pictures.

They try to avoid Photoshop as much as possible so that the photos are a true depiction of the location, but admit to occasionally using filters and/or altering colors in order to enhance an image.

While the couple don’t necessarily choose their vacation destinations based on the movies they want to create, Lachhein admits that the prospect of visiting the filming location for 2010 movie “Inception” played a big part in their decision to go to Paris in 2017.

“‘Inception’ is my favorite movie. I wanted to create this scene with Leonardo DiCaprio and Marion Cotillard at the [Pont de Bir-​Hakeim] bridge looking at the Eiffel Tower.

“So then we had to go to Paris. And we combined the trip with different movies and series.”

They’ve been particularly touched by the trouble that some of the locals have gone to to ensure they get the exact image they need.

“People are so proud that these filming locations are in their city,” explains Schneider. “And they try to help us a lot. They are so kind.”

While the pandemic has put many of their foreign trips on pause for a while, the couple have been able to travel around Germany shooting images, and also paid a visit to Italy last summer, when travel restrictions were briefly lifted.

Despite recreating around 100 movie and TV scenes, they have many more on their wish list.

They hope to visit London in the coming months, as well as New York and Australia, when international travel reopens.

“The list [of locations] is long,” says Schneider. “I think we will spend quite a few more years doing this.”

U.S. to split 55 million Covid vaccine doses between Latin America, Asia and Africa

Positive news to share with our Globe Aware volunteers and coordinators! The U.S. announced it will send 55 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa, in order to “defeat COVID-19 and to achieve global health security.”


U.S. to split 55 million Covid vaccine doses between Latin America, Asia and Africa

JUN 21 2021
Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

The Biden administration announced Monday it will send 55 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa as the coronavirus continues to rapidly spread in low- and middle-income nations.

The 55 million vaccine doses are the remaining portion of 80 million shots President Joe Biden has committed to donating abroad. Earlier this month, the administration said it would send the first 25 million doses to South and Central America, Asia, Africa, neighboring countries and U.S. allies.

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