blogging softly

our posts about destinations, gentle adventure, risk management and social responsibility
fifteen travel questions in the wake of covid-19

fifteen travel questions in the wake of covid-19

(UPDATE October 15, 2021:  Today the United States government announced that November 8 will be the date that all vaccinated travelers will be allowed to return to the U.S. regardless of country of origin. This means that after more than 500 days, travelers from the...

is delta variant a game changer for travel?

is delta variant a game changer for travel?

In recent months, the World Health Organization has been using the Greek alphabet to denote potentially significant mutations of the original coronavirus strain.  If you remember your high school math, the Greek letter Delta (Δ) means “change”, and all eyes are now...

the decline of checklist tourism

the decline of checklist tourism

During the surreal lost summer of 2020, in the heart of COVID-19, I would frequently ask friends what they would do differently after the pandemic. The most typical response went something like this: “I sincerely miss seeing people smile. I want to take more time to...

u.s. says “do not travel” – what now?

u.s. says “do not travel” – what now?

Update 4/26: Within hours of posting this blog, the European Union announced its intention of welcoming back American travelers this summer. Will the U.S. reciprocate and remove countries from the Do Not Travel list? And is it the right thing to do if Europe continues...

mystery trip – peru

mystery trip – peru

For many years, I would plan an annual “Mystery Trip” for one of my university clients. Each August, a group of 16 MBA students would show up at Chicago O’Hare airport with no clue where they were going, other than having received a somewhat ambiguous packing list a...

the camera of wonder, the tripod of risk management

the camera of wonder, the tripod of risk management

For travel photographers, one of the most important pieces of equipment is the tripod. While it is the camera lens that captures the beauty of the moment, the tripod keeps the camera steady so it can take the crispest of pictures. I have often viewed travel and risk...

lessons learned from an icelandic snowmobile trek

lessons learned from an icelandic snowmobile trek

In 1995, at the age of 31, I started my “second career” as a management consultant at a boutique firm in Chicago. I was pretty good at it, but learned quickly that I would never be on the fast track. I loved my colleagues, enjoyed my clients, and tolerated the work....

costa rica – in search of my perfect trip

costa rica – in search of my perfect trip

As I get older, my personal definition of “the perfect trip” continues to evolve. I am far beyond the budget years of my 20s and early 30s when my wife and I would look for the least expensive trip we could find – eschewing the $20 per night upgrade to move from a...