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+ Sata Air Azore's 1st female pilot
In today’s newsletter: an update on travel restrictions, Sata Air Azore’s 1st female pilot, and a spring dish to chase away the winter blues. A percentage of this month’s paid newsletter subscriptions will be donated to the nonprofit, Heart of Dinner. If you’ve found your way here but are not yet subscribed, here, let me help you with that:
So, get this. I’m sitting on the couch yesterday for the 8th consecutive hour when my boyfriend looks over at me and lets out a chuckle. “Hey, you look like Sadness from the movie Inside Out.” I look at him quizzically as he whips up a meme to truly illustrate the comparison. So this is where I am at in the pandemic these days. A literal caricature of an emotion.
Between the dreary January weather and the ongoing pandemic, it’s hard not to feel a little melancholy. Of the many things I miss doing from pre-pandemic days, traveling is one of them. Remember when the most complicated part of traveling was packing your suitcase? Navigating the ever-shifting travel restrictions makes me miss the challenge of trying to stuff an entire wardrobe into my carry-on bag.
This week, a lot of travel updates were announced. From entry requirements for Canada to new restrictions around the United States, here are some of the travel headlines that caught my eye this week.
Canadian travel just got more complicated
Canada is a mere six-hour drive from where I’m presently typing away on my laptop in Queens. On more than one occasion this pandemic, I’ve had the idea of jumping in a car and driving off to Montreal. But that dream always comes to an abrupt stop when I stop to ponder the entry requirements for Canada. This week, Canada made some major changes to its entry requirements for both returning Canadians and international travelers. In addition to the pre-boarding COVID tests that Canada already requires of its travelers; Prime Minister Trudeau announced all travelers will need to be tested and quarantine upon arrival. So, basically, if you’re looking for an easy getaway to Canada expect to be tested upon landing and sent to a hotel for three days (at your own expense) to wait for your results.
Where travel restrictions stand for the United States
Traveling in and out of the United States is complicated. Not only are you navigated ever-changing restrictions by country, state, and airline; but you’re also facing federal requirements. On Monday, President Biden reinstated COVID-19 travel restrictions for most non-U.S. travelers from Brazil, Ireland, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and 26 other European countries. All incoming international travelers now need to quarantine and get a negative COVID test upon arrival. Those requirements went into effect this past Tuesday.
Looking ahead at vaccine passports
This week, the United Nations World Tourism Organization, called for the global adoption of vaccination passports. Some travel companies have already made vaccines a requirement for travel, but the wide adoption of vaccine passports has yet to be decided. Some experts point out the multiple hurdles to health passports, including the existence of different vaccines with different levels of efficacy, how long immunity lasts and whether vaccinated people can still spread the virus to others. While it is likely vaccine requirements will vary by country (similar to how some countries require yellow fever vaccines), it’s clear that vaccine passports will become essential travel documents needed for future trips.
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Meet Sata Air Azore’s first female pilot, Valérie Bich
The Azores— a group of islands off the coast of Portugal—are so small that they do not exist on most commercial maps and globes. It is only within the last decade that they have started to become known worldwide with travel agencies highlighting low-budget flight and hotel combos. Valérie Bich has made a name for herself by becoming the first female pilot for SATA Air Azores. In this interview with Unearth Women, Valérie talks about what it’s like to be a woman fighting for a seat in the cockpit.
I made ricotta dumplings…from scratch
This week I did two things I’ve never done before: cook with leeks and make ricotta dumplings from scratch. When I hear the word “dumplings” I picture perfectly hand-folded, doughy pockets of the potsticker variety. Little did I think there could be a place in this world for my misshapen, blob-like dumplings and yet, there is. Sitting atop a colorful bed of buttery peas, caramelized leeks, steamed asparagus, and springy pea shoots — my poor little crooked dumplings found a home. I’ve been sitting on this Alison Roman recipe for quite a while. For starters, it calls for frozen peas and I have always been skeptical of buying frozen food (unless we’re talking about my lovers, Ben & Jerry). But, after a cold and grey New York week, I wanted to make something that both had flavor and color. This spring dish is awesome, particularly when topped with freshly shaved parmesan, ground pepper, chopped parsley, and fresh pea shoots.
Because you can’t get enough of Alison Roman’s cooking, watch this new video of her making “Goodbye Meatballs” while throwing side glances at your boyfriend who doesn’t like to eat meat. Can you make meatballs without…meat? Read this article from The Atlantic about the peripheral social connections we’ve lost as a result of the pandemic. Realize just how much you miss people like your Starbucks barista or the bodega dude who would always see you in pajamas while buying cat litter at 1 AM. Read this article from InStyle, which confirms your worst suspicions: the pandemic IS in fact making you age prematurely. Dear God, no. Run to the bathroom and apply this gold hydrogel mask in hopes it will strip away the 10 months of stress brought on by COVID. As you wait for the gold mask to work its magic, watch Susan Boyle’s audition tape because it never fails to make you cry happy tears of joy. You go, Susan!