Coronavirus, ack! Just a few weeks ago, I was putting the finishing touches on an ambitious itinerary of 2020 travels: Amsterdam. Berlin. Budapest. Poland. Iceland. Norway. Tuscany. But now all of that has been turned upside-down by that pesky bug. In the middle of January, I posted on Facebook: “Top priority for Europe-bound travelers in 2020: Avoid crowds.” I had no idea just how right I was.
We live in surreal times. The risk of coronavirus is serious, and those of us who take it to heart can easily get sucked into a whirlpool of panic. But we all need a break every now and again. During this period of self-isolation, I’m daydreaming about Europe like crazy…it’s helping me get through a period where my entire world is about the same size as my living room.
I miss Jon Stewart. I miss him for a lot of reasons, but one of my favorite Daily Show rituals was his sign-off each night with a “moment of zen.” After covering all of the day’s most consequential stories, he’d finish up with a surreal, beautiful, or thought-provoking non-sequitur…as if to cleanse the viewer’s palate before going to bed.
I think we could all use a palate-cleanser these days. So below I’m sharing 10 moments of European zen. I hope these calm and inspire you with the knowledge that there’s a big, beautiful world across the Atlantic that will still be there on the other side of this thing. (And if you find yourself hyperventilating from the headlines, click back here and take five deep breaths as you look at each photo. Works like a charm.)
And so, without further ado, here it is — your 10 moments of European zen:
Rila Monastery, Bulgaria
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Honfleur, Normandy, France
Kastelruth/Castelrotto, Dolomites, Italy
Stay safe and healthy, everybody! See you in Europe…someday.