AK Monthly Recap: March 2021

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March 2020 was limitless, complicated, and horrifying. March 2021? Not as scary, however outlined by exasperation and resignation as we entered the thirteenth month of the pandemic taking on our lives.

It was largely spent indoors. It wasn’t fascinating.

But most significantly — there’s mild on the finish of the tunnel, vaccine-wise. Scroll to the “Coming Up in April 2021” part on the finish of the publish for extra on that.

Each cross is a memorial to a Czech who died of COVID.

Destinations Visited

Prague, Czech Republic

Lewis the gray tabby cat with a white stripe on his nose, sitting on the hardwood floor, wearing a black cat harness attached to a leash. He has his white front paws splayed out as if he's ready to go.
Lewis completed his FIP remedy!

Highlights

Lewis completed his remedy for FIP! We have been ready for today for thus lengthy!!! His remedy started on December 28 and his ultimate injection was on March 21. Now we start an 84-day statement interval; if Lewis hasn’t relapsed by June 13, he’s thought of clinically cured.

I can’t inform you how completely happy I’m that my little cat goes to be okay! We thought we had been going to lose him, and I used to be getting ready myself to say goodbye. What a miracle this remedy is.

The statement interval is nerve-wracking however it’s been getting simpler as Lewis has remained regular. It’s unbelievable that we don’t must go to the vet each day. And Lewis is thrilled he’s not getting stabbed each day! I’m taking him for his first follow-up bloodwork in two weeks.

Celebrating Charlie’s birthday with a Burger-Off. An awesome excuse to pattern all the very best burgers in Prague! We’ve at all times identified Kantyna to have the very best burger on the town — however Naše Maso‘s aged burger is superb, too.

My household is vaccinated! Huge reduction, and I’m grateful.

I baked some Little Debbie-style Oatmeal Creme Pies. They had been DELICIOUS — and despite the fact that I minimize down the sugar, very candy. Most of them got to our vets and their workers.

Work goes properly. Traffic has picked up enormously within the final month. Bookings are the best they’ve been in a yr, and my show advert revenue is lastly attending to less-scary ranges. We will see how that tendencies, however I’m optimistic as extra Americans turn into vaccinated.

COVID instances within the Czech Republic are trending down. Let’s hope this time it really stays down. It appears like the brand new requirement of a damaging COVID take a look at with a purpose to work at your job in-person is working.

Three days of GORGEOUS spring climate. Don’t you’re keen on these first days of spring, when it will get tremendous heat and everyone seems to be exterior, till it goes again to winter temperatures once more? HA. But these days had been pretty. One day we went for a beautiful bike trip alongside the river.

Outdoor beers! Except for a short two-week respite in December, the Czech Republic has been largely locked down since October. But a number of locations have allow you to purchase a beer and sit open air, ingesting your beer, so long as you don’t really get desk service. MAN did it really feel good to truly drink a beer exterior!

A few dozen people sitting on the grass in a park in Prague, bare trees rising around them. You can see it's a beautiful day with a perfect blue sky.
Beautiful spring climate on my sq. in Prague!

Challenges

I used to be ALL set to get my associate visa…then it didn’t occur. I used to be down on the immigration workplace with my immigration dude (Petr from Expat Zone — extremely beneficial when you want a Czech visa), tremendous excited to select it up. Then we discovered that I couldn’t get it as a result of VZP, the nationwide medical insurance system, hadn’t despatched me my membership card but.

Did it matter that I’m within the VZP system already? Nope! They wanted the precise piece of plastic. So irritating.

At least I used to be capable of get my bridge visa prolonged to June 27, however in a number of weeks, Petr and I are planning to indicate as much as the VZP workplace in particular person to get the cardboard and go straight to immigration from there. We’ll see how that goes.

Airbnb discontinued their associates program. This is a big blow to journey bloggers, a lot of whom redid their websites to cater to this program. Airbnb, like Amazon, realized that they’re so massive now that they don’t want bloggers to assist them promote their product. Might as properly cease this system and make the shareholders richer.

I’ve long-documented points with Airbnb — they should take much more duty and truly comply with housing legal guidelines — however the reality is that so many vacationers today primarily select Airbnbs over motels. So I included Airbnb hyperlinks in my posts, and I earned extra from Airbnb bookings than I earned from resort bookings.

That revenue stream is gone now. Which sucks.

HOWEVER, I nonetheless have my hyperlinks actively incomes commissions till April 15. If you’re reserving an Airbnb keep this yr, please think about reserving by way of this hyperlink earlier than April 15! I’ll earn a fee at no additional value to you.

Airbnb is retaining the associates program for Airbnb Experiences — actions like my cooking expertise in Havana, trend tour in Tokyo, and mezcal and mole tasting in Oaxaca — so these hyperlinks will stay up. Those solely earn me like a number of {dollars} every, so that they’re not an enormous revenue stream like bookings had been.

The kittens bought neutered, and Lewis had a tricky restoration. Here within the Czech Republic you possibly can’t neuter cats till they’re eight months outdated, and we had Lewis’s FIP to think about. We didn’t need to do something that will impede his restoration.

Dr. Pedersen, the scientist who pioneered the GS remedy for FIP (and a person to whom I need to give an enormous hug!), recommends neutering throughout remedy so long as you might have at the least two weeks of remedy left, in order that gave us a small window to get each of the boys performed.

The vets warned us that they might be appearing drunk after. Murray was largely superb, zig-zagging a bit.

But poor Lewis — he might barely stroll or maintain his head up, and he insisted on crawling into his service, which was soaked with pee and puke. Then he fell asleep along with his eyes open, unblinking — it freaked me out. He regarded useless. I’m so relieved that he was higher in a number of hours.

We performed them kitten movies on YouTube to maintain them from licking their balls. It was surprisingly efficient. Our cats love YouTube!

Charlie lays on a bed covered with a red, pink, and orange blocked bedspread (ugh, I hate that bedspread but it was laundry day), holding an iPad. Lewis and Murray the cats sit in front of the iPad, watching it intently.
Turns out our cats LOVE YouTube.

Blog Posts of the Month

Solo Female Travel in Savannah, Georgia — Is Savannah Safe? — A model new solo feminine journey information to considered one of my favourite cities within the US (and the world), good for first-time solo vacationers!

13 Stunning Places to Visit in Lebanon — Lebanon is a cool nation — however the place are the precise locations it is best to go to in addition to Beirut? I get into it right here.

What NOT to Do in Mexico — People make SO many errors in Mexico! Before you go there, ensure you’re not making any of your individual.

15 Reasons to Travel to Istria, Croatia — I’m head over heels in love with the Istria area of Croatia, which is simply too typically missed. Here’s why.

The waterfront of Girne, Cyprus: you see calm bright blue water, colorful wooden boats in the foreground and a tall stone fortress in the background, all underneath a bright blue sky.
Girne, Cyprus, in 2018 — what I wrote about on Patreon.

This Month on Patreon

On the Adventurous Kate Patreon, I publish unique content material and never-told tales that you would be able to entry from $6 per 30 days. We even have a non-public Facebook group and members get free entry to the Book Club every month.

Each month I write an authentic long-form essay, and this month’s essay is a few vacation spot I’ve by no means written about right here — Cyprus! Such an fascinating nation, and one which so many individuals overlook.

And within the Facebook group I’ve shared the main points of my first journey I’m taking as soon as I’m totally vaccinated. I’m at the moment getting ready an extended publish about it within the Patreon itself.

It felt SO GOOD to have a beer open air!

Book Club This Month

This month might be assembly on Sunday, May 2, at 1:00 PM Eastern Time, and we might be studying Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Indigenous Canadian journalist Tanya Talaga!

I learn this ebook this month and LOVED it — as a lot because it broke my coronary heart. I instantly needed folks to debate it with, and I noticed that made it an ideal ebook membership alternative.

“In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied.

More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave home and live in a foreign and unwelcoming city. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Jordan Wabasse, a gentle boy and star hockey player, disappeared into the minus twenty degrees Celsius night. The body of celebrated artist Norval Morrisseau’s grandson, Kyle, was pulled from a river, as was Curran Strang’s. Robyn Harper died in her boarding-house hallway and Paul Panacheese inexplicably collapsed on his kitchen floor. Reggie Bushie’s death finally prompted an inquest, seven years after the discovery of Jethro Anderson, the first boy whose body was found in the water.

Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning investigative journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this small northern city that has come to manifest Canada’s long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities.”

You can join the ebook membership right here. It’s pay-what-you-wish (I recommend $5); Patreon members get free tickets.

What I Listened To This Month

I’m at all times looking out for good background working music, and this month I attempted Spotify’s Binaural Beats: Focus playlist. WOW! This could be the very best work music I’ve ever discovered!

I’ve heard about the advantages of binaural beats — totally different frequencies allow you to with totally different duties — and I’ve tried them for sleeping on planes, with blended outcomes. But this playlist is fabulous. I’ve by no means targeted so properly.

Spotify has binaural beats playlists for every part from sleep to ADHD to lucid dreaming. Worth testing.

Lewis the cat hides in a blue mop bucket, the mop partially obscuring him. Murray the cat sits next to the bucket. Both look upward with innocent eyes as if to say, "Who, me?"
Look who discovered a brand new hiding place!

What I Watched This Month

This record goes to be LONG this month. We’ve been watching a ton.

First off, it’s Oscar season! We’ve been working our means by way of the films. Nomadland remains to be my favourite, however this month we added a number of extra. Minari was pretty, light, bittersweet, and it made me understand how a lot I get pleasure from motion pictures about regular folks simply making an attempt to do their finest.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 made me understand that Aaron Sorkin mustn’t do nonfiction — he’s too good-vs-evil, no nuance. Also, Sacha Baron Cohen’s Worcester accent was…a alternative. Entertaining flick, although.

Judas and the Black Messiah was nice, tremendous well-acted and I hope we see Daniel Kaluuya take house an Oscar for his portrayal of Fred Hampton.

TV-wise: Our go-to informal watching reveals are Schitt’s Creek and Kim’s Convenience — each mild, enjoyable household comedies finest watched whereas consuming lunch and having a espresso.

We began Atlanta, which is strange (and I’m in LOVE with Lakeith Stanfield’s efficiency!), and Catastrophe, which is fantastically, hilariously acted and written — however so actual it may be uncomfortable to look at.

And on the we-miss-Italy entrance — Searching for Italy with Stanley Tucci highlights plenty of fascinating meals locations and tales, although we each really feel like Tucci wants to search out his footing as a number. He’ll get there.

Prague in the evening: a tram comes down a street with its headlights on. In the background, a yellow building with a green roof, all set in front of an orange and purple sunset.

What I Read This Month

This month I learn 9 books, placing me at a complete of 21 for 2021 thus far. Maybe I’ll hit my purpose of 100 in spite of everything! I additionally completed 5 new books within the Book Riot 2021 #ReadHarder problem.

Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga (2017) (#ReadHarder Category: a piece of investigation nonfiction by an writer of coloration) — The very best ebook I learn this month, and I might be shifting the overview to subsequent month’s publish as a result of I selected it for Book Club.

Profit First by Mike Michalowicz (2018) — Why achieve this many small enterprise house owners discover themselves brief on money? They’re not prioritizing revenue. The Profit First system lays out organizing your online business bills in a means that not solely prioritizes revenue first, however has every part organized higher.

I’ve heard entrepreneurs advocate this ebook without end — and it could be one of the crucial helpful enterprise books I’ve learn in recent times. It’s not that my enterprise wasn’t worthwhile, however I wasn’t taking a look at my funds the way in which I ought to have. Nor did I ever think about distributing quarterly earnings to myself, forbidding myself from reinvesting them within the enterprise. I carried out the entire system beginning April 1, and I’m excited to see the way it goes within the coming months!

La Bastarda by Trifonia Melibea Obomo (2018) (#ReadHarder Category: a ebook with a canopy you don’t like) — Okomo is a teenage Fang orphan woman in Equatorial Guinea. When she decides to search for her father, she turns into entangled with a gaggle of “indecent” younger girls, and her homosexual uncle, forcing her to resolve whether or not she desires to remain inside her group.

Whew. We lined this ebook in our ebook membership, and that is precisely the type of ebook I like to characteristic — a ebook that takes you into a very totally different tradition. This ebook is steamy, fascinating, and finally ends up leaving you with questions on gender norms in your individual society. And it does all that in round 100 pages.

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport (2019) — It’s no secret that we’ve turn into consumed by expertise prior to now twenty years. And we all know we shouldn’t be. But how will you pare down your expertise use at the moment? This ebook has a number of concepts, and encourages you to search out out what works for you personally.

I’ve taken two digital detoxes on my travels just lately: in Antarctica for 12 days in 2018, and in Guyana for round 5 days in 2019. Both left me feeling free, clear, and extra inventive than I had been in months. I might like to be much less on-line. I’ve pared down social media so much on AK (have you ever seen I’m barely on Instagram and never on TikTook?) however I might like to get to the purpose the place it may be outsourced. This ebook has impressed me to take one other digital detox. I simply want to determine once I can really take a break from work!

March: Book One, Book Two, and Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell (2013-2016) — These three books inform John Lewis’s life story of activism, beginning with preaching to chickens as a toddler and ending with the march in Selma, the place he was practically killed by the police. Through the books Lewis is a grasp of nonviolent activism, and the ebook has as many related classes about find out how to run a cohesive motion because it does about human rights.

When John Lewis died, folks had been sharing a photograph of him at Comic-Con, selling these books: and he cosplayed as himself, sporting the jacket and backpack that he wore in Selma. And he led youngsters on a march across the conference. I knew I needed to learn these books! Graphic memoirs are a good way to get folks’s life tales into extra readers’ arms.

My one criticism is that these books had small, messy writing and had been a bit more durable to learn on Kindle. You may profit from getting actual copies of them.

Their Troublesome Crush by Xan West (2019) (#ReadHarder Category: a romance by a trans or nonbinary writer) — This queer polyamorous romance novella tells the story of two metamours with a shared associate — Ernest, a Jewish autistic demiromantic queer fats trans man submissive, and Nora, a Jewish disabled queer fats femme cis girl swap — who understand that they’ve a crush on one another.

Have I ever learn a romance fairly like this? Nope, in no way! Xan West, who died final yr, made a mission of centering characters who had been queer, trans, Jewish, autistic, and kinky. All that being mentioned, these are the type of people who find themselves hardly ever featured in mainstream literature — however at its core, it’s is a candy love story about two people who find themselves affected person with one another as they discover a budding romance.

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam (2013) — We’ve all heard about how morning folks get much more performed. Why is that? This mini-guide lays out all the advantages of getting your most vital work performed earlier within the day, irrespective of whether or not you’re a morning particular person or not.

I did take so much away from this little information — together with that the work you do very first thing within the morning is least prone to be interrupted or derailed. (And that goes double for me, residing in Europe!) For that motive, it is best to attempt to do the GOOD stuff early. Since studying this ebook, I’ve been making an attempt to get my hardcore writing performed in mornings and doing extra emails and social within the afternoons.

The church on Copley Square, Boston, a stone building with a red top, next to the glassy modern John Hancock tower.

Coming Up in April 2021

It has been six months since I left the better Prague space. In that point I’ve solely left the town limits twice — as soon as to satisfy the kittens at their foster house, and as soon as to select them up from their foster house.

That modifications in April. I’ve determined to fly house to Boston to get vaccinated on the finish of the month. As of April 19, all Massachusetts residents over 16 are eligible for the vaccine, and that features me. As a British citizen, Charlie just lately certified for his personal vaccination appointment, and as I kind this he’s on his technique to the UK.

I encourage you to get the vaccine at your earliest attainable alternative. It’s the very best factor you are able to do for your self and your group. If you might have a situation that qualifies you, even when you don’t suppose it impacts your day-to-day life, get the vaccine! If don’t qualify but however there are leftover doses at a pharmacy about to go unhealthy, get the vaccine!

It’s not magnanimous to show the vaccine down since you deem “other people” extra vital than you — at this level, it’s all about getting as many pictures in arms as we are able to, as shortly as attainable.

Which brings to thoughts — is it unethical to get a vaccine out of the country whereas the nation you’re residing in is struggling? Absolutely fucking not. The Czech Republic has struggled in some ways throughout COVID, together with vaccine distribution. But you realize who’s doing very properly with vaccine distribution? The US and the UK.

Getting our vaccines in our house nations will assist cut back the unfold within the Czech Republic — to not point out transfer two extra folks up the lengthy Czech ready record. That’s the very best factor we are able to do for our adopted nation and the world.

Additionally, I might be flying on Delta/KLM, which requires a damaging PCR take a look at taken 72 hours earlier than boarding. There’s no technique to 100% eradicate danger whereas touring, however that removes QUITE a little bit of danger.

I don’t but have an appointment (I can’t ebook one till April 19), however I’ve plans upon plans in place to safe one. Ideally Johnson & Johnson, however I’ll take no matter I can get. At this time my journey house is scheduled to be 5 weeks lengthy, however airways are super-flexible with modifications today, so we’ll see.

Any plans for April? Share away!