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Indagare’s Guide to Staying Home

Like the rest of the world, the Indagare team is working from home and navigating this—hopefully short-lived—new normal of social distancing. Yes, some of our dogs have never been walked more, and for many of us, a run has never seemed like a better idea—all while staying six feet away from others, of course—but what are we doing when we’re not working in quarantine? Here, we share the books, TV series, podcasts and other activities that are keeping us—as well as some members of the Indagare community—sane and entertained. 

How are you spending your time? Email us at content@indagare.com to share your favorite books, movies, podcast and more, and we will share them on indagare.com.

In response to the impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry, Indagare has launched Indagare Global Classroom, a series of group and private programs that connect Indagare members with our partners around the world. Learn more here.

22 Travel Books we keep coming back to

These are the books that transport us to destinations time and again.

Global Soul by Pico Iyer: “One of my favorite quotes about travel ever comes from this series of intelligent and entertaining essays that weave together Iyer’s observations about everything from globalization to jet lag in a pre-Covid-19 world: ‘And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, in dimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.’”- Jen Barr

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: “Gilbert joined the historically male-dominated canon of travel literature and revitalized the genre for the 21st-century reader. Few moments convey the essence of the book better than when Liz takes a trip to the market and prepares herself a true Roman pranzo of local ingredients—farm-fresh eggs, asparagus, goat cheese, olives—and enjoys it, sola, on the floor of her new apartment. She perfectly captures the beauty of those little moments that are often only realized when you’re elsewhere—which, for me, is what gives travel its magic.”- Elizabeth Harvey

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain: COO Eliza Harris loves this fictionalized story of Beryl Markham, a female pilot in Kenya in the 1930s.

Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World by Suzy Hansen: This memoir chronicle’s Hansen’s life as a U.S. expat in Turkey and several other countries in the years following 9/11. “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it,” says Kelly Wilsky.

From Paris to the Moon: “I religiously read Adam Gopnik’s coverage in the New Yorker (his recent pieces on the current Covid-19 situation in New York City are incredibly well-researched, written and moving), and I often revisit essays from this brilliant collection of living as a correspondent in Paris.”- Simone Girner

Italian Diaries: “Barbara Grizzuti Harrison’s ode to Italy is so much more than a travel memoir. It is a meditation on the biggest questions we all ponder as well as a celebration of the simplest moments. She is equal parts wise philosopher and soulful enjoyer and since I cannot travel or dine with her, I pick up her book often and get to bask in her observations. Her book to me is similar to what she wrote of the Eternal City: “Rome is all things high and low. It is like God, it accommodates so much. “- Melissa Biggs Bradley

Others we love:

  • Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard and the Reinvention of American Taste, Luke Barr
  • My Paris Dream, Kate Betts
  • A Walk in the Woods; Down Under, Bill Bryson
  • In Patagonia, Bruce Chatwin
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion
  • Two Towns in Provence, M.F.K Fisher
  • River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze, Peter Hessler
  • On the Road, Jack Kerouac
  • Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer
  • The Snow Leopard, Peter Matthiessen
  • A Year in Provence, Peter Mayle
  • The John McPhee Reader, John McPhee
  • Wild, Cheryl Strayed
  • Cross Country, Robert Sullivan
  • The Pillars of Hercules, Paul Theroux
  • Here is New York, E.B. White

Related: Melissa Biggs Bradley on Staying at Home in the Age of Coronavirus

More books we’re loving

These are the novels we can’t put down.

The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott: Indagare’s Book Group is reading this debut novel, which is based on the true story behind the publication of Doctor Zhivago, toggling between a pool of CIA secretaries-turned-spies in the U.S. and life in Russia of writer Boris Pasternak and his mistress Olga, who inspired the novel.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett: A story of a brother and sister in the suburbs of Philadelphia over the course of five decades. “It’s a wonderfully absorbing old-fashioned yarn,” says Indagare’s Eliza Harris.

Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams: Indagare’s Bridget McElroy has just started reading this book of two parallel stories—one in pre-WWII Europe and another in 1960s New York City. “It’s a romance novel that my roommate would not stop gushing about—so far, so good!

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides: Multiple people here at Indagare have read or are currently reading this maze-like psychological thriller about a murder, a woman and her therapist.

Writers and Lovers by Lily King: “Fans of Lily King’s Euphoria (another fantastic novel) will love this new work about a young writer navigating the aftermath of a break-up and the loss of her beloved mother. A grief novel as well as a love story, it’s ultimately a work about a young woman finding her voice in the world.” – Indagare’s Simone Girner

The City We Became by N.K. Jemison: “Jemison is an amazing sci-fi author—she’s the first black female writer to win the Hugo Award, which she won three years in a row (another first). This is a new trilogy, set in New York. I’m loving it. As a lifelong New Yorker, it really speaks to me. It blends some surreal elements of fantasy, sci-fi and horror, but is also a really well done portrait of New York.”- Indagare’s Alex Clifford

And just because…why not? Mark Adamczyk, this one is for you: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Márquez.

Indagare Community Recommendations

“Just finished reading The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger the CEO of Disney. Lots of good takeaways especially for business owners. And if you love magazines as much I do, get the ‘Ready’ magazine app. It offers a large selection of magazines. My favorites are the European ones for fashion and travel.” – Nancy Newburg

“My favorite Books right now that might appeal to Indagare readers are everything by Marie Benedict for fiction, but especially Lady Clementine, The Only Woman in the Room, and The Other Einstein. For nonfiction: Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Cleefe; Buddha’s Office: The Ancient Art of Waking Up While Working Well by Dan Zigmond; Inga: Kennedy’s Great Love, Hitler’s Perfect Beauty and J. Edgar Hoover’s Prime Suspect by Scott Farris.” – Laura Dail

“A book I recommend to all interested in or thinking about traveling to Vietnam is Saigon, a wonderful historical fictional saga by Anthony Grey: it tracks three families over three generations (American/French/Vietnamese) and gives an amazing perspective of the country through a page-turning epic love story.” – Ellen Linhart

“I recommend an interesting book that I am reading called I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.” – Lisa Freiberger

“One of my all-time favorite books that I constantly recommend as a gift is The Price of Illusion by Joan Juliet Buck. It’s a wonderfully written memoir of her childhood up to her times spent as the first American woman to edit Vogue Paris: Such a great read that includes her time spent in some of the greatest cities out there.” – @jenndamico on Instagram

“I’ve been revisiting my favorite Graham Greene novels which are some of my favorite books period: Our Man in Havana, Travels with My Aunt, The Power & the Glory—witty, intelligent, transporting, beautiful books all. Less high-brow but lots of fun especially for those who love the Australian Outback are the murder mysteries of Arthur Upfield who wrote in the 1950s.” – Scott Simmons

“The book I just read is called A Time to Build by Yuval Levin.” – Lisa Belzberg, Ph.D.

“There is hardly a New York-based female food writer that I don’t adore. Anything Ruth Reichl, old school Mimi Sheraton and Gael Greene whose book Insatiable walks the line between sex and food, and Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, Bones and Butter.” – Daphne Klausner

“Although I do not find myself with as much time as I would like, I have a long list of books I am excited to read and some I just finished. I used to be a paper page turning loyalist to books but lately Audible has been my comfort while I do housework and long walks. I love it! Books I have finished and love: American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins: I understand there is controversy around this book but I saw it simply as a beautiful story of a mother’s journey to provide a better life for her son after losing everything and being on the run from the drug cartel. A wonderful page turner that spoke to my maternal instincts and the courage and grit to fight for a better life.  Also—Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and The Sun Does Shineby Anthony Ray Hinton: Both these books are on the tippy-top of my list of soul shaking & inspiring books. At a time where we could all use perspective, they offer amazing stories in profiles of courage, forgiveness, hope and faith. Timely and beautiful reads. And next in the queue:  The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd, Untamed by Glennon Doyle, Know My Name by Chanel Miller and The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Edith Eger. I have a new obsession with the Goodreads app. A virtual book club but on your own time!” – Alexandra Knight

Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World by Aja Raden: It’s pop culture, history, and anecdote woven into a very readable and enjoyable tale about how objects shaped (and continue to shape) our world—from the diamond necklace that Louis XV commissioned for Madame du Barry to solitaire engagement rings.” – Devon Caraher

Shows and films we’re watching

My Brilliant Friend, HBO: “Like the Elena Ferrante novels, this series completely transports you into 1950s Neapolitan life, through the eyes of two young women, and follows the complicated dynamics of their lifelong friendship. I have been completely swept up by the rhythm of Italian and riveted by their stories—and the reimagining of 1950s Naples and Ischia. – Jen Barr, Content Director

Bonfire of Destinies, Netflix. “This new French series is a period soap opera set in 19th-century Paris, with wonderful costumes and grand historic settings, so it transports you to another place and time and is full of twists a long the lines of Outlander.” – Melissa Biggs Bradley

Ozark, Netflix: “It’s a dark, dramatic series that’s filled with suspense and plot twists. The Emmy-winning show stars Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, and leaves you wondering how things could get worse for the Byrde family. Somehow they do! Season Three just came out.” – Lindsay Battey

Westworld, HBO: “Between the acting, visuals and overall storyline, Westworld does a really good job of transporting you into another universe. You’re hanging onto everything the characters say, and you truly buy into their development throughout the seasons.” – Donna Nguyen

Little Fires Everywhere, Amazon: “I am finding guilty pleasure in Little Fires Everywhere and the development of the leading characters, played by Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon. They are so diametrically opposed but you can’t help but sympathize with both of them!” – Angela Denny

Babylon Berlin, Netflix: “This series started in 2017, but I’m just getting into it. It’s such an intricately realized portrait of the Weimar Republic—one of those lightning in a bottle times, with so much creativity and crazy politics. There’s great acting and incredible world building.” – Alex Clifford

Indagare Community Recommendations

“Hunters on Amazon: This show takes place in the U.S. during the 70s. A group of Jewish Holocaust survivors in NYC discover that there are German Nazis living among them in disguise. It’s suspenseful and a little gory, but has that comedic twist, giving it a very Tarantino vibe!” – Sydney Rund

“I recently watched one of the first movies to stir my travel juices which I watched in Mr. Rice’s 6th grade English class, Mutiny on the Bounty (the Marlon Brando/Trevor Howard version). It’s beautiful, and makes you want to head to Bora Bora immediately!” – Scott Simmons

The Morning Show and Servant on Apple+ TV.” – Nancy Newburg

“The series I am watching is The English Game.” – Lisa Belzberg, Ph.D.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s because I never tire of watching a beautiful Audrey Hepburn. Anything Alfred Hitchcock with Strangers on a Train being my #1 for its brilliant idea! And because I live in Philadelphia, Rocky. It’s just such a classic no matter how many bad sequels followed. And since I live a mere 500 feet from the Philadelphia Museum of Art…it never gets old to run up those steps!” – Daphne Klausner

“My reads: Atomic Habits by James Clear; The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle; Daring Greatly by Brene Brown; Dare to Lead by Brene Brown.” – Brian Thomas Moreno

“Each day I watch Governor Cuomo’s press conference and cling on to every word.  I’m deeply in love with the Governor of New York, and from the looks of my social media, all of America is crushing pretty hard on him. And we like to watch foreign series on Netflix.  There are two benefits to this: 1) You’re taken to a different country, a different culture. 2) Watching a show in subtitles is a great way to completely divorce yourself from your phone, because reading the subtitles takes 100% of your attention.  We recently watched the Valhalla Murders, which is set in Iceland, and Kalifat which is set in both Stockholm and Raqqa, Syria. Be sure to go into your settings and watch in English subtitles. The voice-overs are awful. And If you want some good, trashy American television, Tiger King is a must watch. It will leave you utterly incredulous.” – Jennifer Welch

Podcasts we’re listening to

Podcasts keep us engaged while also multi-tasking. Here are some of our favorites.

Armchair Expert: “Hosts Dax Shepard and Monica Padman bring their friends, celebrity guests and all types of experts on to talk about everything from life, culture, relationships, family and how—and why—we operate in certain ways. It’s really relatable and insightful, and most of all, down right entertaining.” – Missy Weill

Lovett or Leave It: “This podcast is great political commentary from a former Obama speechwriter. It keeps you up to date on the political landscape while making you laugh out loud. Host John Lovett always has a variety of actors, comedians and politicians on, and even though it’s only once a week it packs a lot in! I look forward to it every Saturday.” – Missy Weill

Reply All: This podcast highlights fascinating, personal stories about how humans shape the internet and the internet shapes humans. “It’s both really clever and really empathetic. I like the hosts a lot. It’s a very curious show that can delve into a lot of different topics.” – Alex Clifford

Self Helpless: “Three type A stand-up comedians dive into self help/improvement topics—nothing is off limits. I absolutely love listening to them. Each episode you learn so much and are guaranteed for a good laugh, or four, and it sets my week off right each Monday morning.” – Sarah Girma

Hidden Brain: “It inspires us to optimize ourselves by considering our human tendencies and how they can both help and hinder us. Each topic brings awareness to how we and others behave. This podcast was a recommendation from our Director of Marketing, Diana Li and I’m addicted!” – Elise Bronzo

The Daily: “It holds the same qualities of an excellent double espresso: swift depth that provides a thought-provoking jolt. The New York Times will choose a complicated headline to review in depth, providing the listener with perspective that fills the exact length of a reasonable morning commute.” – Elise Bronzo

Classes we’re taking

The Indagare team is using this opportunity for continuing education and wellness, too.

The Science of Well-Being, Yale via Coursera: Yale’s professor Laurie Santos discusses misconceptions about happiness, why we think the way we do, and new research that’s helping us understand the mind even more. “It’s one of Yale’s most popular courses. And a great thing to do to keep occupied during isolation.” – Blair Diversi

Introduction to Negotiation, Yale via Coursera: “The professor, Barry Nalebuff teaches negotiation and game theory at Yale, and was one of the cofounders of Honest Tea. He uses his real life negotiation of being bought by Coca Cola to illustrate his points throughout the class.” – Sarah Levine

Women Making History: Ten Objects, Many Stories, Harvard Edx: This online Harvard course looks at 10 items from Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library to explore how American women created and confronted change in the 20th century. “I’m interested in learning about strong women throughout history, and have been reading some great fiction and non-fiction that feeds into this course, both more contemporary novels and classics. As I’m trying to balance working from home with mental sanity, as well as nurturing personal growth, the self-pace element of this course is key.” – Avery Carmichael

Ballet with the Mark Morris Dance Center: “My wonderful ballet teacher Ashley Tuttle, from Mark Morris Dance Center, offers a daily ballet barre on Zoom (5:30pm), and it’s an amazing way to see my community of fellow dancers online and also get out of my head and into my body. It’s become a daily ritual already.” – Simone Girner

Sailing 101: Learn about the world of sailing in this introductory online class from the American Sailing Association. “I’m excited to give Sailing 101 and knot-tying a go.” – Michael Urcinoli.

Power Yoga with Fiji McAlpine: “It’s pretty intense and focuses heavily on core. I have a herniated disc, and it’s key to building the core strength to alleviate that. It’s yoga for people who want a workout.” – Alex Clifford

Music we’re listening to

We’ve been craving songs that transport us back to destinations we love. You can find our Indagare Travel Spotify playlist here.

What’s keeping you sane and entertained? Email us at content@indagare.com to share your favorite books, movies, podcast and more.

In response to the impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry, Indagare has launched Indagare Global Classroom, a series of group and private programs that connect Indagare members with our partners around the world. Learn more here.

– Peter Schlesinger on March 28, 2020

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