8 Good Things


How to Host a Safe Outdoor Thanksgiving (and decide if you should) | 20 Nov 20

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Great information! Thank you Maria! ~ Dawn S.

I also appreciate your 8 Good Things newsletter — it is a ray of light in these Trumpian times. ~ Jeff W.

Best COVID help email I’ve seen yet. Well done and hope you and your loved ones are well. ~ Michael D.

Thank you so much for this wonderful and positive reading material list. Too many groups I’m on keep sending doomsday links and emails and just instilling all sorts of fear out there. But I love the silver lining in your 8 good things. Time to stop and reassess. ~ Maria K.

I can’t think of a better time for your 8 good things. ~ Jim B.

Your opening comments in this edition, as well as your line "Let there be a pandemic of compassion, love, and gratitude" made me a bit emotional and hopeful this morning. I look forward to reading 8 Good Things every other week. Thank you! ~ Erin F.

Thank you so very much today’s 8 Good Things posting. The inspiration and depth of thought is as truly amazing as it is healing during these oddly configured times. ~ John H.

Really well curated & done. Brava. ~ Steven P.

This is an especially good “8 Good Things!” I didn’t know that you were studying with Jack Kornfield. I’ve read several of his books. Thanks for sending this, Maria. ~ Mike M.

Loved your 8 good things today. ~ Brenda S.

Your 8 Good Things email always brings me joy whenever I get the chance to read it. ~ Gabrielle A.

Just your newsletter - Masters of Love. Your articles make me stop and think! I often evaluate my actions and it opens my eyes how to live better. Thank you for sharing these articles. ~ Betty M.

Maria,  I just can’t get over how good this is. I am so glad you do this! ~ Mark J.

Love it Maria. Always a GREAT read to jump start the weekend. Have a great one!~ Matt R.

Once again, thank you so much for the very nice articles. I printed out the one on Senior Health. Also, the story on Doris Day is quite touching. ~ Mark M.

Your newsletter is sooooooo goood. ~ David V.

Always a good read on a Friday. Thx Maria. ~ Matt R.

Thank you so much for your 8 Good Things. I always enjoy reading them. Thank you, especially for your commentary on Agnes Varda. ~ Mark M.

I am loving your newsletter and insightful articles on Self-Care and Self-Awareness. You are doing incredible work. ~ Erahm C.

I enjoy a lot your newsletter. It is one of the few newsletter I normally end up clicking on something. I often show it as well-made newsletter. ~ Jorge P.

Gratitude to Maria Baltazzi for sharing this article [Live Like a Stoic] in her weekly 8 Good Things email. Especially worth signing up for in today's trying times. ~ Morgan R.

I particularly found the content of [21 Weird Ways the World Changes in Autumn] very interesting, practical and useful. 3 [Live Like a Stoic], 4 [Fall Asleep Instantly with This Breathing Technique], and 5 [Try Any of These 33 Habits of Happy and Successful People] were particularly applicable for my worldview and circumstances. ~ Ian R.

Great read. You touched upon some good topics. Thanks. ~ Matt R.

Nice hearing about all your adventures. I love what you are doing.~ Marci K.

Thanks, Maria! I love Brene Brown. Thanks for the suggesting the meditation app. I loaded it on my phone and will try it this weekend. ~ Amy C.

Hi, Maria. Or should I say hi DOCTOR! Big, big congrats! Always love seeing 8 Good Things and what awesome news along with this latest set. ~ Eric R.

Congratulations on your PhD! You are certainly racking up lifetime achievements. And, thank you for including me on your mailing list. I enjoy your 8 Good Things. ~ John. V

Congratulations, Maria, on your doctorate. Enjoyed your letter and love the 20-secs to courage. ~ Loyelle E.

Great newsletter this week. Fabien’s book looks good. ~ Ethan Z.

Love you. Such great info you share. Xo ~ Brenda L.

My favorite newsletter yet!! Thank you ;-) ~ Allison C.

I enjoy your newsletter. ~ Mary T.

I loved the articles and especially the ones you did for “LightWorkers.” ~ Mark M.

Great article on Thought Trains, Maria! I teach Bible study class to a group of high school kids each Wednesday morning. I’m going to use this! ~ Nathan D.

I always enjoy and learn from your emails, thx. ~ Noelle F.

Maria…I LOVE your newsletter. Your faithful reader. ~ Gary F.

I enjoy your newsletters and end ended up watching both “Before the Flood” and “The Way” as a result of your newsletters. Thanks so much for the recommendations and sharing these meaningful flicks! I look forward to reading more of your musing and inspirations. ~ Diane C.

Thank you, Maria! The sleep info very timely ;-) ~ Sylvia V.

Dear Maria, thank you for all you do, it is wonderful. ~ Dean A.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. ~ Mike P.

Hey Maria! Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your Friday emails. Lots of great positive energy to the end the week.~ Randy S.

Hi, Maria. This is just great reading, thank you very much. ~ David M.

Awesome… ~ Matt R.

My husband just forwarded me your email/newsletter. Wow!!! Very impressive. ~ Milica G.

Amazing, amazing. I just love getting these email newsletters. ~ Ursula R.

Good one MB. Love ur work. ~ Kirk W.

Cool! Thx Maria ~ Bob M.

I love these. Thank you for doing them. ~ Carla J.

Really enjoyed this, Maria!! ~ Lynda W.

Maria, such great material in here. It’s awesome. ~ David V.

:)) <3 ~ Steven P.

LOVE LOVE LOVE Maria ~ Jim B.

Thank you Maria. As always, so very good and uplifting. ~ Carla J.

Wonderful!!!!! ~ Steven S.

So glad you send these every week! I always look forward to receiving them. ~ Steve F.

I wish you knew how much I look forward to these Friday emails.  Thank you so much for including me. ~ Maria K.

I LOVE IT!!! ~ Fernando M.

It is a breath of fresh air to see someone working consciously to curate and create opportunities to uplift and inspire others, we need more of that in this world. ~ Kathryn D.

Really enjoy these positive Friday posts. Sorely needed these days. ~ Craig S.

Love your work, Maria. ~ Anthony H.

Thoroughly enjoying the new insights that come with each of your Friday emails. ~ Ian R.

Another great read on a Friday, Maria, thank you. ~ David M.

Thanks for this, Maria!  Keep 'em coming!  Just reading about these ideas and journeys makes me less stressed.  So THANK YOU!!  :-) ~ Meredith F.

To keep getting 8 Good Things, please add explorer@sojourn-intl.com to your email contacts.

Hello Sojourners!

It is almost Thanksgiving, and there is a lot to be thankful for, even amid a pandemic. One is that if you are reading this, you are alive. As we see a new wave of places and countries hunkering down, I thought I would share an animation of how masks work and urge people to wear them. It is not that difficult and could save lives.

In this 8 Good Things edition, some ideas on what to do about the holidays, traveling safely, a tribute to the legendary Sean Connery, and some other useful and fun links.

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First, here is the latest update on my 1000 CharityMiles walk for Stand Up To Cancer. As of this writing, I am 987.19 miles on approach to the finish. I am walking to support patients and caregivers with COVID-19. Even pledging one-cent per mile makes a difference. I am grateful for everyone’s support. You can sponsor this walk by going to my pledge page.

Gratefully yours. May you find this edition fun, inspirational,
and helpful. 

8 Good Things is a curated newsletter of inspirational and informational articles, videos, and quotes. If my thoughts about an article or video interest you, please click the ‘source’ button (e.g., NEW YORKER) to learn more. If you come across a story you would like me to consider sharing, please send it to explorer@sojourn-intl.com. This newsletter comes out once every three weeks.

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1COVID-19 Risk on Planes ‘very low’ with Proper Measures, Harvard Review Say. Some hope for those thinking about traveling during the holidays. It is all about the onboard ventilation systems, wearing masks, and being super clean. And for those willing to venture out, I have highlighted some places under Sojourn Getaways

215 Best Thanksgiving Getaways for Families or Couples. Great ideas for several parts of the US. San Diego is number eight and just a two-hour drive for me. Get inspired!

3The Best Day Hikes on the Pacific Crest Trail. This is a companion piece to the one above. If you want to get out into nature, here are nine treks along the famous route between Washington and California. I want to do the eleven-point-two-mile Storm Canyon Lookout to Kwaaymii Point hike in San Diego.

Email Email Email
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4How to Host a Safe Outdoor Thanksgiving (and decide if you should). Close friends hosted a safe outdoor Rosha Hannah dinner this year. It was delightful, not to mention giving a sense of normalcy to a holiday. An article for those thinking about sending Thanksgiving dinner invitations.

58 Over 80: Fascinating Exploits of People in Their 80s and Beyond. In part, this article applauds that the US now has a President-elect that will be seventy-eight years old by the time of his inauguration. The most senior elder ever to lead our government. That shatters the current average age of retirement being sixty-six years (and two months.) Thank Goodness! I belong to the Explorers Club, where a good percentage of its members are over sixty, and I promise you, they are not rolling up the carpet. They live vibrantly and as an example for the rest of us. Anyone who knows me knows I do not believe in age being a limiting factor in life. Here are role models stepping into their dreams regardless of age. I love the centenarian world champ runner and eighty-year-old Everest summit-er.

6We’re All Going Through a ‘Lifequake’: Here’s How to Get Through It. We are collectively going through a major transition in our lives and in our world. What has been coined as a “Lifequake.” We are anxious about the uncertainty of the future. We are wrestling with a new normal that has yet to be defined. We are uneasy over in-person social connections. And we are completely Zoomed out. According to the author interviewed in this article, transitions have a three-part structure for them. First, mourning the loss of the world, we once knew. Second is the “messy middle,” where you get rid of what is not working for you and bring in new ones that do. The third is when you begin anew.

75 Foods You Can Eat to Boost Mental Health. Exercise PLUS eating healthy EQUALS improved mental health. And the foods can be fun too! Like eating dark chocolate to boost your mood.

Email Email Email
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8Remembering the Dark Magnetism of Sean Connery. The original and best ever James Bond left us on Halloween. Thankfully, he went peacefully in his sleep. Like many, I loved Sean Connery’s dark, handsome looks, a man who could have eaten soda crackers in my bed anytime. He certainly inspired my appreciation for a good martini, shaken, not stirred. Ah, sigh... Our tribute to “Bond, James Bond.” Articles in GQ (of course), the New York Times, and his films.

GQ

Sojourn Programs

I have recently started doing guided meditations LIVE on Insight Timer. Soon, I will be adding talks on Happiness and Mindfulness. I would love to have you join me! Meditation is our Wellbeing Silver Bullet.

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Check out a film by my friend and colleague, Rob Bemmer, “The Mindfulness Movement.”  It features pioneers and thought leaders of this movement, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Sharon Salzberg, Dan Harris, Daniel Goleman, Diana Winston, and Richard Davidson. It is also Executive Produced by and features Deepak Chopra and Jewel.

Click this link to buy or rent. As a gift, you can use the discount code mindful10 for ten percent off. Plus, get four free videos, including a talk and guided meditation in Spanish.

Sojourn Getaways

Scubaspa   |   Maldives
For those up for holiday travel, here is a dreamy floating resort in the Indian Ocean. It combines the best of diving with a luxury spa experience. The water in this part of the world is sublime, and the temperature is lovely year-round.

Special Guest Invitations   |   Through December 2020
Fifteen percent discount if you book travel forty-five days before arrival, including 2021 trips booked now.

If you travel December 19th through 26th, save up to $1870 per person.
*Only one promotion applies.

Kuria Hills Lodge   |    N. Serengeti, Tanzania

Magnificent wide open spaces, teeming with elephants and big cats. On my last trip to Tanzania, I saw more wildlife at Kuria Hills than any other camp, which is saying a lot. There was an abundance of wildlife throughout that trip, though this location in particular. We had a chance to see a family of cheetah cubs, so sweet.

Special Guest Invitations | Through March 2022


Twenty-five percent discount for stays of four nights or more.

Fifty percent discount on the second night of a two or three-night stay.

First child (5 - 15yrs) sharing a room with one or more adults is complimentary.

Honeymoon Special

Groom’s first night is complimentary. The bride enjoys a fifty percent discount with a minimum five-night stay.

Also, click this link for an article that lists the African countries open for tourism and their entry requirements as of October 18th.

Camino De Santiago   |   Spain
September 19th – 28th, 2021

Taste what it is like to carry the pilgrim’s symbol pointing you toward Santiago, a scalloped shell on your backpack, and wish others who are also following The Way, a Buen Camino. This is a thoughtfully curated transformative journey covering the last 100 kilometers of the Camino’s most popular routeThe French Way. This route is doable for almost anyone, no matter your age.

Picture Perfect Holistic Safari   |   Zambia + Malawi
November 8th – 19th, 2021

I have partnered with our Zambia + Malawi specialist to design and guide a photographic safari that combines everything you want in an African adventure through a mindfulness experience lens. Hope you will consider joining me for this unique small group sojourn. It will give you something to look forward to next year. According to research, even planning a trip can boost your mental health.

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Photo credit: OceanSky Cruises

Arctic Quest   |   North Pole
Launches 2024

I am super excited to be offering this pioneer’s adventure to the North Pole in a modern airship.

Sojourn Invitation

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I am an advisor for a courage movement called Scare Your Soul, and sharing our newest project, called “Lost and Found in 2020.” It is so powerful and timely given what is happening in the world. Until the end of the year, people are invited to share personal stories about life during Covid-19. These stories will be featured in a free e-book. There is a great contest too! The top ten entries will be recorded by you or a professional actor and part of an audiobook! I hope you will be part of this wonderful project. Here is the link: www.lostandfoundin2020.com

! Funny
Baby Elephant Throwing a Tantrum
Lately, I feel like this little one.
Over twenty-two, five hundred thousand views.

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Picture Perfect
10 Ideas for Celebrating Thanksgiving During a Pandemic

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The Art and Science of Happiness in Action
Gratitude Letter

One, think of someone, preferably living, who did something that you feel incredibly grateful toward, yet have never properly thanked them.
Two, write the letter with as much detail and feelings as possible.
Three, contact this person to share the letter via Zoom
or, if it is appropriate, in-person.

Why This Works: This activity affirms what is positive in your life. It reminds you of those who care about you,
which makes life feel less lonely.
It gives you a sense that you are supported
and will create a stronger connection with this person.

Time Required:30 mins  |  Frequency: 3x per week

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Thoughtful

“What if, today, we were grateful for everything?”
~ Charlie Brown

Stay safe. Stay well.
Maria and Team Sojourn
Learn More

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Maria Baltazzi
PhD, Conscious-Centered Living  |  MFA, Film


Emmy-winning TV Producer, Happiness and Mindfulness Teacher, Transformational Travel Ambassador, Seven Continent Marathon Walker

About
The Sojourn Experience is a conscious-centered company with a portfolio of three entities. Sojourn Explorers curates transformational experiences to extraordinary places around the globe. Part of the money for each trip goes to nonprofit organizations that we believe in. Through Picture Happiness: Take a Shot, Maria helps professionals uplevel the quality of their thoughts and habits. She designs Happiness programs and workshops as well as leads retreats. Finally, Sojourn Media looks to create media partnerships with writers, producers, and directors to get their projects sold to production companies and various platforms.

Special thanks to Astrid Martin, article and video content research, and Michael Tobias, editorial review and formatting, for their ongoing contributions to 8 Good Things.

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Join for more 8 Good Things
  • Before opting into our newsletter, please take some time to review our Privacy Policy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Great information! Thank you Maria! ~ Dawn S.

I also appreciate your 8 Good Things newsletter — it is a ray of light in these Trumpian times. ~ Jeff W.

Best COVID help email I’ve seen yet. Well done and hope you and your loved ones are well. ~ Michael D.

Thank you so much for this wonderful and positive reading material list. Too many groups I’m on keep sending doomsday links and emails and just instilling all sorts of fear out there. But I love the silver lining in your 8 good things. Time to stop and reassess. ~ Maria K.

I can’t think of a better time for your 8 good things. ~ Jim B.

Your opening comments in this edition, as well as your line "Let there be a pandemic of compassion, love, and gratitude" made me a bit emotional and hopeful this morning. I look forward to reading 8 Good Things every other week. Thank you! ~ Erin F.

Thank you so very much today’s 8 Good Things posting. The inspiration and depth of thought is as truly amazing as it is healing during these oddly configured times. ~ John H.

Really well curated & done. Brava. ~ Steven P.

This is an especially good “8 Good Things!” I didn’t know that you were studying with Jack Kornfield. I’ve read several of his books. Thanks for sending this, Maria. ~ Mike M.

Loved your 8 good things today. ~ Brenda S.

Your 8 Good Things email always brings me joy whenever I get the chance to read it. ~ Gabrielle A.

Just your newsletter - Masters of Love. Your articles make me stop and think! I often evaluate my actions and it opens my eyes how to live better. Thank you for sharing these articles. ~ Betty M.

Maria,  I just can’t get over how good this is. I am so glad you do this! ~ Mark J.

Love it Maria. Always a GREAT read to jump start the weekend. Have a great one!~ Matt R.

Once again, thank you so much for the very nice articles. I printed out the one on Senior Health. Also, the story on Doris Day is quite touching. ~ Mark M.

Your newsletter is sooooooo goood. ~ David V.

Always a good read on a Friday. Thx Maria. ~ Matt R.

Thank you so much for your 8 Good Things. I always enjoy reading them. Thank you, especially for your commentary on Agnes Varda. ~ Mark M.

I am loving your newsletter and insightful articles on Self-Care and Self-Awareness. You are doing incredible work. ~ Erahm C.

I enjoy a lot your newsletter. It is one of the few newsletter I normally end up clicking on something. I often show it as well-made newsletter. ~ Jorge P.

Gratitude to Maria Baltazzi for sharing this article [Live Like a Stoic] in her weekly 8 Good Things email. Especially worth signing up for in today's trying times. ~ Morgan R.

I particularly found the content of [21 Weird Ways the World Changes in Autumn] very interesting, practical and useful. 3 [Live Like a Stoic], 4 [Fall Asleep Instantly with This Breathing Technique], and 5 [Try Any of These 33 Habits of Happy and Successful People] were particularly applicable for my worldview and circumstances. ~ Ian R.

Great read. You touched upon some good topics. Thanks. ~ Matt R.

Nice hearing about all your adventures. I love what you are doing.~ Marci K.

Thanks, Maria! I love Brene Brown. Thanks for the suggesting the meditation app. I loaded it on my phone and will try it this weekend. ~ Amy C.

Hi, Maria. Or should I say hi DOCTOR! Big, big congrats! Always love seeing 8 Good Things and what awesome news along with this latest set. ~ Eric R.

Congratulations on your PhD! You are certainly racking up lifetime achievements. And, thank you for including me on your mailing list. I enjoy your 8 Good Things. ~ John. V

Congratulations, Maria, on your doctorate. Enjoyed your letter and love the 20-secs to courage. ~ Loyelle E.

Great newsletter this week. Fabien’s book looks good. ~ Ethan Z.

Love you. Such great info you share. Xo ~ Brenda L.

My favorite newsletter yet!! Thank you ;-) ~ Allison C.

I enjoy your newsletter. ~ Mary T.

I loved the articles and especially the ones you did for “LightWorkers.” ~ Mark M.

Great article on Thought Trains, Maria! I teach Bible study class to a group of high school kids each Wednesday morning. I’m going to use this! ~ Nathan D.

I always enjoy and learn from your emails, thx. ~ Noelle F.

Maria…I LOVE your newsletter. Your faithful reader. ~ Gary F.

I enjoy your newsletters and end ended up watching both “Before the Flood” and “The Way” as a result of your newsletters. Thanks so much for the recommendations and sharing these meaningful flicks! I look forward to reading more of your musing and inspirations. ~ Diane C.

Thank you, Maria! The sleep info very timely ;-) ~ Sylvia V.

Dear Maria, thank you for all you do, it is wonderful. ~ Dean A.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. ~ Mike P.

Hey Maria! Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your Friday emails. Lots of great positive energy to the end the week.~ Randy S.

Hi, Maria. This is just great reading, thank you very much. ~ David M.

Awesome… ~ Matt R.

My husband just forwarded me your email/newsletter. Wow!!! Very impressive. ~ Milica G.

Amazing, amazing. I just love getting these email newsletters. ~ Ursula R.

Good one MB. Love ur work. ~ Kirk W.

Cool! Thx Maria ~ Bob M.

I love these. Thank you for doing them. ~ Carla J.

Really enjoyed this, Maria!! ~ Lynda W.

Maria, such great material in here. It’s awesome. ~ David V.

:)) <3 ~ Steven P.

LOVE LOVE LOVE Maria ~ Jim B.

Thank you Maria. As always, so very good and uplifting. ~ Carla J.

Wonderful!!!!! ~ Steven S.

So glad you send these every week! I always look forward to receiving them. ~ Steve F.

I wish you knew how much I look forward to these Friday emails.  Thank you so much for including me. ~ Maria K.

I LOVE IT!!! ~ Fernando M.

It is a breath of fresh air to see someone working consciously to curate and create opportunities to uplift and inspire others, we need more of that in this world. ~ Kathryn D.

Really enjoy these positive Friday posts. Sorely needed these days. ~ Craig S.

Love your work, Maria. ~ Anthony H.

Thoroughly enjoying the new insights that come with each of your Friday emails. ~ Ian R.

Another great read on a Friday, Maria, thank you. ~ David M.

Thanks for this, Maria!  Keep 'em coming!  Just reading about these ideas and journeys makes me less stressed.  So THANK YOU!!  :-) ~ Meredith F.