To our heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, thank you will never be enough. This Memorial Day, we honor the story of one of those heroes.

 

Spc. Cindy Beaudoin, 19, Plainsfield, Connecticut

Cindy Marie Beaudoin arrived at the University of Connecticut as a first-year student in September 1990. Just a month earlier, Iraq had invaded Kuwait. Cindy enrolled in the usual liberal arts courses, facing the terrors of college calculus and chemistry. On November 17, her life turned a corner. Cindy was also Specialist Beaudoin, a soldier in the 142nd Medical Company of the Connecticut National Guard. Her company was called up to active duty. Specialist Beaudoin, at age 19, was on her way to the war that waited in the Persian Gulf. Cindy withdrew from classes rather than opt to make up the work when she returned. "I probably won't remember half the stuff I've learned when I get back," she explained.

On Sunday, January 13, 1991, just days before Operation Desert Storm was to be ended, her unit left for Saudi Arabia. The 142nd moved forward behind advancing combat units when the ground war began on February 24. Specialist Beaudoin penned a two-line stanza on her helmet that read: "Look at this place that we have found. No one knows where we are bound.”

Four days later, Iraq's army had been routed, and President Bush declared a cease-fire. The war was not over yet for Specialist Beaudoin. The 142nd's journey had taken it north from Saudi Arabia into Iraq and then east to just across the border into Kuwait. There, at about 3:00 P.M. on February 28, an explosion rocked the 142nd's convoy. "God-damn," trooper Beaudoin shouted as she tumbled from her truck; "They're firing at us." A moment later she realized that she had been hit. The cause of the blast is still uncertain. It hardly matters. Cindy Beaudoin's leg was gone; shrapnel had torn her abdomen. Three hours later she was in a medivac helicopter headed for the rear. It wasn't soon enough; after just 8 days in country, Cindy died during the flight. There is, in war and death, a grim equality.


 

 

With everyone working through so many challenges in light of the pandemic – we hope that you and your loved ones are healthy, and that you are managing through it all.

With our team members, we created a Virtual Care Package in the hopes that – for just a moment – it lets you escape. You can listen to music, follow a great recipe, and more. Here is our message to you: https://youtu.be/bh78LwglMeg

Galactic's Spotify Playlist

When we need a pick-me-up, we turn to music. So, just for you, we've created a playlist of all our team members' favorite songs.

 

Team Member Cookbook

Here is a collection of our team members' go-to healthy recipes for you to create at home.

 

Virtual Connections

Thanks to technology, we can still have a virtual adventure, connect with others, and immerse ourselves in culture. Here are our top explorations online today.

 

Galactic's Virtual Backgrounds

We can't deny our wanderlust is strong right now. Use these virtual backgrounds, taken by our team members, as a way to transport you to a magical place.

 

Insights & Tips

If you need a little motivation to get you through the day, check out these resources full of tips to help you be your happiest you.

 

 

 

 

According to a Gallup survey, about 43% of US workers already work remotely some or all of the time. The global spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, is affecting our everyday lives thus now more than ever, more people are working from home. The distractions of home, along with the isolation that often comes with remote working, can cause you to lose focus.  Here are some tips to make working from home a success.

 

Reward Yourself

Find ways to push through each task so that you are focused on meeting deadlines. For example, allow yourself your favorite candy bar or snack for completing a task successfully. One of the best motivations is to end your day on time each day. This can be done if you stay focused and stay productive.

 

Minimize Distractions

If possible, set up a workspace that is separate from your home space. Creating physical boundaries will make it easier for you to “feel” like you are at work. Try to avoid certain areas of your house like the bedroom, so that you know when you’re in “work mode” and when you are not. Don’t answer the doorbell unless it’s work-related and only answer necessary phone calls. For some people, dressing like they are going to work also helps set the mental tone.

 

Plan Ahead

Before you even start checking your emails, organize your day, including when to take breaks. Create to-do lists and set goals for the day and the week. Schedule one-on-one meetings with your boss weekly and with other team members at regular times so everyone can stay connected. It’s important to make yourself available even if you aren’t in the office. Also, this is a great time to find out when you're at your most productive so that you can carry out complex tasks during those parts of the day. 

 

Working from home is a balancing act. You have to learn what works for you and how to manage the challenges that come with it. If you have found yourself working from home during this crazy pandemic we hope these tips will help maintain your productivity.

 

 

 

By Tanya DeBow

 

Some people are naturally homebodies, but there are some of us who persistently feel the need to be on the move, always itching for a change, needing to constantly be in new surroundings and soak in new experiences. This is often referred to as having the “travel bug” and for those of us infected with this mythological microbe, current events are making us clamor to find the right prescription for relief.

 

Travel writer Pico Iyer is quoted as having said, “Travel is like love, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.” We may not be able to physically travel anywhere remote, exotic, glamorous, or even just to the next town over at the moment, but that doesn’t mean we have to turn into stagnant zombies on our living room couches.

 

So put on your best pajamas, grab a drink and a bag of popcorn, and turn up the volume on any or all of these shows that will provide you with existential entertainment along with a taste of travel and let you vivre la vie de voyage albeit vicariously.

 

The Blue Planet (2001 – 8 episodes)

Watch on Hulu

 

Dive into a spectacular underwater nature documentary narrated by Sir David Attenborough. This breathtaking series took almost five years to make and included nearly 200 filming locations. As most of the ocean environment still remains a mystery, the production team had to overcome many challenges. Filming in the open ocean proved difficult, required the use of special submersibles, and over 400 days of filming produced no viable footage. After all was said and done, however, some new-to-us animal behaviors were exposed for the first time, the research resulted in a few new discoveries to science, and you can now explore the enigmatic unknown depths of the ocean from the comfort of your home.

 

Planet Earth (2006 – 11 episodes) & Planet Earth II (2016 – 6 episodes)

Watch on Amazon Prime or Hulu

 

Often considered an unofficial sequel to “The Blue Planet”, this award-winning series is also narrated by Sir David Attenborough, and is just as fascinating. Climbing out of the waters and showcasing various terrestrial habitats, each episode focuses on a specific environment and its native plants and animals. Otters in Southeast Asia, Tibetan foxes, leopards in Mumbai, Ethiopian ibex, monkeys in Jodhpur, and many, many others are featured along with magnificent vistas and stunning landscapes.

 

Our Planet (2019 – 8 episodes)

Watch on Netflix

 

Earth just can’t get enough Attenborough. This docuseries is also narrated by the dulcet-toned knight and takes armchair travelers from the North American prairies to the Arctic tundra and from the Central African deserts to the deepest of our Earth’s oceans. The series was created with two purposes: to celebrate the planet on which we live, and to be made aware of the interferences and threats that have violated its ecosystems. The message is sent and received via the program’s venerable awe and astonishing visuals. Be warned: this intriguing series may stoke your wanderlust fires and make you want to get out there to experience the wonders of our world, but this is as close as you’re probably going to be able to get for a while. The good news is that it’s pretty darn close to the real thing.

 

Tales By Light (2015-2018)

Watch on Netflix

 

This inspiring docuseries follows professional Australian and North American photographers and filmmakers as they journey around the world, delving into the lives of indigenous people from little-known places, or exploring the habitats of endangered species on land and in the ocean. They tell powerful stories of flora and fauna, mysterious cultures, global social issues, and the struggles of travel through their efforts to capture a single photograph that will speak to your soul. Experience the world in a new light through the lens of these experts.

 

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (2013-2018)

Watch on Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix

 

Over the course of 12 seasons, Anthony Bourdain travels the world showcasing various cultures and cuisines of lesser-known places such as Paraguay, Madagascar, Nigeria, and Sri Lanka. Some episodes feature American cities such as Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angeles, and some cover multiple areas of whole states such as New Mexico and Montana. Bourdain, often described as the “bad-boy” or “renegade” celebrity chef, provides a unique take on travel where he doesn’t just focus on food, but gives us insights to the cultures, the current political struggles, and the everyday experiences of the local inhabitants.

 

Lost Cities with Albert Lin (2019 – 6 episodes)

Watch on Amazon Prime or Vudu

 

Explorer and award-winning scientist Albert Lin searches for the world's most famous lost cities and unexcavated civilizations in this fascinating series produced by National Geographic. Buried Knights Templar caves in Israel, El Dorado in the jungles of Colombia, and ancient, forgotten island cities in Micronesia are a few of the legends featured. Archaeologists, historians, and other experts work with Lin to resurrect these mythological cities still hidden beneath the earth, learn the origins of the legends, and discover the current reality of those places. Utilizing high-tech equipment and with a knack for storytelling, Lin is on a mission to uncover and resolve mysteries at some of the most extraordinary sites of antiquity.

 

Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern (2006-2018)

Watch on Hulu or FoodNetwork

 

Chef and food writer Andrew Zimmern navigates around the world in pursuit of unusual native delicacies and surprising regional indulgences in an attempt to discover the most bizarre foods a location has to offer. Some of the places Zimmern features include Ecuador, Iceland, Australia, the Philippines and even Texas - because not all “bizarre” foods are found in remote exotic locations. With a strong sense of curiosity and evidently an even stronger digestive system, Zimmern provides colorful descriptions of the taste and texture of the foods he discovers, oftentimes including a short history of the dish as well. Unlike Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods does focus more on local cuisine than culture, but there are still great lessons to be learned from throwing away inhibitions and living in the moment.

 

Dark Tourist (2018 – 8 episodes)

Watch on Netflix

 

Significantly less mainstream than a traditional travelogue, the Dark Tourist docuseries takes a deep dive into lesser-known cultures and traditions around the world. From nuclear disaster sites like Fuskushima to a voodoo festival in Nigeria, smart storytelling and a different off-the-beaten-path approach to travel make this series stand out. New Zealand-based traveler and journalist David Farrier visits unusual and sometimes dangerous tourism spots in Asia, Europe, Africa, and more to pursue his fascination with all things macabre and morbid, and to investigate why the human psyche can often gravitate towards the grim, gritty, and gruesome.

 

Somebody Feed Phil (2018-present)

Watch on Netflix

 

Phil Rosenthal, producer/creator of Everybody Loves Raymond, exudes warm and fuzzy travel feels in this highly binge-able series that will take you to Cape Town, Venice, Saigon, and more. Phil’s upbeat and infectious energy can only serve to improve morale right about now, and his positive outlook rubs off on everyone he meets. He explores places, interviews people, and experiences local life with guileless child-like curiosity but by no means comes across as mindless or ineffectual. On the contrary, Phil’s engaging whimsy and quick wit keep the show entertaining and amusing, and often cause the viewer to wonder just what hijinks he will get up to in the next episode.

 

Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father (2017-present)

Watch on Netflix

 

British stand-up comedian Jack Whitehall takes his father Michael on a journey where they experience a series of adventures, mishaps, and escapades from two very different perspectives. The freewheeling son and his straitlaced father create a dichotomous duo intent on strengthening their bond despite their differences. As they make their way across various continents and visit several countries, it’s the moments of blossoming connection between the two that make the show really worth watching.

 

Expedition Unknown (2015-present)

Watch on Hulu or The Discovery Channel

 

With a degree in archaeology and an obsession with legendary mysteries, host Josh Gates is passionately driven by curiosity and on a mission for answers. Expedition Unknown chronicles his global adventures as he searches for evidence and investigates lost cities, buried treasures, iconic unsolved events, and other puzzling stories. Armed with a quick wit and a thirst for action, Gates begins by interviewing key eyewitnesses and uncovering recent developments in the story before immersing himself in a detailed hands-on exploration. Whether he's trekking through the dangerously remote Siberian landscape in search of answers at Dyetlov Pass, diving in Namibia's Lake Otjikoto for WWI treasures, or traipsing across the English countryside looking for clues to verify if King Arthur of Camelot truly existed or not, each expedition leads him one step closer to the truth.

 

Carmen Sandiego (2019-present)

Watch on Netflix

 

This animated action-adventure series is quite the throwback for many GenXers. We got some of our first lessons in geography from the globetrotting, trenchcoat–wearing, mysterious master thief. Kids today, both in age and at heart, can now once again travel along with the title character as she navigates around the world in her Robin-Hoodesque capers thanks to the new Netflix reboot of the series. There is plenty of educational value here for everyone, as well as stellar animation and intriguing entertainment. A new interactive choose-your-own-adventure style show, called Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not to Steal, was also recently released on Netflix and provides endless diversion as you (and sure, the kids too) help Sandiego fight off V.I.L.E. – the Villains International League of Evil.

 

Bon voyage!

 

 

Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico’s victory at the Battle of Puebla. Here are 15 mouthwatering recipes from Bon Appétit which you can create to spice up Cinco de Mayo in your own kitchen. So mix up a batch of margaritas or grab a bottle of Topo Chico and let your culinary creations begin!

 

Mezcal-Marinated Fajitas

 

 

Pan con Tomatillo  

 

Party Posole Rojo

 

Cinco Leches Cake

 

Contramar’s Red and Green Grilled Snapper

 

Winter Squash and Short-Rib Enchiladas

 

Skirt Steak Tostadas with Cashew Salsa and Red Cabbage Slaw

 

Loaded Black Bean Nachos with Red and Green Salsas

 

Salted Watermelon Juice Margarita

 

Jamón-Wrapped Spanish Tortilla with Piquillo Relish

 

Grilled Pork Tenderloin in Charred-Chile Adobo

 

Shrimp Tostadas with Herbed Mojo de Ajo Slaw

 

Tex-Mex-Style Beef Enchiladas

 

Chilaquiles Casserole

 

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Raw Green Mole

 

 

 

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