Three of Edith and Sébastian’s four children will go blind one day. Before that happens, the French-Canadian parents would love to give them as many visual memories as possible, so this week, we’ll catch up with a family in the throes of a year-long overseas adventure. Japan has also announced a major policy shift that will be taking effect in less than two weeks, and as well as unpacking that, we’ll watch a beautiful film on the importance of names and how they shape our heritage and identity. ✨
Japan to Fully Reopen Next Month 🎌
A nationwide travel discount program will also be launched.
On October 11, Japan will finally drop its remaining entry requirements for incoming passengers, allowing visa-free independent tourism after two-and-a-half years of strictly controlled borders. A nationwide travel discount program will also be launched – which had been delayed due to the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made the long-anticipated announcement in New York late last week. “I hope many people will utilise them,” Kishida said of the discounts. “I want to support the travel, entertainment and other industries that have been struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.” Um, yes please – where do we sign up?!
Le Monde Plein Les Yeux: The World Full of Eyes
“I’m not going to show [my daughter] an elephant in a book; I'm going to take her to see a real elephant.”
Retinitis pigmentosa is a condition people can be born with that will eventually lead to vision loss and blindness. When 11-year-old Mia, seven-year-old Colin and five-year-old Laurent were diagnosed with it, their parents – who are armed with the privilege of being well resourced – decided to hit the road for a whole year. “I thought, 'I'm not going to show [my daughter] an elephant in a book; I'm going to take her to see a real elephant,’" explains the children’s mother, Edith. “And I'm going to fill her visual memory with the best, most beautiful images I can.” The family are documenting their journey on a Facebook page called ‘Le Monde Plein Les Yeux’, and are currently in Bali marvelling at the rice paddies. 🤩
What’s in a Name?
‘What’s in a Name’ will give you plenty to ponder.
“[My name] represents to me the struggle and the sacrifice going back generations in my family, whether that’s through migration and what they gave up so I could have a better life, or whether it’s to do with the long tradition of fighting for justice in Sikh history,” explains Amardeep. In this fantastically insightful short film, a handful of Brits with non-western names celebrate expression, heritage and culture – as well as share the challenges they’ve encountered in their lifetimes. Whether you can relate directly or indirectly to the six subjects interviewed, ‘What’s in a Name’ will give you plenty to ponder.
AROUND THE WORLD
When the CEO of PlanetArk, who is vegetarian, flew Qantas from Adelaide to Sydney the other week, he was horrified when he was offered the same in-flight meal as everyone else – a chicken pie. “I’m informed that #Qantas no longer serve vegetarian food on domestic flights (except Perth),” he tweeted. “Crew said ‘one size fits all’- Joyce has really screwed @Qantas”. After enormous public backlash, Qantas has now reinstated its vegetarian offerings on all domestic flights, increasing the options available and also adding fruit. 🤭
After Hong Kong eased many of its COVID-19 travel restrictions (included hotel quarantine), the number of outbound flights absolutely skyrocketed, with bookings increasing by 400 percent. The city’s health chief has said that at this stage of the pandemic, Hong Kong still can’t remove all of its travel restrictions, but thanks to decreasing community transmission, there is room to relax local social distancing rules.
Four European countries have issued a joint statement restricting travel to Russian citizens on the basis of security and moral grounds: Etsonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. It’s the first move like this ever imposed in the EU, and comes off the back of a wider discussion on whether Russian citizens should be able to participate in everyday life while their army wreaks a sickening war on Ukraine.