I had the idea of writing a post like this for a while and have loved reading some similar ones that fellow bloggers have published recently. I think sometimes it’s kind of nice to feel like you’re getting to know the person behind the blog a little more than you normally get to from the standard posts about what they’ve been up to recently. Travel bloggers can be especially guilty of this I think – writing just about adventures, itineraries and exciting places more than about the finer details of what else they get up to and enjoy doing.
As regular readers know I’m trying to include a few more personal posts in amidst the travel related ones, so this is another one for the list.
Currently Reading: Books
It’s taken a while to get into the habit of reading more while travelling, despite having resolved to do this for months, but I’m slowly getting better and better. One of the many things that holds me back is not being able to read proper books very often as they’re too heavy to carry around. They’re also extremely expensive unless you can find a hostel book swap – one recent purchase in Thailand was a fiver for a small paperback!
I’ve decided recently to abandon the love I was feigning for my kindle and to accept that I will never enjoy reading anything as much as an actual book which makes things more difficult. Whilst I’ve managed to pick up a couple of books recently, I hate then having to leave them behind in hostels as I’m a chronic re-reader and don’t like to think that I’m only going to be able to read a book once. I read ridiculously quickly (thanks English degree for your speed reading help), which normally means at least one more read is essential so I can pick up on everything I missed the first time around.
I’m just a nightmare when it comes to books and it’s really a miracle that I manage to read anything at all while travelling. I have read several decent books recently though and have another couple on the go that I wanted to share in this post.
The Woman in Cabin 10 – Ruth Ware
This is a quick read and a kind of cross between ‘chick lit’ (hate that term but don’t know how else to describe it) and a thriller. It’s set on a luxury cruise ship that’s making its way to see the Northern Lights in Norway but things get a little mysterious along the journey. I mainly enjoyed fantasising that one day I’d find myself on that kind of cruise but the storyline is fast paced and keeps you intrigued.
Tuning Out: My Quarter Life Crisis – Katrina Blowers
I picked this up randomly from a second hand bookshop in Phi Phi. Fun story – the shop was owned by a slightly eccentric lady and was full of cats. Apparently I was a source of amazing good luck for being the first customer of the day and the owner proceeded to pray and give thanks, stroking all of the books on the shelves, after I agreed to buy it at an extortionate price. Like the Woman in Cabin 10, it’s a bit fluffy, but a good holiday read. I do love to read about other people who made the insane decision to walk away from ‘successful’ lives to travel.
Milk & Honey – Rupi Kaur
I loved this. Surprising as whilst I like poetry books they don’t tend to be something I pick up. Rob had read good things and downloaded it for me (he’s such a love), and I decided to give it a go. I read it on the ferry between Phuket and Phi Phi and whilst I should have been admiring the scenery I couldn’t stop reading. It’s a compelling collection of poetry that’s far easier to read than I expected and the illustrations are an amazing addition.
The Beach – Alex Garland
One of my all time favourite travel movies, I decided it was time to give the book a go and have just read it in one day. It’s way better than the film, I absolutely loved it and am just sad that soon we will be leaving Thailand! We just visited the beach that featured in the film and had a brilliant day there, so it seemed like perfect timing.
Lost City of Z – David Grann
A more unusual choice I suppose, I first found out about the story behind this book when I was researching stories and legends about the Amazon jungle before we visited last year. Sounds strange yes but I chronically Wikipedia every country and area we visit for some reason and as we all know sometimes Wikipedia can throw up some unusual insights. It’s about an explorer from the early 20th century who is searching for a lost civilisation in the Amazon and actually went missing. There’s also a new film out about his adventures starring Robert Pattinson and Siena Miller (my absolute fave), which I can’t wait to see, but I wanted to read the book first and it was well worth the read.
Currently Reading: Blogs
I already shared my fave blogs in a previous post and whilst I wasn’t planning on adding any new ones to my reading list I’ve stumbled across a couple that I can’t help but keep going back to.
These are travel blogs primarily – discovered either through Facebook or through frantic researching of various countries we want to try and fit in over the next couple of months – and they are compulsive reading.
Brenna is a Canadian who has been travelling for 11 years! If I could travel for 11 years I think I’d be just about the happiest person on the planet. Lol. I’ve been following her instagram and watching instagram stories for a while, but spent a bit more time on her blog after a recent post on Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka which is somewhere we visited a few years ago.
We had no idea they treated their animals poorly so it was quite an eye opener. I’ve since found myself reading loads of other posts about everything from Bhutan to the Caribbean and love Brenna’s open and chatty writing style. Aside from her travel posts, the blog also includes plenty of more personal and lifestyle type posts which I also love reading.
I’m not sure why I find myself so drawn to Will’s blog – extreme budget travel and adventure travel isn’t necessarily my style (see recent post about being scared to travel to the Philippines!) – but I am loving it. He originally aimed to travel overland to Papua New Guinea, which is pretty awesome, and is still loosely en route and writing about his amazing adventures along the way.
Kind of like us, Will set out to travel for a while and to casually blog about it as he went, and it ended up becoming something more serious. His blog posts are fascinating and really inspiring when it comes to travelling off the beaten path and on a serious budget. It’s another one containing posts about Bhutan (my new bucket list destination) which is another thumbs up from me!