Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Wanderlust Weekly #4

Welcome to The Wanderlust Weekly, your spot to read up on travel news, views and competitions every 7 days. 

Top Travel Posts
After spending much of this week battling crazy weather, I  enjoyed reading posts that transported me to warmer places. In particular, I enjoyed Santorini Greece, You Will Fall in Love with This Island on theplanetD. (The photos will actually warm your skin).

I took a blast to the past in Video Obsession: A 1958 Trip to San Francisco on 7x7.

Also worth checking out is a trip through incredible scenery When in..Valley of Fire by Taylor Duvall. It made me want to get my hiking boots (and a plane ticket to Vegas).

Sunday, 22 March 2015

The Wanderlust Weekly #3

Welcome to The Wanderlust Weekly, your chance to catch up with travel news, views and competitions every 7 days. 

Top Travel Posts
This week I've been reading about the tough reality of travel, including the harrowing My Epically Horrible Cambodian Nightbus Adventure on Travels Around Asia. It  actually made me shiver!

Another post that grabbed my attention was I Can't Commit to a Postcode, Let Alone a Relationship over on World of Wanderlust. 

Ever wanted to go to New York and do things that are a bit different? 5 Weird and Wonderful Things to do in New York on The Tech Gypsy has you covered. The Accomplice Show and the Museum of Sex both sound hilarious!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

The Wanderlust Weekly #2

Welcome to the Wanderlust Weekly, your place for travel news, deals and competitions every Sunday. 

Top Travel Posts of the Week

On Mapping Megan this week, there's a fascinating interview with Kerry Kijewski, a blind traveller. Kerry shares her travel stories and describes her experiences gained through her other senses. It will inspire you and make you think about how much you pay attention when you travel. It's also worth checking out Kerry's travel blog.

You should also read the guide to Shopping the Souks in Morocco on Lauren on Location. I loved the mix of gorgeous, jewel-like photos of the markets and practical advice.

Friday, 13 March 2015

February Reads & Reviews

In January, I started my challenge to read 52 books this year. Unfortunately, my marathon training is taking up so much of my week, I don't have as much time for reading as I used to. I've been trying to fit in reading in when I can, and managed to read three books in February. Here are my reads and reviews:

Tracks - Robyn Davidson
Rating: 5.5/10

February's choice for #TravelBookChat on Twitter was Tracks by Robyn Davidson. The author's story is of her quest to train up camels and travel with them across the Australian outback in the 1970s. It's an interesting book, and I learned loads of unexpected things about the outback and camels!

Davidson is an unusual narrator; her style is bold and reflects how the niceties were stripped away from her on her journey. Sometimes I found it hard to relate to her, as I didn't always understand why she had undertaken the journey (there's not much information about this in the book). I  didn't get why she decided to go across Australia with camels, given that she had no knowledge about them beforehand.

One of the things I found most difficult to read about was the treatment of animals in the book. You might think I'm soft and that it's part of how camels are trained, but hurting them seemed cruel to me. Davidson obviously cared for the animals that accompanied her on her trip, but I found it difficult to read about the way they were handled.

But there are also a lot of insightful thoughts peppered throughout the book. I liked it because it made me think about why we take risks, how we seek out adventures in the every day, and what it means to be in a routine.

The book tapped into my need to be strong, get out of my comfort zone and go on adventures. I'm just not convinced that this type of adventure is the one for me. 

Overall, I found this book a bit of a mixed bag and I probably won't re-read it.

Read if: you're interested in Australia, camels or feisty women breaking the mould.

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins listened to on audiobook
Rating: 7/10

This book is a bit like a cross between Gone Girl and Before I go to Sleep (but with a more satisfying ending than either). In the Girl on the Train, we jump around in time to see events from the perspective of three different female characters. 

One of those characters is the girl on the train. She spends her time commuting and looking out the window at places that used to be part of her old life, before things fell apart. She sees things that play a part in a possible crime, but she doesn't have the most reliable memory and often suffers from blackouts. This makes for a gripping story full of intrigue and suspense, as the character is sometimes unable to tell what is real, meaning the reader doesn't know what to believe.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and have recommended it to my mum, who loves a good thriller. I was disappointed that I figured out the crucial plot point early on in the book, but it was a lot less predictable than most stories of the same genre.

This book worked well on audio book. The different narrators in the story were read by different voice actors. 

Read if: you want to know what everyone is talking about, or enjoy a good pace driven thriller.

Remember the Alamo
Rating: 7/10

I've been interested in American history for as long as I can remember. I enjoy it because so much happened in such a short space of time. This book is like taking a fast ride through American history and seeing the links between events and how the country has changed since it started. Each key event is explained clearly and concisely, and this is a book I can see myself going back to to check something in future.

As well as the key dates you'd expect, the book is also peppered with interesting facts (e.g. the Star Spangled Banner is actually set to the tune of an old British drinking song). 

There are also sweet little illustrations on many of the pages, although sometimes I think they could have included a photograph (e.g. of Martin Luther King).

I would have liked to have seen more of though is information on indigenous people and their history and role in shaping the country. There was some information, but more could definitely have been included.

Read if: you like history books but wish they could be a bit more concise, or you're about to go on a quiz show.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

The Wanderlust Weekly #1

I'm starting a weekly round-up of the best travel news and updates from the last 7 days. It will feature the best travel posts, photos and deals of the week, and anything else that has grabbed my attention.

Favourite travel posts this week
I love the idea that you can take inspiration from around the world and incorporate it into your life, such as this post on a Colourful Cinco de mayo wedding in Liverpool via Rock n Roll Bride.

I enjoyed reading about Emma's travel style on Adventures of a London Kiwi, featuring markets, exploring and luxuriously eating pastries in bed. This gave a nice insight into how Emma chooses to spend her travel time.

Travel bloggers should check out 9 Strategies to Manage Your Travel Blog While Traveling via The Planet D. I've been thinking about this for an upcoming trip and found this post really helpful.

Wanderlust photo of the week
This unbelievable photo is from Go See Write's appropriately entitled Three things that make a great travel photograph. I want to step inside this photo right now!

Travel competitions round up 
Is wanderlust burning you up inside? Enter some of this week's best competitions:

Win a holiday to Vietnam via Lonely Planet  (closes 15 March)

Win a weekend break to Champneys Spa via Look magazine  (closes 10 March)

Win a £200 hotel voucher via The Guardian (closes 4 March)

Win two flights anywhere in the Cathay Pacific Network via the Daily Telegraph (closes 29 March)

Win a French five star experience via Sainsbury's Magazine (closes 6 April)

Win a Panasonic Lumix G6 camera to take on your trip via Pommie Travels

Top travel deals
My favourite deals this week include trips to Florida, Canada and Iceland.

Florida 14 nights inc. flights and accommodation from £499, Broadway Travel via Travel Zoo  

Return flights to Canada from £329 via Canadian Affair

Northern lights and blue lagoon trip from £299 via Iceland Air

What have you seen this week that's made you want to grab your passport?

Friday, 27 February 2015

FP Travel Misadventures: Help Me Love Paris

I know so many people who adore Paris with all their hearts. They go glossy eyed at the thought of the Eiffel Tower and gladly recollect their wonderful experiences in the City of Romance. Sadly, I'm not one of those people. At least, not yet.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

The Liebster Award: Travel Edition

The lovely Robyn from The Tech Gypsy nominated Fleeting Planet for the Liebster Award (thank you, Robyn)! The Liebster Award means I'm asked to answer a series of questions, and am able to nominate others to receive the award.

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