4 Books That Will Give You Serious Wanderlust

My teachers always told me I should read more books since I wanted to travel the world so badly. At first I didn’t understand what they meant, “how can reading make me travel?” But now I understand. Good books will take you completely out of the world you’re currently living, into a whole new place. Here are four books that will help you travel around the world.


Us by David Nicholls
In the middle of the night, Douglas Petersen’s wife, Connie, informs him that she doesn’t want to be married to him anymore–actually, she isn’t sure if she does or not. When their ill-timed family vacation appears, Douglas believes this is his opportunity to mend his relationship with both his wife and his son, Albie. Nicholls characters are rich with emotional baggage as they travel through the many sights and sounds of Europe. Heart-breaking, relatable and a relationship where no one is to blame. You’ll see yourself in every character–drinking in Paris, watching tourists in Italy–and be rooting for the family until the very end.

Image by Freut Cake

The Vacationers by Emma Straub
Warm, funny, and set in the beautiful Balearic island of Mallorca, the Post family’s vacation is one that is full of secrets, jealousy, and family members that push you past your limit. Frank and Jim Post are celebrating their anniversary and trying to make amends for a rocky patch in their marriage; their son Bobby and his much older girlfriend need money–fast; and their daughter Sylvia is desperate to lose her virginity to her Spanish tutor. While the setting will draw you in, the characters will have you devouring the book in hours.


Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
This little Italian coastal town named Porto Bergogna will entice you with its beauty and charm–something Walter is so good at capturing. Throughout the story, you are transported back and forth in time where the author captures the small stories of guests in a small hotel in the village. You find out what happens to each of the guests and how their lives and the lives of so many others were changed directly by each character. The novel is truly fascinating and you won’t want to put it down.


An Idiot Abroad by Karl Pilkington
Oh, Karl Pilkington. Because the man is best friends with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, he is bound to be pushed out of his comfort zone and let’s just say he gets pushed faaaar out of his comfort zone. The stories in the autobiography coincide with the TV show, where Gervais and Merchant paid for Pilkington to travel to the seven wonders of the world much to Pilkington’s dismay. The adventures and situations he gets up to will have you crying with laughter as well as his very Northern England-look at other cultures.


To Do List For 2016

I don’t want to call these resolutions because I hate that word and no one ever follows them anyway, but rather these are the things to cross off my list this year.


Turn 24

Blog once a week

Start the book that I’ve been wanting to write for three years

Go to London and Ireland

Buy nicer jeans

Figure out how to get paid to travel

Read 50 (new!) books

Minimize my wardrobe

Move to France

Get a massage

Finish translating Anna Gavalda’s collection of short stories

Figure out…things because life is too complicated to try and tackle

15 of My Favorite Feelings

Yesterday, I watched Essie Button’s video about 15 of her favorite feelings. It made me giggle and really wonder about things that make me feel good. Sometimes you need to take a step back and think of good things when life is becoming a bit confusing and complicated.

1. When I take my bra off when I get home at the end of the day. This just has to be a universal feeling for women everywhere, right? When I take off that underwire contraption that makes my boobs nice and perky after work, it’s like they are taking a nice long, deep sigh.

2. Peeing after holding it in for a long time. Another universal feeling. I have one story that sticks with me about needing to pee desperately and that is when I got a little bit wasted in London at 19. I got on the tube just slightly needing to go, not too horrible, but as I sat there with the train moving back and forth the urge developed quickly. I was shaking my leg and even thought about just pissing in the corner because of how desperate I was. My stop wasn’t for another 20 minutes and when the doors finally opened, I ran to the grimiest toilets in the station. Best feeling ever releasing that. TMI? I thought so.

3. Completing a task that has taken me forever to do. For the few months, I have been translating a collection of short stories. I’m on the final story and getting to the end is such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

4. Talking to someone and you can tell they are genuinely interested in what you are saying. Sometimes, a lot of the time actually, I feel like I’m talking just to fill empty space and no one is really listening. But, when you are talking to someone and you can tell they are listening and you’re having a real conversation, that’s the best feeling in the world.

5. Popping your back. When you first wake up in the morning, turn over, and your whole back pops. This might possibly be the best feeling. Is that sad?

6. When my cat stretches and falls asleep at some weird angle. I have so much love for that little critter that I should be committed into an institution. She’s just so dang cute that I just want to snuggle up to her at all times.

7. Finally understanding something you’ve been struggling with. Especially math. Gosh, math was the worst thing ever.

8. Plucking that hair that’s just been teasing you for ages. This is totally TMI, but such a great feeling. Have you ever had a hair that just wasn’t on the surface, and you keep trying to pluck it but nothing comes and then finally, you pluck and out comes the hair! HOW SATISFYING IS THAT?!

9. Reading a really good book. Nothing really compares to reading a book that you’ve been wanting to read for a really long time, and it turns out to be wonderful. I was unsure of how I’d feel after reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, but I was pleasantly surprised. Follow me on GoodReads.

10. Finding the perfect pair of black jeans. I’m a sucker for a good pair of black jeans, but for some reason I always have a difficult finding the right pair (if anyone has any suggestions, please leave them in the comments!). My favorite pair of black jeans by UO fade so quickly even after cold washing and turning them inside out in the washing machine, so finding a pair that doesn’t fade fast and fits my body well is a great feeling.

11. An old couple holding hands just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Does any more need to be said?

12. How magical everything feels around Christmas time. It must be the songs, or the snow, or the fact that I can watch Love Actually on repeat without judgment, but Christmas always feels so magical to me. Everyone is in such a great mood and it feels like nothing can go wrong, unless you’re Clark Griswald.

13. When the leaves start changing colors in the fall and you finally get to wear those chelsea boots that have been gathering dust in the back of your closet.

14. Traveling somewhere new. I love airports. I know a lot of people don’t, but I love the feeling of going somewhere new and seeing other people sitting around waiting for their flights. I love airplanes and flying over the clouds and the anticipation of landing in a new place I’ve never been before. That nervous, excited energy that bubbles up is such a wonderful feeling.

15. Rubbing your eyes so much that you can’t stop because for some reason it has become addictive and you have to force yourself to stop rubbing.


I haven’t been on GoodReads in awhile and today I decided to update my page and set my 50 book challenge for the year. If you’re interested in following me and what I’m currently reading, click here. Below are a few of my favorite quotes that I’ve found in books throughout the past few months. I definitely haven’t been reading as much as I’d like, but I hope that will change soon. What are some of your favorite quotes?


“I wouldn’t exactly describe her as strictly beautiful. She knocked me out, though…I mean when she was talking and she got excited about something, her mouth sort of went in about fifty directions, her lips and all. That killed me”
J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

“I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature. My attachments are always excessively strong.”
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (I know this is said by the most narcissistic character in the novel, but it’s still a good one.)

“May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.”
Tina Fey, Bossypants

“Kissing him last night at the pep rally had been like kissing an underpass.”
George Saunders, Tenth of December

“You’re beautiful, but you’re empty. No one could die for you.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

“I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.”
J.D. Salinger, Franny and Zooey

“At the bottom of her heart, however, she was waiting for something to happen. Like shipwrecked sailors, she turned despairing eyes upon the solitude of her life, seeking afar off some white sail in the mists of the horizon. She did not know what this chance would be, what wind would bring it her, towards what shore it would drive her, if it would be a shallop or a three-decker, laden with anguish or full of bliss to the portholes. But each morning, as she awoke, she hoped it would come that day; she listened to every sound, sprang up with a start, wondered that it did not come; then at sunset, always more saddened, she longed for the morrow.”

“She wanted to die, but she also wanted to live in Paris.”
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary