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Archive for February 2014

[Book Review] How to Travel the World on $50 a Day - Matt Kepnes

So, this book was in my to-read list for the longest time - as a big follower of nomadicmatt.com, I figured this would be a good way to get more travel-related information and how to save while traveling long term.

I was gravely disappointed.

I thought it was going to be full of new information that you wouldn't have read before from his (or other) travel blogs, but some of these tips are common sense, or would be known for people who have backpacked - even for some time.

Case and point - I think every chapter says - "ask your hotel/hostel for recommendations". I was thinking "Uhm I read this book to get your opinion on tips and recommendations, I don't really need you to tell me to ask the hotel/hostel people."

Also, I find that to really only travel the world on $50, it would entail a lot of eating in & cooking. While I do that sometimes when I travel, it is also fun to just walk around and eat in local food places and try new stuff.
The $50 budget would also mean trying to cut back on a lot of activities. Now why would I want to travel the world without checking out the sites or doing something new for the first time? Just not feasible for me.

This book would be perfect for a first time traveler who is not quite sure how much to save up for their first trip abroad, however for people who have managed to backpack around and survive, you'll probably just get bored reading this book.

Book was borrowed from Jacksonville Public Library.

On another note - I am wearing the shawl I bought from Cambodia and I swear to god, it still smells like Cambodia!! I miss Cambodia and backpacking now!!!

[Book Review] 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Summary from Goodreads:

Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.
In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.
The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.
Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/ bloke–about–town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous–though utterly romantic–results. But will she ever see him again?
Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes.

This is a cute, cute book. I never expected to pick it up when I was back home - well, because I have a rule back home that if it isn't available at a second hand book shop, I won't buy it. Since I've moved to America and knowing that the nearest district library is just two blocks away, and my boyfriend's apartment building is beside the main library, I decided to track down a copy and borrow it.

This was originally recommended by a good friend of mine, who has read it a few years back and said it was a good read - she was correct. From the summary, Ginny receives a package from her dead aunt, who tells her to travel to different places and do several tasks - all expenses paid, of course. Now who wouldn't want to do that, right? I sure would love that. Travel for free? Hey, I'm in!

Ginny goes to London, Edinburgh, Paris, Greece, and Denmark (did I miss any countries) while following the letters - although she did not stay long in many of the places, which bummed me a bit. I mean, why spend all that money just going from one place to another, right? But oh well, every person's travel itinerary is different, and that's hers.

So, what do I think about the book? It's wonderfully written, and I also love anything that involves travel (not sure I mentioned that above too). I also love how realistic it is about the hostel senarios and meeting other people on the road. Oh, and also losing your stuff - did I mention that I lost my camera when I was backpacking? Oh well. I did also get my fair share of horrible hostels that I stayed in, ahh those were the days.

So, overall, I would say - PICK UP THIS BOOK!

Book was borrowed from my local library (Jacksonville, FL - Main branch).

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