Tag Archives: reading

Can’t wait until the next big trip? Here’s how to avoid wasting the waiting time

Whether you’re counting down to a trip you’ve already planned, or just wishing you had a chance to go anywhere-but-here, it’s easy to overlook the things that are happening right now.

If we do that, however, we’re missing our life! Life isn’t made of only the big exciting trips and boring periods of waiting. It’s made of moments, big and small, that happen every day (even when it doesn’t feel like it).

The time will pass whether or not you enjoy what you’re doing – here are some ideas to make it count!

Be a tourist in your current town

Not only will this give you a chance to get out, do something fun and different, and help you appreciate where you are right now, it will give you ideas of things to do on your big trip too. When I recently played tourist in Seattle (the city I live in), I went on an architecture walking tour of a neighborhood where I’d never been before. It was super fun and interesting, and makes me realize I’d like to go on tours like that in other cities too.

Have a friend plan your day

No matter where you live, if someone else plans your day for you, you’ll likely do things you wouldn’t normally do, or do them in a way you wouldn’t normally do them. This can be great for creativity and help you enjoy new things about life.

Learn something related to your trip

If you have a trip on the calendar, or if you’re dreaming of one, you can bring a little of that adventure from the future into the present. Learn a language that will be useful for you to know, take a cooking class of cuisine from that area, or go to a seminar on topics like budgeting for travel, personal safety, or some other travel-related skill.

Adventure in your mind

“Reading is like travel, allowing you to exit your own life for a bit, and to come back with a renewed, even inspired, perspective.” –Laurie A. Helgoe

Read a book set in the place you want to go, or with a character doing the things you want to be doing. It’s not the same as being there or doing it yourself, but like so many readers will tell you, it’s nice to get away even in your mind. Who knows? Maybe it will even give you ideas of what to do for the real thing.

Hang out with friends (new and old)

One of the most interesting parts of travelling is that you get to meet a bunch of new and interesting people. One of the worst parts about travelling is that you can’t hang out with your friends at home. Take this time to spend time with the people you’ll be leaving behind, and capture the excitement of meeting new people by attending Meetups or other events in your area.

Enjoy the wait

When I travel, I often rush to do a lot of things every day, more than I might normally try to do (especially if I’m trying to make the most of a limited amount of time). This can be tiring, so it’s nice sometimes to just relax, appreciate being bored, and get rested so I can fully enjoy my upcoming plans.

*Got your own tips? How do you make sure you’re not wasting the waiting time?*


Reread my favorite book (Ella Enchanted) (2014)

Photo Credit: Kate Ter Haar via Flickr
Used unmodified under CC By 2.0 license

There’s so much more to a book than just the reading.
–Maurice Sendak

Every time I read this book, it’s like visiting a favorite place. Ella Enchanted (by Gail Carson Levine) was the book that first introduced me to retold fairy tales. When I read it the first time I didn’t recognize it as a Cinderella story until halfway through. When I did, what a great surprise!

I’ve reread this book almost every year, but I accidentally skipped the last year for some reason. I want to get back in the habit of rereading it yearly, like a mini-vacation for my brain. So, I added it to my first-ever summer bucket list!

I don’t really feel like doing a long book review, but if you want to know if you should read it, of course I’d recommend it. The writing is simple, so it’s a fast, entertaining read.

Elements of the story you may want to know when deciding if you should to add it to your reading list:

  • humor, drama
  • fairies, elves, gnomes, centaurs, other magical characters and themes
  • strong female lead, she’s smart and independent, but also has friends
  • strong male characters (no “dumb jock” or “useless men” stereotypes)
  • actually, just strong character development overall
  • the premise is that Ella has to obey everything she’s told to do
  • the plot is a twist on the Cinderella fairy tale
  • and from what I can tell of the movie plot (based on movie trailers and plot summary), the book’s plot is different from the movie’s

Based on how much I enjoy this book, I never saw the movie, because the trailers made it seem like a very different story, told in a silly way; but the book, while funny, is not roll-your-eyes silly. However, I’m willing to reconsider if any of you have seen the movie and read the book and think they’re similar.

Do you have a favorite book? What is it and why do you like it?
If it’s been made into a movie, have you seen the movie adaptation? What did you think?