Book Review: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild Book CoverThis wildly adventurous book by Cheryl Strayed is filled with hope and inspiration.

At first, I questioned whether I would like this book because it is a biography, and the idea of that genre of books seems dry to me. But, ultimately, I came to love this book because of its authenticity and the passion and emotion you can feel from the author telling her story.

If you have ever experienced a consistent series of unfortunate events, lost someone you love, or have ever felt like the world is against you (aka being a human being), you can relate to this book.

Strayed was able to instill faith and hope in me looking into the future by her reassurance that there is always light at the end of the tunnel and affirmation that amazing things do not just happen to people. Amazing things come with great struggle, require hard, tiring work, and are worth fighting for.

This is a great read in general, but I would especially recommend it for when you are in need of a pick-me-up or inspiration.

Side Note: Cheryl Strayed is originally from Minnesota and writes about her experiences as a Minnesotan and as a student at the U of M, which of course got me excited!

Is a gap year bad for your career?

Will this year of working abroad set me back for employment when I return to the U.S. this summer? This is a question I get asked a lot from my dad.

In my mind, I am living out a dream and goal, this is a unique experience that not many people say they have and I am continuing to show my writing skills through this website. So, no, this gap year is not setting me back for future employment possibilities.

However, since I am not a recruiter or an employer, I have no idea how my year of working abroad will be viewed on an application. I am hoping that my unique experience will set me apart, but maybe it will be seen as I haven’t been practicing my PR/Advertising/Marketing skills in a year.

Does anyone have any guidance, advice or experience in this situation? I have high hopes that this “gap” year will not set me back, but if it does, I want to be prepared.

Any feedback is appreciated! Thanks!

Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

 

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big_Little_Lies_CoverAfter reading Gone Girl, I thought that no other murder mystery book would be able to compare. I was wrong!

Moriarty’s writing style and the creative plot makes this one a page-turner. Little by little, the reader discovers clues to this murder mystery through flashbacks and snippets of police interviews.

The truth hits hard for these characters, and the reader can’t help but feel their pain each step of the way. Although the characters in this book are overly dramatic, which in my opinion, Moriarty purposely exaggerates the personalities and circumstances the characters are given for the reader’s enjoyment, are somehow all relatable in one way or another in the way they make decisions and rationalize.

You really can’t help but empathize with these characters, but you can’t help but judge them at the same time. All in all, I would highly recommend this book!

23 Countries, 23rd Birthday

At the beginning of 2018, I added “Visit 23 countries before my 23rd birthday” to my bucket list. And, I did it!

My 23rd birthday conveniently landed on a Saturday this year, and I got to celebrate it Santorini, Greece, number 23.

IMG_0636
Oia Sunset, Santorini, Greece, Mar. 2018

If I have not already made this crystal clear, I love traveling. So, being able to check this off my bucket list and being able to say “I visited 23 countries before my 23rd birthday” is a big deal for me.

I feel extremely grateful and blessed to have had the chance to even be able to make this goal and not to mention to be able to live the kind of lifestyle that allows me to travel as much as I do.

This accomplishment makes me so excited to see where life will take me next and for all the adventures I have ahead of me. 🙂

The list of 23 countries I have visited so far (in no particular order):

  1. USA
  2. Mexico
  3. Honduras
  4. The Bahamas
  5. Jamaica
  6. The Dominican Republic
  7. The Philippines
  8. Spain
  9. Portugal
  10. Switzerland
  11. Ireland
  12. England
  13. Italy
  14. France
  15. Germany
  16. Hungary
  17. The Czech Republic
  18. Poland
  19. The Netherlands
  20. Belgium
  21. Norway
  22. Sweden
  23. Greece

“γεια” from Greece!

What a tease!

Visiting a breathtaking, beautiful island with beautiful, sunny weather at the end of winter while Madrid is in the middle of a 10-day rain forecast really had me questioning if I should ever leave…

Santorini, Greece was so fun and different from the cities I have been visiting lately. The culture was so laid back, anywhere on the island you had an amazing ocean view, and the feeling of the warm sun instantly made me happy. Not to mention, every native we interacted with went above and beyond to make sure we were comfortable and getting the best experience possible.

Also, I got to experience this trip with my boyfriend and celebrated my 23rd birthday. So, I have zero complaints about this trip.

IMG_0510On our first day, we walked around the island to get a feel for our surroundings. We were able to walk around the city center and look out at the caldera view all in about five minutes. The island may have been small and compact but it was all you needed for a getaway in paradise.

The second day (my birthday) we rented an ATV for only 25 euros and saw the entire island. It. Was. Amazing!!

Again, although the island is small, there is really a lot to it. We saw the red beach in Akrotiri, visited the black sand beaches in Perissa, went on a winery tour and did a wine tasting at Santo Wines in Pyrgos, and ended the ATV adventure in Oia for sunset.

This trip left us craving warmer weather and a week-long stay on the island. My boyfriend and I promised each other and set a goal that we’d return for a week-long vacation next time in the Summer of 2020! Fingers crossed!