Travel Abroad…?

I’ve always wanted to travel… but how do you pick where to go when there are so many interesting places to visit?

Travel abroad Pic 01 by Casey Carlisle

I WANT THEM! ALL THE PLACES!

That is pretty much what my head screams when I think about booking my next holiday. Truth be told – I’m not that much of a big traveller. Overseas that is. I’ve explored just about all of Australia, but my only overseas trip was on a cruise for my 40th birthday after finally been given the all-clear from the doctors and actually having enough funds for a holiday off the continent.

So now that I’ve broken the seal, taken my first trip, what is holding me back from doing it again?

Well, life I guess. Mum passing away. Selling my house and relocating. But that is all done with now, so the only thing I can think of is fear.

FEAR.

Travel abroad Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

When did I get so scared to take on the unknown. Okay, I’m not cowering in a corner in a pool of my own making, but am uncomfortable to leave the cushy place I’ve finally been able to create. So much of my life recently has been dealt with uncertainty. But I think losing Mum has put the fear of losing everything in me, and I’ve fallen into the security of the familiar and routine.

It’s time to put away childish things.

So next year it’s time to re-visit my Bucket List and look at another adventure over the great blue yonder. At this point in time it looks like Canada and Alsaska. Maybe some other place on the way back home after that. A cold climate may not sound appealing to some, but I live on the Sunshine Coast – its sunscreen and beach all day, all the time. Plus, I love layering clothes, snuggling up in front of the fire with a good book. So it’s settled.

My dream cruise would be to the Antarctic. Imaging floating past polar bears and penguins, catching glimpses of whales… the delicate hues of blue and white in cliffs of ice. I want to see that.

So 2016 is going to be the year I get back on track with my Bucket List and start stepping outside of my comfort zone. I’ve had my year of fear and loss and it’s time to live again!

What is on your Bucket List for 2016?

Travel abroad Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Bucket List by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Traipsing through the City of Lights with tenderness…

Anna and the French Kiss Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Contemporary

No. of pages: 401

From Goodreads:

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

Page border by Casey Carlisle

France, the City of Love for a contemporary romance: there’s not much you could do to balls that up right? And well, Stephanie Perkins did not disappoint with Anna and the French Kiss. It’s not my favourite contemporary by far, but this novel was cute, and undeniably heart-warming – like a sigh on a warm summer breeze.

I liked how clueless Anna was when she first arrives in Paris: no idea about the language or what is going on with her new friends. Perkins captures that disorientation we all get when being introduced to a group of people who have been friends for a while – they have their own body language, inside jokes and patterns which are so foreign (being from another country or not). At times Anna annoyed me; she was broody or flighty that screamed immature… but then I had to remember this was a teenager and told myself to settle the heck down. But it was fun walking in Anna’s shoes for a while, especially meeting Etienne.

Anna and the French Kiss Book Review Pic 04 by Casey CarlisleEtienne was equal parts dweeby and aloof – that frustrating combination that most boys have at that age which seem to infuriate girls… it’s that whole Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus thing, right?

There is so much misinterpretation and assumption, which makes for good storytelling, and I loved it for the most part. Although that was one of the aspects of Anna that urked me – if only she were a bit more direct.

Stephanie’s writing style is breezy, introspective and lightly comedic. Even though it is around 400 pages, it is something you could read in a day. I can’t say there were too many surprises – with romance novels it’s usually pretty clear the coupling will end up together – and that’s why we read them. We all want a bit of swooning and wooing and happily ever afters.

This is a novel I’d happily recommend to my friends, especially while chilling next to the pool 🙂  A great introduction to Perkins and her writing – am looking forward to picking up Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After.

Overall feeling: magical and adorable

Anna and the French Kiss Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Anna and the French Kiss Book Review Pic 05 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.