Well Happy Canada Day and happy Friday, reader-friends! Can you believe it’s time for another Month in Review post?
It seems like just yesterday I was welcoming the beginning of June. But, here we are. Let’s take a look back at the month that was June.
June was a good month; we travelled a bit, we were home for a bit–it was the perfect balance.
Our first trip of the month was a whirlwind, less than 48-hour journey up to Manchester and Leeds, England, where I’m pretty sure we spent more time sitting on the runway than actually out in the towns. Given that we were only there for a short time we weren’t able to see, explore or do as much as we’d have like (or at all really).
About a week after our return, we were up and off to Belgium. Over the course of five-days, we rode trains and buses throughout Belgium, visiting charming and quaint towns like Bruges and Ghent, and then making our way up to Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Aside from a few days of epic rain, it was amazing! We loved our trip and I can’t wait to share more details with you soon (i.e, next week).
- Manchester, England
- Leeds, England
- Bruges, Belgium
- Ghent, Belgium
- Rotterdam, Netherlands
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Brussels, Belgium
Distance Travelled: 6169 km
- Your Guide to Eight Days in Central Europe: Prague to Budapest
- Exploring the North Coast of Mallorca: A Petite Adventures Road Trip
- My Travel Bucket List: Bratislava
- The Best of Madrid in 24 Hours or Less!
- The Best Parks in Madrid
Top Instagram Posts
My antique iPhone (I’m still rocking a 4) and technology conspired against me, so I was kept pretty much silent on my favourite social media platform throughout the month. It was frustrating, but when I was finally able to post a few snaps I was so excited. Here’s what I was able to share this month:
What I Read
June was a fantastic month for reading. Thanks to a few long flights and train rides, and a few short reads I was able to crush six titles getting me just four books away from my goal of reading 18 books in 2016. Four books in six months, I’ve got this.
I started off the month by finishingModern Romance. As I mentioned last month, Modern Romance is comedian Aziz Ansari’s look into love and dating in the digital age, and how everything has changed with the advent and introduction of smartphones, dating apps, websites, etc. The book was really interesting; it’s crazy to look at all the ways technology has changed our lives and behaviours in such a short amount of time.
I’d started reading Spark Joy aaaaages ago, but wasn’t able to finish it before the library selfishly took it back (eReaders, they make that three-week limit non-negotiable). Thanks to meticulous tracking in Goodreads I knew exactly where to pick up when I was able to access a copy again.
Spark Joy is Marie Kondo’s guide to decluttering your life (you’ve probably read about it in articles where it’s been referred to as the KonMari Method). In her book, Kondo advises readers to go through their homes systematically and hug each item to see if it sparks joy within them. If so, keep it; if not, get rid of it.
While I am totally onboard with the idea of not having more possessions that we need and living without clutter, I had a hard time getting onboard with the hug each item (including t-shirts) to see if it sparked joy. I was able to take a few points away from the book, but I think overall, I won’t be subscribing to the KonMari Method.
The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do
I honestly had no clue that The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck was written as a response to Marie Kondo’s first book, it was 100% a coincidence that I picked it up immediately after finishing Spark Joy, but that made it all the more enjoyable to read.
Sarah Knight’s book is a practical parody that aims to help readers declutter their lives from toxic people, bad thoughts, and things that don’t make you happy. If you’re anything like me and you give waaaay too many f*cks, this is a book for you. It’s short, sweet and blunt, and I devoured it in less than two days. I still give way too many f*cks, but not as many as before #progress.
168 Hours is a book that looks at time, where it goes, and how we can use it better. As per Goodreads: “168 Hours is a fun, inspiring, practical guide that will help men and women of any age, lifestyle, or career get the most out of their time and their lives.”
168 Hours is a book I liked, in theory. At first, I couldn’t get over how much time we waste/don’t use–if we only spend 40 hours working and (ideally) 56 hours sleeping, what are we doing with the other 72 hours?! It really had me analysing some of my life (and TV) choices and making so many plans for how to be better come fall (obviously, summer is not the time for a life overhaul).
But as I said, I liked the book in theory. The idea of using all 168 hours and making them count is great and really something to keep in mind–we all have way more time than we think–I just found the book to be a little long and repetitive, which is saying a lot given that it was only 200ish pages. If this had been a long-form article instead of a book I would have given it a total endorsement.
What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding was recommended by Nikki of The Pin the Map Project, and I can’t thank her enough. This short travel memoir, written by TV writer Kristin Newman was hilarious. I so enjoyed living vicariously through her travels and love stories that took her to all corners of the globe. Reading this book was like talking about travels with a friend over coffee. It was fantastic, and one of those books that I was sad to finish.
Much like 168 Hours, I liked this book, in theory. In Big Magic, author Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame) encourages readers to live creatively, to not let fear or perfection stop them from doing something that they love. This is something I often struggle with, so this book seemed like it would totally be up my alley.
Except it wasn’t.
I don’t know what it was, but I just never clicked with Big Magic. It definitely had some amazing points, and I’ve totally adopted the mantra of done is better than perfect, but overall, I was disappointed with this read. Maybe that was the problem, I wanted to love it too much, but it just fell short for me.
Currently Reading: Nothing.
I finishedBig Magic just this morning and am without a title waiting on the backburner. Have you read anything lately? I’m all ears for recommendations!
July is going to be a busy month, separated into three parts. The first two weeks of the month will be spent in Madrid, where we’ll be focused on cleaning, decluttering, packing and wrapping up life in Madrid.
Mid-month, we press pause on the stress and anxiety associated with navigating a move in a country where you don’t speak the language, and we’re off to Sweden so I can attend my very first TBEX Conference. I’m over-the-moon excited to meet other bloggers, learn new skills and strategies, and to visit one of my all-time favourite cities.
Following the conference, we’re hopping on a train and zipping down to Copenhagen to explore (and see the Øresund Bridge, because I’m such a big fan of the show #nerdalert). This marks my first visit to Denmark and I’m very excited to have the opportunity to explore another Scandinavian country, and to eat all the salmon I can find.
We’ll spend a day and a half exploring the Danish capital and then it’s back to Madrid for a few days of packing, cleaning and negotiating.
And then, that’s it. It’s time to say goodbye to Madrid. Which is absolutely crazy, who would have thought that ten months would fly by so fast?! But, that’s a topic for another day.
Tell me, what does July have in store for you?
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