Bonus points to whoever got that reference. In-flight, in-train, or in-car entertainment is a big deal for me. I’m, unfortunately, not one of those people who can sleep anywhere, unlike Food, so I end up with my shoulder as a makeshift pillow while I juggle my 4+ tech devices to see which one will keep my interest longest. I have a MacBook, 2 phones, a Kindle, and an iPod, just for good measure. Oh, and two sets of earphones. My thought is you can never be over-prepared. Food thinks you can, but she also forgot a toothbrush on a recent trip, so which of us should be trusted?
I love reading. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that I’m a bookworm. Straight up. Not even closeted, just a bookworm. Loud and proud right here, baby. I have a shelf full of books in my flat and a Kindle. As if that’s not enough I have the Kindle app on both of my phones (which I highly recommend), and also a slew of classics downloaded in PDF format to my laptop. Each of my Kindles are open on a different book – I’ve hacked into my mom’s Amazon account so that I can read her books because I decided the ones on mine just weren’t enough. You can share books with up to two people at one time via the Kindle app or your Amazon account and you can also find about a couple hundred thousand books for free on there. Because the best things in life are very expensive, but the second best are absolutely free. Third best is a good pizza.
What I’m currently working on: A Song of Ice & Fire series by George R.R. Martin, the better version of Game of Thrones (not to knock the TV series, but the book is always best). The Alchemist by Paul Coelho, which, fittingly, is set partially in Spain and follows a boy who is essentially on a journey towards what he hopes is a treasure and/or his destiny. The Outlander series, via my mother, because who doesn’t love hot Scottish men and lots of romance? The Paris Wife, about Hadley Richardson, otherwise known as Ernest Hemingway’s wife, and how trying it is to be married to a genius writer who is also a philandering scumbag. And last, but not least, Titus Andronicus, one of the few Shakespearian plays I haven’t read, but one I’m struggling through slowly. I read Hamlet thoroughly four times in one week, and I’ve been working on this since Christmas. Not my record, clearly.
Probably secondary to my love of books… and food… and wine… and travel… is my love of music. I listen to music any time that is socially acceptable, and to you people who walk down the street with a Beats pill on your shoulder allowing the rest of the world hear Rick Ross yelling “whip it whip it real hard”, I would like to request that you stop whipping it or get some better taste. Bring it to 2016. Earphones are a thing. I use Spotify on my laptop, but I run with my iPod, so I keep my iTunes regularly updated as well. I’d give you music recommendations, but I feel like that’s a super personal preference sort of thing, so figure out what works for you and go with it.
Music is the bomb, but sometimes you’ve heard enough. That’s a lie. There’s never enough. But I decided to try to use my headphones for the greater good and educate myself while traveling. Audio books are great for this, but I prefer to see my books, so instead I’ve taken up Podcasts. I’ve been immersed in Serial, learned about what my fifth cafe cortado of the day is doing to my body in Stuff You Should Know, worked on improving my second language with Coffee Break Spanish, and discovered that Thor isn’t just a hottie with an Australian accent via Myths & Legends. Each podcast tends to run somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour, and, on a plane ride or, God forbid, a 16-hour drive from North Carolina to Maine, you can learn quite a bit. I wasn’t sold on the idea of listening to other people talk for hours initially – I’d rather hear my own voice – but after Food actually became interested in Stuff You Missed in History Class (given that she recently told me the Civil War started in Pennsylvania, clearly that was quite a bit), I was hooked.
Pro-tip: While we assume that the world is fully within the 21st century, that’s often not the case. Having things uploaded, downloaded, and ready before leaving on your trip is optimal for traveling nearly anywhere. Take it from me. I got stuck listening to the same 10 songs on repeat while in the middle of the wilderness in Zambia for over a month, and not one of them was the epically long “In the Garden” by PC III. Was I supposed to have an iPod while on a missions trip? Maybe not, but that is beside the point. Don’t be me – prep your stuff.
More travel on the way, but for now, check out what we’ve done recently in Berlin. Watch out for Carnival in Sitges, Amsterdam, Budapest, and more coming soon! XoXx Fernweh & Food