Howdy folks! What does this wanderluster get up to when she isn’t at her day job, on a plane or exploring places and setting footsteps across the globe? Well, my life has been compared to an “onion” by my lovable sister – she says that I have so many layers that make up my being, and wanderlust is just one layer of that life. So here folks, is a sneak peek into some of what I do (other than my legal eagle day job) when I am not travelling, planning travel, or dreaming of travel!
I have a love for books that stems from my childhood. Sundays were the sacred day that Daddy would take my sister and I to Text Book Centre at Sarit Centre – the only mall that existed in Nairobi at the time. Armed with our loot for the week – new books – usually Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew and whatever else caught our fancy – and our candy of choice from Monty’s Wines and Spirits (one of the only places we could get Twix and Mars Bars from back in the day), we would spend the rest of the weekend lolling in our garden, in the warm (sometimes boiling hot) Kenyan sun, and immerse ourselves into the delicious worlds created by these authors. Who remembers The Magic Faraway Tree and the land of Birthdays? Or the Malory Towers series and their midnight feasts? Ah, the good old days!
As “life” got in the way, I found myself reading less and in an attempt to recreate those sunny carefree Sundays immersed in a book, and in a bid to read more this year, I googled some inspiring travel reads – after all, if you aren’t travelling then what better antidote than to immerse yourself in something about travel? I stumbled across “Paris Letters” by Janice Macleod on one of my favourite travel websites – World of Wanderlust, and as she had this book as her Book Club read of the month of January – I needed no more convincing, and ordered it (and February’s book club read – Girls who Travel” too) straight off Amazon.
I wasn’t disappointed. I am a sucker for anything with a cover that looks like Paris Letters, and throw in some hand drawings or water colour paintings – you have me smitten! I don’t want to ruin the story for those of you that want to read it, but I will tell you that I enjoyed a Sunday with a freshly brewed pot of Kenyan tea, and I couldn’t put the book down. The story revolves around the life of Janice, who is suffering corporate burnout and wonders one fine day – how much money it will take to quit her job. She then delves into the myriad of ways in which she saves money, eventually resigns, and moves to Paris – and the rest as they say – is history. Her story is beautifully written, and the bonus in the book are the stunning hand drawings – her actual “Paris Letters” – my only gripe is that they are in black and white! Though she does have an Etsy shop where you can oogle at the coloured versions and if you are anything like me – be tempted to buy some!
What did I like about this book? I connected with Janice in a way that I know many of my readers consumed with wanderlust will. And I will let you in on this, without giving too much of the story away – I too, like Janice understand and identify with the horrors of corporate burnout, and she has me wondering how much money it takes to quit the only job you know – for now! I found myself nodding away furiously at some of the ways in which Janice describes certain episodes in her life, fully connecting with what she says. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I always say that I am born to do more than just pay bills and die, and Paris Letters gave me much food for thought. One of the main things I hope for and identify with is continuously finding the inspiration that I need to keep making this ordinary life – an extraordinary one. Most days – I manage quite well. Others, not so much!
If you do pick up this book – tag me on Instagram – or leave me a comment below – because I would love to know what your thoughts on the book are and whether like me, you identified with the author!
I am currently reading “Girls who Travel”, by Nicole Trilivas – the February WOW Book Club read. I will post my review of that up once I am through. Until then – thanks for hanging out with me and – Happy reading!