Book Review: 20 Travel Tales in 200 Words by D. Marino & J. Malley

Blurb: “20 Travel Tales in 200 Words, is a collection of true short stories of misadventure, humour and heart, while travelling the world. The authours have had a number of awkward, challenging and astounding experiences over the years. These tales (all told in exactly 200 words) will (hopefully) make you laugh, smile and see travel through their eyes.

Each tale is accompanied by their unique photography, taken while vacationing in the area featured in the travel tale. You will not find these specific photographs anywhere else.”

Genre: Travel, Travel Biography

Goodreads Rating: 4.83/5

My Rating: 5/5

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS


I feel incredibly lucky and privileged to have been able to access, read and review this book from the authors directly! So a huge thank you to them, of course they appreciate and respect that my review will be totally honest and my views only. So lets get into this!

You can find a copy of the book to purchase here and their website!

https://www.makethemalltripsofalifetime.com/product-page/20-travel-tales-in-200-words-pdf

https://www.makethemalltripsofalifetime.com

And you can find the authors on social media here!

Https://twitter.com/ThemTrips

https://instagram.com/Makethemalltripsofalifetime

https://www.facebook.com/makethemalltripsofalifetime

As an avid traveller and with Covid being pretty prominent at the moment, there isn’t much travel happening. So to be able to read 20 Travel Tales in 200 words was exciting for me because It definitely filled a travel hole that was huge in my heart. I really enjoyed reading each story and I’ll be writing a little bit about my top 8 from the book also further down in the review! I just wanted to cover some basics first!

The book itself is really well written and right from the heart, it feels so personal and I really felt like I could picture the experiences almost like I was there. Also it can’t be easy writing a travel story in only 200 words but the authors have done a really good job in doing so and making it an immersive and enjoyable read.

The photographs that separate the stories are all so beautiful and topical to the stories as well, not only is the photography brilliant but they also do a really good job of painting the picture of the adventure itself. It gives the stories more context and also gives the reader the beautiful imagery that goes with the story and I just thought that was brilliant because the story leaves you to your imagination and then you see the photos and it makes it even better!

So let’s have a look at my favourite 8 stories from the book! (although they were all great).

Rough Seas and Big Fish.

This one made me so excited, minus the sea sickness which I felt so sorry for them but I would totally be the same in that situation! Swimming with Whales sharks is absolutely a bucket list dream of mine, so to see the photos and hear the story was so great and inspiring. I was massively impressed they pushed through the sickness to swim with these magnificent creatures!

Murder House.

This one was plain creepy but I enjoyed that aspect, it was an experience that wasn’t as advertised and was unexpected and that added to my curiosity! Plus its nice to hear a different experience like this! I was left with so many questions, Why was there a for sale sign outside? Were the Anne dolls watching them through the night? Why were they not given the experience they bought or told beforehand it wouldn’t be as expected? and most importantly, WERE they fed the previous guests?? WILD.

The Case of the Missing (Water) Shoe.

This made me laugh out loud but also in a sympathetic way. Especially because this is something I would do. The best part was the ‘How could they not know?’ question, and then the sudden realisation when it was needed that the shoe was theirs! I was sad the rain washed it away, it belongs to the fishes now.

What Happens in the Clouds, Stays in the Clouds.

A zip-line experience is also on the bucket list and in a beautiful tropical place like Costa Rica, what a dream! I was so jealous of such an awesome experience but the zero visibility made me nervous and that nervousness was enhanced by her husband explaining that he had been pushed by the wind out of control but landed safely, biggest PHEW moment of the book! An amazing experience in a beautiful place.

A Hike of Spirituality.

This story was really great, an awesome experience, beautiful hike with the history explained as they went. A really great and spiritual adventure to connect with the history of Mauritius. But, it also really highlights others disregard for places with so much history and that deserve respect. It’s astounding that people were unable to “genuinely appreciate where they were” and that makes me so sad, as well as the authors who expressed their sadness of the situation too which I could fully relate too.

(Not) A Bag in the Water.

I love the ocean so I loved this story but this also hinged on another fear of mine. I am so very happy no one was hurt in the process of saving the planet! Which is always the right thing to do! But then the pain that came afterwards of moving to safety and being pushed back into the ocean made me go ‘Ouch!’, definitely a memorable experience for sure!

It’s Not Moving on, Its Moving Forward.

This was a beautiful and moving story. A trip of healing and relaxing through sorrow and sadness even though it provided no escape as the authors wrote. The tradition of planting a tree really brought a tear to my eye. The last line of this story was something that I felt so so necessary to share with everyone as it was beautifully written;

“You do not move on after the passing of a loved one, you move forward, carrying them with you”

The True Test of Love.

This is my favourite one, absolutely 10000% this is the true test of love. I’ve already explained to my man that when we go travelling this is to be expected and if he can’t handle it get out of the kitchen, wait, Bathroom. Im so happy the trip continued and so did their love! It did make me laugh how Burger King was a no go zone, so the family run Bistro where you wouldn’t expect the toilet troubles, was where the trouble started! But you don’t know until you try!

I gave 20 Travel Tales in 200 Words a 5/5 review because for me it was everything I needed and more through Covid-19, the stories were great fun and inspiring and the photographs were also phenomenal. This book is absolutely worth the read to fill that travel gap!

The Global Quarantine Diaries – Sakshi

  • Where in the world are you located?

Hello! I’m writing to you from Delhi, India.

  • What are lockdown restrictions like there?

India has seen one of the largest lock down in the world for a little more than 2 months. The lockdown initially started for 15 days and then iterative was extended four more times – it has been named lockdown 1.0 iteratively till lockdown 4.0 jokingly. At that time, the entire country was shut down except for essential items or industries that could continue to work from home. It was not allowed to step outside unless you’re getting yourselves essentials or have an emergency. If you wanted to go out or move to a different part of the country, you had to issue yourself a pass by the government and your only bet was to drive yourself since metro, rail, air and bus transport was also shut down. 

But now since the 1st of June, the country has re-opened. The business is back to normal – restaurants, shopping malls are open, so are all modes of transportation. All of this while still maintaining social distancing, use of masks and sanitizers. People are still advised to stay at home and only go out if necessary. 

  • How are you keeping busy?

I am a software developer by profession and I’m grateful that my job allows me to work from home. It’s been 3 months and counting since I’m working from home and since it’s a full time job, it demands most of my time. In the late evenings, I tend to work on my blog and have been loving how it’s turning out.

  • What do you miss doing the most?

I miss a lot of things!

I miss working alongside my co-workers. Working remotely has been tough and skype calls constitute most of my time when it was just easier to go over someone’s desk and get the work done. Whiteboard brainstorming was easier than trying to draw on the screen – all of this was just quicker to get things done. Now in addition to that, I also feel there is a blur between the work life and personal life because we are still at home? I see myself working longer hours which isn’t good.

I miss going out for a brunch with my friends or a dinner date under the moonlight. I miss going out to have a pizza party or catch up with my friends as we dance the night away. I miss going out to get essentials without having to wait for my turn outside or wearing a mask everywhere I go. I miss going out without the fear of a deadly disease.

  • What is the first thing you’re going to do once the lockdown is over?

Technically, the lock down is over in India but I still haven’t stepped outside of my home. The cases here are increasing at an alarming rate and we are now the fourth most affected country in the whole world! But when things get alright, I would love and catch up with my friends over lunch/dinner. I haven’t seen them in months and video calls don’t do enough justice.

Head over to Sakshi’s Socials below!

Blog: http://capturesunshine.com

instagram: http://instagram.com/capturesunshyne

Twitter : http://twitter.com/capturesunshyne

The Global Quarantine Diaries – Amber

Hey everyone, my name is Amber and I run a lifestyle blog called The Unpredicted Page, where I give out my life advice, I talk about health and beauty and I also throw in my blogging tips that I have learnt along the way. I am so excited to get stuck into answering the questions given to me by Jessie! 

Where in the world are you located? 

I live In the UK in the Midlands. So, I am literally as far away from the sea and the beaches as possible. I am currently staying in lockdown with my parents, so I moved back to their home. 

What are the lockdown regulations like there? 

We are currently allowed to see up to 6 friends whilst staying two metres apart. I have been able to see my boyfriend for a walk after 10 weeks of not being able to see each other so that lifted my spirits. I only leave the house for exercise I try and go for a walk each day. My mum does the food shopping as only one person is allowed in the shop at a time for each household, so she is only leaving the house to do that. 

How are you keeping busy? 

So, I am someone who likes to keep busy. I actually started my blog at the beginning of lockdown as so I would have something, I could occupy myself with. I even decided to write a post about the positives of lockdown where I gathered people’s opinions on the situation. I am someone who always needs to be doing something, so starting a blog was the best thing I could have done I am absolutely loving it so far. 

I have also been getting back into reading which I have been loving. I am currently reading PS, I Love you – I recommend! Then last but not least, I have really gotten into paint by numbers. I bought one off amazon and it is taking a long time, but it is so relaxing. There are so many different designs so I will hopefully be getting more of them to try out. 

What do you miss doing the most?

I miss getting dressed up and putting my makeup on and feeling good. I have worn makeup once in the past 11 weeks on lockdown due to the fact I left all my makeup in my flat in a different city to where I am staying for lockdown. So, I had to borrow my sister’s makeup. So when this is over I cannot wait to stay dressing up again and having a reason to get dressed up. 

What is the first thing you are going to do once the lockdown is over? 

The first thing I want to do when lockdown is over is to move out to live with my boyfriend. I cannot wait to have my own space. Being able to spend time decorating the place will be so exciting. So that is something I am looking forwards to.

Head to Ambers socials below!  

Socials: Blog – https://theunpredictedpage.com/

IG – https://www.instagram.com/theunpredictedpage/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/unpredictedpage

Global Quarantine Diaries – Becca

My Time in Iso!

Where in the world are you located? 

Hi! My name is Becca and I’m writing to you from Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada

 

What are the quarantine regulations like there? 

Because Canada is such a big country, the regulations vary per province, which each one deciding how it handles the current situation. Where I live, things have begun reopening over the past couple of weeks and regulations appear be (slowly) loosening up a teeny bit, particularly in the grocery stores. We are not required to be wearing masks in public and are able to go outside freely but must keep a safe distance from others. At the moment we are not permitted to hangout in groups yet, but soon will be allowed to gather in small groups with some restrictions. 

How are you keeping busy? 

My time in isolation started 2 months ago and I’ve been spending my time doing things that I previously didn’t have time to do or prioritize with my overloaded work & school schedule. As the weeks have gone by, I’ve inadvertently created a new daily routine to fit my new social isolation reality that focuses on both my education and activities that bring me joy. Pre-quarantine, I was learning a lot about balance, it was an element that was severely lacking from my life and it’s crazy to see my situation being turned upside down into a position where I have profuse amounts of time. I’m naturally the kind of person who’s constantly running a million miles a minute and I have a really deep need to be productive and accomplish tasks throughout my day. Truthfully, I believe this has helped me to not only take advantage of my time in quarantine but to reconnect with myself and (re)discover new interests, hobbies and passions. 

With that, let’s get into what I’ve been up to: 

· During iso I’ve been loving just being active whether it’s a long walk with a podcast or a sweaty home workout. My love of fitness has really come out to shine and plays an integral role in my new routine. I make sure to start my day with movement and have been living for a variety of yoga, running, home workouts, Sarah’s Day’s eBook and my newfound love of yoga sculpt (a hybrid of yoga, cardio and strength training) 

· I recently started an online spring semester with my uni so I have a few classes a week that take up my afternoons 

· I also completed an online course in nutrition and have been brushing up on my Spanish with some classes on YouTube 

· Quarantine has given me the opportunity to shift my focus on my side project and begin to transition it into my side-hustle. I have an Instagram account that I use as a mini blog where I share my plant-based recipes and share some tips towards living a healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle 

· Lottttss of baking! This is something I had given up for a long time, without meaning to I just lost contact with that side of me, but Sunday baking has become one of my favourite parts of the week 

· I’ve been setting myself fun goals both big and small (including teaching myself to hold a handstand) 

· Spending time with my partner and calling my friends and family over zoom and facetime 

· I’ve definitely watched my fair share of Netflix too.

What do you miss the most? 

The small and material things have become adjustments that I’ve simply gotten used to because they were never that important to begin with. However, there are aspects of this situation that are still a strange reality, such as seeing a friend (from a safe social distance) for the first time in months and not being able to give them a hug. Moreover, I miss my home province of British Columbia and my family and friends who live there because with the current situation, it’s slightly more challenging to make my way back there for a visit. In all, I’d say that the things I miss are the personal elements of life rather than the more physically recognizable aspects. 

What is the first thing you’ll do once lockdown is over? 

The first thing I’m doing is going for a HIKE, I can’t even begin to explain how much I’m been craving it as its one of my favourite things to do. In light of Coronavirus, the government shut down lots of the parks that served for outdoor activities and while there are still a few options available, I’m really looking forward to spending my time in the great Canadian outdoors. The second biggest plan of my agenda is to explore this side of the continent, and believe me I have a loooong list of places to check off – and a Pinterest board to go with it. I can’t wait to explore Québec the eastern side of Canada and the U.S.,there’s just so many destinations to explore but my top ones have to be the Fjords along the Saguenay, Boston and New York, Les Iles des Madeleine, la Gaspésie, Cape Breton and well actually there’s too many to pick favourites. 

Summit of Mt. Garibaldi
Summit of Mont Orford

 Where you can find me: 

· Personal Instagram: @beccastruss 

· Food Insta: @naturally.becs 

· I’m also Beccastruss on VSCO and Pinterest

 

The Global Quarantine Diaries – An Introduction

So as we are all aware the Covid-19 Pandemic that is upon us all quickly spread global. Countries were put into quarantine, lockdown and isolation, shops, restaurants, all non essential businesses were closed, no unessential travel, the list goes on. With all this in mind I decided to reach out to some of my girlfriends in Canada and America to ask how their quarantine and isolation was wherever they are!

In this blog collaboration we will hear from 5 girls (including myself) and how they have been keeping busy, what the rules and regulations are like where they are and what they girls miss most and will do first when this all comes to an end! I ask the girlies 5 questions to expand on and then go from there with their own creative minds!

So let me introduce you to the lovely ladies in question and their post links will be on The Global Quarantine Diaries tab underneath Blog Collaborations! I will also be sharing their socials in their posts so if you want to follow the girls you are more than welcome too!

Becca

Abbie

Majelle

Myself (Jessie!)

Lulu

These beautiful girls have each guest written a post for this collaboration and I will be posting each of their instalments over the next week! So stay tuned to hear about how these girls have found their quarantine and isolation in the Global Quarantine Diaries!