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WHY I DON'T TRAVEL ANYMORE

Since a very young age I have always loved travelling. I'm not sure if it's because my mum was always a holiday lover, and I followed suit; or if it was just something I was interested in. I used to go on between 4-6 holidays a year, we even had an apartment in Turkey at one point. I really was so lucky, and it's now that I'm older I realised how blessed I was to have travelled so well, at such a young age. This may seem like a very odd post to be putting on a book blog, but they're related, I promise. 

I say they're related, because now I prefer being transported to another world/country/place in a book, than actually travelling to the places. I know this may sound odd, but my health has deteriorated, which makes flying almost impossible; my anxiety knows no bounds when my brain lets it know that I'm boarding a plane; more importantly, my traveller needs are satisfied at the moment

I wanted to talk about some of the places I've been. It can be hard not going on so many holidays a year now, so I like to remind myself of my favourite places on down days. Here are my top 6 holiday destinations (in no particular order).

1. Gambia, Africa.
I'm not sure why, but whenever someone asks me what my favourite holiday was as a child, this is always my answer. We had to have several injections and take medication to go, but I'd do it all again tomorrow. I have never felt as relaxed and carefree, as I did on that holiday. It was scorching hot, we couldn't really use the pool, we weren't supposed to leave the hotel for safety reasons - but it was fantastic. Mind you, that didn't stop my mum from taking me to a monkey sanctuary. We fed them nuts and had lunch with the locals, it was utterly fantastic, and a once in a lifetime experience.

2. New York, North America.
This is an easy one. I love cities. Even though I hate crowds, I hate busy places - cities are my favourite. Everyone that knows me always says how strange that is, but it's true. There was something so magical about New York. I think it helped that I went around Christmas time, and it snowed pretty much the whole time. I even went on a helicopter ride over New York City and sat at the front with the pilot, it was absolutely surreal. 

3. (Disneyland) France, Europe.
I've been here 3 times now. Disneyland Paris is without doubt, my favourite place in the world. As I type this, I can feel tears stinging my eyes. I aim to go here at least once a year, even now - it's just my home. When I'm there, everything just feels right. My chronic illness doesn't play up, my anxiety lessens - it really has magical powers. And I love meeting Princesses; I'll never be too old for that.

4. Egypt, Africa.
When I was 13/14, I was lucky enough to go on a Nile Cruise. I was obsessed with Egyptology from a very young age and Anubis was probably my favourite person growing up. The Nile Cruise is something I remember so vividly. We saw so many amazing sights in Egypt, I couldn't possibly name them all - it was just beautiful. It was also the place I first tried broccoli - yay?

5. (Disneyworld) Florida, North America.
Again, I've been here 3 times. Seems to be the recurring thing for Disney. Twice with my dad and once with my god-mum. As much as I love Disneyworld, if you really think I'm sitting on a plane for 12 hours +, when I can hop on a 2 hour train to Disneyland - you're wrong. It was always magnificent though, Universal Studios is incredible and I'll never forget the first time I went on The Mummy Ride and realising how much I loved roller-coasters. 

6. Turkey, Europe/Asia.
I couldn't not mention Turkey. As I said earlier, we had an apartment here, on a mountain, and it really was one of the most beautiful, remote places I'd ever been. Turkey wasn't a big tourist destination at the time, and some years it felt like I was in Turkey more than I was England. But I would never complain, the escapism to that apartment was glorious and selling it was awful. Especially as I left my Pokemon Yahtzee in the wardrobe

I have been to so many more places; to name a few: Tunisia (Africa), Gulf of Mexico (America), Majorca (Europe), Mallorca, (Europe), Ibiza (Europe), Greece (Europe), Tenerife (Europe).

Don't get me wrong, I still go on holidays - they're just very close. The maximum I can do now is a 2 hour flight to Spain, or a 2 hour train to Paris - but that's okay. If I didn't have books helping to fill the travel void, I think I'd go crazy. I'm lucky that I can find true escapism in a book, and really feel as though I'm with the characters. 

I'm hoping one day my health will miraculously get better and I can travel again to my heart's content. Japan and Egypt are two destinations I hope to visit in the years to come. And if not? I always have my books


FANGIRLING OVER DINOSAURS WITH S. M. WILSON (The Extinction Trials Blog Tour)

Today, I have the pleasure of a fangirling session over dinosaurs with Susan Wilson, author of the incredible The Extinction Trials. This book has made a real impact on me and if you keep up to date with my social media this week, you'll probably see just how much I love this book. It's the only YA book I've read that is focused around dinosaurs, so of course I grilled Susan on everything dinosaurs for my stop on The Extinction Trials blog tour.

Check out my review here.

TAKEN MOONS: A NEW BOOKISH CANDLE COMPANY

I've known Rebecca for a while now and she's fast become one of my closest blogger friends; we really have accomplished so much together. So when she messaged me and told me she was thinking of starting her own bookish candle company, I pushed her to do it in any way that I could. She is so creative and artistic, I knew she'd be absolutely perfect for the job.

We discussed how only fantasy books seem to get candles, and it always seems to be the same ones. (No offence Rhysand, but we're bloody sick to death of seeing your scent in candle form). Which is why I was so excited to hear some of Rebecca's ideas - books we love that never get the recognition they deserve

I was lucky enough to be sent some of these gorgeous candles before her shop opens to the public at the end of the month! I will also be doing a reaction video to her candles very soon and I will be revealing one of her designs to you all for the very first time - I'm opening this live on camera - prepare for the excitement, they'll be bundles of it. 

So let's get down to what you want to see. The products

The first is this gorgeous Jurassic Park (yes, you read that right - Jurassic freaking Park!) themed candle. This is scented with sea breeze, orange blossom and mango. You genuinely feel like you're outside when you smell this candle; it has such a refreshing scent that is so reminiscent of nature.


The second is this Hunger Games themed inspired candle. This is scented with woodland, cocoa and log fire. I'm being honest here, this is the most incredible scented candle I've ever smelt. There's a candle I got sent to review which was £50 (!) and this candle smelt very similar to it - but stronger! This is probably my favourite candle ever and for a small fraction of the price and the fact that it's bookish? Think I know which one I'll be going with...


Rebecca has done amazingly with her first two candles and I'm so excited to reveal the third because it definitely does not disappoint. If you want to keep up to date with everything Taken Moons, you can do so here.


Also, if you purchase this month's Wildest Dreams Book Box, there just may be a discount included in the box for when the online store opens. Use code: TAKENMOONS15 for a discount off this month's box! There may be a Taken Moons candle in one of our future boxes, who knows...


OTHELLO AT THE GLOBE - BLOGGER MEET UP

Hello everybody! I'm writing this post today about an idea that I've had that has seemed to go down amazingly so far. Yesterday, The Globe theatre announced their Summer Season of shows and Othello was among them. I've wanted to see Othello for so many years now, and have missed out on many opportunities - so what better way to see it than with fellow bookish people? You don't have to be a blogger, just part of the bookish community. Authors, bloggers, YouTubers, publishers, readers - everyone is welcome.

There are around 30 people interested already, so this will definitely be happening. Here's some more information:
  • The Globe is situated in London and is a 10 minute walk from underground stations, Blackfriars and Mansion House.
  • There are a wide range of tickets. It seems most of us will be buying standing tickets, which are £5. You are very involved with the show if you're standing, so if this is something you're not comfortable with, sitting may be better for you. Seated tickets start at £22. If you're using a wheelchair, you can still buy a standing ticket and be very involved, from the comfort of your chair. If you're under 18, you get £3 off your ticket.
  • If you'd like more information on the show's plot and cast, you can do so here.
  • There is a Pizza Express opposite the venue that I thought we could lunch in before/after the show - depending the running time of the show and the show times (which are released very soon).
Now to the organising. I have a list of people interested. If you could let me know via email (zoecollins1994@gmail.com), DM or tweet if you're interested in the pizza, the show or both - that would be great. Also, would you prefer me to take money and book the tickets altogether, or for us to do it all individually and just meet there? Tweet me answers or leave them in the comments.

DATES.
The show doesn't open until July, but I know there's lots of you travelling quite a distance so I want it to be sorted very soon, so people have plenty of time to plan. I am thinking in the Summer holidays, in middle August. Possibly a weekend. And probably a matinee. I would love to know your thoughts on this and please let me know if you're interested - this could be a really amazing day for us all.