Travel, Uncategorized

Top Travel Reads- Summer ’17 

As we approach the time of year when lots of people board a plane to a better place and venture off on their summer holidays, I have thrown together a list of my ‘Top Travel Reads’.  

Three of the books were given to me as a gift and I bought the other two upon reccomendation. Two of my favourite ways for a book to be brought to my attention. 

My beautiful best friend, Sian who I met in Thailand in 2013 sent me ‘First They Killed My Father’ and ‘Snowing In Bali’ before I ventured off to conquer Cambodia and Bali earlier this year. I was in the midst of reading Ung’s memoir when I visited the Killing Fields, which made the place all the more heart renching to see. It’s a tragic tale about children who lived through Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime. Although it’s a hard read- it’s a must read.  The Cambodian Genecide lead to the loss of over 25% of the population and ended as recently as 1979. It taught me a lot about things I was Oh so naive to before opening the book. Coincidentally, Angelina Jolie is due to bring this memoir to life in a Netflix film that she’s releasing soon. I’m really interested to see how close her portrayal is to the actual account I’ve read.  

Snowing in Bali. An inside account of Bali’s hidden drug world. Unfortunately I never made it to Indonesia but having read the book I feel like I’ve explored the islands good, the paradise that you hear and see in perfect pictures of your friends frolicking in the sea and then the bad that I never knew existed! 

It’s a pretty outrageous book, in terms of the uncensored lifestyles that the drug dealers recall…all the way down to the explicit language used in the accounts. If you’ve been to Bali and enjoyed the surfing scene  or was interigued by the crazy night life- you gotta read this! Not for those who are easily lead astray! 

As one of the most read and best known travel writers, Bill Bryson is an obvious Australian read. He’s good for his wittiness and makes a great travel companion . ‘Down Under’ is quite intense,  rammo with facts about Oz’s history , country and people. I read it in dribs and drabs but I’m glad I stuck with it as I was so well informed with all sorts of random facts about the awesome country afterwards. P.S The man is Pinterest gold for travel quotes: 

There is something about the momentum of travel that makes you never want to stop.

Last but not least a book I read the wrong way round. As in I saw the film then read the book. They correlate well though though book is  from more of a semi biographical POV. 

‘In To The Wild’ depicts the two-year wilderness trek of Christopher Mcandless. For the guy in search of spiritual freedom that was determined to live a life of independence , it didn’t end well. Alexander Supertamp I salute you, wilderness traveller. 

– Thanking Sian Evans  for being the best book recommender.


           LAB LAB 💌

I need to rave about  ‘LAB LAB’ in a blog post. I received probably my 11th wad of life snaps through the post this morning and everytime I open that pretty pink envelope I am over impressed with the efficiency, quality and originality of their product. 

It all started 4 years ago when I returned home from a mega travelling trip of 16 months. I needed to print my pretty pictures because my iphone was constantly reminding me that my  ‘storage is nearly full’ (THE MOST FRUSTRATING MESSAGE, HUH!  NO MATTER HOW MANY PHOTOS,VIDS AND TUNES YOU DELETE.. YOUR STORAGE IS ALWAYS STILL NEARLY FULL!!??) #RantOver. 

In the the same way that I prefer holding a physical book instead of using a kindle and having an actual copy of an album I love to listen to , I like to print my favourite photographs. When we all go back to basics and  the internet goes down … I still want to be able to hold on to those memories. 

I dowladed the app and selected what I wanted printing on a whim and I’ve gone back to LAB LAB time and time again for all sorts of fun projects. I used the app to create this huge collage of colourful wanderlusting travel shots, people always comment on how striking it is as a centrepiece in my boudoir. 

…And if you’ve got a Bff’s bday coming up, I highly reccomend one of their photo boxes. The receiver of one of mine nearly cried when A photo box of all our most treasured memories of as popped though her post box.

I’ve used other ‘free photo apps’ where the postage is extortionate and is slyly used to actually cover the cost of the printing etc and Iv’e tried the Boots click & collect  as well, but neither compare in quality. The accessibility of being able to pick and choose what I want printed via my social networking sites and their little personal touches along the way are why I rate them so highly and why you should get LAB LAB-ing ASAP. 
There’s also something glorious about getting a parcel though the post, isn’t there.  It’s like a snippet of joy from Christmas Day. 


         ONE LOVE 🖤

I  think you should see this. I know that it has been mediated , but if what they are saying science proves in this video is true, then I agree with the French lady in the below peice. A DNA test should be compulsory. It could potentially change so much of what is wrong in the world right now. 

There would be no such thing as extremism in the world if people knew their heritage like that. Who would be stupid enough to think of  such a thing like a pure race.



Freedom @ TOPSHOP

When it comes to accessories, I’m a hoarder. A hoarder with a slight obsession for statement earings. I like vintage, I buy reclaimed, I love handmade …but where do i find myself mingling when I’ve got a bit of spare cash and an earring purchase craving … Freedom @ TOPSHOP, every timeeee.

Original. Imaginative. Affordable. Their design team have got it down. My bio clearly states this blog would be filled with positive vibes … all the way down to the earings I’m wearing! These little beauty’s only set me back £12 and are part of a new ‘quote’ collection Topshop have just dropped on to the accessories scene. With their chunky , 90’s vibes hoop earnings, signet and star sign pieces available in Silver, Gold and Rose Gold, you can let your inner J-Lo roam free on any occasion! 


Interior Inspo

I made it my mission last year to create a space in my bedroom that completely reflected my personality. I feel like you can get a sense of who I am from some of the clothes that I wear and I wanted the same from my bedroom. Its where I come back to when I go away, it’s where I go when I’m sad, where I pre drink with friends and where I weirdly enjoy spending a lot of time on my own. Thus it should be somewhere inspiring. Any excuse to let my inner interior design queen do her thang.

I properly sketched out the layout I wanted and the colours scheme I wanted to use. Oranges and reds are vital for those Asian-esque vibes. I pinterested what I liked and sourced affordable versions from ebay, charity shops and boot fairs. 

I had intentionally collected quite a lot of souvenirs from trips I had been on, these were the first to be pinned on my freshly pained walls. Post putting in my new but old bookshelf and garden wicker furniture (plant shelf SLASH shelf for Hollys fings) along with my too many cushions that I own it was looking pretty finito. 

It’s filled with wild animal lamps and prints , Moroccan lights and tea candles everywhereee. Someone refered to it as a jumble sale but I feel like it really does reflect me. It’s busy but colourful . 

One of my most precious possessions, something I’ll take with me wherever I go and that holds huge sentimental value to me, is my dressing table. Whilst I was away travelling for 16 months my beautiful parents decorated my bedroom for me as a surprise. They upcycled this quirkily shaped, vintage dressing table with a paint job and funky handles and all I had to come back and do is Holly-fy it. I love post cards. I’m gutted that they’re a dying trend and always request one from friends that go wandering. I used the ones I had already and placed them under the glass top.  It’s such an easy, yet unique and personable upcycling idea. I sit there every morn whilst I put my face on, day dreaming about all the wonderful places they were sent from. (Japan, Australia, Asia,India, Prague) 💭 🌏



So I’ll bring you to where I am in my life in as few words as poss. It’s 2017 and I’m 27. Ten years (plus a few months) ago I was leaving school and to be honest with you I had the same wild dreams as I do today.. except they were valid because I was 17 and naive. Mum= “YOU’RE AN ADULT NOW”. I think that sentence needs to be altered when in reference to anyone minus 30 years old by the way . There are adultier adults than I, those more experienced at the whole SENSIBLE DECISIONS thing! It should be “you’re a new adult now” = still liable to momentary relapses where quite bad money/fashion/life/alcoholic consumption choices can bad made.. Buttt not all the time because get a grip ..did you not learn anything from the O.C!? (fave series ever)
For those inquisitive souls my “wild dreams” were (are) :

– Travel z world. All 196 countries.  (Yea, I did just return homesick from Cambodia)

– Become the female version of Alexander McQueen. If it is even possible for another human to measure up to him. 

– Go to the moon. (Outta’ space interests me) 

– Basically become a yogi ( doing yogilstis twice at the gym ) 

– Become a famous blogger. I mean, I’m here and I’m doing this right now so I’m putting the opportunity on the table…. 

Yea, sooo real life has so far got in the way of my yogi dreams but 2017 is the year of change didn’t you know! On return from my Cambodian (super mini) expedition I’ve brought a telescope, a yoga mat , created a “No regrets” saving fund and as of today started a blog. Lotsa new things to go blogging crazy over .