Saturday, June 7, 2014

College Tourist Updates

Hello! I wanted to post a quick little update about my work for The College Tourist. Every week I put together a roundup of articles from our Global Writer's Network. Here is my roundup from yesterday, as well as from the past couple of weeks.

June 6th Roundup

May 31st Roundup

May 23rd Roundup

You can follow The College Tourist on Twitter to see my weekly updates as well as other great articles on traveling, studying abroad, and how to survive college; you can also follow me on Twitter, to see blog posts and some of my other musings. And don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin!

In case I haven't reminded everyone 1428305830 times, I will be traveling to South Korea next week!! So you can all expect quite a few photo-heavy posts in the next couple of weeks, stay tuned!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Summer Reading List

It's summer! That means sleeping late, spending time with friends, and laying by the pool with a good book. During the school year I rarely have time to read for fun, so summer means I can finally tackle the pile of books I accumulate throughout the year.

If you are at a loss for new books this summer, here's a little list of what I'm reading/what I love/what I recommend for the long, hot summer ahead!

I couldn't put The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo down, and I found myself awake until 5 in the morning finishing it. I highly recommend the trilogy; maybe it's the fact that one of the main characters is a journalist, but the mix of murder, mystery, technology, and politics makes for a thrilling read. 

If you loved the Oscar-winner, are fascinated by the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, or just love history and politics, pick up Argo. It's a quick read that gives a behind-the-scenes look at how the CIA gets people out of sticky situations, and how they pulled off rescuing six Americans in the middle of a revolution.

I have a Malala obsession- I have been fascinated and inspired by her fight for girls' education around the world, especially since I saw her speak at the Social Good Summit. I downloaded her autobiography last semester and I'm excited to dive in! 

I love the movie (anything with James McAvoy is a winner for me), and while I know I will probably cry my eyes out while reading this I can't wait. I personally would rather read something beautifully written and sad than a sappy, Nicholas-Sparks-style novel (sorry for all the Sparks lovers out there but I just can't). 

I read this last summer after seeing the movie and it literally changed my outlook on life. While I'm not going to embark on a Christopher McCandless-style odyssey across America, I do have a greater appreciation for life and all the little luxuries that come with it. It's a quick read, and while you're bound to shed a few tears (the ending of the book is spoiled on the cover/the fact that it is based on a true story), find time for this little gem. The movie is worth it as well!

6. The Paris Wife
I am obsessed with this novel- I give it to everyone who wants a book recommendation!! I had been eyeing it at Barnes and Noble for a while, and my book-loving grandmother somehow read my mind and gave it to me for Christmas! It's the story of Hemingway's first marriage to Hadley Richardson, and is told from her point of view from the end of World War I to their divorce in 1927. It also features a cast of characters like the Fitzgeralds and highlights of Heminway's life such as their trip to Spain where he wrote The Sun Also Rises.

7. A Fist in the Hornet's Nest
This is the first of two novels by NBC's chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel. Engel is probably half of the reason I want to be a journalist, and his daring adventures around the world and love of international affairs is a huge inspiration to me. Hornet's Nest is half autobiography, half a retelling of the US invasion of Iraq, where Engel was the only American correspondent in the country. I tore through this in a few hours- if you do the same pick up his second book, War Journal. 

These are just a few of the books I am reading/love right now. I could go on and on about books, but how many reviews can I write before you get bored? So, here's a quick list of a few of my other favorites and what I plan on tackling this summer. Maybe this list will hold me accountable and see that I actually finish all of these!
Enjoy your summer reading!

Sunday, June 1, 2014


It's June, which means summer is in full swing! I can't express how happy I am to be home for the summer, after what was an absolutely insane semester. Yesterday I reflected on just a few of the amazing things that have happened in just a few short months, and now that I've looked into the past I'm looking at the future!

So to start off this month, I've gathered a few things I'm looking forward to this summer and beyond.

1. Korea
I am so, so, SO excited for Korea! I talked to Lydia yesterday and every time I think about it I get more excited. I never even thought about visiting Korea, and as a result I have no idea what we are going to do, so Lydia is in charge. This will be a whole new adventure and I'm ready for it! You can expect a flurry of blog posts while I'm there and once I return, as well as a few posts on The College Tourist.

2. Reading
During the semester, I rarely have time to read for pleasure (the major downside to being a political science major), so breaks mean I can actually read what I want to. Unfortunately, I have always had a terrible habit of reading multiple books at once. I just can't wait to finish one before picking up another! Right now, I'm currently making my way through Argo and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Number 3 in the Millenium Trilogy). But I have a very, very large stack of books waiting to be cracked open. Stay tuned for my summer reading list!

3. Amsterdam
I'm still getting used to saying, "I'll be in Amsterdam next spring...for the whole semester." I've known for two weeks and it still hasn't quite set in. Thank goodness I'm going in the spring and not the fall, I would go crazy with the stress of planning it all! I have 7 months and 26 days until I move in, and while that may seem like a long time I have a feeling this summer and the fall semester will fly by until I find myself at Schiphol Airport in January. I have a lot of details to work out, like my housing, class schedule, and, most importantly, everything that I want to do and see while I'm there! I already have an Amsterdam board on Pinterest, as my Travel board just wasn't enough.

4. Spending time with friends
Going to school in New York is amazing, but it also means I can't see my old friends as often as I want. A lot of people I know at Hofstra always say things like, "I'm not friends with people from high school," or, "I don't have any friends when I go home," and this amazes me. Sure, there are people I don't talk to anymore, but the people I was really, really close with in high school are the people I still hang out with now! My two best friends have been close with me since 6th grade, and my entire high school group still hangs out on a regular basis when we're all at least in the same state. Being apart from the whole group is hard, as we're spread out all across Texas, New York, California, and, in the case of one of my friends, Peru for two years. But we've made it work and exactly two years after graduation (which is insane!!!), we all still love to see each other!

All the girls...

And one with Reece!

These are just the major things I'm looking forward to, but I'm sure this is going to be a great summer!