BW Monthly News: February 2017

february 17 highlights

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february 17 highlights

February Highlights

I can’t believe February’s already gone. Is it just me or is this year flying by? Gah. I want time to slow down. I’m going to be 30 in May and cannot handle it.


Over all, this was a good month. My blog’s stats rocked, even though February’s short, and I had a magnificent long weekend in Florida. My trip to Marco Island rejuvenated me, big time, which was probably why I was extra productive when it came time to grow this website.

Oh, February was so much better healthwise than January. I’m glad I didn’t suffer from a fever, sore throat, cough, or any other wintry unpleasantness. Actually, the weather in New Jersey was quite awesome, too, especially the latter half of the month. Balmy breezes and sunny skies. If only spring would come for good. I’m over winter.

Post Summary

Amazing Literary Festivals to Add to Your Bucket List: Do you want to go to a book or literary festival soon? Here are a few of the best ones.

Dear New Travel Bloggers: Be Kind to Each Other: The internet can be a cold and skeptical place. We should all aim to treat each other with kindness and respect.

How Travel Transforms You into a Hot Date: Wanna impress your crush? A polished travel resume will make you appear even hotter.

7 Reasons I Love Traveling to Europe Alone: Europe is awesome for solo travelers. My seven reasons will have you traveling with confidence.

20 Photos that will Inspire You to Visit Marco Island, FL: Marco Island is a gem on Florida’s southwest coast, and these images prove it. Book your ticket and go to the beach.

Why I Broke My Travel Budget in Montreal: Sometimes sticking to a budget just doesn’t work. I know I had to break the budget in Montreal. Find out why!

GREAT NEWS: I’m returning to SCOTLAND: I went to Scotland in 2013. It was my first solo trip. I’m returning in 2017 and cannot wait.

What I’m Reading

I’m reading two non-fiction books at the moment, which is hilarious, because I’m usually a sucker for novels.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance: I won’t go into the politic reasons behind why I decided to read this book (though I’m sure you can guess). So far it offers an insightful look into America’s white working underclass, and I’m glad I picked it up. I’m also listening to this memoir on audiobook – which turned out to be a good choice. I’m apparently a slow reader, haha.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson: So far I’m LOVING this travel memoir. I think I would be a total Katz (Bryson’s out of shape friend) on the Appalachian Trail, haha. I’m only a couple chapters into this book, and hope to finish it by the end of the month. Keep your fingers crossed.

Favorite Travel Item of the Month

Kindle Fire: I love, love, love my new Kindle Fire! For 2017, I want to read more on my trips, and this device is perfect. I also have an Audible account, which makes my ability to read on the road even stronger! Stay tuned for an upcoming post about why Audible is perfect for book-loving travelers.

Personal News

I need to make March the month of fitness. I gained way too much weight in January and February, and it’s gotten to the point where I’m feeling badly about myself. I don’t want to throw myself into a hardcore diet, but eating better and exercising more would be a great step in the right direction. If you folks have any suggestions on how to stay motivated, I would love to hear them! I’m very deprecating and self-defeating about health and wellness, and would appreciate any help you can offer me.

Upcoming Travel Plans

Um. I’m going back to Scotland? 

What else… OH, for Spring Break, I’m spending five days in Austin! I’ve never visited Texas, EVER, so I’m super excited to see what the city has to offer. Suggestions? I definitely want to see LBJ Presidential Library and some live music, but I’m not sure what else to do, haha. I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

What did you do in February? Any travel stories? Monthly favorites? Share in the comments. Keep in mind that some links are affiliate-based, meaning I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

4 thoughts on “BW Monthly News: February 2017

  1. Elizabeth says:

    A Walk in the Woods is the only Bryson book I couldn’t get through! I love all his others though!! I love audible too, listening to Bryson’s non-travel books made them easier to get through because they can get quite textbook-like.
    If you’d like a suggestion for totally motivating exercise I’d suggest checking out It’s free, you can do it at home (or on the go) and the community is super supportive! Her other program (Pilates intense interval training) costs but is also effective and again has a suuuuper motivating private Facebook group!
    I’ve never been to Austin but I think that’s where Nomadic Matt’s hostel is. If I ever get there I’d definitely check out his hostel.

  2. Stacey says:

    Oh I love Bill Bryson but haven’t read that one yet. It’s on my list though. And I do love his audio books. I listened to Notes from a Small Island that way (actually my introduction to him) and he has such an easy voice to listen to.

    Austin is a great city! I’ve visited a couple of times and would recommend the tour of the State Capitol which is free and interesting and you get to explore the inside of the building which is really beautiful. If you’d like to learn even more about Texas there is the Bullock Texas State History museum that my son and I quite liked. You’re also coming at a good time to be outside as it won’t be ridiculously hot yet so will be able to take advantage of some of their outdoor activities, especially on Lady Bird Lake. I’ve also heard that Hamilton Pool is fantastic, but I haven’t made it there yet. Check that one out in advance online though as I believe it can get quite crowded and they limit people let it so there should be some tips about booking online or making reservations (if possible).

    Have a great trip!

    • Rachel Elizabeth says:

      Stacey —

      I’ll have to listen to Notes from a Small Island soon!

      And thanks so, so, so super much for all your Austin recommendations! I definitely want a tour of the State Capitol, and the Bullock Texas State History museum also sounds amazing.

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