The Definition of Travel

After clicking on the link to my very own blog for the first time in upwards of two years, I realized I had some thinking to do.

I am very fortunate to have reached the stage in my life whereupon travel, on a regular and fairly consistent basis, is no longer an option.  I have a stable 9-5 (well, 8:15-4:30) career that I’ve been in since October 1, 2014.  I have no guaranteed plans to travel in 2015 as of January 4th.  So why was I scoping out my blog?

Funny you should ask! Let me tell you!

I recently decided to undertake a challenge throughout the year. 50 in 15, as it were.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a book snob.  Not that I am picky about my books…but I am VERY picky about my books.  There are certain tropes I look for when I am perusing content; certain tropes that will rope me in, despite the writing quality.  I don’t take book recommendations very well and I don’t typically follow the popularity trends in keeping up to date with the books “everyone’s talking about.”  It took me a few years to read The Fault in Our Stars and hop on the John Green bandwagon (why!  Why did it take me so long!?!?!).  I never made it through The Book Thief or Gone Girl.  I cried my way through the first 30 pages of Game of Thrones, unable to adjust to his excruciatingly detailed writing style.

So when a friend posted this on her Facebook timeline mid-December, I almost skipped right by.

The Challenge

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never made a New Years Resolution in my life…but this? This seemed not only do-able…but fun!

I immediately started plotting. Should I allow for one book to fulfill multiple categories? (No! Because then I wouldn’t be reading 50 books…) Which categories would be easier and harder to fill? (The genre books and the book set in your home town.) I decided to start classifying which ones I would read. I took out my journal and rewrote down every single category that needed filling, sitting in front of my bookshelf, dissecting each book that had languished on it, unread. I wound up with roughly 17 books that I could categorize accordingly. Fantastic…but now what?

I began to do research. Which books came out in my birth year that I hadn’t read? (Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett…after all, it’s only been recommended to me by numerous people.) What’s a book that my mother loves? (She has very different tastes than I when it comes to settling down and enjoying a good book.) Which books could be found at Half Price Books? (So I wouldn’t have to pay for shipping.) Which books could I order brand new and still have it be cheaper than ordering them used and paying exorbitant shipping costs?

I reached the conclusion that there was absolutely no way to plan out the whole year in books. In fact, it would be impossible. One of the categories was “A book that comes out this year.” Well…I can’t exactly tell the future.

I decided to fill as many categories as I could (especially the tough ones) and leave some of the easier categories empty so that I could choose more books as I went.

After three or four trips to different Half Price Books around DFW and a purchase (or three) from the Amazon Marketplace, I figured I had a good enough starting point for my epic journey through several worlds…from the comfort of my own home; somewhere around 25 books.

Day -1

(Mind you, I don’t have ROOM for these books. They are currently sitting on my floor in front of my bookshelf. If this stays the case all year, I just might go insane. “Location, location, location.”)

The only problem then was the ever-tedious waiting.

I had 25 books raring to go.

Sitting on my floor.

Taunting me with their covers and titles and categories-filled.

But it was still late-December! Blasted 2014! I couldn’t begin my challenge for a few days yet.

Enter my White Elephant Christmas present. I was gifted I fought for the right to own House of Cards season 1 on Blu-ray. And it was totally worth it. I settled in and closed out 2014 by watching all 13 episodes in the span of roughly 4 days. Of course, now I’m hooked. Season 2, here I come. Season 3 is waiting for me, just on the other side of my birthday. I can handle that.

Mid-HoC-Binge, January 1st came and went. I picked up my first book.

#32 – A Trilogy

Wikipedia States: A Wizard of Earthsea is a young-adult fantasy novel written by Ursula K. Le Guin, first published in 1968. Set in the fictional archipelago of Earthsea, the story follows the education of a young mage named Ged who joins a school of wizardry. A Wizard of Earthsea is widely regarded as a classic of fantasy and young-adult literature.

A Wizard of Earthsea has been compared to major fantasy works such as The Lord of the Rings and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Modern writers have credited A Wizard of Earthsea for introducing the idea of a “wizard school,” which would later be made famous by the Harry Potter series.

January 3rd: I’m brushing my teeth before getting into bed when I’m struck with epiphany.

Random House Dictionary defines travel as “the act of traveling; journeying, especially to distant places.”

Why shouldn’t I share my process? Keep up with the in’s and out’s of this particular reading challenge. After all, reading is its very own form of travel.

I have inspired several people to undertake this challenge with me. Several who have asked for book recommendations and several who commented that they love the idea. I was and continue-to-be inspired by them as well. Whether or not I stick this out, whether or not my friends and family will be along for the ride with me, whether or not this is a road trip of epic proportions or simply turns into a solo excursion without a map, resulting in my getting lost along the way, I will endeavor to blog my travels. I will keep up with the time it takes, I will do my best to review each book, and I will keep track of what drags me away from my task (blasted Kevin Spacey!!!).

Get ready. Because if you’re with me for the long haul, it just might be a bumpy ride.

Author: alisonlcohn

Graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Communications Advertising. Traveled a bit. Taught for two years. Administered aptitude tests for a while. Worked as a Training Associate for Guardian Mortgage and a Quiz Master for Geeks Who Drink. Obtained my Master's in Film, Television and Screen Media in London, England. Now working as a small-group travel coordinator. Nice to meet you!

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