What have you read lately?

This question made me take a serious look at my priorities. When asked,”What have you read lately?” I could only respond, nothing.

That was a hard admission. I consider myself a reader, but I’ve been too busy to read. What does that really mean? It means I’ve found other ways to spend my time.

I don’t regret wedding planning instead of reading. Bike riding, traveling, hiking, outdoor activities, writing…all good uses of my time.

However, there’s been plenty of time to waste on Facebook. Time to waste watching television. Time to play games online…but no time to read?

After admitting I’ve read no books recently, using that busy excuse, I did say I’ve become a magazine reader…and that’s true. Thanks to the Marion County Public Library and the Zinio app, I’ve discovered and read magazines I’d have never tried, and since I access the magazines on my phone or iPad, I don’t have to deal with all of the paper magazines piling up.

I’ve read Backpacker, Handyman, iPhone Life, Mother Jones, Outdoor Photographer, Writer and Yoga as well as the more traditional “women’s” magazines I’d read in the past. I’ve found I really enjoy magazines, but since my admission of taking a break from reading, I’ve taken action.

I dusted off the books on the nightstand by my bed, charged my Kindle and downloaded the audio book, The Boys in the Boat, for a Spring Break trip. Does that count?

Busy is no excuse. It’s time to get my priorities straight. Thanks for asking what I’m reading.

 

 

 

7 Favorite FREE Travel Apps

How did we ever travel without a phone and all the great apps that make the trip easier to plan and enjoy? After returning from NYC, I realized how many of these apps improved our time away from home.

Postagram – Use the pictures you take while away to create your own postcards. With this app, any picture on your phone can be sent as a postcard for only $1 and best of all you don’t need to find a post office or buy stamps. Select the image, create the postagram and message, include the address of the recipient, and friends or family members will receive the Postagram postcard in their mailbox in less than a week.

HopStop – Simply input your location (or let the app use your current location) and your destination and HopStop develops routes for walking, using mass transit, or a taxi. Routes, estimated time, and cost are provided for each route. For city travel HopStop is a must!

TripIt – This “all-in-one” trip organizer tracks reservations for flights, hotels, restaurants, or events to create a master itinerary that can be shared with traveling companions or those back home that you want to make jealous. I was amazed that my airline reservations automatically appeared in my TripIt itinerary. Someday when I become a world traveler, I may even upgrade to the paid version of TripIt Pro.

History Here  Perfect for a history geek. This travel guide uses your current location and GPS to locate nearby historical locations including descriptions, pictures, hours of operation, and admission price. History Here led us to Theodore Roosevelt’s Boyhood home, a National Park in NYC with free admission, guided tour, and lots of interesting information about the city and its history.

FlightAware – An easy way to track the status of flights including flight status, gate number, delays, cancellations, and live flight tracking. This may even be a better app for those picking up travelers at the airport.

Yelp – A terrific city guide to places to eat or shop or visit based on the experiences of others. With the help of Yelp we found Amici II, a great restaurant in Little Italy.

Zinio – This app with the free magazine collection available from the public library made for a better flight. Just download a few magazines before leaving home for hours of reading pleasure at the airport or on the flight. No more last minute trips to the airport newsstand!IMG_1718

I’m still looking for the perfect weather app. I’ve downloaded five, but I’m still looking. Any suggestions?