My long haul flight reading list

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What does someone aspiring to live a free, simple and at-every-minute fun life take with them on their very first long haul flights, and the trip of a lifetime to the USA?

Definitely not copious amounts of new clothes like I used to take on previous holidays back when I was a severe clothes hoarder. Did anyone else squeeze everything into their suitcase full to bursting point with 14 outfits for a 3 day trip? It was madness.

In the search for simplicity I have come to realise there's only a handful of things you really need to take with you on a road trip. Everything else just isn't essential:

Boarding passes.
A map.
A pair of jeans. 
A couple of tops.
A bit of makeup.

... and a few really great books for all those international and domestic flights, lay overs and transfers. 

My itinerary

Weds 12th Apr – London to NYC

Sun 16th Apr – NYC to Boston, MA

Tues 18th Apr – Boston to Portland, OR

Tues 25th Apr – Portland to Boulder, CO

Hours in the air 

25.5 hours

Hours travelling by bus

6 hours

That's a whole lot of travelling time to kill.

My plan, having never travelled this much in my life (I'm too excited for words) is to use the time well, jam packing my brain full of material that I know I need to read to progress my dreams, blog, career, etc. 

So, today's post is different from my usual interior updates. I thought I would share with you my long haul flight reading list – one that is focused on being the best version of myself when I return, with some self help and fictional stories in the mix. 

You too might have a mother of a journey ahead of you, or you might be on the lookout for inspirational holiday reading, books that will contribute to your life in some way, whatever it is you're in search of, I hope my reading list inspires you. 

Freedom Seeker: Live more. Worry less. Do what you love by Beth Kempton

Those who know me in real life (you lucky things, you) will know I had a few months before Christmas feeling a little lost, lacking in personal direction. I felt like I'd spent the years prior spinning too many plates, never getting really bloody good (like, shit hot good) at something and I spread myself too thin across my blog, my career, projects on the house, my personal life, everything.

Whilst I was bountiful in many other ways – I had so much support from colleagues, a beautiful home (well, maybe not beautiful! haha), a doting fiancé and family, I was fit and healthy – I felt like something was missing.

It was reading Freedom Seeker that taught me what that missing piece was: the freedom to make my own decisions for ME, not making decisions based on what's easier or preferable for other people.

Freedom Seeker gave me permission (the little voice in my head permission) to get serious about self care and what I want in life.  It has had such a profound effect on me that I'm re-reading it on my flight to JFK only this time I'm taking a notebook with me to work through all of the exercises in the book. Yes friends, I'll be writing my Freedom Flight Plan whilst on a flight!

Order a copy:

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

This is one of those books that I heard from a friend helped him find simplicity in his day to day 'admin' – emails, mainly. The book has always intrigued me. 

I guess an essentialist is a minimalist. They have the quick brainpower to make decisions based on what's necessary at that moment in time and cut the fat. It's a skill I have often reverted back to, say when I'm out shopping – "is buying that t-shirt really essential?" – but it's a skill I don't seem to have mastered in the admin elements of my life. 

For example, if someone emailed me for advice on home decoration, I would either write an essay back to them, or put off writing anything at all. Why is that? It's my hope that this book will offer me a way of working that requires well-thought but minimal responses thus making me more productive. Fingers crossed.  

Order a copy:

Big Magic: Creative living beyond fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

A little tip for you. Ask the people closest to you what books they recommend you read to make yourself an even better version of yourself. The chances are, given they know you so well, they'll pick books that might touch on your vulnerabilities or areas you've suggested in the past that you think you need to work on.

I listen intently when asking people "what shall I read? what will help me?" especially when those people are my boss/ex-boss/life coach. I tend to find those are the people I've worked closely with and they know me really well, my strengths and weaknesses. They're very experienced themselves, have read great books in the past and I really appreciate their recommendations. 

On 3 separate occasions, when I asked people – what can I read to make me a better person – "Big Magic" was the reply.

I always thought I was quite savvy on book trends but ridiculously, I'd never heard of it! After a quick google, it was in my Amazon cart. I'm excited to dig in and explore more of what makes me creative, and how I can introduce more of it to my every day. 

Order a copy:

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

A perfect balance between self help books and exercises on a road trip can only be got with a great fictional read. As a LOVER of Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, a friend recommended I read this for it's similar upbeat and quirky storyline. As far as I know it's about a guy with Asperger's who is on the hunt for the love of his life. 

That's all I know. I'm hoping it will live up to the roaring reviews it's got since its release. Will have to let you know!

Order a copy:

That's it! Those are the books I'm stocking up my kindle with. What have you been reading lately? Did you read something memorable on a holiday you can recommend me? I will no doubt fly through these on flights so may need to stock up with more books half way through my road trip!

Follow me on Instagram, I'm @fifimcgeee for my USA travel updates :)