Eeeeek! That’s it! Wanderlust is finally out, just in time to download to your Kindle for some holiday reading. I mean, who doesn’t love a good holiday romance? The accelerated getting-to-know-you process, spending magical moments together, heartbreaking goodbyes and never knowing if you’ll see each other again. *sigh* It’s my firm belief that everyone should have at least one and whether you have or you haven’t, you can join Alex and Selina on the beautiful island of Ibiza by downloading it here. Even better, it’s only 99c/99p for tomorrow only!

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In other news, my very own Alex (even though he is fictional) and I are on a road trip! Our sense of Wanderlust continues. So far, we’ve visited Zurich and Marseille, and are currently in Uzes, the place that sparked my travel bug and is the inspiration for Colinas Verde in Wanderlust. Afterwards, we’re heading to Spain, back through France to England and then back to Germany. 

You can follow our trip on Instagram @scribblywanderer 

xx

So the lovely folk at WordPress reminded me this morning that my website is three years old today! How is that even possible? Maybe this is what parents mean when they say time goes so quickly. I remember when I first started, I was worried nobody would even find the site and now, I’ve got over 2,000 followers – totally cray-cray!

To make the day even more special, Becca’s Books, kindly did a cover reveal this morning, for Wanderlust. It’ll be released this summer and is book 2 of the Pull series. I cannot WAIT for this one 🙂

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When Selina gets dumped in a viral YouTube video, there’s only one thing she can do: withdraw her savings, quit her temping job and leave. Vowing never to fall for guys like her ex again, she swaps London for Ibiza and finds herself volunteering in Colinas Verde. With its alternative, relaxed lifestyle, sunny skies and deep blue sea, it’s the perfect place to start her backpacking adventure and forget the humiliation she left behind. If only it weren’t for Alex.

Berlin born Alex is travelling solo, and with good reason. In the wake of a promising rock climbing career cut short due to injury, he’s left a trail of disappointment and broken hearts behind him. Determined not to make the same mistakes again, he opted to volunteer in sleepy Colinas Verde over hedonistic Southern Ibiza and with only one week left, it was a choice that paid off, until Selina showed up.

New housemates Selina and Alex are both determined to change, but in a place where people come and go and relationships are intense, old habits die hard.

Two backpackers. One week. What happens in Ibiza…

So I read an interesting blog post on Becca’s Books yesterday. It was asking whether fictional romance gives readers unrealistic expectations when it comes to love. My answer was that it did, without a doubt. But it wasn’t a simple yes/no answer. I don’t know how many films I’d watched or books I’d read when I thought to myself ‘Yeah, yeah. Whatever. That would never happen in real life.’ That’s why they’re in fiction, right? But then I realised, I’m a writer, and I write about love. And I’m adding to this problem. I felt a flash of guilt, but it didn’t last long. The reason? Because things like that do exist.

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Ok, so we now know that this photo was of two random people kissing in the street and not an actual couple, and ok, movie-like love doesn’t happen to everyone every day. I’m a skeptic about most things, but not when it comes to love. This is why I love my job, because I don’t think love is something you should compromise on.

In Together Apart, Adam loves Sarah without question. Even as he begins to uncover her past, it’s a love that never waivers. Does he like her all the time? No. She’s a pain in the ass, a secretive woman who’s broken his heart, but he still loves her. And in my new book, Love You Better, there’s Smith, the guy who was just plain awful, someone you should most definitely steer clear of, and yet, he still manages to get under Effie’s skin.

To me, the art of writing anything with a love story in it, is that it has to be realistic. Yes, readers want escapism, but they also want something they can aspire to. And what makes a great love story great, is that in the end, the couple are together despite everything that gets thrown at them. They don’t have to organise a flashmob in Central station, or fly halfway around the world before they realise they’re in love to do it.

What made the answer to the question posed in the blog more grey than black and white, was that I’m now in one of those relationships. Remember my post about falling in love while travelling? Being honest, that post was the skeptic in me, the part of me that has this ‘yeah, yeah, whatever’ reaction to the standard romance novel/romcom happy ending. What happened after I wrote that post, was that he went off to Nepal as planned, while I went to Thailand. I never dared to dream that he would join me in Thailand afterwards, or that we would travel to Cambodia together. And I definitely didn’t dare to imagine that I’d be invited to go to his brother’s wedding the week after we both landed back in our home countries, let alone visit his hometown. But that’s what happened, and that’s where I am as I write this post – in Germany, sitting in his mum’s garden while he does some DIY.

I can’t tell you how many times I’d get frustrated with the Hollywood happy ending when I’d date guys who’d cheat, go back to their exes or just drop off the face of the earth. It seemed too realistic to imagine ‘romance’ as it was in the books I loved being real, until I found myself in the situation myself.

And that’s why I’ll continue to write the stories I do. To me, these stories should be something to aspire to, whether we get them or not, instead of something to keep us down and believe that happiness is something that only happens in fiction.

After all, isn’t there a famous quote that to be a good writer, you should write what you know? So, yeah. Expect more of these stories from me. And I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry.

x

It’s a fact that travelling brings people together. You’re on your own, in a foreign country, experiencing new, unforgettable things on an almost daily basis and the best part is that most people you meet will have similar interests as you. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who hasn’t had some kind of relationship story while travelling, whether it’s been a fling or the real, true deal. The question is, is it worth it?

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I read a comment on an online forum some time ago that said falling in love while travelling is brutal, but worth it. I love love. I’m a romance writer, so of course I do. I’m a hopeless romantic and I’m always filled with a warm glow when I hear about a love story that started thousands of miles away in some exotic place, and lasts. I was lucky enough to attend the wedding celebration of a French woman who met her now Australian husband travelling in Costa Rica. Proof enough that the possible heartache that comes with falling in love while being inherently transient is a possibility.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’m happy enough to say that right now, as I’m writing this post, I’m in love. For the last two months, every day has been better than the last, with picture perfect moments that Hollywood would wet itself over. Having someone to share new experiences with is one of the best feelings ever, whether they’ve been good or bad. It’s been like living in a dream world with an infinite amount of time ahead of you.

But it isn’t infinite. Sooner or later, things have to change. People have to move on, whether you continue travelling together or not, or one of you returns to your home country. How do you know whether or not to continue on the path you originally had in mind when you first set out, or to see where this new romance takes you? When things are so uncertain in life, how do you know whether it’s worth adapting your plans to accommodate someone else? And, more importantly, how do you know that the love you’ve shared wasn’t just some by-product of being somewhere exotic and tropical – somewhere far away from your every day life? Realistically speaking, the experiences you share with a new partner in your regular setting back home (wherever that home may be) over the period of a few months, can be shared with someone while travelling in a matter of weeks. Especially if you’re spending every single day together.

When I left home, I had a firm plan of doing my shiatsu course, staying away from parties and generally being more focussed. Suffice it to say, life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. Instead, I’ve partied like a crazy person, found myself in one of these dream-like travel relationships and the shiatsu just wasn’t for me. Now, it’s getting ready to change again. In around two weeks time, the guy I’m with leaves for Nepal and a couple of weeks after that, I’ll be in Thailand – at least, that’s the plan. The question of whether our time together has been worth the inevitable heartache that’ll come when we eventually take different directions has popped into my head more than once. For me, I can honestly say that, yes, it has been. Whatever happens in the future, I know for a fact that at the very least, I’ve made a friend I’ll keep for life.

Have any of you experienced the dizzy feeling of falling in love on your travels? And what was the outcome? Do you think it was worth it, or do you think it’s better to stick by yourself and achieve whatever it was you hoped to achieve when you jumped on an plane to a far flung corner of the world?

Sharing is caring!

Ok, so I’ve been very, very lax with my updates, but it’s hard to keep in touch when you’re busy chilling out all the time. Actually, that’s a lie. I’ve not been chilling too much. I’ve had deadlines, patchy internet and moved house. I think I’ve been to the beach three or four times since I’ve been here. Ho hum. In any case, I’m back in Arambol and having a major case of deja vu.

I guess it’s a pretty special place, in that there’s a core community of people who come here year after year, in some cases, the last two decades! So I’ve not been surprised to see so many of the people I met last year. In fact, I was banking on it. But, like most things, life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

The people I hung out with last season are not the same people I’ve been hanging with this time around. I’ve seen them, spent a little time with them, but that’s about it. I suppose it’s a important lesson not to have any expectations of anyone, or plan around people too much. In the upside, I’ve made a bunch of new friends who have kept me thoroughly entertained.

And the deja vu? Well, I’m back in the Purple House, the same one I stayed in last time. But this time, I’m sharing with two awesome guys, German yoga teacher, Simon and Aussie surfer, James. And as of yesterday, German contact dance teacher, Anir. That is where the deja vu ends though. Even though I’m technically sleeping in the exact same room I did last year, most nights we’ve all slept on the balcony (pictures to come soon). Unlike last year, we’ve decorated it with mattresses, cushions and wall hangings and most of the time, we hang out there. Even though the surroundings are the same, the feelings are much, much more different.

I guess it all boils down to the saying that’s so prevalent throughout Asia. Same, same. But different.

🙂