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Photo by Matt Antonioli on Unsplash

Whether you’re an avid reader or someone who barely has time to read a few books a year, a lot of us say we want to “read more”. Whatever your reason, whatever your definition of “more” is, there are some simple tips that can help you achieve that.

I want to start by saying there is no pressure to read a certain number of books in any given period of time. It doesn’t have to be the most important thing in your life, the only way you spend your free time, or some sort of moral marker. …


As we moved into the start of self-isolation and quarantines here in the USA at the beginning of March, I quickly scribbled out a list of books and things I’d read in the recent past that seemed to fit the current mood.

Most of these books touch on loneliness and, in turn, human connection.

From a story about a sudden and mysterious virus, to books about our connection to each other, the world, and social media, here are a few reading suggestions that might offer something useful to you right now.

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Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell

“To resist in place is to make oneself into…


A few years ago, when I was working at a resort in the state of Washington, a co-worker asked me: why do you want to travel so much?

I went with the standard (and admittedly annoying) answer, “Why not?”

I think a lot of us travelers throw that response at people because we get asked WHY all the time. It can be exhausting to give a real answer to everyone because our true WHY runs so deep. Unless you want to spend an hour conversing with whoever asked, giving a real answer just isn’t worth the effort.

But if we’re…


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View of the 630 foot tall Gateway Arch from below

On February 22, 2018, a new national park was officially created. The U.S. now has 60 National Parks, the latest addition being Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis, Missouri.

Prior to February 2018, the Gateway Arch and grounds was known as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Yes, it was already part of the National Parks System, but hopefully the name change will give it a bit more recognition.

Why the name change? Well, everyone knows the Gateway Arch! The giant silver arch looms over St. Louis and the Mississippi River as the gateway to the west. It’s one of…


I’ve never been good at sleeping on planes, or on any public transportation for that matter. If I’m on an overnight flight, I’m lucky if I manage to actually fall asleep for more than a couple of minutes. I mean, how does ANYONE sleep on an airplane?

Maybe I’m doing it wrong. Maybe I should be taking sleeping pills & drinking all the free wine (not together, right?).

Since I can’t sleep on airplanes, I have to come up with other ways to spend my 8-, 12-, 14-hour long flights.

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Here’s what a long-haul flight usually looks like for me.


In February 2011, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, destroying most of the city’s buildings and infrastructure. It did not, however, destroy the city’s spirit.

It’s been six years since the fatal earthquake, but just by looking at the city, you’d think only a year or so had passed. Christchurch is still very much a work-in-progress, with construction sites and crumbling buildings everywhere you turn. Gates and warning signs surround historic structures. Gravel lots outnumber operating buildings, amplifying the emptiness left behind by the quake.

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While traveling around New Zealand, plenty of people told me how eerie Christchurch was…

Courtney Minor

Writing about books, coffee, travel, and whatever’s on my mind. // emptyhead.substack.com // Blogging at traveldaze.co

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