I can never quite wrap my head around the idea of popping to another country for a day, but that's what @finlaysonjulianne and I did today: we caught the 7am train from Zagreb and we were sipping coffee in Ljubljana before 10. We spent the day strolling, laughing, eating, and taking photos of the amazing scenery. And now we're on the train back to Zagreb...so simple, but so magical! #ljubljana#slovenia_ig#visitljubljana#visitslovenia#passionpassport#cntraveller#mytinyatlas#ljubljanainmypocket
Not shown: the insane quasi-queue that mostly involved people pushing in to get a photo inside the frame, and ignoring my very British passive-aggressive tuts and death stares. London might not have scenes like this one, but it has a world-class queueing system, and for that I am thankful. #zagrebcity#Zagreb#zagrebcroatia#zagrebchristmasmarket#croatia_photography#crostagram#wanderlustcroatia
Hustle, noisy, busy, bustle, While underfoot the fall leaves rustle. The city lures, a siren song, But give it time (it won't take long) For the beckoning of country air, Away from London's noise and glare. If you seek then you will find, Respite for your restless mind. Lose yourself in a fairytale: Quaint beauty over hill and dale. Thatched roofs, stone and climbing roses, A feast for eyes, ears and noses. If calm is what you're looking for, You'll find it not far from your door. London life is frantically fast, But in the Cotswolds you'll find peace...at last. #ParkerPen#WorldIntoWords#RabbiesTours
I'm not generally into pink, but when it's on a gorgeous door on a cottage in the Cotswolds, I'm all for it! I spent today exploring Oxford and the Cotswolds with @rabbies_tours and was blown away by the beauty that can be found just a couple of hours from home. I learned loads, saw some of the most beautiful little corners of England and I even spotted some Harry Potter filming locations...so it was a brilliant day, all told! Have you visited the Cotswolds? #RabbiesTours#cotswoldsbloggers#prettylittleengland#visitengland
Travel isn't just taking time away from your normal life. It's seeing a new place. Seeing the same place through different eyes. It's being challenged. It's trying new things. It's making memories. It's growing. You might not think that a weekend break in your home country could do all that. But I'd never seen England's beauty the way I saw it here in Cornwall. And I'd never have tried surfing on a cold autumn day if it hadn't been for the amazing lesson I took with @thetravelhack at @watergatebay. Travel doesn't have to be far-flung and exotic. It just takes getting out of your day-to-day, keeping an open mind, and not being too scared of getting hypothermia. You never know what might happen as a result!
Yes, I *know* I look a bit nonplussed but to be fair, it's harder than it looks to take a photo with a self timer. You have to think about the following: - not spilling coffee onto the gorgeous sheets - hiding the phone that's acting as a remote control - posing in some kind of 'hey, look how relaxed I am' way while being 100% not relaxed - not looking naked (I wasn't, for the record) So my facial expression was the last thing on my mind. As you can clearly tell. Nonetheless, I'm happy with the result. Because this was the most sumptuous bed, in the most incredible room, in the most spectacular hotel. And I wanted something to remember it by (although I probably just should have asked @thetravelhack to take a picture for me, now that I think about it)!
Words and waves - is there any better combination? I was lucky enough to grow up near the ocean. And for most of my life, I've had a beach within easy reach from where I lived. But now I'm hours away from any coast and I find myself yearning for a glimpse of the ocean, for the sound of waves lapping against the shore. It's good for the soul. It's awe-inspiring. And calming. And whenever I'm near the ocean again I feel myself relaxing - truly relaxing. I cherish those moments. I no longer take them for granted. So spending a few days here in Cornwall has been incredibly good for my soul. Reading We Need to Talk About Kevin, on the other hand...not so soothing! 😱 Do you love being by the seaside as much as I do? #lovecornwall#authorlife#bookstagramuk#watergatebay#booksandbeaches#amreading#bookcommunity
The only thing better than a bookshop is a vintage book market, and one of the best in London is found on the South Bank. There's a bit of everything, including first edition Penguin paperbacks, classic books and plenty of modern novels. They also have gorgeous prints (perfect Christmas present, if you've started your shopping already). I found myself here on a stroll this morning and got lost in the beauty of this gorgeous London gem for a while. Have you been to the Southbank Centre Book Market before? #literarylondon#bookstagramuk
IT'S HERE! The Other Sister is out in paperback in the UK today...so keep a lookout for it in good bookshops, as well as Tesco (and please let me know if you see it out and about)! My celebrations will be pretty low key (the way I like it): I started my day with a 5k run, am now listening to the Nashville soundtrack while I get some work done, then I'm off to take part in a German cooking class for the blog. And then I'll be meeting @lifewithbrendo for drinks and Mexican street food. And of course, I'll make him stop at every book shop we pass along the way...just to check. So today, it's celebrations, as well as trying not to panic about the fact that people are going to be READING MY WORDS. Breathe, Elle, just breathe. #authorsofinstagram#authorlife#publicationday#bookstagramuk#theothersister
This is me at 15: I'm in the middle, between my sister and brother. Middle child in every sense. When I look at this photo, I see a girl nervous about the future and afraid she won't fit in. I also see a girl with terrible hair and a PVC jacket but that's another story. When this photo was taken, we'd just moved to the UK, and I was about to start a brand new school. I was on the cusp of turning 16. If I could give this girl one piece of advice, it would be this: you will find your place. I'd never truly felt like I'd fit in at this point. I was bullied in primary school. I preferred the library to the sports field. I'd rather watch a film with my two or three closest friends than go to a house party. I was in a pig club, and if that doesn't tell you how uncool I was (in the eyes of my peers, that is) then I don't know what will. But just a few months after this photo was taken, I found my place. I found people who loved me and accepted me and who were, shockingly, quite like me. I wish I could go back and reassure this girl that she didn't need to change. She didn't need to become 'cool'. She already was cool. Just maybe not the same brand of cool as everyone else. Today is international #DayoftheGirl and today there are thousands of young girls in Brazil - the same age as I was in this photo - living in poverty. In fact, studies show that Brazil is the worst place in South America to be a girl, with 1 in 10 girls married before their 15th birthday. @compassionuk is aiming to change this by empowering 10,000 girls in Brazil with a handbook that will offer desperately needed #AdviceforGirls, helping them make informed choices about their future. So how can you help? Text EMPOWER to 70140 to donate £4 and help two young girls in Brazil get education about health, relationships and employment. I've donated and I'd love for you to join me today, either by donating or by spreading the word by sharing a photo of yourself at 15! Swipe across to see even more pictures of me at my most awkward life stage...
For the past week or so I've been on an accidental digital detox. No wifi, no phone signal, and I forgot my South African adaptor so...no devices, really. And you know what? It's been flipping brilliant! Sure, I had the odd moment of reaching for Instagram, only to realize it was out of my reach, but that was inevitably followed by a shrug. Who cares? I was spending time surrounded by my loved ones, who I only see every few years, and in the most incredible setting, too. So yeah. Not sure I have a point. Maybe just that sometimes, switching off is the best thing to do. So long, South Africa. As always, I'll leave a little piece of my heart with you. 💛
Our trip to Robben Island was sadly cancelled due to rough weather, but that meant we had the morning to stroll through the incredible Zeitz MOCAA modern art galley in Cape Town's Silo District. It's home to the world's largest collection of African art and it's an absolute must for visitors to Cape Town. Plus, it's in an epic building with a gorgeous spiral staircase! Bonus. 🌀
It's so much fun coming back to Cape Town and reliving the magic of childhood visits. This city always captures my heart and this (short, but so sweet) trip has been no different. One of the highlights: Tiny penguins frolicking all over Boulders Beach. I can't get enough of these guys!! 🐧💙🐧💙
✨COMPETITION TIME✨ Enter to win one of 3 signed proof copies of #TheOtherSister! 📚🔪 UK fans, this one's for you - the paperback doesn't come out here until October 18, but I have three exclusive (signed) early proof copies to give away so you can get your hands on it before anyone else! To enter, like this photo and tag someone in the comments below who you think would enjoy reading The Other Sister. And that's it...good luck, and happy reading! x T&Cs in the link in my bio, please read them for all the important stuff. Thanks for entering, and good luck! 💙 #bookstagram#bookstagrammer#bookish#bookgeek#psychologicalthriller#crimethriller#igreads#bookishlife#authorlife#iggiveaway#booksandbeans