Thursday, 4 April 2013

Mint Tea To Maori Tattoo by Carolina Veranen-Phillips...

I love a good book! I go through phases where I get into a book and don't want to put it down, then I might not read anything for a while once I've finished and then when I read again I'm like a born again bookworm and can't put a good book down. I love books like that though, that you literally don't even want to put down to go to the toilet!

In relation to books and films, I like reading and watching things that relate to real life, so something that is based on a true story, or actually is something that's happened and is told by the person/persons that experienced such thing(s).

One of the books I have recently finished is a travel book called 'Mint Tea To Maori Tattoo'. It is a book about a unique backpacking experience, taken by Carolina Veranen-Phillips. I love travelling, so was really keen to read this and find out about different places, different cultures, the adventures she got up to and how she adapted to different places. Once I got started, it didn't take me long to finish the book! The book is based on the fact that Carolina woke up one morning determined to change something in her life (I'm sure we all feel this now and again - well she actually went ahead and did an amazing thing!). She'd had enough of her monotonous daily routine and craved something else, something different and unusual. She thought about a trip around the world, where she would be able to discover the world's beauties, meet people from different cultures and learn more about where she fits into society. Her adventure takes her to the Middle East, Africa and Oceania.

Carolina Veranen-Phillips (Image courtesy of Carolina Veranen-Phillips).

Image courtesy of Carolina Veranen-Phillips.

The main thing I like about the book is that instead of just telling you her daily routine and what she did each day whilst travelling, she also includes some history in there aswell, so it's quite educational. She doesn't make it boring either, it is really interesting stuff that she tells you. All the way through the book she comes across as a positive, happy person and has an amazing attitude that we as people, who sometimes take things for granted, can absorb. It really is an inspirational read and I feel a lot of people can learn a thing or two from her. From reading about the way she is, how she portrays herself, how she treats people, how she reacts etc you instantly get a feeling that she is a lovely person to be around and one that wouldn't suck all the energy out of you or ever make you feel bad.

Carolina's passport stamps from her travels! (Image courtesy of Carolina Veranen-Phillips).

I don't want to ruin everything in the book for you, just in case you decide to purchase it, but I do want to give you a few tasters regarding a few things that stood out for me within the book...

. A lucky escape in Tanzania; getting mugged on the beach.
. A funny stamp story.

There are also some things she says within the book that stood out to me, some were her own words and some were other quotes she had read which meant something to her. Here are a few of my favourites that I feel I can relate to...

'Life can either be accepted or changed. If it is not accepted, it must be changed. If it cannot be changed, then it must be accepted.'

'I don't have a religion any more. My personal life experience guided me towards having none. Experience and time showed me that I don't need to follow a book to tell me how I should live my life. I have common sense, integrity and moral standards. I use my experience, my feelings, what I hear and read to create my own life path. I know very well when I have done something right or something wrong and I take responsibility for it! I understand that everyone is not like me and I accept the difference. Some people need religion, while others don't. I don't.'

(When talking about the time she was sitting around a fire with her travel group, chatting and laughing when someone decided to raise his voice at her to get his point across). 'Why? Is that a good way to share your point of view? I thought, 'if you shout at me, how can I agree with what you are saying? Or even focus on what you are saying? I am just being bombarded with words?' I felt like this person had the need to 'win' the discussion. I am sure it made him feel better to shout at me! But why? Was he afraid of something? Of being less respected, maybe, if his idea was not accepted? Was it a fear of rejection? Was it over confidence or maybe a hidden lack of self confidence? I see discussion as an exchange of ideas, not a war. The important thing is to share ideas. It doesn't matter if people agree or don't agree with each other, as long as they are patient enough to hear what the other has to say. There is no winner or loser. It is simply an exchange of opinions where both ideas can be good and acceptable. Everybody is different, so we are bound to have different opinions. Aren't we?'

(When losing her passport and not being sure of where it was whilst trying to check into a backpackers (who asked to see her passport) and later realising she had left it at another backpackers place) 'It made me realise that it is not worth worrying about things. Worrying certainly does not help in solving a problem. It probably hinders the process. This experience emphasised for me the importance of trusting life; trusting that everything was going to be all right. Often, situations get better by themselves, without too much work, if we simply trust and stop worrying about it too much.'

'I find it hard to be around people who are quick to judge, who think less of you for no apparent reason and who think they have the answers to anything and know everything about everything. I find it simply too harmful and destructive to be with such people. I try to avoid those people and to protect myself against them. They are energy thieves, sucking my energy resources. The less I come across them, the healthier I feel.'

I could go on all day about this book, but before I basically end up re-writing the whole book in this review, I better stop, ha! I don't want to ruin everything for you anyway as I am aware that some people might just read this as my latest blog post, but some people might also search for this book and this review come up in search results, so like I said I wanted to give a taster, but not give everything away.

If you like a good read, a true read, an adventure read, a travel read, an inspirational read...I would definitely recommend this book!

Carolina Veranen-Phillips has her own website, where you can read more about her, purchase her book, find out news/events, contact her and read other readers comments about her book. You can also read a sample of her book.

Has anyone already got this book? If so, what do you think of it?

If you haven't got the book, does it sound like something you'd like to read?

Thanks for reading!
Gem XxOo


  1. Hey Lovely,

    I really like your blog and have nominated you for a Liebster Award!

    Check out my blog for details -

    Nyss xx

    1. Hey! Aww thanks lovely lady, that's so nice of you and means a lot :) xx

  2. Lovely blog! Gonna enjoy your updates ;) x

    1. Aww thanks so much, it really means a lot :) xx


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