Sha is back on the blog and she’s…

This is the second blog post I have written since March 22nd. Over a whole month, away from this blog. One this is indeed my official returning to the blog post and two oh wow I am so glad to be back. I missed y’all!! And three I got some serious news. 

seth meyers television GIF

| first things first

As I discussed in my I (Sha) Am on Blog Hiatus (& Why) post, I decided to take a break from Book Princess Reviews to focus on family and my mental health. I want to take this moment to say AGAIN how absolutely thankful I am for the supportive comments you’ve left both under that post, on the blog Twitter, and in blog posts. I was going through something incredibly personal, but I didn’t feel alone, I felt surrounded by love and positivity. Bless all y’all because it meant the world to me. ❤️

easy a crying GIF
how i felt reading your comments 

I do still have some family matters that remain unresolved, my mental health isn’t entirely 100%, but that’s also a fact of life. What is important now is I no longer feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. I needed a break, I hope all bloggers are comfortable taking a break when they feel any level of imbalance in their life.

| a quick mention

Since I’ve been away for a bit, I want to catch up on everything you’ve been doing. Obviously that’s not entirely possibly, but I am still determined. (I’ve literally forgotten what books are coming out, do I even know what books are anymore? Questions.) I’ve posted a tweet here where you just need to leave a reply, any reply, and in the next few days I’ll lovingly spam your blog with comments.

| the big news, the announcement, !!!

Now this has been in planning, for me, since January. I really did not expect for so much life to happen right before I announce on the blog (or experience it all in real time) but that’s really how things happen in the world. You can’t plan anxiety. You can’t plan depression.

My first “clue” to you is the way I designed the banner for this post. Any guesses? Think about it, think about it… (No one in my family guessed for a second, so I’m not sure anyone here will.)

highlight here ➡️ I’m moving to Australia for ten months!

| wait, what? (where I digress and ramble a bit)

I kind of want to stop talking so intensely about my mental health on here, because I feel like I’m throwing an overload after being so quiet about it all BUT I do want to say a few quick things ESPECIALLY since I know there might be others in my situation. And it does all relate to my trip.

In September, I withdrew from university because my mental health was doing so poorly and despite trying to get help from my uni, they kind of, um, brushed me off. Then I was kind of aimless like, what should a girl do with her life now? I had finished 3 years of a 4 year program. Practically none of my credits were transferable. If my mental health was so terrible, how was I going to succeed elsewhere?

I wish I had left university sooner. It was making me feel worse and worse about myself. I stayed because I thought “once I get my degree I can focus on my mental health.” Instead I burned out so bad I couldn’t get out of bed for days. Maybe I will go back, but being there when I was hurt me in the long run.

(in case anyone is wondering, my family was supportive of me leaving school and i’m so grateful)

the moral i’m trying to tell: mental health is important. please listen to what your heart is telling you. if you need a break, be it from blogging, from working, from schooling, do your best to take it. you aren’t weak for taking a break, you’re strong for knowing what your body and mind need.

| back to the Australia bit!! 

I have good friends who live in Australia. When they heard about me withdrawing from uni, we talked about me coming to stay with them. Then it was just about the when, and the how, and the oh, lol, that is much monies and planning.

where exact? in Queensland (nearish Brisbane)
when ya leaving? May 9

you know the plane ride is like, 20+ hours? please give me advice on how to survive
want me to tell you about all the deadly australian creatures? that is all my family has done so far, no thank you

what are you doing there? working and travelling but mainly enjoying sun i hope

why tho? i needed a change. i need to get out of the routine i live in and challenge myself. i need to rethink some things and see where i want to go with life.

are you still going to blog? um yes! blogging in 100% my favourite thing other than reading and the sun
does Mandy know? we are still crying about the time difference.

can i give you general travel advice and info about australia? YES! PLEASE! EVERYTHING. I don’t want to just be in Queensland the whole time so if you know any other things I must see you know where the comments section is!

That’s it from me today! IT = a lot, I know… I said the announcement was big! 


50 thoughts on “Sha is back on the blog and she’s…

  1. I’m so glad to hear that you’ve been taking care of your mental health and prioritizing your needs ❤️ And WOW that trip to Australia sounds absolutely amazing!!! I’ve never been there so I don’t really have any advice to give, but I hope you have a wonderful time!!! 😄


  2. This sounds super exciting! 😊 Have fun in Australia! (I myself had problems with burning out during the uni – though I somehow managed to finish – and in hindsight I admit I should have focused more on my mental health, and shouldn’t have waited so long to let myself do so. I’ve just moved countries – not so far, though, as you 😅 – and I already feel how helpful a little change of environment can be!)
    If you’d like to see what new books are out these days, just stop by my blog! 😉 I create a list every week😁😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We need a greater culture of acceptance surrounding school burnout. More systems in place to support students before dropping out becomes the only option and acceptance for those who need time away to become mentally healthy. I’m glad to hear you were able to make it through, and that you can at least focus on your mental health now! ❤ It's reassuring to hear a change of environment has helped someone else, I'm really hoping it will do good things for me as well.

      I'll be keeping my eye on your weekly lists for sure!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely. It’s way more often than it’s spoken about. I hope the change of environment will help you, too, and wish you all the best times in Australia! ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on being back!! And good luck with your move!

    You might remember me saying once my parents are in UAE now (Dubai)….only bringing it up now for advice purposes. The distance is definitely hard. Especially since they are awake when I’m going to bed.

    You and Mandy will be great if/when you go to Australia. If you get too down about having more distance between you guys, turning to favorite rereads actually helps. As well as buying books too. 😉

    I don’t know anything about those long flights yet since I haven’t gone over to UAE yet. I haven’t decided if I want to yet since plane tickets are EXPENSIVE going over there. But I have flown to Ireland and that was a 9 hour trip. Definitely stock up on books! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congratulations on the internet national move!

      I do a long international flight anfew times a year (not to Australia, sorry!) and I can never sleep on planes. It’s sooooo uncomfortable >_ Watch the movies
      > Make sure to pack a USB charger and an A/C adapter for your phone. Some planes only let you know recharge via USB. Some have A/C outlets but no USB ports. If you can look up info about your airplane, even better.
      > Pack a lot of snacks. Airplane food is never enough for me. Plus, eating helps pass the time.
      > Walk around. So, they hate it when you do this… but I find that if I can’t stretch my legs in seats that are so cramped, the flight seems to last even longer. Pick the bathroom with the longest line, even if it’s all the way on the other end of the plane.
      > Bring a bug empty water bottle. You can’t take water through security, but you can fill it up after you get through, before you get on the plane. The goal is to have to keep pausing your movie to run to the bathroom.


      1. Thank you for all this advice!! I’m hoping for sleep to pass the time, fingers crossed I can get comfortable…

        I had no idea about the A/C and USB adapter info! I will be looking into this now. Also the snacks, very smart thing to keep in mind.

        These are all such good tips. I can’t say thanks enough! No worries about the typoes, happens to everyone.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I do remember! I worry a lot about the time difference, it’s one thing being far away from the people you love and a whole extra thing being far AND in a completely different time zone. I’ll take the advice you have!

      Oh yes, favourite rereads is such a smart idea. I will need to drown myself in them.

      I can only imagine how expensive the tickets must be. You’d also have to add in time off work… a huge frustration. I really hope you are able to visit your parents soon, it’s never pleasant being far from the ones you love. The longest flight I’ve been on was three hours and I was still getting antsy. I’m not sure how I’ll take this one!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m currently still drowning in rereads cause I can’t decide what to read next. Hope you have fun with the rereads if/ when you do that!! 😀

        And yesss I saw the cheapest ticket was going to be $972 probably for a back of the plane ticket. Then the most expensive one was $1500 or something like that. I bet Australia will be even more o.o o.o

        I’m curious to know how much more now.

        And thanks! My dad is actually coming over here in early July so I’m waiting to talk to boss editor about it even though there’s some projects due the week he’s here. But my boss editor knows my dad is in Dubai now. So I hope he will let me have it off.


      2. P.S. Definitely get up and walk around sometimes. I didn’t on the 9 hour flight from Ireland to Atlanta. I was terrified cause a passenger plane had been shot and crashed somewhere… (in 2014!) don’t remember where. I didn’t sleep at all, just reread Harry Potter. My parents still don’t believe I didn’t sleep and I was like why do you think I slept 13+ hours when we got home?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all – WELCOME BACK! I am so sorry to hear you were having such a hard time, but am glad you were able to do what was right for you. I hope your Australian adventure is amazing, and that you figure out what you need to do for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1) all things aren’t deadly. we still have cats and dogs and my cousin has a pet children’s python which sleeps in his room… NONE OF THESE THINGS CAN KILL YOU. we arent THAT dangerous. i hope.
    2) oh mygosh you’re so lucky qld is so WARM at the moment!!!!! compared to melbourne, which is, how can i put this mildly? FREEZING. i’m dying.
    3) so, things you should know: the beaches in qld are amazing – the water is warm (well compared to beaches down south), locals are friendly?? and umm why do i have a feeling you’re going to a tiny town called toowoomba??
    4) you should 100% come down to melbourne. if you don’t want to fly you can make a mini road trip and do one day driving to sydney or canberra, then the next continuing to melbourne. (or do it all in one day). we are a beautiful city with lots of books!!!! we also have some koalas if you go further down to lorne and places like that
    5) don’t expect to see a kangaroo. like, you might, but it’s not guaranteed by coming here.
    6) i will normally just read and watch movies on a plane…. and sleeeeeeepp. while i have never been to canada and therefore never been on that flight before i have been on other big plane trips 😉
    7) okay just processing now that this is a super long comment and i’m sorry!!!!!! but it’s so nice to hear that you’re back, and you are coming back to big comment spam on my end xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. IT’S A LOT RHI I KNOW!! O:

      1) i think my family is just trying to terrify me as families are trained to do, and also all their education on australia comes from, like, “world’s deadliest creatures.”
      2) ooohhhhh well thank goodness I was sad to hear that my planning ended up with me arriving practically at the beginning of winter but okay, so qld is the warm area that is good. I’m so sorry Melbourne is cold right now!!! at least I know where to travel during the summer for some better temperatures? (this doesn’t help you and i’m sorry)
      3) wait is toowoomba a real town? OMG it’s a real place! Anyway no, I’m sorry, I’m not going to Toowoomba. the place i’m living in is a suburb and the population is even smaller than Toowoomba.
      4) omigoshh yes that would lovely and i must try and do that. i am sold on lots of books!!
      5) … wait. i won’t see kangaroos?

      *cancels trip*
      6) i am foreseeing so much sleep on this plane. and watching movies. this is good advice.
      7) that is fine i love this long comment!! i am getting the long comment love back. ❤ it's great to be back and i am excited and yaaaay!!

      Liked by 1 person

        1) yep, sounds bout right
        2)yes it is extremely warm yes i am still dead BUT I CAN WEAR BEANIES NOW AT LEAST
        3) it is a real place… oh wow you are going to a smol bean of a town then
        4) YES WE ARE APPARENTLY ONE OF THE MOST LITERARY CITIES IN THE WORLD and go to readings they have awesome books
        5) you might??? But like they don’t just hop around e v e r y w h e r e if ya kn0w what i mean?
        6)how was it? HOW DO YOU LIKE AUSTRALIA???
        7)yes you areeeeee ❤ ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person


        okay forgiven now.

        2) beanies are so fun are cool this is a good bonus to cold weather!!
        3) okay I passed it on the highway the other day!! i looked out the window and in my mind i thought, “omigod Toowoomba it’s you!!” so it’s not too far from where I am, like maybe 25 minutes?”
        4) ahhhh but that is so cool and you are very lucky!! I’m slowly trying to figure out which publishing hourses are in Australia so I can be all, Hi I’m here, what books are around and can I get a hook up while I’m here please?
        5) alright. so. the other day the people I’m staying with get this. their son SAW A KANGAROO. in the WILD. and i was supposed to be in the car too but I stayed behind because I was tired. -.-
        6) I LIKE OMIGOSH. there are so many twittering birds and parrots. and I saw a lizard. my canadian self was like OMG A LIZARD OUTSIDE MY DOOR WOOOOW. I’m having the time of my life. and i went to the ocean for the first time of my life.


  6. Sha, I’m so glad you’re back and feeling a little bit better! 💕

    Australia is so exciting!! It’s so very far away, but I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time. That sounds like a great way to get a new start for yourself, and I’m proud of you for doing that.

    I’ve never been on a 20 hour flight, but when I was coming back from the UK last summer, it took me 25 hours (about 9 separate flights?) just to get back home! My advice to you is to bring lots of books, but also get as much sleep as you can! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Xandra! I’m so excited, it’s going to be an entirely new experience. I’m ready (I hope) to be pushed out my comfort zone and see what’s next for me.

      Okay, this is good advice. The long flight is really making me nervous, I have no idea how I’m going to take it, but sleep seems to be a good way to make time pass.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So glad you’re doing better and your trip sounds exciting!
    As someone who had to drop out of college for mental health as well, good on you for recognizing it and being willing to take the steps you needed to get to a better place! It’s super difficult but it seems you’ve totally got a handle on it and have a great support system in place.
    Have sooooooooo much fun on your trip!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Shon! I’ve taken steps recently that helped me own my mental health journey, and it’s helped me shake a off a lot of stresses I was holding on to.

      I hope that since leaving college, your mental health has begun to improve. It’s not an easy decision, but just removing yourself from that environment often makes a huge difference.


  8. Welcome back!! 💕 And Oh. My. Goodness! Best of luck with your move! I’d recommend taking all the books, crosswords, and sudokus in existence for your plane ride. Plus a few films and television shows you’ve been meaning to catch up on.

    It’s amazing to hear about you prioritizing your mental health, I hope your move goes fantastic and that your mental health will only go up from here!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, all the entertainment seems like the best plan of action (plus sleeping as much as possible). Next step is obviously deciding which of my books to bring with me… and which to say goodbye to. *crying ensues*

      Thank you for the good wishes, Malka!


  9. You’re calling me out a bit for ignoring my mental health for university, but I’m happy you’re doing what’s right for you! Australia will be a wonderful adventure for you.

    The only (non-US) international flight I’ve been on was to South Africa. I don’t have a ton of tips, but I really recommend getting up and walking to the bathroom or something. My legs were so sore during and after the flight.
    -Make sure you wear something you wouldn’t mind sitting in for the whole flight. I wore sweat pants and a tank top with a sweater in my carry on (which I kept under the seat in front of me), and it worked out pretty well.
    -Also, pack snacks in your carry on. Airplane food is the worst and you don’t want to be hungry.
    -A sleep mask and a neck pillow are good ideas if you’re planning on sleeping on the plane.
    -If you’re planning on reading, bring a portable book light. Sometimes those lights in your seat are out of reach or people around you are sleeping.
    -Headphones are also a good thing to have, especially if you don’t want to be bothered by your seatmates.
    -Hand sanitizer is also always good to have.

    I hope you have an amazing time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really didn’t mean to call anyone out, especially not you Moira! If continuing with university is what you choose to do, then do it. Everyone needs to make their own choices. When I was still in university, I had many doubts about staying. I continued because I was scared of losing friends, I was embarrassed of telling people I “failed” and needed to quit, and etc. I ended up skipping classes, having multiple panic attacks… it was really bad but I kept going because I thought dropping out was still worse. Even when I did withdraw, I didn’t tell many people because of the shame. For everyone it’s different, and by saying “take a break if you can,” I really mean if you want to, if you think it’s what you want/need. I’m sorry if you felt called out by anything I said!! I support you in any steps you choose for your mental health. It’s your own journey, and you know what is best for you. ❤

      All of these travel tips are really great, thank you! I think I spend a solid thirty minutes every day debating with myself on what to wear on the plane. Like, just what to *wear*. I didn't consider a book light, I was 100% going to rely on plane lights, so that's a good idea, too.

      Thank you Moira!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes I forget tone doesn’t translate well on the internet. Please don’t feel guilty about anything you said. I was trying to joke about my really unhealthy habits with mental health and university. I spent most of the last semester stuck in bed skipping classes because my depression would not let me leave it, and yet I still haven’t done anything to help with that and I have 4 more years of university to go at the least if I can manage to not be severely depressed with no lifelines for the rest of it. I’m so sorry you had to go through that, but I’m glad you’re in a better place.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I only wanted to be sure you were not offended by my statement. Like you said, tone doesn’t translate well on the internet. I thought it was better to assume then gloss over what might have been an offense on my part. Good to know we are all good, though. I’m so so sorry to hear you have no lifelines at uni, though not shocked. There is such inadequate systems in place for mental health support. I’m glad to know you found your way through last semester, and hope that future semesters can be kinder.

        Liked by 1 person

    First, I’m glad your mental health is doing better and that you’ve made decisions to prioritize your health. It warms my heart knowing that you are taking care of yourself and your family is in support.
    I’m so happy for you. I hope you have an amazing adventure there and seek out those challenges that you wish to face! And you leave so soon too! ♥
    I want all the pictures of everything! (if you can 😉)
    Best of luck! I’ll be waiting here in Canada when you get back ♥

    Liked by 1 person


      First, thank you thank you. Shaking things up is for sure helping, I think doing the same stuff and being in the same place has just kind of stuck me in a rut so… Australia!

      I will be sure to take pictures! Likely on my personal instagram, we don’t want to mess with the BPR insta aesthetic. Unless I do book pics in front of like, a koala or something. ?
      ❤ thanks Canadian buddy!!

      Liked by 1 person

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