Three Cool Ways To Be An Eco-Traveler

Many people who love to travel consider themselves as nature lovers. To see breathtaking sceneries is one of the reasons why they visit and explore various places. Ironically, some travelers satisfy their wanderlust without regard to how their actions and ways can affect the environment. This is why many popular tourist spots in the world either become dirty or damaged.

The Rise of The Green Movement

Fortunately, modern travelers are now realizing the need to travel responsibly.  The growing awareness about the need to do our part in taking care of Mother Earth has given birth to the Green Movement. This movement aims to encourage people to adopt environment-friendly measures to save our world. One product of this movement is the emergence of eco-friendly tourism wherein travelers make choices that can help preserve our world. Here are some things you can do to be an eco-friendly traveler:

Choose closer destinations.

Energy usage is one of the reasons for climate change. Since aircrafts consume massive amounts of energy to run, long flights also hurt the environment. Thus, one thing you can do to lessen the effects of carbon emissions in the air is by choosing destinations that will not require you to book a flight. This will be an easier choice to make if you decide to visit places that are near your area. However, in case you really need to go somewhere far but you are not in a rush or anything, you may want to choose alternative means of transport such as trains or buses.

Opt for green accommodations.

Staying in a hotel is often a luxury so you can expect guests to use up more energy and produce more wastes. You can help ease the problem in waste management and save energy too by choosing to stay in green accommodations instead of hotels. These are lodging facilities that follow and implement ways to use energy efficiently and reduce wastes. If ever you are hesitant about staying in a green hotel, it may help to know that you will be in good company. A 2019 survey by Booking.com shows that 73% of travelers around the world are choosing to stay in a green accommodation.

Volunteer your services.

You can hit two birds with one stone by nurturing a spirit for volunteerism while fulfilling travel goals. Many organizations involved in environmental projects are always in need of a helping hand. Try to reach out to these groups in the places you wish to visit to know how you can render your services while on a trip or vacation. Some examples include participating in a tree-planting drive or helping out on an urban farm. This option allows you to be up close and personal to the community you are visiting so your trip becomes a more enriching experience.

We travel to see amazing places but if we stubbornly refuse to make smart choices that will be favorable to nature; we may soon run out of great places to go to. So how about giving eco-traveling a try? You would probably feel great to know that as you check off more items on your travel bucket list, you are also increasing your contribution to the healing of Mother Earth.

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Cool Ways To Be An Eco-Traveler
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Three Reasons To Still Give Even During Difficult Times

Giving is an act that becomes much easier during times of good fortune and many blessings. On auspicious days, you would probably be all too willing to share your time and resources. Big paychecks and fat wallets give us the confidence to be as generous as we can be. But what happens during times of crisis and loss? Can you still be as generous to others if you need help as well? You may find it challenging to be altruistic in times of need because you will be concerned about your own welfare. However, it pays to remember that generosity is a virtue worthy to be practiced at all times. The reminders listed below will help keep your altruistic spirit alive even during trying times.

Giving gives you strength.

Staying calm and strong in times of crisis can feel like a tall order. Bad days eat up your self-esteem and kill your enthusiasm to go on. However, setting aside time to find ways on how to help others can greatly help you combat these negative emotions. Knowing that your small actions can have a positive impact on others can lift your mood. Likewise, you can easily gain strength to overcome any crisis and avoid depression.

Giving will make you more grateful.

Philanthropy is often associated with wealthy and successful individuals because they are in a better position to give more. However, giving is never limited to money and other material things. In times of crisis, you may be surprised that there are still so many things you can share that do not involve shelling out huge amounts of money. You can always lend a helping hand to groups and charities by sharing your skills and expertise. In your home, you may also find many items to donate. To see that you are still capable of giving even during bleak times can make you appreciate what you have more.

Giving will have a greater impact.

Some people are pessimistic about philanthropy because they worry that their efforts will not make any difference or their help will not reach intended recipients. You can lessen this worry when you give in times of crisis because there is a greater chance that you will see the immediate impact of your good deeds. Your willingness to still extend assistance even if you are also struggling also serves as a good example. You can inspire and make a positive impact on others too.

Philanthropy may be the last thing on your mind during times of uncertainty. But as they say, the true measure of a man’s character is tested on tough times. So do your best to answer calls for help from others even in difficult days. Genuine altruism never fails to give a great sense of purpose and fulfillment but these rewards may come in a multitude if you practice it during trying times. 

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Reasons To Still Give Even During Difficult Times
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Four Decision-Making Tips For Leaders

“Whenever you see a successful business,
someone once made a courageous decision.” ― Peter F. Drucker

Decision-making is hardly easy for all of us. Since no one can be totally certain of the outcome of the choices we make, coming up with a decision can often feel like a leap of faith. The burden of making a decision becomes doubly harder if you are a leader. The risks of making the wrong choices are higher as you worry about how your judgment can affect your team. Still, the task of making a final say on a particular matter is not something you can delay or put aside. To be an effective leader, you need to have the courage to take on the challenge of making decisions and taking full responsibility for its outcome. Fortunately, there are always things you can do to increase the chances that your decisions  can positively benefit your team. The following are some suggestions:

Be well-informed. 

Making quick judgment is not something that wise people and leaders do.  Instead, they take their time in gathering facts and information first so they can assess the best approach to deal with any situation. So whenever faced with a difficult decision to make, ask yourself first if you are well-informed about it. Among other things, you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of the actions you’re about to make. You also need to analyze a situation from different angles and sides.

Seek advice.

The decision-making process can be stressful and confusing but leaders do not have to face this hard task alone. As a leader, you can clear your mind and ease the burden by seeking advice and recommendations from trusted mentors. Likewise, you can always ask for opinions and suggestions from your group members. By listening to the insights of others and considering their recommendations, you can easily get the full picture of a situation and come up with a smart decision.

Envision the worst scenario. 

Great leaders decide with their eyes fully open to all the possible consequences that could follow as a result of the choices they’ve made. This is why it is essential to take a look at the worst possible things that can happen if ever their judgments turn out to be wrong. Doing this can increase your confidence in making decisions because you will have time to prepare for contingency measures that can help you cope with anything that can happen. 

Keep your goals and values in mind. 

As a leader, there are a number of things to remember when you are about to make a major decision. Two of those things are your goals and your values. You want to keep your objectives in mind because every decision you make should help a team move towards the goals. Also, you do not want to jeopardize the values that you and your group hold in making decisions because it may just cause conflicts later on.

Are you ready to be an effective leader? This is a task that will require you to wear many hats and one of those is to be a wise decision-maker. It may be nerve-wracking to be the one to have a final say on matters, but with intelligence and courage, you can ensure that every decision you make will prioritize your team’s best interests.

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Five Tips to Stay Cool & Comfy On A Long Flight

People about to board a plane have plenty of reasons to get excited. However, being inside a plane for many hours can prove to be a test of patience even for those who adore flying. At some point during a flight, It is not uncommon to encounter sources of discomfort such as noisy co-passengers, cramped seats, and air turbulence. In spite of that, no one said it is impossible to get off the plane feeling light and looking fresh. With a few tips and tricks to keep in mind, a long flight will easily be the least of your travel worries

Dress comfortably. 

Your travel getup can greatly influence how comfy or distressing your flight can be. To feel cozy on a plane, you want to don clothing items that will keep you from getting cold such as jackets or blazers. You also want to have a soft shirt or blouse underneath so you can take off your coats when the temperature gets warmer. To make it easy to move around, sneakers with socks is a great choice for footwear. Since those who use contact lenses are at risk of getting dry eyes that can be caused by high pressure on a plane, it is advisable to use a regular eyeglass during flight.

Stay hydrated.

The risk of dehydration is also higher when you are thousands of feet above the ground so keep a conscious effort to drink more water while on a flight. It is best to be ready with a bottle of water in your bag that you can refill once empty.  According to the Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA), a person should drink about 0.25 liters of water for every hour on a plane. You also want to refrain from consuming other beverages such as alcohol, soda, and caffeine while on board.

Bring travel essentials.

Pack your hand-carry bags with items that can ease your discomfort on a plane such as a travel pillow, an mp3 player, or an eye mask . To avoid experiencing ear pain and block out noise that can keep you from snoozing, an earplug will be very helpful. You may also want to bring a nice book to read or download music or movies on your gadgets to stay entertained during a flight. To avoid hunger pangs and keep your body strong, do not forget to pack along healthy snacks such as energy bars, dried fruit, or mixed nuts.

Get moving.

They say sitting too long causes many health problems such as back pain and weight gain. Moreover, being stuck in your plane seat for hours can make people anxious and irritated. Avoid getting body aches and clear your mind by doing a bit of walking and stretching. Those who are smart enough can find opportunities to do this while on a plane. You can take short walks along the aisle to keep your legs moving. While in your seat, you can also take time to stretch your arms and massage your legs.

Choose a good seat.

For more convenience in moving around the plane and to avoid some potential disturbance (such as crying babies), you can choose a good seat position. An exit row seat is often advised for those who want more leg room. Meanwhile, those who want to be near the restroom are advised to pick an aisle seat. You may have to pay an extra fee for this sometimes but it will likely be worth it.

No one can deny that something about riding an airplane sounds so cool. The good news is that you can make it an even better experience by making an effort to stay calm and collected all throughout your journey.

Brad and Julie DuncanFive Tips to Stay Cool & Comfy On A Long Flight
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Three Adventure Destinations For a Spectacular Spring Break

The spring season represents new beginnings. In its own way, winter is just as lovely but it is hard to deny the excitement you feel once you see snowflakes starting to melt and plants starting to bloom again. It is also refreshing to notice signs of brimming throughout your surroundings such as birds and hares returning from their hiatus or buds sprouting from the branches of trees.

As you bid goodbye to the bitter cold season, it will not be surprising to anticipate days soaking in mild sunshine and enjoying outdoor activities.With such beautiful weather, it will be a pity to let the spring pass by uneventfully.  To fight off those fevers and allergies away, check out these adventure ideas that can make your spring break fun and worthwhile:

Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride in Orlando, Florida 

Almost everyone is fascinated with balloons or the idea of flying, so it is no wonder if riding a hot-air balloon is a childhood fantasy for many. It would certainly feel magical to be lifted while onboard a giant balloon.  Being greeted with the spectacular sceneries above the Orlando skyline is sure to be a one-of-a-kind-experience. This activity in Florida is available year-round so there’s no need to worry about uncooperative weather. A ticket entitles you to a 1-hour flight with a free champagne toast and a flight certificate. As with any adventure, do not forget to weigh the risks involved before plunging into it.

Antelope Canyon Day Trip in Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona is a cool destination for nature and adventure lovers due to its year-round sunny weather and abundance of breathtaking natural treasures to see. It would be a good idea to allot a day in your spring break to see some of its wonderful sites. You can explore the Valley using your own itinerary or book a tour with groups offering guided day trips. One option is the Antelope Canyon Day Trip which will give you and your companions a chance to visit Arizona’s natural wonders without having to worry about getting lost or missing great spots.


Explore the Tropical Islands of Hawaii

Known for its clear waters and colored sand beaches, the island of Hawaii is a top choice for activities such as swimming, surfing, and snorkeling. If you wish to fulfill your bucket list of frolicking on the beaches of Hawaii, spring is an ideal time to visit. You will avoid the crowd that usually flocks during summer. Aside from that, you also have a high chance of getting great deals because hotel and airfare rates are its lowest during spring.

With the spectacular adventures suggested above, spring is more than a time to go out and sniff the beautiful flowers. For many reasons, it is also a perfect season for unforgettable adventures. So go ahead and start planning a happy and memorable spring adventure!

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Adventure Destinations For a Spectacular Spring Break
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Five Statements You Will Often Hear From A Great Leader

Leadership is a role that grants power and authority.  For one, it gives you the right to have a say on any matter concerning the group or organization. As a leader, you can also expect your team to count on the words you say. Your manner of speaking as well as your choice of words have a huge impact on whether a team will grow or disintegrate. Thus if you want to succeed in leadership, it is imperative that you pay close attention to the language you are using when communicating with the team. Are your words uplifting rather than discouraging? The answer is probably the latter if the following statements often pop out when you are conversing with your group:

How are you doing?

A leader’s task is more than delegating jobs and giving orders. It is more about ensuring the best interest of every person in a group. One way to do this is by regularly checking how your team is doing. You want to know if they are happy with their jobs or if they are having a difficult time.The results of your inquiries can help you identify problems within the organization and implement solutions right away. It is also a way to display empathy to the group.

Do you have any suggestions?

Great leaders are never know-it-alls because they value the things that they can learn from others.  So even if they have this big idea in mind, they never fail to seek comments and suggestions from their team. Aside from paving a way for a meaningful team collaboration, it will also tap into the talents of the people in your group.

I trust in your abilities.

Sometimes, a person just needs a little push to start doing exceptional work. This is why leaders should make it a point to express confidence in their team. As you help people overcome low self-esteem and self-doubt, you may also start seeing your group’s productivity improve.”

I appreciate your efforts.

Do you want a surefire way to motivate people? A simple thank you for a job well done can work like magic.This statement is backed by research noting a strong link between good work performance and an appreciative leader. It is likewise an easy way to assure your team that all their good efforts are being noticed.

What can I do to help?


A team member may sometimes hesitate to ask for help so it would feel wonderful to have a leader who volunteers to offer assistance even without anyone asking. With this question, you show your team that you are available to give support and extend needed help anytime. You can greatly boost your team’s confidence by showing that you always have their back.

There are a myriad of ways to define and describe a great leader. You could list the numerous skills and traits a leader should possess. Or it can also be based on the number of goals they have accomplished. But one surefire way that can help you spot an exceptional leader is by listening to the words they use.

Brad and Julie DuncanFive Statements You Will Often Hear From A Great Leader
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Understanding Philanthropy Through Some Of The Most Generous Philanthropists In America

Those who give generously receive more, but those who are stingy
with what is appropriate will grow needy. – Proverbs 11:24

What would you do if you suddenly gained an insurmountable amount of wealth? To start an extravagant lifestyle is probably one of the first things to come to mind. You may even get overwhelmed thinking about all the things you can buy and all the places you can visit. However, a look inside the lives of the richest and most successful people in America may prompt you to give a different answer. 

The likes of Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg are known to lead frugal lifestyles. Moreover, they have also pledged to dedicate a huge portion of their wealth to charity. Some people may find their actions confusing and unbelievable. Yet, on second thought, their generous actions teach us the importance of giving back. To make an effort for philanthropy despite everything they achieved also shows that earning money should not be the lone and ultimate goal of any endeavor. Philanthropy may be a vague concept for some but looking at the quotes uttered by some of the most generous givers in America can help us get a clear notion of it:

Philanthropy gives us purpose.

The Scottish American who is known for the expansion of the American steel industry during the 1900s left a beautiful quote about philanthropy. He said, “No man can become rich without himself enriching others,The man who dies rich dies disgraced.” This teaches us that real wealth is the reward that comes from doing something good for others. To know that your generous deeds are helping others also give purpose in life. 

Philanthropy is a social responsibility.

Warren Buffett once said, “If you’re in the luckiest 1 percent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent.“ This quote from the business magnate stresses the concept that much is expected of those who are given more. The billionaire also teaches us how to responsibly use wealth – which is to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Philanthropy requires effort and commitment.

According to  Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, “Effective philanthropy requires a lot of time and creativity – the same kind of focus and skills that building a business requires.” This quote teaches us that philanthropy is a long-term commitment. You cannot simply give money and forget about it. Instead, you invest time and effort into it because you want to get to the root of the problem and offer concrete solutions. 

Philanthropy should be used to make a difference. 

Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has this to say about philanthropy,  “Our society has an obligation to invest now to improve the lives of all those coming into this world, not just those already here.” The quote implies that philanthropy is essential to make our world a better place. It also says that engaging in altruism is a gift to the future generation. 

Philanthropy is never exclusive for the wealthy and privileged.  Yet the examples shown by some of the most generous philanthropists in America prove that you can only understand the true value of money by sharing it with others. 

Brad and Julie DuncanUnderstanding Philanthropy Through Some Of The Most Generous Philanthropists In America
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3 Topics to Cover With Your Newer Team Members

Finding your footing in a new career can be tough. Struggles and feelings of uncertainty are not uncommon but are often hidden or pushed aside, leaving younger team members feeling isolated. Managers have the opportunity to offer support and helpful words of advice. Here are three topics every leader should cover with new team members.  

1. Progress Journal

Little by little becomes a lot.” – Anonymous

When starting a new career, progress can feel slow. As a leader, it’s your job to help your new team members see that growth is happening. One way to monitor growth is by keeping a journal. Suggest your mentee write down both their struggles and successes. Remind them to date each entry and to be open and honest, as their journal is for their eyes only. Later, in a moment when they feel stuck in a rut, you can tell them to look back through their journal. Often, we feel like we aren’t seeing any movement in our careers when in reality, we are progressing little by little. By journaling, we have anecdotal records of the obstacles we’ve overcome and the strides we’ve made, inspiring us to continue to push forward.

2. Focus

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand.
The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”
– Alexander Graham Bell

It’s difficult to master anything when trying to master everything. This is an important lesson to pass along. People in new careers are often anxious and feel pressure to “catch up” to those who are more advanced. This results in having too many irons in the fire, feeling overwhelmed and experiencing career burnout. To prevent this common pitfall, focus is key. Help your newer team members prioritize and focus on a few key goals at a time. Not everything is imperative. Stress that, then help them identify what is. Eliminate the background noise and hone in on what will produce results. Teaching the skill of focus will help your young team members produce long term growth throughout the life of their careers.

3. Comparison

Comparison is the thief of joy” -Theodore Roosevelt

In today’s world of social media, where everyone’s “best self” is constantly on display, it’s difficult not to fall victim to the temptation of comparison. While it’s true that comparison can be used as a motivator, it can also serve as a stumbling block. Sometimes we find ourselves looking at the next person’s accomplishments and wondering why we haven’t amassed the exact same success at the same rate. Our self-esteem plummets and we begin to question what’s wrong with us. As a leader, you can help your team members understand the difference between healthy comparison that propels people to action, and toxic comparison that tears people down. Additionally, you can provide ways to channel the emotions attached to comparison into productive action that will result in the accomplishment of goals.

Great leaders have the foresight to help their mentees avoid potential storms. Offering advice that will acclimate your younger team members to their new careers may lessen some of the stress they experience throughout their first year. By covering these three topics early on, your novice team members will be prepared to handle whatever comes their way. 

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Three Romantic Locations For A Valentine Trip

Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a box of chocolates, a bouquet of roses and a teddy bear. But let’s be honest, if you’ve been together for a while, you’re probably ready to switch things up. If dinner and a movie just won’t cut it, why not go big? Clear your schedule and get ready to pack your bags. Here are three romantic locations for a Valentine trip.

  1. Tulum, Mexico 

Tulum’s popularity has grown exponentially in recent years thanks to its picturesque beaches, trendy restaurants and close proximity to Cancun. But in addition to its modern attractions, it’s also the home of ancient Mayan ruins and plenty of rich culture worthy of exploration. In February, Tulum’s weather is nearly perfect, averaging in the 70s and 80s. The warm days make it easy to take a stroll on Playa Paraiso Beach,  go snorkeling in the Gran Cenote, or visit the Coba Ruins. However, if you want to turn the romance up a notch in honor of Valentine’s Day, Tulum has plenty to offer. With no shortage of luxury spas, fancy local restaurants and outdoor adventures to uncover, you and your sweetheart are bound to fall in love with this beautiful city. 

  1. Santorini, Greece

The Santorini islands are known for romance. Honeymooners from all over the world travel here year after year just to ensure that this beautiful locale is forever cemented in their newlywed memories. But this Greek paradise is perfect for Valentine getaways too! Fira, the island’s capital, boasts amazing views of the deep blue waters that surround the stark white architecture that Santorini is famous for. Couples can lounge on their balconies, explore the culinary offerings in the villages, hike along the caldera, or take a catamaran cruise at sunset. With Santorini as your backdrop, almost anything you do will have a hint of romance so hold your valentine close and enjoy the view.

  1. Hawai’i Island, Hawaii

Hawai’i Island, better known as “The Big Island”, is the largest island in the United States. If you and your love are nature fans, this might be the perfect trip for you. This tropical paradise has white, black and green sand beaches, Kilauea (one of the most active volcanoes in the world), waterfalls, intense sunsets, and stargazing like you’ve never seen before. Top to it off, the island offers countless water activities that are bound to get your adrenaline pumping. Night dives, surf lessons, whale watching and snorkeling are just a few of the many. Although there are hundreds of things to do and see, the island is so beautiful and serene that many people choose to simply find a spot on the beach to take it all in. What could be more romantic than that? 

Regardless of which destination you choose, the most important part is being in the company of the person you love most. Make the occasion special by choosing one of these three locations for a romantic getaway, and enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation with your Valentine. 

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Romantic Locations For A Valentine Trip
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Three Destinations For an Awesome Science Adventure Trip

Science and adventure are alike in many ways. Both fields provide opportunities to quench curiosity and expand knowledge. Thus, adventure and science enthusiasts are often times more eager to explore unique places and discover something new, than other individuals. So how about taking your trip to the next level by combining it with some science exploration activities? You just might be surprised by the rush that delving into the realm of science can bring. The following are three awesome places to explore if you are in need of science adventure trip Ideas: 

Florida’s Space Coast

Are you a beach lover who has always been fascinated with space travel? Then Florida’s Space Coast is a perfect destination. With its year-round sunny weather and 72-mile shoreline, the area is minutes away from some of Orlando’s best beaches. You can easily spend a day by the ocean and even be delighted with marine life you may see along the coast. Moreover, it is also home to Kennedy Space Center, a place where you can explore NASA’s working spaceflight facility and even watch actual rocket launches. To make the most out of your trip here, it is best to check out the schedule of the facility and prepare an itinerary.

Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park

Outdoor adventures are often a way to marvel at nature and a great place for that is the Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park in Nebraska. It will not be a typical visit to the park as it features the remains of animals that perished during a volcanic eruption that happened millions of years ago. The natural landmark is like a wonderland for those who love archaeology and paleontology as it offers a close glimpse of prehistoric life. It also opens your eyes to the devastation that natural disasters can create.

Museum of Science and Industry

If you happen to be in the windy city of Chicago and  wish to be amazed by the power of science and technology, you may want to drop by the Museum of Science and Industry. This 14-acre museum in Lake Shore Drive, Chicago features various interactive science exhibits that inspire visitors to be inquisitive, creative, and inventive. Among others, there is a Storm Exhibit that  educates visitors on how tornadoes are formed. You can also check out the Forward Exhibit that gives an idea about what the future world will be like. Since it is a huge place with so many things to see and do, it is best to check out the museum map and available exhibits prior to your visit.

Taking a science adventure trip is a great way to combine your love of learning and traveling. It is also a unique way to let out the science geek in you and satisfy your wanderlust at the same time. Moreover, you are likely to come home feeling a lot smarter and stronger, making your trip more rewarding and memorable. 

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