5 Ways Traveling Can Help In Your Personal & Professional Growth

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.
-Anonymous

People have a variety of options when it comes to fun and adventure. However, if your wish is to enjoy and learn at the same time, traveling is the way to go. Meeting new people and seeing new places open vast opportunities for lessons that can help you grow personally and professionally. You may not realize it at once but traveling changes you. As you explore unfamiliar territories, you may find your views on certain matters changing as well. In many ways, you can gain fresh perspectives and acquire new skills. The following are some ways on how travel brings about personal and professional improvements:

Personal Improvements.

  • Boosts self-esteem.
    Even with the planning and preparation, going somewhere new can still feel like an adventure into the unknown. You are technically leaving your comfort zone so It is normal to feel excited and nervous at the same time. As a traveler, you learn to cope with unexpected moments and even turn it to your advantage. The ability to deal with unavoidable travel woes increases your confidence to face any adversary that may come your way. 
  • Increases self-awareness.
    As Aristotle said, “ Knowing thyself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Self-awareness is important because it allows you to fully understand your wants, needs, and limits. This means you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses that will help you set realistic goals and avoid mistakes. Knowing oneself will require time for reflection which you can get from traveling. The new scenery can also help you see yourself in a new light making it easier to understand yourself better.
  • Increases general knowledge.
    Traveling is like opening a treasure chest of knowledge. For people hungry for knowledge, every turn in your journey is a chance to learn something new. This is information that you cannot learn just from reading books or watching documentaries. You can learn a new language or be adept at a new skill. Bits of info and trivia you pick up during your escapades increase your general knowledge.

Professional Improvements

  • Improves communication and organizational skills.
    You may not give much thought on the way you communicate when you are in your hometown because people generally talk the same way. On the other hand, you may find yourself paying more attention to your speaking, listening, and comprehension skills when you are in a place where people speak a different language. As you go about from place to place, you also learn to be conscious of how you organize your time and things. Poor communication and organizational skills can jeopardize your vacation so you find ways to improve it. With better communicating and organizing techniques, you will certainly increase your value as a professional. 
  • Discover wonderful opportunities.
    Companies are always looking for fresh ideas, which can sometimes be hard to come by. It is especially difficult to think creatively if you stay in the same place day in and day out. Traveling, on the other hand, can make you discover new ventures and ideas. Who knows? You may see a product or system that is not yet available in your hometown. New things you see from traveling can help you come up with ideas that can be a hit back home.

Traveling may be considered an expensive and exhausting hobby but exploring different destinations give many benefits that make it all worth it. Make the most out of your travel experiences by welcoming changes that help you become a better person.

Brad and Julie Duncan5 Ways Traveling Can Help In Your Personal & Professional Growth
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4 Stress-Relieving Adventures to Pursue this Summer

You’ve worked hard for the first half of the year, and now it’s summer. What a perfect reward! For most, the summer months are enjoyable because of the warmer weather, water activities, freedom to wear lighter, more comfortable clothes, and flexibility to vacation. However, the fun isn’t limited to just those few perks. Here are four stress-relieving adventures to pursue this summer. 

Book a Quick Staycation

The best things about vacations are obvious. Unwinding with your friends and family, touring new areas, and taking in unseen sights are all great reasons to excitedly book a flight. But the downside of traveling is equally obvious: travel expenses, securing vacation days away from work, and finding the time to plan a trip. If you want to avoid the high airfare and extended rental car fees, try booking a staycation! Keep it local and schedule some fun at a resort near home. Staycations are flexible, can save money, and are ideal for those who are in need of rest and relaxation but are short on time. So, if you want to eliminate a bit of travel stress, a staycation is your best bet. 

Pursue a Passion Project 

When we think of summer learning, children are usually the first group who come to mind. Fortunately, summer classes are for adults too! With all of the stress of life, investing time in yourself can fall to the bottom of your priority list. So push the reset button this summer and take some time to pursue a passion. There are many great opportunities for adults to experience structured sessions to enjoy a hobby or learn a new skill. If you’re having trouble choosing a subject, consider what you find enjoyable, calming, or entertaining. To find classes, a little online research goes a long way, but if you want to be more hands-on in your pursuit, visit or call your local library, art museum, or community/recreation center to learn which classes are available. Not only will pursuing a passion help fill your time, but it will also provide a sense of productivity at the end of your summer. 

Tackle a Fear

For those willing to exercise their courage and strive to be better, this one’s for you. Take some time for self reflection to identify the fear you feel most ready to pursue. Maybe you want to finally be able to speak in front of a crowd, squash your fear of heights or dance like nobody’s watching. Whatever the case may be, make it your goal to tackle your fear this summer, so you’re able to take on the rest of the year with your head held high and your fear proudly conquered. 

Attend a Festival 

Summer can be a great time to be outdoors while being a part of an exciting event. Throughout the summer you will be able to find different types of festivals to enjoy with friends, your spouse, or even your little ones. Kid-friendly festivals centered around art or animals are popular throughout the summer, making it possible for your kids to join in on the fun. Occasionally, family festival tickets are offered at a discount at your local grocery store. If you decide to leave the kids at home, adult events can include full weekends of music and high-end culinary and wine festivals. 

There are endless ways to make the most of the summer time. Don’t let the long days full of sunshine and good weather go to waste. Use these four stress-relieving activities to take a much needed break and make new memories.

Brad and Julie Duncan4 Stress-Relieving Adventures to Pursue this Summer
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Afraid Of Jet Lag? 4 Tips To Avoid This Travel Worry

Ever had to fly across multiple time zones? Traveling to a place that will require you to reset your clock calendar sounds exciting. But  for many people, it means having to deal with jet lag. Experienced travelers understand how uncomfortable it feels. Suddenly your body’s clock is not in sync with the local timezone. You either want to sleep when the sun is rising or are craving a full meal during ungodly hours of the night.

Jet lag, a momentary disruption of your body clock, is one of the not-so-pleasant side effects of traveling to a different time zone. It is commonly associated with long overseas flights but the phenomena is not exclusive to plane rides. Anyone who travels great distances, even if not by air, can experienced jet lag. Sometimes you don’t even have to cross time zones. A shift in weather or climate can also cause you to experience symptoms of jet lag. Don’t let jet lag discourage you from traveling or allow it to make your trip less enjoyable. Here are four tips that can help you avoid the downsides of jet lag.

Prepare early.

If you follow a strict routine, you may want to adjust your schedule for a few days before the trip. You can set your clock to the time zone of your destination and try to go over your day with this schedule in mind. It may be difficult, if not impossible, to do this drastically. Be sure to gradually adjust your sleeping and eating schedules closer to the timezone of the destination you are visiting. With this practice, your body will have an easier time coping with the changes in timezone.

Check your flight schedule.

Your flight schedule and estimated time of arrival are also factors to consider when booking plane tickets. Traveling to your destination during your usual bed time? Then it is a perfect time to catch up on some much-needed snooze during the flight. It will also be helpful if you choose a flight that will allow you to arrive at your destination during the day rather than at night. Arriving when the sun is out will allow you to take in the sights and inspire you to explore the place right away. The energy of the day will help you shake the jet lag blues out of your system faster.  

Adjust to the new schedule.

Sometimes, traveling means attending an important event that will require you to be at your best. Whether it is for business or a family event like a wedding, in order to make sure you won’t be suffering from jet lag, you may want to arrive a day or two earlier than your special event. This simple tweak in your schedule will give your body time to adjust. If you are not in a rush, it can also be a good idea to choose a flight that has a stop. Direct flights may allow you to reach your destination faster, but staying a few hours in an area where the time zone is the same or closer to where you are going will help get your body in tune with your new schedule. When you reach your destination, start matching your routines to the new time zone right away. This may mean holding off on naps or meal times.

Hop on the plane well-rested.

Most of the time, it all boils down to taking good care of yourself. Beating jet lag requires a sound mind and strong body. If you maintain good health and don’t exhaust yourself, your body is in a much better position to combat anything. Make sure you get enough rest the day before your trip. Traveling can be stressful on its own, so minimize it by making sure that everything is prepared and organized a few days before your flight. Your comfort should also be a top priority, so dress in appropriate travel attire. It is also important to stay hydrated throughout your trip. When you are on long flights, you’re bound to experience dehydration. Bringing a water bottle that you can refill at the airport or on the plane will be helpful.

People who love to travel should be ready to cope with all the quirks that come with it. Luckily most of them, like jet lag, can easily be avoided with a few tips and tricks! So don’t allow travel woes to dim your passion for visiting and exploring faraway places. Follow the above four tips to minimize the effects of jet lag while you travel.

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Love Traveling? Protect Your Health While Quenching Your Wanderlust

You travel to see new sights and experience unique things. Exploring unfamiliar places will enrich your mind and nourish your soul. This activity, though, will require you to be in the pinnacle of health. You need energy and stamina to be an adventurous and smart traveler. Ironically, traveling exposes you to situations that increases your chance of catching a disease. With viruses and germs everywhere it is easy to be paranoid about all sorts of sickness you can get.

Still, fear of getting sick should not stop you from satisfying your wanderlust. Instead of abandoning your travel plans altogether, you can observe some simple precautions to stay healthy while on the road. Check out some tips below to ensure you do not taint your travel memories and experiences with the unpleasant feeling of getting ill.

Stock up on liquids.

It is such a hassle to go thirsty while traveling. This is because your body needs an adequate amount of liquids to function at its best. So ensure that you are well hydrated while roaming around. You can avoid dehydration by packing a water bottle everywhere you go.

Protect your skin.

Outdoor time is good for your health as you can breathe in fresh air, soak in warm sunlight and feast on stunning sceneries. Just make sure you are not jeopardizing your health in the process. Harsh rays of the sun can cause skin cancer and damage, so always apply sunscreen before heading outdoors. Choose a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15 and apply as needed.

Take supplements.

A strong immune system will give your body the power to fight off all kinds of diseases. Of course, you need proper diet, regular exercise and enough rest to make your body stronger and healthier. You can further boost your body’s defenses by taking vitamins. Because you need to be extra healthy while traveling, make sure to pack your supplements before traveling.

Pack necessary medicines.

Traveling is an adventure so it is better to be prepared for any unexpected situations that you may encounter. It is a wise practice to pack medicines for common travel woes such as nausea, headaches or fever. You should also have a first-aid kit in your bag. To ensure you are fit to travel, you may want to visit a doctor (especially if you are going somewhere very far and for a long period of time) for a physical checkup before your trip.

Keep germs at bay.

As you visit various places, you will likely get dirty as well. Since cleanliness is a prerequisite to good health, strive to stay clean even while traveling. It won’t be a huge challenge as you can conveniently bring hand sanitizer or wipes. Wash your hands before eating a meal, too.

Keep your healthy routines.

Even if travel means a break from your usual routines, it is worth it to maintain daily activities that keep you healthy. Your body will thank you if you allot time for exercise and eat in moderation, even if you are not in the comfort of your home. Likewise, you should ensure that you get enough sleep. It is also a great idea to engage in healthy activities while traveling such as walking, running or biking.

Travel allows you to have fun and relax, but you should not sacrifice your health for it. If you follow the suggestions above, you will come back from your travel escapades stronger and healthier than ever.

Brad and Julie DuncanLove Traveling? Protect Your Health While Quenching Your Wanderlust
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Have You Been Generous? Year-End Reflections For A Better 2019

“Giving pays the highest interest rate, and has the longest term,
of any investment available.” Jeffrey K. Wilson

It seems like just yesterday you welcomed 2018 with a bang and in a flash, the last month of the year is here! If you are wondering where the year went and how well you have done, a little self reflection can help. There are many ways to measure how fruitful the year has been but one unique way to do it is by assessing how generous you have been. The positive effect of of even a simple act of kindness can inspire others to pay it forward.

Generosity can be life changing and is likely to have a ripple effect. If you exerted efforts to give back to society, then you can indeed conclude that it had been a wonderful and productive year. Reflecting on your philanthropic endeavors can likewise help you prepare for a better year ahead. It is a great way to wrap up up the year and welcome the new one on a positive note. Here are three questions to ask yourself for a meaningful year-end reflection.

Are you sincere and passionate about giving?

Philanthropy is a rewarding activity for many reasons. For one, a study revealed that a caring attitude increases life expectancy. However, the benefits that you will gain from altruism should not be your primary reason for doing good deeds. Your journey on philanthropy will be purposeful if you do it with a genuine desire to extend a helping hand to others.

Forget your selfish reasons and focus on how your actions can benefit others than yourself. our sincerity will not be a question if you truly enjoy doing philanthropic activities. It will therefore greatly help to choose a cause that is close to your heart or will allow you to do the things you love. If you are passionate about doing charitable work, your actions are likely to feel more rewarding than tiring.

Do you practice philanthropy in your daily life?

Charitable activities may bring to mind a formal volunteering event or supporting a particular fundraising campaign. The true philanthropist, though, understands that being charitable is not a one-time act or event. Rather, it is a way of life. If you pay close attention to the needs of others you can discover numerous ways to practice philanthropy as you go about your day. So grab any chance you can get to offer help to the people you interact with everyday. Try incorporating generosity in your daily agenda and you may just see positive improvement in your life.

What else can you do to give more?

If you have been regularly contributing to a particular cause, you can discover more ways to serve others or help an organization. Maybe you can recruit more volunteers or train new ones. You can probably act as a leader of a team, too. Growth is possible even in your philanthropic life so do not be afraid to take new and more challenging responsibilities if you feel ready for it.

In the end, your reflection regarding philanthropy can make you feel accomplished or melancholic. In case your reflection leads to an awareness that 2018 has not been good in terms of altruistic activities, resist the urge to wallow in regret. The good news is that you still have December to share your blessings and spread kindness. You do not have to worry f your holiday schedule is so full that it is impossible to squeeze in philanthropy on your list. With the new year approaching, you will soon have twelve whole months to plan and carry out generous activities.

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How To Stay Adventurous & Cautious At The Same Time

To start an adventure is to embark into the unknown. Most of the time, it is impossible to decipher the outcome of your action. The risk and uncertainty involved may scare you but these are also the same  factors that make an adventure fun and exciting. If you are willing to go through something without knowing what lies ahead, you are taking a step towards discovering your life’s purpose.

Sometimes you just want to rely on your instinct and leave everything to fate. However, this does not mean that you have to plunge into every adventure that comes your way. An adventurous spirit may require bravery and ardor but no one said that you have to do it without carefully weighing the pros and cons. Here are three questions to ask yourself to wisely assess if an adventure is worth taking.

Are you truly prepared?

Every great adventure starts with thorough planning and preparation. Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Some adventures, such as moving to a new country or starting a business, can be life-changing. These ventures can be the way to fulfill your dreams, but will require you to work doubly hard or stretch your strength to the limit. So before taking a leap to an uncertain journey, take your time and and think if you are mentally, physically and emotionally prepared for it. Your financial status is likewise an important aspect to consider.

Are the benefits greater than the risks?

It is unlikely that you want to go on an adventure without a purpose. An adventure becomes a worthy pursuit because of it.The benefits that you believe you will gain from it can help you decide if you should entertain or abandon your plans. Setting your sights on the rewards that will come after a successful adventure can inspire and motivate you.

On the other hand, the possibility of failing remains no matter how much preparation you do. So your focus should not solely be on the rewards. Make sure that you are also aware of the things you can lose before deciding on an adventure. At the end of the day, seeing that an action offers benefits that far outweigh the risks can give you confidence to take a bold step towards an adventure.

Can you bear the possible consequences?

If you are aware of all the possible risks of a decision you will make, you also get to ponder if you are ready for it. Can you picture the worst case scenario and imagine its effect on you? A backup plan will be like a cushion that will soften the blow of failures. So you should also prepare a contingency plan in case an idea does not work. If just the thought of all the possible negative outcomes look unbearable, the adventure may not be a good idea after all. Consider your lifestyle and personality to determine the impact of being in particular situation.  

Adventures are like doors that lead to either a pleasant or terrifying destination. Opening either door can teach you invaluable life lessons. ut wouldn’t it be better if you managed to open the correct door with less tries? Taking some time for self-reflection can greatly minimize the risks and increase your chance to succeed. Always remember to seize every opportunity for adventures with a realistic mindset and wide-open eyes.

Brad and Julie DuncanHow To Stay Adventurous & Cautious At The Same Time
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Five Tips To Safekeep Your Belongings During Travels

Travel is a great option for people who want a break from life’s routines and to have a breath of fresh air. Seeing amazing sights and trying new activities sounds like a perfect way to unwind and have fun. However, to keep your vacation smooth and relaxing, there are just a few things you want to avoid. One of the biggest things you want to avoid  is losing your belongings.

You do not want to taint your vacation with a bad memory of losing an item, especially if it is a valuable one. But since you are out and about, the possibility of losing a thing or two is high. If you become careless, you might even lose your whole bag or luggage. But of course, you do not have to experience this travel nightmare. Safekeeping your things during travel is just a matter of being extra careful with your belongings. The following five tips to safekeep your belongings during travels can help:

Bring only the essentials.

Guarding your things starts with packing. Remember to pack light by bringing only the things you need. Keeping an eye on your things becomes more difficult with the more stuff you bring. So think twice and ask yourself if the item is really necessary before adding it to your bag. In the end, you free yourself from the burden of carrying heavy luggage and at the same time, lessen the risk of losing things on the road.

Keep highly important items with you at all times.

There are some things you cannot afford to lose while traveling such as a passport,other important travel documents or a gadget that is necessary for your work. To avoid the trouble of losing these highly-important items, it is advisable to keep it in a bag that you can conveniently carry on you at all times.

If you are traveling overseas, these items should always be in your carry on bag instead of the check-in luggage. You can take care of important items more closely if they are always with you. Likewise, you will easily notice the moment anything goes missing. One of the things you usually carry with you when traveling is a camera. Avoid the chance of losing it by adding a strap so you can conveniently wear it like a necklace.

Keep your cash and cards in different bags.

It is not a good idea to store money or credit cards in a single wallet because you do not want to end up penniless in case you lose the purse that contains all your cash and cards. To make sure you will not lose all your cash in one go, divide your money into different purses or bags. You can keep some money in your carry on bag then stash some bills in a secret purse in your other bags.

Label your bags and belongings.

One simple way to protect your phone, bag, camera or other important items is by labeling them. With information containing your name and contact details, you make it easy for your lost items to make their way back to you. It is also a good idea to add an identifying mark on your bags or items so you can easily identify it such as a ribbon or a sticker. Some bags or gadgets can look identical, so it is wise to add something that will make it easy for you to instantly identify or spot it from a distance.

Double-checking before leaving is a must.

Going back to a hotel or any accommodation you stayed in just to retrieve lost items can be such a hassle and the possibility of getting your things back can be grim. So make it a habit to thoroughly check the area before checking out. Do not rush and inspect every nook and cranny of the room, especially the areas where you can accidentally leave things such as drawers and closets. It would not hurt to also look for items under the bed.  

You deserve a great, hassle-free vacation, so spare yourself the burden of looking for your lost belongings. Save precious time and make the most of your leisure time by taking necessary precautions to take good care of your things.  

Brad and Julie DuncanFive Tips To Safekeep Your Belongings During Travels
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Skills & Traits You Need To Develop To Be A Savvy Traveler

“Some people look for a beautiful place, others make a place beautiful.”
Hazrat Inayat Khan

People usually associate travel with leisure. Even tasks such as working and studying sound more exciting when done while traveling. For this reason, the idea of visiting different places generally appeals to all. You would usually be thrilled for a chance to do some sightseeing, explore breathtaking places and experience new things.

However, not every trip can be as relaxing as you want it to be. Traveling is a privilege that comes with unique challenges. The ability to handle the hassles along the way is what separates a regular traveler from the savvy one. If you wish to make the most out of every vacation, take note of the following skills and traits you need to develop to be a savvy traveler:

Useful Skills

Language fluency.

It seems like basic knowledge that every traveler should memorize a few basic phrases in the local language or dialect of the country or place they are visiting. The smart travelers, though, strive to improve their foreign language skills to be beyond basic. If you are fluent or at least have intermediate knowledge about the language of the place you are going to, conversing with the locals would be a breeze.

Language is often a barrier when trying to connect with someone in a foreign country, and when locals hear you speak in their native tongue, it breaks down that barrier. Learning a new language is not easy, but if you want to visit new countries, you can start by studying widely-spoken languages such as Spanish, Mandarin and Hindustani.

Map-reading skills

One of the most important things you should pack when going to an unfamiliar place is a map. Still, a map will be useless if you do not know how to read it. You do not want to get lost or waste time looking for directions, so making an effort to understand different parts and features of a map will be very useful. You can always install GPS apps, but in times when technology is not so reliable, your map-reading skills will come in handy.

Research abilities.

Books and travel guides are a great help, but sometimes your research abilities start when you arrive at your destination. It takes inquisitive skills to quickly know your way about the new location. Apart from being curious, you are also attentive about the new surroundings, so you won’t miss important information. Your exploration journey will help you score the best deals, find a great restaurant or discover unique tourist spots.

First-aid knowledge.

No one wants to think about accidents and other mishaps when travelling. Yet, the smart traveler knows what to do in cases of unexpected incidents. Seasoned tourists know the importance of keeping a first-aid kit in their bags. Moreover, they also make an effort to enroll in first-aid classes to gain knowledge about responding to emergency situations.

Essential Traits

Be positive and patient.

Sometimes, travelers discover flaws that somehow ruin the picture-perfect scenario of a place in their mind. The real traveler, though, first notices the good side rather than the bad things. Moreover, people who love seeing new places do not let slight disappointments get in the way. Rather, they view discoveries as lessons that keep their enthusiasm about the new place alive.

Aside from staying positive, a wise traveler can tolerate trivial things that can easily annoy others. They have self control because they know that losing patience over small matters does not help.

Be friendly and confident.

If you are always too shy to approach strangers, or do not want to meet new people, it is probably better to stay at home. One way to make your travel an enriching experience is by interacting with the locals. Being friendly and confident are key traits you cannot set aside.

Traveling is a journey that is full of surprises and sometimes you cannot fully prepare for it. However, having the skills and traits mentioned above will greatly help you ensure a pleasant trip all the time.  

Brad and Julie DuncanSkills & Traits You Need To Develop To Be A Savvy Traveler
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Creative Ways To Reinvent Yourself & Discover New Passions

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting… – Paulo Coelho

Do you feel stuck in a boring routine that you are no longer excited to face each day? Are you longing for something new to inspire your creativity? If you feel so unmotivated because of doing the same thing over and over, it is probably time to reinvent yourself.

Life offers endless opportunities for growth and learning and the road to reinvention is a path open to everyone. Sometimes it is even necessary in order to keep up with the demands of the fast-changing world we live in. Some people may associate reinvention with drastic changes, but do not let that scare you. With bravery and creativity, small changes can successfully awaken your zest for life and let you discover new passions.

Mingle with a new crowd.

Been hanging out with the same folks for years? You may want to widen your social circle and meet new people. This doesn’t mean you have to break old friendships or cut ties with your constant companions. It just means you should explore new grounds by connecting with other people. One way to do this is by joining organizations that reflect your interests and participate in their activities. New friends or contacts can broaden your perspectives or offer a new way of doing things.

Change your look.

The way you look and dress affects your mood and conveys a message to others. Sometimes, reinvention is as simple as changing your outfit. Donning the same style of clothes or refusing a new kind of hairstyle could be subtle indicators that you dislike change or trying new things.

Change is essential for reinvention to take place, so be bold and experiment with new looks. Of course, you want the style upgrade to increase your confidence and enhance your appearance. Ideally, the positive effects of your new style will also make you feel eager to tackle new tasks.

Ask questions.

The plain old routine you are accustomed to may have worked for years. But it is likely your reliable routine will also benefit from improvements or upgrades. So be brave and ask questions about the existing procedures or routines you are following. Your “why’s” and “what ifs” may sound ridiculous at first, but just maybe, it can start a change that will dramatically improve your way of life.

Think out of the box.

Maybe you have fully mastered a certain craft and you no longer find it challenging. Hang on and do not embark on an entirely new career all at once. Continue to study your craft, push yourself and dare to innovate. The new techniques you may discover along the way might just be the spark you need to revive your interest on your passions.

Have a break.

Examine your lifestyle and you may just see that the reason your days feel dreary is due to exhaustion. So be kind to yourself and take a break. To embark on new interests or pursue fresh goals, you need a clear mind that is free from stress. Taking a trip to a relaxing place or simply having some quiet time will get you ready for new challenges. The new surroundings will also help you see old things in a new light and nurture your inner spirit. After the break, you may find yourself bursting with vibrant energy and cool ideas

Change offers no guarantees so most people choose to stick with the safe, but monotonous way of life. Oftentimes though, this is not the way to go if you do not want to simply breeze through life. The commitment to continuously improve yourself through reinvention will allow you to experience the joys of immense self-fulfillment.

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Four Travel Mistakes You Should Avoid For A Great Vacation

Travel has evolved from needing to hire a professional to handle your cruise or beach vacation, to now being your own personal travel agent. It can be confusing trying to sift through quotes for last minute flight plans, travel tips, and hotel stays. But even the most seasoned tourists sometimes place all their focus on their family’s vacation ideas while completely forgetting to address common travel pitfalls. If you find yourself knee-deep in rental car research, but still haven’t thought about how to truly make the best of your upcoming vacation, keep reading for 4 easy-to-fix mistakes that travelers commit.

Overbooking Your Itinerary

It’s tempting to over-plan when visiting a new place. There are so many things to do and see that you feel there isn’t enough time to get it all done. When given only a few days, hitting all the major landmarks and tourist spots is nearly impossible. Still, we try anyway. We think that visiting every notable site within a city is what makes a trip great. In reality, it’s not. The memories we create are what make it worthwhile. When we choose to prioritize quantity over quality, our hectic schedules can cause rushed visits, stress on the family, and exhausted bodies. Who wants those types of memories? So, instead of placing your focus on how many places you can force into a tight schedule, think about how many places you can realistically enjoy within the day. Plan time for rest breaks, meals, and thorough exploration of your chosen destination. Yes, you may have to forgo a site or two, but look at the bright side- that gives you the perfect excuse to return!

Failing to Bring the Proper Apparel

Different terrain calls for different apparel. Sometimes you think you’ll be able to wing it without purchasing climate specific items, only to get to your destination and learn that you really do need them. Hunting down a local store and making a last minute purchase can be expensive and time-consuming. Skipping the item all together can make for a long, uncomfortable stay. To avoid both scenarios, spend time at home determining which clothes, shoes, and accessories are necessary for the most enjoyable stay. Even if you don’t already have what you need, you’ll at least have the time to search for the best deal.

Visiting During the Wrong Time of Year

Timing is everything. In some areas of the world, the weather can make all the difference in determining if you have the time of your life or a trip you’d rather forget. Even in locations where extreme weather isn’t a concern, you should still consider whether the time of your visit lines up with a major event, concert, or festival there. Nothing’s worse than getting home, only to find out that if you had pushed back your vacation a few weeks, you could’ve attended a famous local celebration. Make sure to do your research prior to booking travel deals and airline tickets.

Taking Too Many Pictures

We live in a digital age where sites like Instagram and Facebook serve as a time capsule and highlight reel of our life’s best moments. Many of us have even invested in expensive cameras to help cast our memories in the best possible light. Consequently, we tend to spend tons of time trying to capture the perfect shot or record an epic video instead of being present in the moment. On vacation, this could mean missing out on the full experience that you traveled such a long way to relish. You have the opportunity to take time to be enveloped by the feelings, smells, and ambiance of your environment. So remember, it’s fine to take a few nice pictures to add to the collection, but don’t let the views seen through the lens replace the unfiltered view through your own eyes.

Organizing a vacation is tedious work. However, enjoying a well-planned trip makes it all worthwhile. When preparing for your next getaway, take a few extra moments to make sure that you’ve avoided these 4 travel oversights.

Brad and Julie DuncanFour Travel Mistakes You Should Avoid For A Great Vacation
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