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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Three Travel Tips to Take Better Pictures on Your Next Trip

We’ve all returned home from an amazing trip, looking forward to posting pictures on Facebook or Instagram, only to discover they aren’t “post-worthy.” No one wants to show off a dull sunset, scene-ruining photobombs, or wayward thumbs that accidentally find themselves in front of the camera’s lens. So how can you avoid these common mistakes? Here are three travel tips on how to take better pictures on your next vacation.

1. Maximize What You’ve Got

Most tourists travel light, bringing nothing more than their cell phones, and that’s perfectly fine. Many professional photographers are quick to admit that it’s not the camera, but technique that creates the best results. So if all you’ve got is your phone, don’t count yourself out.

  • Cell Phone Photography
    Start with the basics. We unintentionally smudge both the front and back lens through normal use of our phones. So before you take a picture, pause to wipe off your camera’s lens. Now that your lens in clean, it’s time to focus on your screen. Go into the camera app’s settings and turn on the grid feature to help you better frame your scene. Last, use the advanced features to your benefit. Modern smartphones are packed with photo features. Play around with your settings, or head over to YouTube for a tutorial on all your phone has to offer.  

2. Plan Ahead

The second way to become an enviable vacation photographer is to plan ahead. There are many factors that go into bringing your photos to life. Most can be controlled with a little planning. 

  • Time of Day
    First, consider your location of choice. Getting the perfect shot, in popular area, during peak visitation hours is extremely difficult. But if you show up early in the morning, or later at night, your chances of success increase exponentially. Also remember to be mindful of nature. Lighting is one of the biggest factors that play into how a photo turns out. If it’s too bright, the photo will be overexposed. If it’s too dark, you won’t be able to clearly see your subject. So before you plan your trip itinerary, make a list of the locations that you want to photograph and schedule your visits accordingly. 
  • Be Patient
    Even in the best of conditions, it may still come down to being patient (with yourself, your scenery and your camera). Sometimes you’ll need to take the same picture more than once, at different angles, in various light, after adjusting your camera settings multiple times. Don’t let the process deter you from getting your shot! Know that everyone has faced the same challenge and what matters most is the end result. If you get frustrated, take a deep breath, or pass your camera off to someone else for a while, but don’t give up! 

Upgrade

One of the most effective ways to take better vacation pictures is to make a few upgrades! 

  • Knowledge
    Upgrade your skills! Although things can get technical pretty quickly, investing a bit of time into mastering aperture, shutter speed and ISO can quickly improve your photography skills. Fortunately, there are many videos, articles and books that offer detailed explanations of each. Before your next trip, set aside time to study and practice so you’ll be ready to jump into action with no hesitation.
  • Equipment 
    The last, and most expensive step, is to upgrade your equipment. Cameras and lenses today are manufactured to conveniently accommodate the trickiest of conditions. Even the accompanying accessories can make all the difference in capturing impressive vacation pictures. If you are open to making a financial investment, it’s worth the effort to research tripods, DSLR and mirrorless cameras, lenses, and even editing software like Lightroom or Paintshop Pro

Pictures are a physical reminder of the memories we’ve created over the years. Having the ability to capture perfect photos with your loved ones is a gift that lasts a lifetime. Why not work on living up to your full vacation-photographer potential? Next time you are ready to plan some time away, remember these three photography tips to ensure you’ll return home with memories worth posting. 

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Travel Tips to Take Better Pictures on Your Next Trip
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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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How to Foster a Healthy Sense of Adventure in Your Children

“Do one thing a day that scares you.”
-Mary Schmich

Adventure requires risk. According to Merriam Webster, risk is defined as the possibility of loss, injury or peril, and adventure is what follows. Adventure starts the moment you decide to expose yourself to an unknown outcome. Adventure is what happens when you push forward. Despite the fear. Despite the trepidation. Despite the negative possibilities. Adventure is the physical manifestation of the abstract concept of what it means to truly live.

Risk taking is a part of life. We’ve all faced the crossroads of deciding whether to cling to stability and familiarity, or throw caution to the wind and leap into the unknown. Although it’s comfortable to follow a predictable outline in order to arrive at an expected outcome, doing so isn’t always the best option. Setting aside predictability, in the name of adventure, can result in some of the most memorable, life changing experiences, lessons, and opportunities.

As adults, we’ve seen proof and heard success stories about how big risks can pay off. We understand that adventures don’t always end in triumph. However, are still undeniably worthy of pursuit. We’ve experienced the highs and lows of our own risk taking and have learned that a strong sense of adventure is a valuable quality to have.

As parents, it’s our job to pass that knowledge on and teach our kids to be confidently adventurous. Here are three ways to foster a healthy sense of adventure in your children:

Support Safe Risks

As children grow and interact with their world, they will naturally encounter obstacles that’ll force them to decide whether to be daring or cautious. Use those experiences as teachable moments. Model how to weigh the pros and cons of possible consequences. And if the risk is safe to pursue, encourage your little one to go for it! The way you choose to respond heavily influences the type of response your child employs. So, instill confidence by providing the proper problem solving skills to analyze the safety level of the risk, then be supportive when the adventure begins.

Don’t Project Personal Fears

As much as we hate to admit it, parents’ personal phobias and negative self-talk is contagious. Children are perceptive and impressionable, causing them to absorb and mirror the behaviors that surround them. Your attitude, perspective and outlook is the blueprint for your children’s foundation. Therefore, be aware of how you handle risks. Think of the example you’re setting and adjust accordingly. Lastly, when speaking to your children, equalize your emphasis on potential outcomes by highlighting what may go right, instead of only discussing what may go wrong.

Regularly Expose Your Kids to New Experiences

Humans are granted such a short period of life to feel unburdened by the stressors of adulthood. By design, childhood is absent of major responsibility. It is a safe space. To learn, to play and to fail. School-aged children have the luxury of experimenting and discovering who they are, while still covered safely under the umbrella of financial and emotional support. So be intentional. Foster their sense of adventure by tailoring their exposure. Seek frequent, meaningful risks and experiences that will help build character and shape their worldview. Give your child the best start possible to their lifelong pursuit of adventure.

Author Neale Donald Walsch stated, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Risk can be scary, but it can also be gratifying. Do your part to guide your children through coping with the fear and celebrating the reward. Use the three tips above to help foster a sense of healthy adventure. By doing so, you are opening the door to a lifetime of fulfillment.

Brad and Julie DuncanHow to Foster a Healthy Sense of Adventure in Your Children
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Teen-Friendly Volunteer Projects for the Summer

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Poolside lounging, backyard barbecues, beach vacations – three summertime staples that spark joy in almost all of our hearts. But the summer season wasn’t made just for rest and relaxation; the midyear sunshine is also perfect for philanthropy. Though many working adults don’t have the luxury of enjoying the same extended break their school-aged children have, luckily, philanthropy is an equal opportunity activity. When it comes to volunteering, the summer offers endless possibility and plenty of free time to pursue. Here are three teen-friendly volunteer projects for the summer.

1. Building
For those who don’t mind getting their hands dirty, why not dive into a building project? Charities like Habitat for Humanity and The Fuller Center for Housing build homes for people in need, while organizations like Bikes for Goodness Sake build bikes for underprivileged children. If your teenager’s heart lies in education, plenty of nonprofits like BuildOn Global dedicate their volunteer hours to constructing schools for underserved communities.

If building houses and schools requires too much physical exertion, think outside-of-the-box and create your own nonprofit or charity. The business can be as small and short-term as a weekend lemonade stand, or as complex and long-term as an online boutique of handmade crafts. Once the profits start rolling in, take the proceeds and donate them to a worthy cause.

2. Cleanup
Many of the spaces we occupy and enjoy require tedious, behind-the-scenes work to keep clean. However, the bright sunshine of summer provides the perfect motivation to lend a helping hand. Commit to sprucing up the neighborhood. Gather a group of friends and create a gameplan to clean up one (or a few) of the following spaces:

  • The Beach
  • A Heavily Littered Street
  • An Elder’s House or Yard
  • A Local Park
  • Your Neighborhood Common Areas

3. Social
Get social! For all the extroverts and social butterflies, your time and attention can prove to be a priceless gift. Help your fellow man by participating in a bit of good ol’ fashioned, face-to-face interaction. Consider visiting a rest home, hospital or hospice center and sharing your company. Enroll as a Big Brother or Sister (if you are over the age of eighteen) or offer your literary expertise to a summer reading program at your nearest library, bookstore or daycare.

“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” — Tom Brokaw

Although the free time that accompanies summer break is traditionally consumed by self-serving pursuits, what better time to do more than is required? There are millions of causes, both locally and globally, waiting for the attention and action of a future philanthropist. You are never too young to make a difference. The leaders of tomorrow start by creating change today. So, this summer, encourage the teens in your life to get out of the house, take advantage of the sunshine and make a real-world impact through volunteerism.   

Brad and Julie DuncanTeen-Friendly Volunteer Projects for the Summer
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Quick Tips To Effectively Work While Traveling

For some people, traveling does not really signal a time-off from the daily grind. Instead, the opportunity to visit new places comes with career related tasks and responsibilities. Juggling traveling and working is not unusual nowadays, as technology has made it possible to have remote jobs too. The idea of not being confined to a physical office in order to grow a career feels empowering. At the same time, knowing you don’t have the full liberty of just lazing around while in a new destination can be a burden. So how do you balance your schedule and personal time so you get the most out of your trip and still excel at your work? Keeping the following tips in mind can help you experience the best of both worlds:

Complete pending tasks.
One of the best things you can do to make your work trip as stress-free as possible is to finish all uncompleted tasks prior to your trip. Save yourself the burden of having pending work hanging over your head while traveling. To enjoy a lighter workload while out and about, you may want to devote extra effort to finish the work you can do in advance. Without pending tasks in the way, you can easily lay out an effective work plan and schedule.

Pack-up with necessary tools and gadgets.
If you are serious about getting jobs done while on the road, you have to be ready with tools that will help accomplish your tasks. Make a list of gadgets and devices you will need and be sure to pack them all in your bag. Some of the essentials are mobile phones, laptops and chargers. You may also want to bring extra headphones, portable keyboards and flash drives. It also pays to research if the gadgets and tools you will bring will work in your destination (or the configuration steps you may need to do for it to work).  Those who are concerned about security and privacy and do not want to connect to public Wi-Fi can set up a virtual private network (VPN). You can also prevent unexpected laptop troubles by deleting unnecessary files.

Have a contingency plan.
The perennial goal is to have a smooth, productive trip but you are out on an adventure where anything can happen. For your peace of mind, it pays to have a back-up plan in case something goes wrong. It can be as simple as saving your files in a hard drive in case your laptop refuses to boot up. A hard drive copy of the contact details of people at home or in the workplace may also come in handy, in case your cell phone starts acting up. You may also want to read up some information about the local emergency contact numbers in your current destination.

Study your destination.
Every traveler knows the importance of doing some research before a trip. Gaining valuable information about your local destination is doubly important when you have official work to do as well.  You do not want bad weather conditions to ruin your trip, so check out the best time of the year to visit a place. Most probably, you will need a Wi-Fi connection and a working space, so make sure to inquire whether the place you plan to stay offer those amenities. Moreover, reading about travel tips and recommendations will give insights about the best places to go to

Make good use of travel time.
Travel time can be long and direct flights are not always possible. Make good use of stop-overs and other free time while traveling, by finding a good spot where you can plug in your devices and do some quick work. You need sufficient rest to function at your best, so you may also want to steal some sleep while in transit. With proper rest, you will be more than ready to tackle work once you arrive at your destination.

Today, it is possible and easier to earn money while exploring amazing places. Though this great privilege continues to be just a dream for many. If you are one of the few who are lucky enough to get paid while traveling, savor the great chance to quench your wanderlust and advance your career at the same time!  

Brad and Julie DuncanQuick Tips To Effectively Work While Traveling
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4 Misconceptions Hindering You From Embracing Your Adventurous Side

Anyone would be happy to be described as adventurous. It is generally a compliment implying that someone is interesting, independent and strong. The trait personifies confident individuals who are ready to face any challenge that comes their way. All the positive characteristics make being adventurous a little intimidating. But as they say, there is almost always more than meets the eye. Adventurous people may appear larger than life for others, but in reality, they are just typical people with their share of strengths and weaknesses. Shatter any doubt about your ability to embrace an adventurous spirit by looking at some of the misconceptions about this trait:

Adventurous people are fearless.
Bravery plays a huge role in trying something new, so it is easy to assume doubts and fears have no place in any adventure you take. However, it does not mean that people should adopt a “risk-it-all attitude” at all times. A famous quote even says that courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to face it. Therefore, it is wrong to think adventurous people are fearless. Most likely, they suffer from worries and anxieties too, but the main difference is they have learned to adopt skills and techniques to deal with their fear. So, if you are feeling a little scared, do not be too quick to say no to an adventure. Rather, try to look for ways to subdue your fears. When you come to think of it, without the element of fear, an activity may not even be considered an adventure at all.

Adventurous people are young.
People associate old age with retirement houses and routine activities. On the other hand, heart-racing adventures seem to be reserved for the young. So it wouldn’t be a surprise if people beyond their 50’s would think twice about trying new experiences. But the truth is, there are no rules stating an expiration age for adventures. If you have a young spirit, no one can say that you are too old for any adventure. As part of caution, it is still advisable to seek the advice of a physician before starting any physically draining adventure.

Adventurous people are wealthy.
You can’t deny that funds and resources are needed to try new experiences. Travel requires airfare and some activities require equipment. However, do not forget that money is not the most important thing about being adventurous. In fact, lack of funds could even open doors for more unforgettable experiences because you get to make do with what you have. People who are truly adventurous are resourceful and creative, so they can find ways to make exciting activities happen even with limited funds.

Adventurous people are perfectly healthy.
It takes physical strength to participate in extremely strenuous activities, such as mountain biking or rock climbing. Still, adventures should not entirely exclude people with physical limitations (such as disabilities or ailments). Sometimes, adventures can even pave the way to physical fitness or improved health. It can also be a way for some people to discover hidden strengths.

The decision to be adventurous is not something reserved for the privileged few. Given the right mindset and stern determination, anyone can add a sense of adventure in their life. So, if you want more fun and adventure, start by widening your mind and shattering misconceptions.

Brad and Julie Duncan4 Misconceptions Hindering You From Embracing Your Adventurous Side
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5 Things To Remember To Be A Great Adventure Buddy

Going on solo adventures is always a unique experience. But isn’t it more fun and exciting to try something new with others? Before you start searching for great adventure buddies, you might want to ask yourself: Are you the perfect adventure friend others are looking for as well? It is important to take time for self-reflection to see if you’re someone others would like to travel with. Listed below are five things to remember to make sure you fit the role of a great adventure buddy:

Limit complaints and negativity.

If you’re looking for a hassle-free trip, you might as well stay at home. You can always prepare to minimize the inconveniences that travel brings, but people with adventurous spirits don’t let obstacles affect them or their trip in a bad way. Negative behavior can ruin the trip and can affect other people in your troop. Instead, opt to spread good vibes and improve everyone’s mood by staying cheerful and positive. One way to limit negativity is by practicing gratitude. Be thankful for the adventure and the people you are with. Thinking about the opportunity you have on your trip will help you focus on the positive things.

Be respectful.

Diversity may be everywhere but differences won’t be a problem if everyone shows respect to one another. Always remember that respect is a two-way street. If you want to receive respect, accept that the views of others may differ without judgment. You can’t expect others to think or act the same way you do, but you can change the way you react to it. Instead of looking at diversity as a source of conflict, instead, see it as an opportunity for learning. Being exposed to people with different backgrounds can broaden and enlighten your mind.  

Resolve to do more.

For an organized group adventure, participants may be assigned certain responsibilities. While your travel buddies will be grateful for you to do your part, consider going a little above and beyond. Maybe you have extra time and can lend a hand to others. Be a valuable companion by seeking out more ways you can help.

Be a problem solver.

It’s normal to go into an adventure hoping everything will be perfect. But it isn’t always what happens. You may even notice a lot of room for improvement. But being a good adventure buddy means working through it. Instead, think of solutions that you can suggest to the group. If you meet problems with solutions, you can look forward to even better adventures to come. You also make travel a more comfortable and positive experience for the people you are with.

Show independence.

You may be traveling with a group, but you can’t expect your travel buddies to be responsible for you. So in one aspect, it is a good idea to get ready for an adventure as if you are going on a trip alone. This mindset will urge you to familiarize yourself with the area and equip yourself with the necessary items you need for an enjoyable trip. By doing it this way, you avoid being a burden to others. Instead, you become an asset to a group because being prepared will allow you to contribute ideas or offer help to others when needed.

People typically love and crave adventures. Our daily routines provide comfort and stability, but once in a while, we still feel the need to do something out of the ordinary.  As adventures keep the zest in life burning, it is inevitable that we find ourselves wondering — what makes a great adventure? Surely, it is not as simple as blindly plunging into the unknown. It takes great planning, wisdom and courage. Another thing that makes an adventure unforgettable are the people you share the experiences with. But before searching for your perfect travel buddies, start by making sure you are a great one yourself.

Brad and Julie Duncan5 Things To Remember To Be A Great Adventure Buddy
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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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Pursuing Adventure by Facing Your Fears

“Do one thing a day that scares you.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt

This is a popular quote that many have heard but few have abided by. So what’s so difficult about pursuing fear? You’ve been conditioned to think of fear as a feeling we should avoid. The word fear has been connected to other terms that have negative connotations: danger, consequence and even intimidation. When you imagine being afraid you probably think pessimistically. You visualize the worst possible outcome no matter how likely it is. You’ve learned to fear fear itself. But fear is nothing more than a feeling – not an actualization of dread, tangible evidence of consequence or anything concrete at all. If you remember that caveat, it’ll help you tackle the issue from the proper perspective. Because fear is an emotional response, a psychological element in the mind, it can be conquered.

For most, daily life is composed of repetition and fulfilled expectations. You wake up, head to work, come home and repeat the steps the following day. Sure, random surprises pop up here and there, but rarely is there a major divergence from the norm. Going about life in this manner is comfortable and keeps your mind at ease, but it lacks excitement because thrill requires fear. Adventure is a process that includes encountering discomfort, facing it and then overcoming it triumphantly. It needs a bit of discomfort in order to celebrate the bravery it takes to succeed. The build up of nervous tension peaks and becomes gratification.

Helen Keller said, “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

Have you lived life cautiously thus far? Have your negative thoughts prevented you from accomplishing your wildest dreams? Take a minute to think of all the adventures you’d pursue if you dismissed those anxieties. Use that thought as motivation. No matter how afraid you are, remember that fear is not a bad thing; it’s simply a part of the process. Whether swimming with sharks, climbing the highest mountain or speaking publicly, nothing is beyond your reach. And while you may feel apprehensive initially, the feeling will pass.

You are bigger than your fears. Don’t allow missed opportunities to become your life story. Make the decision to always follow your heart, exude confidence and be brave. Get in the habit of maintaining a healthy perspective of the larger picture instead of focusing on just the parts that scare you. Alter your mindstate and start asking yourself, “What if I succeed?”

It’s natural to feel anxious when faced with uncertainty, but you don’t have to let the anxiety rule you. Convert your anxiety to adrenaline and use it to your advantage. Embrace the discomfort and remember that it’s temporary and will be followed with emotional reward. On the other side of fear is accomplishment, pride, inspiration and passion. Adventure awaits!

Brad and Julie DuncanPursuing Adventure by Facing Your Fears
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