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10 Reasons You Should Travel By Bike And See The World For Its Best

10 Reasons You Should Travel By Bike And See The World For Its Best

You take a turn and see a lake unfolding. You can feel the breeze on your face and smell the typical hot air of a tropical summer. There plays a group of monkeys by the water. You quietly stop pedalling to watch over the little ones.

That is one in many fond memories of your travels on two wheels. To travel by bike is much more than those memories. It is a way of life with incomparable benefits and joy.

1. You enjoy getting off the beaten paths and into more adventurous ones

Remember the time you were stuck in an over crowded underground in London? Or when you couldn’t manage to take a photo with Eiffel Tower.

It’s no longer the case. You are getting off paths that is so full of tourists to enjoy tranquility.

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Besides, some paths are much more enjoyable when you are exploring on a bike. Think about exploring Machu Pichu, a small village along the Mekong River, the deserted archaeological sites in Turkey, or Tuscany on the pedal – That is just to name a few.

2. You meet interesting people

Along unbeaten paths, you meet some local people who have never seen foreigners before. They are often much less grumpy than town dwellers who secretly blame you for their city being overcrowded. They are more likely to be interested in talking to you, showing you a nice route or offering you some home-grown fruits.

You also meet like-minded cyclists, and share a grilled fish over a campfire. This kind of relaxing encounter does not happen as often when you drive a car or rush around in a cross-country bus.

3. You have the ultimate freedom

You can stop at any time you feel like, to pet a horse from the farm by the road or to take a photo of a stunning sunset. Such freedom is not feasible when you travel by public transport. You can go as fast (or as slow) as you want, take a random turn when you see anything intriguing. You stay in the moment with your focus on where you are rather than where you are going to.

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Also you can say goodbye to all the time wasting waiting for a bus or a train to show up late. We all know that happens often in many parts of the world.

4. You find clarity

Amidst the rush of modern life, a journey on a bike gives you the chance to slow down. You are able to soak in the fresh air around you. You can hear, see and smell things differently out on a bike, compared with being boxed in a car or a train. Moving your muscles gets your circulation going, releases stress and clears your mind.

5. You improve your health

Cycling is a great way to improve your health. It gets your legs moving and your heart pumping without stressing your body too much. You can cycle for a long time and regularly, which is the best way of exercise. Besides, fresh air and cool breeze have good effect on your health and your mood.

6. You can afford it

After lodging, transportation is the most expensive part of travel. You can find cheap buses but they often choose the shortest route rather than the most scenic route to save fuel and time. Traveling by car is about six times more expensive than traveling by bike. Taking the train and flying are even more costly.

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7. You are being environment friendly

Considering the global warming, cycling is the most ethical way of travel. You leaves no carbon footprint from fossil fuel usage. People take much less from the earth in order to make a bike comparing with making a car or a plane.

To travel by bike, you are much more aware of the changes in the environment and appreciate things like unpolluted air, healthy-looking trees, harmonious rivers and so on. Those are things that are not so easily felt and appreciated when you are sealed up in a metal air-conditioned wagon. Car drivers sometimes end up forgetting about how important it is to have more fresh air and less smoke from burning fossil fuel.

8. You have it easier

This might sound odd but fast cars are not always the best. On a bike, you don’t have to worry about parking when you stop, running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere, and driving over the speed limit. You can let your guard down now and then to just enjoy the scenery. If it gets boring, you can always go off-road. You are worry-free.

9. You have a lot of time to think

When you are alone on a quiet track through sand dunes, it is a lot of time to think. You need to make a tough decision? You want to find a new idea? Nothing beats a long bike ride through the countryside.

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10. You are always learning

You learn about your own strength. Cycling is a mental exercise. It has little to do with your physical condition, age and sex and more to do with pushing your limits. The weather can be just too hot and humid. Some hills just seem too steep for you to climb up. But you will do it. You push your limits further pedal by pedal. You get over the hill and you feel great. Then you know boundaries are there to be broken.

You learn to be sensible. Drink more water, take regular breaks or even make a fire.

You learn to enjoy time alone, even just to find out you like it best when you have company. You also learn to talk to strangers. When you are out there in the open, you are more willing to open up to strangers. Some of the best conversations come from random encounters like that.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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