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Life-Changing Trips: Visit These 7 Cities To Boost Your Personal Growth

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Life-Changing Trips: Visit These 7 Cities To Boost Your Personal Growth

Traveling has the power to transform us and change your outlook on life and yourself as an individual. Here are seven destinations that are guaranteed to open your eyes and give you plenty of moments of self-reflection.

1. Kyoto, Japan

This tranquil city which was Japan’s capital for 1,000 years is the perfect place to unplug from the rush of everyday life. Take your time wandering through the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, that include reflective gardens and stunning temples. Kyoto is the complete opposite of the frenzied pace of Tokyo, Japan’s current capital and is the perfect pace to stop and do some serious self-reflection in this highly spiritual place.

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2. Istanbul, Turkey

This city not only has a rich layered history, but is also a perfect blend of east and west, and preserving tradition, while simultaneously embracing present-day culture. It is the perfect place to travel to grasp a better understanding of the need for balance in one’s life and how it’s possible to have many different aspects of yourself co-exist simultaneously and harmoniously.

3. San Francisco, USA

This city welcomes people from all walks of life with open arms and teaches all those who come through its Golden Gate to do the same. It is hard not to visit this beautiful City By the Bay and not feel the urge to open yourself up to new experiences that will broaden your horizons and make you more open-minded. Whether you try a new cuisine or immerse yourself in a neighborhood whose culture is a bit foreign to you, San Francisco will teach you how to become more open-minded and tolerant of those around you.

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4. Cape Town, South Africa

This city at the very southern tip of Africa will help you step out of your comfort zone and educate you about the horrible racial injustice that has taken place in this area of the world. You will be inspired by Nelson Mandela’s struggle and leadership to bring his country out of the shadows of discrimination and in turn reflect on your own cultural identity in your community at home and in the world.

5. Grindavik, Iceland

Find a sense of peace within the natural healing powers of this coastal Icelandic city. One of the main draws of this place is the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa that is the perfect place to cleanse both your body and your mind. There is no place quite like this on the planet and spending time here in this surreal environment will put things in your life into a new perspective.

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6. Krakow, Poland

This Eastern European city takes hold of you the moment you arrive and leaves an impression on you long after you leave. Feeling like you are in a modern-day fairytale wandering around the Main Square, around the castle grounds of Wawel or exploring the dragon’s lair (the city’s mascot) it is hard to not feel like you are in a dream. Krakow is not all about dreams though, since it holds reminders of the tragedies that it experienced during the Holocaust. It is a perfect place to educate yourself about the history’s sometimes dark moments and learn about the power of the human spirit that fights through it all.

7. Christchurch, New Zealand

This beautiful city with snow-capped mountain ranges as a backdrop, makes for a tranquil and unique destination to experience. With nature all around this urban landscape it is hard not to reflect inwardly and think about your own life. This city is a great example of recovery after heartache left from 2010 and 2011 earthquakes that devastated the city and shows all who visit that it is possible to bounce back from unexpected hardships.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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