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8 Epic Travel Experiences You Can’t Miss In Your Lifetime

8 Epic Travel Experiences You Can’t Miss In Your Lifetime

Traveling is a life-changing experience and once you get bitten by the bug it is hard to resist. Here are eight different experiences that you need to add to your bucket list now.

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    PS: Wikimedia Commons

    1. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

    Ever dreamed of scaling a mountain? As the largest free-standing mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro is the ultimate travel adventure. With one of the most accessible summits, this majestic mountain in Africa graces many travelers’ lists. Trust me, you do not have to be a world-class athlete to make it to the top, you just need the right gear and a good dose of determination.

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      PS: Wikimedia Commons

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      2. Road trip on California’s Highway One

      One of the USA’s most iconic drives along the Pacific Ocean, this is a road trip that should not be missed. Choose your starting point either in Northern California or Southern California and make sure you leave enough time for plenty of stops at roadside diners and for stunning coastal views. For an optimal California road trip experience, make sure to rent a convertible or an old VW van depending on your personal style.

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        PS: Wikimedia Commons

        3. Snorkel in Belize’s Blue Hole

        There are many beautiful places to snorkel, but Belize’s Blue Hole is one of the most unique places to do so. This natural phenomena is named after the blue circle that is created from the depth of the hole under the water’s surface. Although snorkeling is preferable in the shallower waters that surround the perimeter, it is a breathtaking experience that you will never forget.

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          PS: Wikimedia Commons

          4. Visit a city that spans two continents

          Istanbul is a city that never ceases to impress. Located on both Asia and European soil, this city has it all. Food, culture, history, nightlife, whatever your interests are, you are bound to find it here. Old traditions from the Ottoman Empire blend effortlessly with modern pursuits. Make sure to plan at least a week to take in this extensive destination and all it has to offer.

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            PS: Wikimedia Commons

            5. Go on a solo adventure abroad

            Traveling with friends and family can be great, but learning to travel by yourself is a life-changing experience. Not only will you be more receptive to talk with locals and other travelers, but you will learn the importance of self-reliance. If you have never been on the road alone, start small and close to home and then make plans to go abroad. It will be worth it, I promise.

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              PS: Wikimedia Commons

              6. Observe the Big Five in Tanzania

              This country with 16 game parks in total, including in the Serengeti, is the perfect place to experience Africa’s wildlife. Look out for the African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard and black/white rhino, among others. It is one thing to see animals on film, but a completely different experience to see them a few feet away.

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                PS: Wikimedia Commons

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                7. Watch the Northern Lights in Iceland

                The Northern Lights are a perfect excuse to visit beautiful Iceland and witness one of nature’s best light shows all at once. The most important factor for optimal viewing is that there is complete darkness. The best time to view them in Iceland is from September to mid-April when there are guaranteed dark nights. A second recommendation for prime viewing is that you should stay at least a week, because the Northern Lights tend to be active for two to three nights and then lay low for four to five.

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                  8. Eat Your Way Through Japan

                  You may be familiar with Japanese food-sushi, ramen, udon and bento boxes, but there is so much more. In Japan, food is elevated to an art form, where cooks specialize in one type of dish and work on perfecting it over decades. From fresh sashimi at Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji’s Fish Market to kaiseki, a traditional Japanese multi-course meal, you will never get enough of Japan’s diverse food scene.

                  Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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                  Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                  How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                  How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                  We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                  We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                  So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                  Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                  What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                  Boundaries are limits

                  —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                  Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                  Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                  Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                  Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                  How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                  Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                  1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                  Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                  You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                  To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                  You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                  • When do you feel disrespected?
                  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                  • When do you want to be alone?
                  • How much space do you need?

                  You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                  2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                  Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                  Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                  3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                  Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                  That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                  Sample language:

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                  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                  Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                  4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                  Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                  Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                  Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                  We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                  It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                  It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                  Final Thoughts

                  Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                  Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                  Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                  The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                  Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                  Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                  They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                  Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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