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10 Amazing Countries That Perfectly Fit Budget Travelers

10 Amazing Countries That Perfectly Fit Budget Travelers

You want to travel but you are hesitant because you don’t think you can do it on a budget. There are many awesome countries you can visit that happen to budget-friendly as well. I have been fortunate enough to live in Europe for the better part of eight years, and in that time I have traveled much of the continent. While many countries in Europe are expensive there are some that are reasonably priced. Most of this list will focus on Europe because I don’t think people realize how cheap you can travel throughout Europe especially if you do away with the hotels and stay in hostels.

1. Greece

Sunset in Oia, Santorini. Here is my version of the sunset shot in Oia. This is a blend of 3 shots, 1.3 to 20 seconds, processed as follows: 1) Reduce noice on all 3 raws. 2) Create HRD in Photomatix 3) Blend using Exposure Fusion, sliders set to produce the most natural looking image while still showing some detail in the very dark areas. 4) PS smart sharpen. 5) PS burn the bottom 6) Nik Brilliance and warming 7) Nik Indian summer to warm th elights, masked to not affect the rest. 8) Nik sunlight, brushed over the buildings to add more light 9) Nik Glamour Glow to remove detail in the dark areas. 10) Detailed curves lightening pn windmills. 11) Dodge buildings that were too dark.

    The economic crisis has turned off some travelers from visiting but plenty of people are taking advantage of Greece’s scenic landscape and economical fares. Visit all the ancient ruins in Athens (there are a lot of them) for only $15. Enjoy specialty foods such as souvlaki and Greek salad or indulge in an Ouzo or Tsipouro drink. As a budget traveler, I lived off chicken souvlaki and Greek salad the entire week I was there. The food was delicious and the prices were hard to beat. Plus, you can view one of the most amazing sunsets in Santorini for free!

    2. Turkey

    Istanbul

      What’s unique about visiting Turkey is that it’s one of the only transcontinental countries or country that is in two continents. So you can visit Istanbul or another city within the European mainland and then take a ferry ride across the Bosphorus or Dardanelles strait into Asiatic Turkey, otherwise known as Anatolia or Asia Minor. I was stoked when I arrived in Istanbul to experience the variety of cultures and religions that make up this beautiful city. I was equally thrilled when I found out all I had to do was hop on a ferry boat for about an hour and I would be in the Asian part of this serene country. The best part was how inexpensive it was to explore history. Additionally, a kebab made with chicken or lamb meat is only going to cost you $1 or $2. A simit, a kind of Turkish bread usually eaten for breakfast, is even cheaper and my personal favorite, lahmacun or Turkish pizza, is very reasonably priced.

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      3. Morocco

      Jemaa-el-Fna-squre-in-Marrakesh-Morocco

        A short plane ride from Western Europe will land you in this incredible country. I didn’t know what to expect when I visited this African nation but I was happily satisfied with my experience. Unlike in Istanbul, visiting the local mosques is not possible for non-Muslims besides a couple exceptions. Regardless, there is a lot to see in this country, and in most cases it is free of charge or very inexpensive. There are two-day Sahara desert tours that leave from Fez and Marrakech that are as cheap as $65 per person. If I would have had more time there I would have definitely taken advantage of this.

        4. Hungary

        Budapest

          I put on Hungary on this list for the simple fact that I am biased towards Budapest. I have not traveled much outside of Budapest, but I was immediately drawn to this city, and I didn’t want to leave. The vibe of the city is enticing and inviting at the same time. Everything was cheap there from the food to the beer; especially the beer. $2 for a 24-ounce beer is a heck of a deal. It is easy to get around the city on foot or by public transportation. I would stray away from taxi drivers because they tend to gouge tourists. I would suggest that a budget traveler visit one of the local spa baths. The prices vary depending on the spa but reasonably-priced ones will cost you about $10.

          5. Germany

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          Brandenburg-Gate-Berlin1

            Germany is a huge country with lots to see. Unfortunately, it gets a bad rap for being too expensive for the budget traveler. I think most of this stems from some of the major attractions in the bigger cities in the country. But even some of the most popular German attractions are economical to experience. For example, Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) which separated East Berlin from West Berlin during the time of the Berlin Wall is free of charge. You simply walk up the stairs from the underground station and there it is.

            The point is — don’t sleep on Germany as a place to travel to on a budget. There are many convenient and cheap restaurants or food places to buy famous German specialties. Beer is very cheap as well probably because Germans love their beer and they want to share it with as many people as possible. Train travel within the country is relatively cheap especially if you do your homework early and order tickets as soon as you know where you are travelling.

            6. Croatia

            Zagreb

              I haven’t spent a lot of time in this beautiful country but I was really impressed with what I saw. I was especially excited about how cheap it was to eat and drink. I spent most of my time in the capital city of Zagreb. There is a lot of history to go along with an amazing culinary culture. If you go to Zagreb or anywhere else in Croatia you have to try some cepavici, a traditional meat dish. Travelling to Split and other spots near the Adriatic Sea are reasonable and worthwhile. Dubrovnik is very nice as well but be careful of the prices there because it is not so budget-friendly.

              7. Estonia

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              Tallinn

                I have been fortunate enough to visit Tallinn, Estonia’s capital and largest city, on a few occasions. I love Northern Europe and would suggest that anyone visit these lands if they have the time and the money.  Visiting Estonia is much cheaper than other countries in Northern Europe. There is a significant Russian influence, reminiscent of its time as a member of the Soviet Union. But I found this influence to be interesting and not predominant. Eating out and enjoying the night life are very reasonable as long as you stray away from the tourist stops right in the center of town. There are some really cool medieval castles that are worth seeing as a budget traveler.

                8. Italy

                venice_2304966b

                  Italy has so many places to see, and like Germany, the pricing of the country can vary depending on which places you visit. Yet, you can definitely travel to Italy on a budget. Even an expensive tourist city such as Venice and Rome can be visited by a budget traveler. It goes without saying that Italian food is delicious but it is also reasonable as well. You haven’t truly eaten pizza until you eat in Italy. Take advantage of the differences in the northern and southern cuisines. If you are into beach life than Italy is a great place to visit. Italians know how to enjoy their beaches and the best part is that they are free.

                  9. Spain

                  18-malaga-4

                    Simple ways to save money in Spain include opting for buses and metro stations as opposed to trains. It is not always the easiest way to get around but it will save you a lot of money, plus you get to really absorb yourself into the Spanish culture. Also, focus your meals on breakfast and lunch because typically these meals are much cheaper than dinner. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have dinner, rather that you should make sure you eat much bigger breakfasts and lunches. Bigger cities like Barcelona and Madrid are great spots to visit but there are also many smaller cities like Malaga and Marbella that are nice as well.

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                    10. Bulgaria

                    Sofia_Bulgaria

                      I have yet to visit but I hear this place is a hidden gem for budget traveling. I look forward to visiting the capital city Sofia or perhaps enjoying one of the cheaply-priced boat cruises.

                      You can travel almost anywhere on a budget. It takes a lot of planning and a sense of adventure. If you are willing to stay in hostels and explore places on your own, sans tour guide, than you can travel cheaply. You can still enjoy the local fair without spending an arm and a leg in expensive restaurants.

                      Featured photo credit: Topwalls via topwalls.net

                      More by this author

                      Mike Oppland

                      Mike is the Creator of Carpe Diem Motivation. He aspires to inspire individuals who are seeking a little extra boost in their lives.

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                      Last Updated on August 13, 2020

                      12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                      12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                      As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

                      1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

                      I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

                      Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

                      Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

                      2. What is the purpose of meditation?

                      The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

                      It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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                      Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

                      In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

                      You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

                      This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

                      The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

                      Less Physical, More Psychological

                      Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

                      This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

                      The First Benefit of Meditation

                      The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

                      1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
                      2. Relaxation of the body

                      Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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                      Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

                      That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

                      When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

                      When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

                      Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

                      Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

                      This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

                      Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

                      Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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                      This benefit takes you to the second one.

                      The Second Benefit of Meditation

                      While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

                      1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
                      2. Observance
                      3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
                      4. Patience

                      Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

                      You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

                      This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

                      1. Energy

                      Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

                      2. Observance

                      The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

                      3. Peacefulness

                      Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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                      4. Patience

                      The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

                      The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

                      Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

                      Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

                      The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

                      • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
                      • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
                      • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
                      • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
                      • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
                      • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

                      These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

                      Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

                      Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

                      More on Meditation

                      Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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