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10 Unbelievably Breathtaking Places That Will Humble Every Traveler

10 Unbelievably Breathtaking Places That Will Humble Every Traveler

Your face has felt the warmth of the sun as you crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and your toes have felt the sand of Oahu. At this point, your passport is pretty comfortable being stamped by solemn-faced customs agents across the globe. There comes a moment in any traveler’s life, however, when it’s time to take wanderlust to the next level.

If you’ve seen the rest, and you’re ready to experience the best, here are 10 breathtaking sites you don’t want to miss:

Uluru in the Northern Territory’s Red Centre Desert, Australia

Uluru

    Image credit: nosha

    Uluru, better known as Ayers Rock, is a stunning formation in the Northern Territory, Australia. The sandstone is remarkable in a geological sense, because its creation began over 500 million years ago. But it’s not just geologists that marvel at Uluru: people trek from around the world to see this majestic monolith. At sunset, the rock glows crimson red—you don’t want to miss it.

    Marble Caves in Patagonia, Chile

    marble cathedral

      Image credit: Javier Vieras

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      Formed by the crashing waves of Lake General Carrera, the marble caves of Patagonia are practically an art installation. The caves showcase a breathtaking array of colors and textures, and have earned the nickname of Marble Cathedral. While the journey to get here is a long and arduous one, you are rewarded with breathtaking formations dripping in character. The caves are a bit like a chameleon: in the spring, the water creates a turquoise tone on the walls, but when summer rolls around, the marble glow a darker blue.

      Sea of Stars in Vaadhoo Island, Maldives

      sea of stars

        Image credit: Will Ho

        You may usually try to avoid creatures in the water, especially the kind you can’t see. But in the Maldives, phytoplankton creates a marine bioluminescence that results in eye-catching neon stars just beneath the water’s surface. When the water is stirred, by a boat or even your hand, it lights up like a Christmas tree. If you ever find yourself in the Maldives, heading out after dark to experience this breathtaking natural phenomenon is a must.

        Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona

        Antelope Canyon

          Image credit: Moyan Brenn

          You might think you’re walking through a painting during your visit to the Antelope Canyon. The swirling rock formations look as if they were plucked from an artist’s canvas and meticulously draped across the desert landscape. Located on Navajo Nation land just outside Page, the canyon was slowly carved by flash floods over millennia. Today, you’re welcome to hike through the canyon chasing tunnels of light and marveling at the bright color palette that surrounds you.

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          Northern Lights in Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland

          Iceland Northern Lights

            Image credit: Moyan Brenn

            You can see the Northern Lights at various points across Iceland, but one of the best places to witness this awe-inspiring natural wonder is the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. What causes the Northern Lights, otherwise known as Aurora borealis? Long story short, when electrically-charged particles released from the sun enter Earth’s atmosphere, ribbons of vibrant color burst across the sky. It’s no surprise this place is often considered one of the most breathtaking sites on the planet.

            Great Blue Hole in Belize City, Belize

            Great Blue Hole in Belize City, Belize

              Image credit: Eric Pheterson

              Jacque Cousteau made this site famous, and now that the secret’s out people flock to the oceanic spectacle in droves. Just off the coast of Belize City, the Great Blue Hole is quite the sight from above. It pulls double-duty as a diver’s dream, sending a siren song to scuba enthusiasts around the world. Formed over time by changing sea levels, the sinkhole is home to a bevy of exotic sea life and the surrounding shoreline has caves worthy of investigation.

              Taj Mahal in Agra, India

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              Taj Mahal

                Image credit: Dennis Jarvis

                Not just breathtaking, this marble mausoleum might leave you momentarily paralyzed as you take in the elaborate architecture and meticulous calligraphy decorating the exterior. The building was constructed in the 1600s by Shah Jahan to honor his late wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It remains a meaningful monument and was named one of the New7Wonders of the World in 2007. Make time to stand in front of the reflection pool after you tour the building.

                Palace of Versailles in Versailles, France

                Palace of Versailles

                  Image credit: tom.Bricker

                  When you tour this ornate palace, it might be hard to picture it as a hunting lodge. But when Louis XIII first constructed the famous chateau, that is exactly what he used it for. The Palace of Versailles was later expanded into the ostentatious estate you’ll find today, dripping in gold and adorned with finishes such as polished marble and lush fabric. The chateau’s gardens are world-famous, and beg you to meander through them.

                  Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia

                  Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia

                    Image credit: Chrisian Junker

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                    The largest religious monument known to man doesn’t disappoint. This UNESCO World Heritage Centre was once a Hindu temple before evolving into a Buddhist temple and spiritual retreat for the modern traveler. It also happens to be where Lara Croft journeyed on her quest for the Triangle of Light, so you can visit sites where the movie was shot. Don’t miss an opportunity to catch the sun breaking over the temple at dawn. The breathtaking sight of a gold and amber sky showering the structure with a warm glow is a memorable one.

                    Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto, Japan

                    Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto, Japan

                      Image credit: Casey Yee

                      If you need a reprieve from city life in Japan, the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is the perfect place to visit. Towering bamboo create grand spirals of light, providing this enchanting space with a sense of serenity. There is just one main trail through the forest, leading to the Okochi-Sanso Villa. While you’re here, visit the on-site temple and shrine.

                      Despite your temptation to take oodles of photos when you visit these breathtaking spots, why not slow down a bit and soak it in?

                      Challenge yourself to be present during your every moment in these 10 amazing locales, as you never know when you’ll have a chance to return.

                      Featured photo credit: Moyan_Brenn via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                      Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                      If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                      1. Breathe

                      The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                      • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                      • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                      • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                      Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                      2. Loosen up

                      After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                      Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                      3. Chew slowly

                      Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                      Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                      Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                      4. Let go

                      Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                      The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                      It’s not. Promise.

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                      Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                      Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                      21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                      5. Enjoy the journey

                      Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                      Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                      6. Look at the big picture

                      The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                      Will this matter to me…

                      • Next week?
                      • Next month?
                      • Next year?
                      • In 10 years?

                      Hint: No, it won’t.

                      I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                      Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                      7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                      You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                      Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                      8. Practice patience every day

                      Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                      • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                      • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                      • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                      Final thoughts

                      Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                      Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                      Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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