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5 Ways Couples Find The Meaning Of True Love By Traveling The World Together

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5 Ways Couples Find The Meaning Of True Love By Traveling The World Together

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius

There are many couples across the globe that find the meaning of true love by traveling this world. Part of my job is to scan the internet and various sources in order to compile enough information to complete an article. The other day, I came across an article that struck a nerve. It was a compiled list of things you should not do while you are young. One of the points was: do not fall in love and stay in it. These are the years you are supposed to grow as a person, the years you are supposed to explore the Earth. The gist of the article was falling in love will only hold you back. Why turn down that opportunity to experience love with the hopes that you will explore the ends of this Earth? Why can’t you do both?

I (and a lot of other people on this planet) can say from experience that falling in love is a great idea… as long as it is with the right person. You can travel the world and grow as a person, as long as the person that you are with is just as enthusiastic about it as you are. This is what I mean by the right person.

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I have traveled more of this world in the past two years than I could ever fathom seeing in a lifetime. I am not the only one either. Ryan Fontana and Molly Joseph are a couple that sold all their things, packed up their necessities and started their journey together (here’s the proof if you don’t believe me).

You can grow as a couple, in addition to growing as a person, as well as experiencing what this world has to offer with someone to share the memories with you later down the road. When you travel as a couple, you see each other when you are at your most vulnerable. You are seeing them when they are living in the moment, when they are the most exhausted, and the two of you find the meaning of true love along the way.

1.You’ll both be lost before you are found.

When you two start your journey, your starting point is more than likely home. This is a place where you are comfortable and a place where you know your way around. When you travel, you are constantly lost (even with a GPS) and you are both out of your comfort zone. This is when you will see each other in the rawest form, exposed with the true emotion of frustration across your faces. This is a point that you will get to faster if you two are driving in an unfamiliar place. Fighting when lost is completely different from fighting over leaving the toilet seat up or staying out too late. You both need to cooperate and work together in order to get to your destination.

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Once you do though, you both lay in bed and relax. You cool off a bit from whatever mean words you said while wandering around and both agree that some food would be best. Over dinner, the aggravation of the wrong turns shifts into giggles and then laughter. Then it will hit you two. You are in a completely different country. You are far away from home and are actually here. Later down the road, the tales of being lost will become anecdotes that you tell your friends and family. With more and more trips, the two of you will learn how to deal with each other’s actions caused by frustration and it will go smoother. Notice I didn’t say smoothly because you both will still be lost with each country you visit. Trust me.

2.You’ll both be alive and present.

Being in a different country usually makes one present. By that I mean that there are usually no distractions electronics wise, with the exception of a camera and the occasional Wifi hot spots you can pick up. During our travels, we typically just purchase a paper map at the local gas station, relying on that and street signs. Sadly, the world now revolves around what is happening online. We are constantly checking our messages, newsfeeds, and making sure everyone knows what we are doing. Let’s be honest, you are probably reading this on some sort of mobile device. This is just how life at home is now. Being around the world, we usually don’t have enough for hotels, flights, cars, sights, and cell phone plans. Guess which one is mostly likely to be cut off the most important to fund list?

Without that distraction, you are forcing your brains to actually focus on the here and now. Most importantly, you focus on the person you are right next to. You notice the small things they do, the smiles they crack at the random tourists around, the smug look they get when they are pushed in a crowd, and the foreign words that make them giggle. You see them scream when they fly down a rope on a zip line, their face light up when you both walk in an unfamiliar city, and their hand squeeze your hand when you are late for a train. Equally as important, they see you and all of your actions. You both are living and experiencing life together without an electronic extension to your body.

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3.You’ll make memories that will last a lifetime.

With that all being said, you keep these memories close to your heart and soul because you have fully lived them. You both vividly remember the places you were, the people you met, and the things you saw. It will be great when you are both sitting on your porch decades later, reminiscing on what a life you both have lived.

4.You’ll both learn to love.

You both learn how to love, and not just each other on a deeper level, but you also learn which places you love over the places that you liked. You learn which dishes you absolutely fell in love with and want to make when you get home. You both have had countless discussions over meals about which countries (of the ones you’ve visited so far) you two would live in if you won the lottery. Furthermore, you both have a list of which country was the best so far. You both fall in love with the beauty of the world and all it has to offer, in addition to falling deeper in love with each other.

5.You’ll find each other as a source of comfort.

Their familiar face gives you comfort when you are out of your comfort zone, when you don’t understand anything on the menu, when the street signs are on the building instead of on street poles, and you don’t even see letters on the shop signs. Their embrace calms your nerves when you are homesick. The very thought that they will stay at your side with each border you cross, each sea you sail, and everywhere else is a comfort. You learn that this is the kind of love you won’t ever want to give up because it is the truest form.

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Featured photo credit: Follow me to Rome Murad Osmann via flickr.com

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Margielyn Musser

Event And Volunteer Coordinator / World Traveler

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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