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12 Ways Travel Makes You A Better Person

12 Ways Travel Makes You A Better Person

Travel makes you a better person and has numerious benefits that cannot be found by staying at home. From expanding your horizons to exposing you to different cultures, the effects of your travels last for a lifetime. Make a change for the better by ‘investing’ in travel for yourself.

How? Well here’s how:

1. Travel teaches you the value of making friends

When you’re away from home and all the creature comforts it brings, there comes a point where you understand the real value of community. It’s all well and good to stick to your closed-in circles at home, but when you are travelling it becomes swiftly apparent that building a global network of friends is the key to a happier and easier life.

2. Travel is your crash course to geography and orientation

Have you always struggled with which way is up, down, left, right, east or west? Can’t figure out which direction the sun will set? Or which was exactly you came from? Well, all of that will change when you start travelling.

There really is no better way to be thrown in the deep end then to get half way down a street, stop, spin around 3 times, and realize you have no idea where you are going. When you’re on your own with no context for where you are, you will learn how to find your way.

3. Travel teaches you patience

Routine is built for the soul purpose of creating efficiencies in your life. When you travel, you are out of routine. You are so far from it that you teach yourself how to operate dynamically, on-the-fly, and without preparation. When you travel, not only does shit happen, but generally, things more often than not will not work out the way you hoped or planned.

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Waiting in queues, getting things wrong because you don’t understand the language, chasing dreams that looked so much closer in the photos. These things teach you to stick it out, take life a little less seriously, and stop and smell the roses.

4. Travel teaches you how to be frugal

Have you ever looked at your bank statement and realized that you spend a lot of money? That night out every Friday with your friends, the monthly phone bill, the gym membership, the fuel for your car, the taxi fares, the health insurance, the presents, the entertainment, the dinners out with friends — it all adds up. It’s really easy to put it all on a credit card or direct debit it from your account. This way, you never actually see or count the notes in your wallet flying out.

When you travel, you must become the ultimate budgeter. You have set yourself a budget; you have a daily allowance for food, accommodation, and fun, and you must stick to it. The last thing you want to do is run out of money on the other side of the world. And if your life is travel, an empty bank account means that dreaded call home for a ticket back to the parents’ house.

You appreciate every cent, you bargain with everyone, you get value for money, and you earn it when you make it.

5. Travel teaches you to ask for help

When you’re on the other side of the world, mom and dad can’t help you much. Neither can your best friend or sibling (unless they are with you). But, travel teaches you that you are never truly alone. It’s vey rare in this world that a stranger wont help you if you need it. Especially when it comes to directions or translation. No matter how great our technology gets, there will be times that those travel apps just aren’t helping.

People are wired to help each other. That’s what community is all about.

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6. Travel teaches you that you are a tiny, tiny fish in a massive ocean.

Travel changes your perspective on every factor of your life. Remember how your parents used to tell you how important you are, how you could be anything? Well you are important, and you can be anything.

But there are also seven billion other people out there who are just as important with just as much of a right to be who they want to be as well. Travel teaches you that you that the world owes you nothing. This life is yours, make of it what you will. Because at the end of the day, the only person who cares as much about your life as you is you.

7. Travel broadens your horizons

Don’t you think the most interesting people in the world are the ones who can relate to any topic and offer an interesting anecdote about that topic from their own experiences? When you travel, you learn and begin to gain an understanding of so many more global topics than you would if you simply read them in a newspaper or Facebook feed.

You also meet many more people. Your network of friends and acquaintances swells in numbers, and so the amount of people you can bounce ideas off of, and have meaningful conversations with increases too. The more you travel, the more sides to the story you hear.

8. Travel teaches you acceptance and tolerance

Before you start travelling, its easy to get into a comfortable little corner where the world revolves around what you believe, and what you believe is shaped by what you hear on your local news channel or what your parents taught you.

When you travel, you see people for who they really are. You experience different cultural norms and nuances, and you gain an appreciation for what other cultures value most. This is generally different to what you value most, and that’s ok.

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You’re both right.

9. Travel matures your palate

Oh, the amount of food I have learned to love because there really wasn’t much else being offered in that small town in that country no one has been. Your palate is something that doesn’t generally mature just because you get older. You need to keep exposing it to new things for it to start liking new things.

A big part of this is actually all in your head. Just because your western culture has told you it’s not cool to eat fried crickets, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily not cool to eat fried crickets. You see, a lot of people around the world think that about our beef eating habits too.

Get out there, try it all. Some of it is horrifically bad, but most of it is good. Why? Well because most people don’t cook things they don’t like, right?

10. Travel teaches you that there is no place like home

It is all well and good to tread the path less trodden, to fly by the seat of your pants, and go with the wind, and to take thousands of photos of it all.  But to be honest, one of the biggest things I keep having re-affirmed to myself as I continue to experience and appreciate new cultures is home is actually the best place on earth.

Where you are from may not be the most populous or have the most entertainment events or cultural festivals, it still has the most important things: friends and family. The luckiest bit is, they’ll always be there when you need them.

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11. Travel teaches you that we are all the same

Its so easy to feel like that kid in Kenya is some alien from a different planet with no relatable feelings or dreams, or that girl in Argentina or Finland. Or maybe, when you think of Nairobi, all you can picture is lions and Africans in shacks, or kangaroos jumping down the streets of Perth, Australia. TV creates these distorted realities in our heads because it exploits our imaginations to make more money.

The reality is, all major cities are really quite similar. Most have skyscrapers and traffic lights, nightclubs and restaurants, city parks, and Apple stores. That boy in Kenya is just as smart as you and he’s working just as hard as you to get into law school. He can be lazy and temperamental like you, and has so many other dreams of travelling and working abroad.

Just because he comes from a different or less publicized/developed nation, doesn’t mean he is any less capable or driven than you.

12. Travel creates unforgettable memories

The bottom line is, when you travel, whether you love it or not, you are creating a path that is different and memorable. You push yourself to new limits and out of your comfort zone, and most of all, you break that routine your brain so intelligently teaches itself to blur out in your memory. Travelling is full of so many postcard moments because they are all unique; they are yours and no one else’s.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

1. Salmon

Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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2. Blueberries

Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

Curcumin has also been shown to:

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  • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
  • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
  • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
  • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

4. Coffee

Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

Coffee can also:

  • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
  • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
  • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
  • Improve your memory.
  • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

5. Broccoli

What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

6. Bone broth

Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

7. Walnuts

Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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8. Eggs

For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

9. Dark chocolate

You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

Conclusion

Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
[2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
[3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
[4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
[5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
[6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
[7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
[8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
[9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
[10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
[11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
[12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
[13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
[14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
[15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
[16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
[17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
[18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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