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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 January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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