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12 Surreal Destinations To Fulfill Your Wanderlust

12 Surreal Destinations To Fulfill Your Wanderlust

Sometimes we need to get away: say goodbye to our 8 to 5 job, our routines, our stresses; grab our passport, and jet off to new and exciting destinations. It may feel like the world is shrinking- thanks to social media- still, there’s a whole lot of world to see, and a ton of adventures to be had. So here are 12 breathtaking places sure to satisfy your wanderlust.

 1. Iceland

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gilad_rom/15124447020/in/photolist-p3uKaW-yc3B3t-qgzgsF-99GyE1-pPvRcu-p7Qha5-deSwMV-pRBsan-9Yd37s-8sXRS1-9DBuwe-pz7Sk4-pzbkiK-opPG9q-8sUPA8-qJbz4L-d8NBzh-gbRbxw-9WgWcc-yBj8Jq-iDqF1V-8sXRgS-seFy23-y5bM2G-5d4AR8-zsMUmP-q8WuaN-qBqHvt-eySpMj-nYcSHm-rxLXa2-qeCeao-3CYCU-fGxT61-pFENiP-pQQ6SZ-qfQ4i3-rAwoTw-saSSjq-z4mpvv-rRnghC-r2MFZY-snwyMp-pGzzyq-dRFNfH-6R6qK6-9WWpUD-ii1vma-reY26P-j5GKTt
    Skogafoss/Gilad Rom

    Iceland, the land of the midnight sun, where fire and ice coexist, and wild horses run. With its rich viking history and more waterfalls than people, Iceland is a magical destination. No wonder productions like Interstellar and Game of Thrones filmed here. Top attractions include: The Northern Lights (sightings may begin as early as September and last through March), Gullfoss waterfall, The Golden Circle, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, and Hveravellir Hot Springs. Beautiful Iceland Video

    2. Pamukkale, Turkey

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/47096398@N08/5864259299/in/photostream/
      Pamukkale, Turkey/Esther Lee

      Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in Turkish. Once the ancient Greco-Roman Byzantine city of Hierapolis, It has been visited for thousands of years by people drawn to the healing power of its thermal pools. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the perfect place to sit back, soak, and take in the charming Turkish countryside. Pamukkale Video

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      3. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

      https://www.flickr.com/photos/11264282@N02/6065801701/in/photolist-af1PvX-4K2tQc-cvRJSu-cvRGpf-4J8GBd-cvGwsS-5SHPBm-5SDqsK-5SHM2s-5SHKVJ-5SHLpf-5SDqZe-5SDsXp-5SHNMq-5SDucZ-5SHPob-5SHNWQ-5SDsi6-csKT5j-cvGvAm-cvGpVh-cvRE5d-csKTtw-9P7RYr-csKUvJ-cvGsvQ-cvGuas-csKQfE-csKSMJ-csKVps-csKSxm-csKVzq-csKVmE-csKVtW-9P7w62-9PayCy-9P7HL4-9P7uY8-9P8rcw-9Pad1u-9P8pRo-9P5zDp-9PadgW-9PazcC-9P8og1-9P8m7N-9P5yYH-9P7yhB-9Pafhy-9P7oCM
        No image name/imke.stahlmann

        To the Maasai people of Africa, Serengeti means “the place where the land runs on forever”. It is Tanzania’s oldest national park and covers almost 6,000 square miles of grasslands and woodlands. If adventure’s what you crave, you’re bound to spot lions, cheetahs, rhinos, elephants, and giraffes grazing in their natural habitat. The sunsets are truly spectacular. Tanzania Video

        4. Maldives, India

        https://www.flickr.com/photos/whoshotya/4631818594/in/photolist-84ihih-nesZDt-cDCjq7-aqBAw5-6Hma4M-ogJz5b-oeTjsb-dP5gRb-mU84JR-84PQpP-5fwzn7-4CsAbr-mPnBfu-nZ7MF4-8yCq3r-avMAvU-asTE3k-84iwbf-dRkz8H-wJGTv-6HkMtg-dRkzn8-asRSe2-ase7ac-fihZhk-aEtu6L-efyCSR-dQtYba-dT8WX9-dRkzde-4NAPuX-e3Cmmo-e5EMHU-6XRbos-dC6QiJ-aD4MDh-aD4NgJ-6yVRNN-aUvy8P-8yFuGh-aAZfYt-hjjL18-633ZAy-ainmof-dEvwPS-dyMcDX-cqGY8u-fHo8s5-fjE4RB-dug1er
          Maldives/Nic Adler

          From stunning white-sand beaches to serene cyan-blue waters, the 1200 islands of the Maldives are an ocean lover’s paradise. Known for pristine warm waters and an abundance of ocean life, it’s no wonder the Maldives are considered a top diving and snorkeling destination.  Maldives Video

          5. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

          https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonowales/64736139/in/photolist-6HMNk-qXzxN2-nRua5e-hYEjpu-at6iB-dej61Q-7PznGy-dQxhiF-ewsLYt-q9sJbk-dLbE7A-ZCtoF-5njfu9-m3epGW-qLtQMg-rPeXu-7qwEXq-ewsLtV-r5nswZ-faUrGN-ewvTfJ-nJh3Bx-N5C6E-ewokaV-9WVXkN-7BbpHF-8NFVUm-wQ8jHa-9Z5hU3-AV2pu-6idMcE-9x3tTr-dsQ2kF-bC6aAv-bCp8Kp-o7o9cm-rNzyYm-7xNXjB-koDGUT-8kH5N9-bEcoNE-9x71ur-5U5M8y-dQp1D7-vYqteX-jEwf4T-dNjEBp-6hKkHL-5yWCJm-4ofPPQ
            Monks at Angkor Wat/Jonathan Lewis

            Built in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. Originally built to honor the Hindu god Vishnu, the temple changed from a Hindu house of worship to a Buddhist one. While never fully abandoned over the centuries, the surrounding jungle hid and preserved it. Today, Angkor Wat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site spanning over 200 acres. If you wish to see ALL of its impressive architecture, sculptures,and art, plan to stay several days. Even then, it’s nearly impossible; this place is vast! While meandering, don’t be surprised if you make friends with temple monkeys.  Angkor Wat Video

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            6. Morocco

            https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcp_dmoz/5189160277/in/photolist-8UxNyD-aPEuKK-dwufXu-3kREF-vFp8xw-dmYoCF-qFW8pA-omwC2w-ontEdi-dN2BFk-6GmNkB-dxGF71-79JndF-tP9d6W-aFcqzK-4uXoZK-r2cB15-bpGyt6-as4rHy-9tMr2B-baueF8-dP4Cif-odjsZZ-nebRRZ-fzbsEu-fzc36S-fzjoUY-jGTUkG-r6f7xr-azBZCh-dmXWeW-9BKMXd-fYiAP1-aQZrw4-aff8V8-aRuPpK-99HY82-7cduDk-4GPCXu-qpgMHx-8u7y7X-4oE676-dpyLy2-dNw2zh-4o6ch9-5zz53y-qo2BEc-bnfzEz-g5wQy5-ebHTwp
              Souq – Zoco, Marrakech (Morocco), HDR/Marc

              From sweeping deserts and high mountains to the windy alleyways of its ancient cities, Morocco is unlike any other.  Top attractions include: a hike up North Africa’s highest peak, camel treks, shopping in the souks (for local flavors and awesome deals), wandering the old cities’ narrow streets, and relaxing in the hammam (Turkish bath). Let the sweet scents of saffron, orange flower, and other spices carry you through the crowds to mosaic tiled courtyards and decadent fountains.  Morocco Video

              7. Inverness, Scotland

              https://www.flickr.com/photos/135146735@N06/21434864843/in/dateposted-public/
                Scotland/Lori De La Cruz

                Considered the “Gateway to the Scottish Highlands,” Inverness is a city steeped in fantastical lore. Drink enough Scotch and you just may catch a glimpse of Nessie or a kelpie waterhorse haunting Loch Ness. For nightly entertainment, check out one of several pubs where you can Celtic dance or listen to bagpipers play. Looking for plaids? Stroll the shops along River Ness and stop at a restaurant for a Scottish delicacy- haggis.  Inverness Video

                8. Zermatt, Switzerland

                https://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfi-galerie/16243635606/in/photolist-qKoSWS-aoBBuk-gMPubS-97vDpZ-bYJycJ-dMHopJ-q4pEK7-7nQcVv-a9GCHT-bHWBgn-dTjZ4t-fmB7Mg-8WbAx5-piuHA5-pifxek-p22Jm1-aj8hHL-gMNZs-dTsJJD-99dU87-qqZWLJ-9md2Xd-n5ekaF-9fFfBZ-8vPLjc-2w3wL-piEVqU-7xNBjk-oBi97h-pH1ugP-cCLECj-8w9dSv-baAs8R-9dPUNy-fWF51-nrqe2D-a8aFsn-aQLvRM-foUj7L-7mh7tJ-mZiWaG-boZwN6-9KuVw1-cvkV5E-97Mm6W-89jySZ-9VxrdU-9Yf3a1-aENqBg-quNTfc
                  Abendstimmung in Zermatt/Wolfgang Schultz

                  At the foot of the The Matterhorn lies this charming Swiss village famous for chocolate, fondue, and Bernese Mountain dogs.  Because Zermatt is a car-free zone, it has maintained its alpine character in spite of the many tourists who visit each year. With over 400 km of hiking, biking, and climbing trails, this region is legendary among mountaineers. Many adventurers lost their lives trying to scale the infamous Matterhorn; a visit to the Mountaineers’ Cemetery is a must.  Zermatt Video

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                  9. Santorini, Greece

                  https://www.flickr.com/photos/124166223@N06/14320857131/
                    Santorini/Del T

                    Still an active volcano, crescent-shaped Santorini is considered to be the most romantic getaway in Greece. From its picturesque white-washed clifftop towns to its volcanic red and black sand beaches, Santorini wows. Enjoy a glass of wine made from local grapes, relax in your cliff-side pool, and watch the bursting colors of a sun set over the Aegean. It’s something truly magical.  Santorini Video

                    10. Cappadocia, Turkey

                    https://www.flickr.com/photos/patrickdown/14150865887/
                      Balloons over Cappadocia/Patrick Down

                      Turkey, where the continents of Asia and Europe collide, is the gateway to antiquities: the Silk Road, Troy, Ephesus, the Roman and Ottoman empires. With such a vibrant history it’s no wonder Turkey is home to many diverse religions including Islam and Christianity. During the Roman Empire, many Christians hid in the underground cities of Cappadocia. This region is best known for its honeycombed rock cities, underground churches, and hot air balloon rides. Due to Turkey’s surreal landscape and superb flying conditions, ballooning is an excellent way to witness this stunning landscape firsthand.  Cappadocia Video

                      11.  Patagonia, Argentina

                      https://www.flickr.com/photos/21856521@N07/4827160452/
                        Chile Torres del Paine/Melenama

                        Patagonia is sparse, wild, and beautifully rugged land traversing Chile and Argentina. From gauchos (Argentinian cowboys) to Magellanic penguins, Patagonia has it all. Make sure to visit Bariloche for some delicious freshly made chocolate and a horse back ride through this breathtaking land.  Patagonia Video

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                        12. Zion National Park, USA

                        https://www.flickr.com/photos/cmichel67/15360221586/
                          The Narrows @ Zion/Christopher Michel

                          Southern Utah’s Zion National Park is a nature lover’s paradise. It is where sandstone cliffs meet endless blue skies and the Virgin River runs. With miles of hiking, biking, and canyoneering trails, Zion is a place where mother nature meets the world.  Zion National Park Video

                          The Earth is full of beautiful places. Go! Explore!

                          Featured photo credit: Balloons over Cappadocia/Patrick Down via flickr.com

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                          Last Updated on December 9, 2019

                          5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                          5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                          Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                          Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                          Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                          1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                          Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                          This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                          In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                          The result: no more mental stress.

                          2. Unplug

                          Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                          How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                          It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                          Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                          3. Easy on the Caffeine

                          Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                          Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                          4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                          That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                          How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                          • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                          • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                          • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                          While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                          5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                          This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                          The result: mental stress will be gone!

                          So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                          Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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