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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 July 10, 2020

                          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                          We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                          We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                          So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                          Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                          What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                          Boundaries are limits

                          —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                          Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                          Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                          Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                          Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                          How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                          Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                          1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                          Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                          You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                          To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                          You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                          • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                          • When do you feel disrespected?
                          • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                          • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                          • When do you want to be alone?
                          • How much space do you need?

                          You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                          2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                          Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                          Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                          3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                          Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                          That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                          Sample language:

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                          • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                          • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                          • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                          • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                          • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                          • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                          • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                          Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                          4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                          Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                          Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                          Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                          We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                          It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                          It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                          Final Thoughts

                          Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                          Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                          Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                          The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                          Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                          Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                          They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                          Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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