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10 Snowy Countries You Should Visit In Winter

10 Snowy Countries You Should Visit In Winter

When most of us think of a vacation, we imagine sunny beaches and summer getaways. But, there are so many great winter wonders out there that we couldn’t help but share some with you. These are some of the best winter holiday destinations around the world. So this year, instead of getting caught up in the tourist traps in the summer months, check out one of these magical stops around the globe.

Lake Tahoe, California

Lake Tahoe Winter

    Known for its beautiful scenery during the summer, what you might not know about Lake Tahoe is that it is also an enchanting winter stay. With phenomenal skiing, Tahoe offers a plethora of winter activities from snowshoeing, skating, sledding, and even great shopping. The resorts in the area also house some wonderful annual events, including the Magical Memories holiday celebration at the Squaw Creek Resort. Families can participate in the Grand Tree Lighting Ceremony, have Breakfast with Santa, and walk along the Gingerbread Village. Tahoe is truly a charming winter getaway.

    Switzerland

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    Switzerland Winter

      Known as the “playground for the rich and famous,” Switzerland is a big stop for the holiday season. With its picture-perfect cities like Bern and St. Moritz, and access to the, Alps, Switzerland offers one of the best places to spend your holidays abroad. From the Matterhorn to the “Top of Europe” — Jungfraujoch —to the Bernina Express, Switzerland is the perfect fairytale vacation for families and individuals alike. Currier and Ives truly had nothing on the Swiss.

      Iceland

      iceland ice cave

        With geothermal pools and spas, northern lights sightings, whale watching, and the majestic national parks, Iceland is a lesser-known winter secret for explorers all over. Ice climbing and glacier hiking are very popular during the snowy months. The stunning Northwest corner of Iceland, known as the Westfjords, is a wonderfully untainted wilderness and a great area for exploration.

        Westfjords, Norway

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        Westfjords

          With near-perfect conditions for skiing, Norway is a great stop for a winter vacation. But adventure isn’t all that Norway has to offer. In fact, with its Christmas Market in Oslo, the Gingerbread Town in Bergen, the Northern Lights Festival in Tromsø, and the Polar Jazz music festival in Svalbard, Norway is one of the top destinations for fun and enchanting winter activities. Don’t forget to slip into a sleigh for a little reindeer sledding with someone you love!

          Banff, Canada

          Banff

            Yeah, everyone knows about Canada for winter activities, but probably its best place to vacation overall is Banff National Park. With its delightful Winter Festival, this stunning region in Canada is one of the best places for families and individuals to visit. With après specials and full event schedules, there are countless opportunities for adventurers of all kinds. The beautiful Ice Magic Festival exhibits some of the most astounding ice carving around. In February, ski and snowboard pros compete in The Big Bear competition that is sure to make you say, “wow!” Banff isn’t just for adventurers either, with great dining, museums, galleries, and historic sites, there are also ample choices for culture gurus, too.

            Aspen, Colorado

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            Aspen Ski

              On a list of best winter destinations, we definitely can’t leave out Aspen, Colorado. Famous for its top-notch skiing, Aspen is every family’s winter dream. Along with its famous skiing, Aspen offers dog sledding, snowmobiling, fly fishing, hot air ballooning, ice skating, and so much more. With the Aspen Ideas Festival, Food & Wine Classic, Winter Words, and many more museums, Aspen isn’t just for ski junkies. Come for a truly great winter getaway this year to really experience all that Aspen has to offer.

              Sweden

              Sweden

                With 200 different resorts, Sweden is another Scandinavian must for winter fun. Travelers can go on a reindeer safari and sleep in entire hotels and igloos made from ice. Like Norway or Alaska, Sweden is one of the best places to see the Aurora Borealis because of the “blue hole” in the Abisko National Park. Along with reindeer or moose safaris, travelers can drive their own dog sleds, snowshoe through the Kungsleden, and dive into the culture rich Sapmi of the Sami people. Enjoy unique cuisines, snowmobile, and watch for the king of the forest (elk) all during your next winter vacation to Sweden.

                Moscow, Russia

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                Saint Basil's Cathedral

                  When it comes to winter vacations, most people steer clear of Russia, but this year, you really shouldn’t! In January, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas with merry events for everyone — Moscow is a great “after-the-holidays” trip. Participate in the On Ice group tours in St. Petersburg, visit the mystical Winter Palace, and then be sure to catch The Nutcracker in the place that made it the fairytale joy it is today — Mariinsky Theatre.

                  Japan

                  Japan Winter

                    Most wouldn’t expect Japan to be on the list for best winter vacations, but it truly is a great snowy destination. There are endless winter activities, like the Kitami Yakiniku Festival with the Winter BBQ, visiting the Tadami River in Fukushima with its most striking landscapes, the Sapporo Snow Festival, and, of course, skiing. New Year’s is one of the best times of year for anyone traveling to Japan to experience some great ancient traditions and also some beautiful modern illumination around the Tokyo Michi Terrace and the Marunouchi Illumination. Be sure to jump onto a Japan tour this winter.

                    The Netherlands

                    Netherlands Snow

                      Last, but certainly not least, is Amsterdam — where the legend of Sinterklaas brought us Santa Claus. For those who want to spend more time than just a weekend celebrating Christmas, Amsterdam offers double the magic. On December 5th, Saint Nicholas’ Eve, the Dutch begin the celebrations with gift giving. On December 25th, the Dutch spend a second day of fun with food and family. Top the fun off with ice skating, shopping, and the best twinkling lights around.

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                      Paisley Hansen

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                      Last Updated on February 18, 2019

                      13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

                      13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

                      Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

                      Why is this so critically important to you?

                      The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

                      Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

                      1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

                      Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

                      When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

                      • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
                      • The man facing the judge.
                      • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
                      • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
                      • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
                      • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

                      These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

                      Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

                      Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

                      2. Accept Your Fear

                      Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

                      We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

                      And here’s what can be done.

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                      3. Get Some Perspective

                      I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

                      And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

                      That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

                      We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

                      So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

                      • Are you really at risk?
                      • Will this kill you?
                      • Which leads us on to..
                      • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

                      4. Hold a Hand

                      As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

                      Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

                      We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

                      Ask yourself:

                      • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
                      • Could that really happen?
                      • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
                      • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

                      By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

                      5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

                      This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

                      Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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                      The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

                      It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

                      For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

                      Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

                      6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

                      I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

                      Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

                      Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

                      Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

                      Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

                      Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

                      7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

                      Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

                      I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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                      It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

                      One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

                      Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

                      It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

                      8. Assume the Worse

                      If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

                      Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

                      • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
                      • Think about how they feel about champagne?
                      • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

                      And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

                      When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

                      Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

                      9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

                      If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

                      Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

                      Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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                      10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

                      One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

                      11. Go with Fear

                      When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

                      I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

                      Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

                      One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

                      However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

                      We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

                      12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

                      And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

                      The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

                      What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

                      13. Own Your Fear

                      Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

                      We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

                      You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

                      More Resources About Fighting Fear

                      Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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