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Magical Travel Destinations You Need To Visit In Your Life

Magical Travel Destinations You Need To Visit In Your Life

Traveling is often high on peoples to-do list, yet few people manage to fit it into their busy schedules. This list will hopefully inspire you to block out some time in your calendar specifically for seeing the world. From fairy-tale like castles to breathtaking islands, any one of these seven travel destinations will make you want to drop everything that you’re doing and book the next plane out. Life-changing experiences and maybe even the world’s best selfies await.

1. Iguazu Falls, Argentina

iguazu_falls

    Image by SF Brit via Flickr creative commons

    Argentina is home to Iguazu Falls, which separates the river between upper and lower Iguazu. There are over 275 different waterfalls within 1.67 miles of the Iguazu River. Along with hundreds of beautiful waterfalls, the region is also home to a wide variety of wildlife from howler monkeys, toucans, giant anteaters and much more. You can view the waterfalls by boat, viewing platforms, and more. Get up close and personal by visiting Argentina, or get the best panoramic long-range views from Brazil. If you’re already there why not stay a couple days and do both? Be sure to add this to your list of must-see travel destinations.

    2. Lake Sørvágsvatn, Faroe Islands

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    faroe_island_640px

      Image by Stefan Wisselink via Flickr creative commons

      Located in the open ocean somewhere between Iceland and Norway, the Faroe Islands is home to Lake Sørvágsvatn, a beautiful lake that deceives you into believing it is hundreds of feet above the ocean. This lake is a natural optical illusion. With only a steep cliff separating the lake and the ocean, this is one of the many natural phenomenons the world has to offer. Largely untouched, the Faroe Islands offer a multitude of incredible views, waterfalls, and natural wonders to explore both by land and sea. This is one of the world’s best travel destinations that you do not want to miss.

      3. Lake District, England

      lake_district_2

        Image by john mcsporran via Flickr creative commons

        Home to the highest mountain, the deepest lake, and the longest lake in England, Lake District is the largest and most popular national park in the country. The entire park is full of rolling hills and glistening lakes that perfectly reflect the trees and mountaintops above them. There are activities for people of all abilities and interests–such as long walks through hundreds of miles of picturesque fairy-tale like scenery, hiking up the mountains, getting out on the water, and even experiencing wildlife in its natural environment. You may even find the red squirrel or wild fell ponies during your stay, making this one of the top travel destinations for the whole family. Lake District, England is an inspiring landscape that has stirred the minds of many famous poets and movie directors–Beatrix Potter, William WordsWorth, and John Ruskin, to name a few. See for yourself why this is one of the most magical destinations that you need to visit in your life.

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        4. Machu Picchu, Peru

        machu_picchu

          Image by David Stanley

          Located almost 8,000 feet above sea level, Machu Picchu will make you feel as if you’re in an Indiana Jones movie. High up in the Andes Mountains, this ancient city was built in 1450, then later abandoned. The exact use of this city is a mystery, but you’ll definitely have breathtaking panoramic views of the rugged mountainside as you visit one of the most historical travel destinations in the world. Machu Picchu will give you a taste of Incan history, beautiful scenery, and a great workout from hiking up to the city.

          5. Preikestolen, Norway

          preacher_pulpit_norway

            Image by mcxurxo via Flickr creative commons

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            Preikestolen, also known as “Preacher’s Pulpit” is located in Norway. It is known for having some of the tallest, most jagged cliffs in the world. The Preacher’s Pulpit gets its name for protruding out of the cliffside, having a mere 1,981 foot drop to the bottom. Being one of the scarier travel destinations, Preikestolen is a great place to go to conquer your fear of heights. The segment of rock actually looks like a ginormous pulpit that is 82 by 82 feet. The hike up to the top is about 2.6 miles one way, and you climb 1,082 feet in elevation. You’re also free to explore the cliffside and go just about anywhere you want. When you get to the top, you’ll have a breathtaking view of Norway’s landscape. You may even find people taking the faster way down by jumping off Preikestolen with their wing suit.

            6. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

            castle

              Image by Pedro Paulo Boaventura Grein via Flickr creative commons

              Fit for a king, this castle looks like it holds a princess in the highest room of the tallest tower. You can go see the princess for yourself because Neuschwanstein Castle is open to the public. Starting construction in 1869 for King Ludwig II, the reclusive king intended the castle to be used as a personal getaway. Immediately after his death the castle was opened to the public. Now there are over a million people that visit the castle annually, making it one of the most beautiful and popular travel destinations. The castle is awe-inspiring with mountainous views and mind-boggling interior. Your mind is sure to run wild and re-live your childhood fantasies of being a princess, or a king.

              7. Tulip Fields, Holland

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              garden

                Image by Cycletours Holidays via Flickr creative commons

                Holland has the perfect weather for growing tulips, and if you go between the end of March and two weeks into May then you’ll experience millions of colorful tulips all around you. From the sky, the landscape is a blast of colors that are woven together by seams of asphalt. On the ground you can meander along through the gardens and open fields by car, bicycle, or on foot. This is one of the best spring-time travel destinations. The best place to experience the tulip season is Keukenhof Garden, which alone has over 7 million flower bulbs and 800 different varieties. The tulips are also accompanied by a tranquil pond, soft grass, trees, and more to awaken all of your senses.

                The world has an endless amount of magical travel destinations that we are dying to see. Even if you were to see something new every day for your entire life you wouldn’t even scratch the surface of all this world has to offer. Just in your own country there’s an endless supply of bucket-list worthy travel destinations. Whether you book a flight half-way across the world or just visit somewhere in your own back yard, get out there and see as much as you can.

                Featured photo credit: Stefan Wisselink via flickr.com

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                Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                Video Summary

                Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                One Exercise, multiple benefits

                There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                  1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                  Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                  • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                  • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                  • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                  • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                  2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                    Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                    Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                    3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                      Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                      4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                        Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                        A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                        A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                        On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                        5. You’ll improve overall balance

                          Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                          6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                            Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                            7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                              Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                              How to hold a plank position

                              1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                              2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                              3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                              4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                              5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                              6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                              7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                              Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                              Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                How to improve your plank time gradually

                                1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                • Prolapse
                                • After prolapse surgery
                                • Pelvic pain conditions
                                • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                • Previous childbirth
                                • Overweight

                                Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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