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What Will Happen When You No Longer Go To The “Top 10 Attractions”

What Will Happen When You No Longer Go To The “Top 10 Attractions”

1. You’ll do less cramming and planning, and do more relaxing and having fun.

Sure a full itinerary seems exciting before you reach your destination. Planning is half the fun right? But once you arrive at your destination, you’ll find yourself over-scheduled and overwhelmed. How can you possibly see everything and do everything in the time that you have? Short answer: you can’t. So let it go, and just focus on seeing the city or town you’re in. Spend your first day in any city simply by being there. Soak up that feeling of being somewhere new, being away from work, your city, and being carefree. Eat different stuff. Talk to strangers. Stop and really see things and their beauty.

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2. You’ll have time to search out some authentic local experiences rather than visiting places that have been so completely tourist-ized.

Staying away from the most major tourist attractions will also put you in places where more locals are (since they stay away from crowded spots with long lines when at all possible). For instance, staying at an agriturismo or monastery in a small town in Italy, often yields a far more unique and rewarding experience than staying at an expensive hotel in an area crowded with tourists. Moreover, by staying in places a bit off the beaten path, you’ll be able to visit places and take photos without as many people photo bombing all your candid shots.

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3. You’ll eat better and drink better.

The farther away you stray from the main sights, the better the quality and prices get. Forget plastic menus with photos and low quality food churned out by the bucket to appease un-discerning tourist palates. Head for the shrinking price-tags and dishes you can’t pronounce to get a real taste of the country or city you’re visiting. For example: When I was in Croatia, I befriended a local restaurant owner and asked his advice for great seafood spots (we were in Dubrovnik). He recommended I get away from Dubrovnik completely (overall lackluster restaurants with high price-tags), and visit the nearby small village of Ston (and it’s counterpart Mali-Ston). He had some friends who ran an unofficial ‘restaurant’ from their house. What followed was the best meal I had during my three week vacation in Croatia. Six courses of seafood pulled straight from the sea, a stunning view, no crowds, and a price tag that was a 1/3 of the price my friend and I would’ve paid for 1/2 as much at any restaurant in Dubrovnik. Plus we stumbled across an amazing crumbling 15th century wall and stairs, that led up over mountains on the way back to Dubrovnik. That’s a day we’ll never forget, and we’d never have known those places existed without throwing away our guidebooks and just chatting with the locals.

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4. To be able to truly say that you have ‘experienced’ a place, it is important to meet and talk with locals and discover things for yourself.

Rather than walk blindly from place to place following your guide book, walk the streets, grab coffee or drinks at random bars, and get lost. Discover things you weren’t looking for. Seeing the same things every person sees, and having no memories other than racing to and from top attractions, standing in lines, buying tickets, and then taking too many unnecessary photos, isn’t the best way to create true and lasting memories. Dare to veer away from the crowds and figure things out on your own. Get lost in a pitcher of good wine on a sunny porch and find yourself leaving a place with only a photo or two of the landscape– only because you had such a good time you forgot, for once, to pose in front of everything. Live.

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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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