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4 Ultimate Family Vacation Destinations

4 Ultimate Family Vacation Destinations
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Family bonds and connections are vital for everyone. They put a smile on your face when life brings you down and they take part in your happiness and your successes. However, as the years pass by and life takes over, moving away from home and chasing our dreams, we stray away from our family.

We meet them every holiday if we have the opportunity or we resort to a simple email or phone call. Our parents end up missing us and we sit at our desks reminiscing about the beautiful past. However, technology and the ease of traveling has made it easier for one to fly over for a visit or use their flyer miles to travel the world.

Travelling, however, is different when you’re traveling with your family members. You would have to consider the location, activities, and culture that you all could enjoy together. No matter how we put it, sometimes families can be quite judgmental, so having a secure plan to travel the globe is never a bad idea. Some of the places that would fit perfectly for traveling with family are:

1. Argentina: Where Good Steaks Aren’t an Understatement

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    Argentina is one of the friendliest countries with a loud culture that includes everyone without prejudice. Argentina is famous for its exquisite nature, waterfalls, wildlife and definitely, it’s food. From its glorious rib eyed steak to its delicious sauce you can definitely expect the unexpected in Argentina.

    If you’re traveling with your family, be sure to take on horse riding. Even if you’ve never ridden a horse before, your trainers will be able to guide you. Traveling across the taverns of Argentina on a horse, you’ll be able to enjoy the gorgeous scenery and this interesting activity will definitely bring your family together.

    You can rent a car and drive to Salta, the Salt Lake which borders both Bolivia and Argentina. This place is what the locals call  “heaven meets earth“. Its holy name is based on the reflections of the sky on the transparent floors, on a clear blue day, joining both the sky and land together.

    Dress like the locals in ‘ponchos’, the traditional clothing of Argentina. You might think you look like a leprechaun, but you might look glorious wearing the best quality products. If you’re headed to Argentina with your family, after all the fun, don’t forget to enjoy a nice, fine cup of ‘mate’. Any Argentinian would vouch that it’s the best tea you would’ve tasted. Mate is served with ‘Bombilla’ a special metallic drinking straw.

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    2. Italy: Cheese, Pasta and Truffles

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      Italy, the land of wine and great European cuisine! It’s been said that Italy is the father of European cuisine, especially with their unlimited amount of resources. Gordon Ramsay turns speechless every time he tastes a delicious and balanced Italian pasta sauce.

      It’s a land filled with bountiful seafood and unique herbs. Personally, my family and their world revolve around good food. Food which dances around your palates and leaves you wanting more even when you’re full. Our time in Italy revolved around restaurant hopping with great mussels and beautiful truffles. Truffle oil is an exquisite, but expensive luxury oil and trotting around Italy we managed to get 2 bottles for our home.

      If your family is a great fan of a homely yet fancy cuisine, then Italy is the place to start. Don’t be afraid to try out the varieties of cheese and explore their traditional food. Italian cuisine varies in every state, so make sure to take a long road trip and embrace the variety.

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      Explore beautiful wineries and take your time to understand each note and smell of different wines. You’ll find complete bliss and calmness as you understand each note, each ingredient and each emotion. It’s definitely a paradise for all wine lovers. Overall, Italy is a land for families who don’t only enjoy food, but also loves experimenting with flavors.

      3. Malaysia: Where Nature Is the Way of Life

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        Over the years, Malaysia has become one of the preferred holiday destinations for many families. People consider Malaysia as a perfect family destination because of its warm culture and their diversity. You will find people from all races, sharing and caring for each other.

        If you’re there during festive seasons, you will be able to witness how everyone puts away their differences and starts enjoying food, drinks, and companionship together. However, Malaysia is even more than all that’s mentioned. Malaysia is nature’s wonderland, being home to one of the largest rain forests in Asia, they’re surrounded by mountains and animals.

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        If you’re an adventurous family, who loves racing up mountains and hiking up the green forests, then Malaysia is the best place for you. For mountain lovers, head to Sabah, and hike up Mt. Kinabalu, being one of the tallest mountains, it will definitely challenge your muscles as well as your endurance. It will definitely be a test of trust, love, openness and confidence among your family.

        You can also travel around either East or West Malaysia to some of the best beaches and untouched sea wonderlands to enjoy the wonderful climate. If you love a challenge take a scuba diving trip, you will enjoy the arrays of sea creatures and wonderful corals and if you’re lucky you might even stumble upon some friendly sharks. If experience is what you’re seeking, then this will definitely create a great memory. If you’re looking for a country where your family would be able to play Sherlock Holmes or live in the land of Jumanji, then Malaysia is the place for you.

        4. Switzerland: Where Green Pastures Know No Bounds

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          Switzerland is one of the prettiest and cozy countries, among Europe’s German-speaking countries. Switzerland is known for its impeccable scenery and great economy. A land for the rich and a luxury vacation for those who enjoy luxury and class, Switzerland is one of the high-end countries that fits a family who enjoys comfort, coziness, and luxury.

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          Switzerland gives the best of both worlds for some people. In Geneva, you’ll be able to find the sophistication of the French people. A French province, it’s one of the cities that host the second biggest UN office in the world. Switzerland has some of the best mountains which are perfect for skiing. Skiing is a national sport for both Switzerland and Austria, hence it will be an excellent place to enjoy holidays with family. Shop, ski and enjoy the beauty Switzerland has to offer and your family will definitely return home with glee.

          Featured photo credit: www.newsweek.com via s.newsweek.com

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          Last Updated on July 20, 2021

          How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

          How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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          You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

          Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

          Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

          Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

          1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

          According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

          “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

          Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

          Warming up

          If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

          If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

          Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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          1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
          2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
          3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

          Stay hydrated

          Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

          To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

          Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

          Meditate

          Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

          Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

          Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

          Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

          2. Focus on your goal

          One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

          Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

          Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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          Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

          If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

          3. Convert negativity to positivity

          There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

          ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

          It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

          Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

          Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

          Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

          4. Understand your content

          Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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          However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

          “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

          Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

          Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

          One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

          5. Practice makes perfect

          Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

          In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

          Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

          6. Be authentic

          There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

          Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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          Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

          To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

          With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

          Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

          7. Post speech evaluation

          Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

          Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

          We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

          You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

          Improve your next speech

          As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

          Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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          • How did I do?
          • Are there any areas for improvement?
          • Did I sound or look stressed?
          • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
          • Was I saying “um” too often?
          • How was the flow of the speech?

          Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

          If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

          Reference

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