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6 Must Visit Unusual Islands Around the World

6 Must Visit Unusual Islands Around the World

Forget the schmancy-fancy islands catered specifically for tourists. Technically-designed islands that are just “soooo beautiful”. When they’re nothing but a concoction of made-up attractions that sell. It’s all a bunch of clever marketing, overblown hype, and crowd-infested wallet-grabbers.

True beauty isn’t defined by what absolutely floors you, or at least what looks extremely pleasant to the eye. No, true beauty is a feeling. Fiji inspires this kind of feeling, depending on who you’re with and how you feel at the time. The feeling of being alive – and sensing from your bones right down to your core, that every single living (and dead) organism in the infinite cosmos of our eternally-breathing universe… is right beside you. Right there, at that very moment. Maybe that moment’s in Fiji. Maybe it’s in Hawaii. Wherever and whenever!

Sharing the experience, whatever the experience is. It’s just something pictures and videos can’t ever capture, no matter HOW high-definition the quality. Here’s a list of 6 exotic, thought-blanking islands that HAVEN’T been stampeded to death by heavy foot traffic.

1. Bora Bora

Free-your-spirit bungalows sit just above the clear-as-a-pool water. Water that’s bright as the sun shines, and the tropical islands that surround you leave your jaw open. You can’t believe you’re here, seeing mountains far as the eye can see. Luscious lagoons everywhere you turn…and the sands on beaches are so white you just can’t believe them.

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Every morning you wake up, you can’t believe you’re here. Not to mention the fact that Bora Bora belongs to French Polynesia, in the Pacific Ocean. And, best of all – the place is shaped like a sombrero! Can you say “Insta-yes”?

2. Bloody Islands

Aka, Iles Sanguinaires is an island near Ajaccio, France. Famous for its sprawl-across-the-sky purple sunsets, which always inspire both sea and sky to bleed… Illes Sanguinaires sets volcanic rocks aglow during these ravenous, remember-forever sunsets.

Aside from the gorgeous environment, this place is a stone’s throw away the headland at Pointe de la Parata (often called ‘one of France’s grand sites’).

And, you get to walk an entire tour around the island. This isn’t for the faint-hearted. Wander around far enough and you’ll reach Petit Capo beach – a part of Corsica, littered with beautiful multi-coloured seas. Plus, it has a beach bar. CNN.com lists it as one of the “gorgeous Mediterranean islands you’ve never heard of.

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3. Flores Island

Woah. An island named, literally, after the vast sorts of flowers that cover its land. “Flores” means “flower” in Portuguese.

It’s paradise for flower lovers. Sure, it’s in the middle of the Atlantic. That’s gotta mean only people “in the know” have plans of going there for a week, or a month or three.

Most of the food comes right from the ocean (which is pure as can be – and certainly healthier to eat marine life from than American/Canadian waters). Bluefish bream, snapper, amberjack, conger eels, mackerel, and MUCH more.

4. Saipan

Believe it or not, Saipan is an island that’s a part of America. The island’s in Micronesia (which is north of Guam, south of Japan, east of the Philippines, and west of Hawaii), and not many people know about it. Much less is known about its complicated history after WWII.

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Do you enjoy a bit of free-spirit dancing with your drinks and celebrations? There’s a yearly Flame Tree Festival you can celebrate. Earth-lovers can lose themselves in Saipan’s “flame trees” – which bloom fire-bright orange in the Spring. If you’re bold and daring you can go for a sweat-dripping hike up the cliff charmingly named the “Suicidal Cliff…” or you can explore the Bird Island or…the Forbidden Island. (Wonder why they called it that…?)

5. Carriacou

Up until now, those islands were less touristy than mainstream islands that have been trampled to death. Now there are a few islands even rarer, less packed, and in places so desolate (and dangerous)…. Only pure extremists should even dare try to reach these islands.

You remember the early 1980s’ mess in Grenada? With the Cuban military storming the place, looking for contraband? Hmm? What? In any case, this islet isn’t a hot-spot anymore. Which FLOORS ME! Because, believe it or not, there are over a 100 rum shops here. (NEVER hear Jack Sparrow asking ‘why is the rum gone!’)

This islet’s filled with boat-makers and fishermen, and has beaches white as snow and fabulous as “the real Caribbean.”

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6. Culebra

Puerto Rico’s best-kept secret, Culebra plays home to thousands of national wildlife… and crazy parties, camps, and dancing along the gorgeous hot-white sands.

The bar you need to check out is Mamacita’s, where the blender never stops, and the cast of characters is something out of a Kerouac novel. Have some rum and let yourself loose – you’d be among great company here. And when the nightlife (that only locals know about) tires you out, the amount of 3-star and 5-star hotels are more than roomy enough for you to refuel your batteries.

Even the hotel above Mamacita’s bar… the windows are SOUNDPROOF! The party is that loud and roaring, ripe for crazy people to off their souls and put the pedal to the metal and LIVE!

Featured photo credit: placesyoullgo.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com via placesyoullgo.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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