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7 Reasons Adventurers Take Chances and Go Off the Beaten Path

7 Reasons Adventurers Take Chances and Go Off the Beaten Path

Hours on treacherous roads, non serviced areas in the middle of nowhere and potentially dangerous situations are all part of off-the-beaten-path adventures. People that like staying on the tourist trail can’t fathom why such adventurers would risk life and limb just to stay away from the crowds. Tricky, uncomfortable travel may seem like a terrible way to spend a holiday, but true adventurers know what rewards come with this kind of travel. Here are seven reasons why true adventurers do what most won’t.

1. You experience the excitement of the journey

It’s not just about the destination, but the journey. On any epic off-the-beaten-path journey, you are more likely to a little lost: your GPS gets confused within a deep valley or high mountaintop; your map has little detail about which way to go because nobody expected a tourist to take the horse route. The magic of getting lost is ending up in a small village which may just consist of a few houses.You get to see landscape that isn’t in the guidebooks but is equally as stunning as what you’d see on the tourist trail. You’re more likely to see wildlife that would otherwise be scared off by crowds of tourists. You can skinny dip in a river, sleep under the stars or yell from a mountain top if you want because no one else is around.

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2. You Meet More of the Locals

When you travel off the beaten path, it’s quite likely you’re the first person to come through a village from some other country. You get noticed right away and people will have a genuine interest in you. If you stop, you’ll often be greeted with warm hospitality. While lost in Montenegro, a family welcomed us to join them on their farm. Even with the language barrier, we had a wonderful afternoon and they fed us goat’s cheese and homemade bread. They gave us hand gestures to guide us in the right direction afterwards and sent us off with food. I still feel a sense of warmth when I think of the kindness bestowed to us.

3. You have a grander sense of the culture

As you weave your way through the quiet roads of a country, you’re not going to see the polished versions of a culture. You see the raw and real life aspects. This can be graphic at times, but an adventurer dares to delve into even the darkest realities of a culture. For those who want to learn about a place, going off the beaten path has a way of revealing what people stand for. You get to know what they eat traditionally, how they live and what they do for fun. Even with language barriers, there can be sense of welcome and joy among the people. Staying around other tourists doesn’t teach you as much about a place as when you venture off on your own.

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4. You have incredible photo opportunities

When you take a photo somewhere few travel to, it gains a lot of interest. If you hiked, climbed or drove to a difficult place, you will have a photo that will intrigue all those who look at it. If you’re an Instagram fanatic, this is a great way to get some more followers. You might even be one of those people that makes money travelling, otherwise you just have incredible pictures to be proud of. The best part is you don’t have strangers in photos of your epic destinations.

5. You experience the bliss of the environment

With no distractions from other tourists or elaborate attractions, you can be with the environment. The peace and tranquility of being on a road or in a place virtually alone is worth everything for an adventurer. No matter how difficult the road was, it’s worth it. You camp alone with nothing but nature in the background. You stand on top of a mountain with nothing but your thoughts. You swim in water undisturbed. Everything feels more beautiful when there’s nobody around and you find your perfect spot with nobody trying to sell you souvenirs or people fighting to see what you see.

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6. You meet like-minded travelers

When you do meet other travelers off the beaten path, you’ll actually be pretty excited. An adventurous person has certain qualities in their character, meaning you’re likely to get along really well and have a lot to talk about. Adventurous people in their element are at peace and happy in their own skin. It makes for great company and you can talk about the perils and obstacles you face in amusement. Along any quiet road, running into someone traveling is like running into “your people”.

7. You find hidden gems

One of the best things about going off the beaten path is finding those amazing places that have yet to be commercialized. Maybe it’s a National Park, a waterfall, a lake or a beautiful spot above everything. It’s likely your way to these places was treacherous, otherwise the masses would be going there. When you have the courage and experience to deal with the obstacles, you are rewarded with beauty that you don’t have to share with many. There are no food concessions, tourist maps or crowds. You feel so blessed to have made it to these places – it’s where the magic lies and why we travel.

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The road to a peaceful paradise isn’t always easy. It can make you want to quit and give up sometimes but the reward of standing on a mountaintop alone is worth it. You will have incredible memories of what you accomplished and really get to feel alive. For those that crave adventure, going off the beaten path has many gifts to give.

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Loraine Couturier

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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