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5 Best Islands To Definitely Visit In 2017

5 Best Islands To Definitely Visit In 2017

Traveling is one of man’s given gifts. Like birds migrating, we definitely enjoy the joys of traveling. We enjoy the sight of a new view and the taste of a new culture. Often times, we explore a place that is completely different compared to our usual lifestyle. These adventures become part of our sweet memories.

Islands have always been one of the famous destinations to just wind down and kick off our shoes. Off goes those pinching shoes as we snuggle our feet beneath the warm sand. It’s the time where we enjoy the sight of the never ending blue waters and be mesmerized by all the marine life it preserves.

However, how do we choose the best islands to bask in? What are the best islands?

It can be a huge dilemma which this article is going to narrow down for you. Now you can easily arrange your travel plans.

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    Temple, Credits: Bangkok Portals, Bali Indonesia

    1. Bali, Indonesia

    Bali has been a tourist hotspot for years, however, there’s more to Bali than the edges of it. The traditional massages and the usual spas are definitely perfect for relaxing or for a long honeymoon, however,  take the chance to explore the smaller islands around Bali.

    With a niche for temples and a mixture of culture, you’ll definitely find hidden treasures there. You’ll be surprised by the friendliness and the welcoming attitude by most of the locals on the smaller islands. If you love to fish, enjoy experiences with the locals and a great bargain for amazing fish, Bali as well as its surroundings are perfect for you.

    Although keep in mind that the monsoon period ends in the beginning of March hence if you’re planning to head there it’s wise to keep track of your calender.

      Google Images, Maui Hawaii

      2. Maui, Hawaii

      Maui is the third biggest islands in Hawaii. With it being both the financial as well as the traveling hub, this island is acclimated to all travelers’ needs. An island that hosts two amazing volcanoes, you’ll have the chance to take a peak at the Haleakala crater—an experience that not many has had the opportunity to enjoy.

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      Maui also hosts one of the vastest varieties of marine life. Since the marine habitat is an important part of the Hawaiian culture, they’re protected and respected hence you’ll have to keep in mind not to destroy the corals or litter around the water. On the other hand, you’ll have the opportunity to surf, enjoy the finest fish and mingle with the locals as well as understand and participate in their culture.

      Maui has its own weather: it usually rains in the night as well as the early morning. If you’re planning for a nice surf, be sure to ask the locals for the best spots as well as the best weather during the week.

        Happy Couples,Google Images, Canary Islands

        3. Lanzarote , Canary Islands

        Lanzarote is one of the smaller islands in the cluster of the Canary Islands. A rather gated island, it’s famous for travelers or tourists who are looking for a spot that isn’t populated and touristy. A fancy island wonderland, Lanzarote offers visitors to embark on different adventures. Its crystal clear water makes it perfect for snorkeling and or diving. One can describe the experience as a feast to the eyes, especially watching the multi-colored corals.

        It’s a perfect place for couples who are looking to spend their honeymoon or rekindle their romance. You can enjoy a beautiful fine dining experience during the night and in the day you can take a walk down the vineyards and sip on your favorite glass of red wine.

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        Lanzarote is also famous for its hospitality and international crowd, hence you might end up making some amazing friends during your vacation there.

          Kayaking, Credits :Borneo Beach Villas, Borneo Malaysia

          4.Borneo, Malaysia

          An untouched land, that’s what one can describe Borneo. It’s situated and surrounded by rainforests, caves, and water. Its crystal clear water makes it perfect for divers to discover marine life while it also makes a perfect place to swim with the sharks. If you’re an adventurer by heart, then Borneo would be perfect for you as you can constantly enjoy different activities throughout your trip.

          Borneo is also the home for the world largest flower, the Rafflesia. It’s a flower that smells like rotting flesh, but looks beautiful.

          As prices there are rather reasonable, you won’t have a problem enjoying your time there. Be sure to always enjoy the local delicacies, as it’s the pride and joy of Borneo. If you’re invited to stay in the long houses of the locals, always keep in mind of their tradition and culture, as in that part of the world respect can take you a long way.

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            Snorkeling , Credits : Pacific Holidays , Viti Levu ,

            5.Viti Levu, Republic Of Fiji

            Viti Levu is the largest island of the Republic of Fiji. Although in comparison it’s smaller than Connecticut, USA. Its small land allows it to retain its uniqueness and the Fijian culture. Due to it rarely being a famous tourist destination, it’s kept its beauty and travelers are accustomed to adapting with the locals instead of being an outsider.

            Viti Levu would be the perfect destination for friends to celebrate or meet up as its close knit community encourages bonding and enjoying each others’ company. It’s said that the island of Viti Levu has been submerged and covered in lava many times that the rugged terrains and the aftermath of those incidents still remain.

            Native Fijians strongly believe in their culture and heritage, even though the island’s small you’ll definitely discover treasures that will always keep that island close to your mind and heart.

            Therefore, if you’re planning to travel to an island soon, take these places into consideration; you’ll definitely have an adventure.

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            Featured photo credit: Google Images via travelobservers.com

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            Published on May 18, 2021

            How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

            How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

            We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

            The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

            Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

            Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

            Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

            There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

            Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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            Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

            We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

            Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

            A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

            The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

            Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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            Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

            Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

            Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

            While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

            Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

            These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

            Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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            Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

            Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

            Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

            Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

            Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

            Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

            As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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            This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

            Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

            Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

            These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

            Actions Speak Louder Than Words

            Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

            Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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            Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

            More Tips Improving Listening Skills

            Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

            Reference

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