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3 Things That Travelers Must Do While Traveling Abroad

3 Things That Travelers Must Do While Traveling Abroad

I moved abroad right after high school when I was 17 years old. The country where I moved was very new to me, its culture and mentality felt alien. Unfortunately, I was too young to know that any traveler has to do thorough research on the place they’re planning to visit beforehand to minimize the culture shock. Later on in life, when I moved to my next foreign country, I did not make the same mistake. I am not happy to say this, but my first experience abroad was full of “I wish I did this and I wish I did not do that” moments.

However, over the years, I have become a person who accepts every situation and tries to create nice stories out of failures and disappointments just as I would triumphs and successes. That is why I am presenting you with a few useful tips that should be on your to-do list when traveling abroad.

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Learn a local language

I was given a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn a new language – a difficult language – but one that is worth the hard work. In my defense, I was also learning how to speak English, which I accomplished quite quickly. The credit goes to all my foreign friends who had to put up with my constant grammar mistakes and horrible accent.

In all seriousness though, I have had the right attributes surrounding me to learn a local language that attributed to my fluency. This included helpful people who spoke the local language and language courses located in my university. I would like to highlight that any kind of opportunity needs to be grabbed and fully utilized.

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Be choosy with who you let into your life

I am a kind and cheerfully naïve person. I started to form an opinion that kindness is a diagnosis and it is terminal. I may sound very negative while talking about something so wonderful, however I will explain why. When I was 17 years old and moved to a country where I had no friends and family, I did not come to think that there are people out there who deliberately hurt you and leave you in a mess of your own anger and pain. Since I have experienced it, I decided to look at it as a lesson – actually lessons – because it took me a while to start becoming picky about whom I should let into my life.

Even the closest person can easily hurt you and you have to be ready for it. I advise travelers to carefully choose who they accept as friends and acquaintances. And based on some advice I used to hear from my mother: it is always better to be suspicious at first. You will have all the time in the world to trust a person, but at first, observe, listen, and make adequate judgements about who you let into your world while you travel the world.

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Embrace a new culture

I feel truly blessed to be an open-minded person who accepts changes and diversity relatively well. I have not only traveled to different countries, I have also taken a close look at the local people, their culture, and their habits in the countries I’ve been to. This quality makes me look at my problems from a very different angle and thus my reactions and solutions to any kind of issues become different, in a good way. People across the world have different values and beliefs.

For some, appearance matters the most, while for others, look for the emotional and spiritual side of life. I adjust to qualities that I have seen in other cultures and implement them into my daily life and try to find a middle ground where my way of life meets theirs. Travelers need to manage to see and grasp the best qualities from different cultures and fully immerse themselves in different lifestyles and experiences.

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Featured photo credit: sfbayconcerts via sfbayconcerts.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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