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5 Historic U.S. Cities You Have to Visit in 2017

5 Historic U.S. Cities You Have to Visit in 2017

As the days pass and spring approaches, many people are already thinking about the warm weather that’s just around the corner. But if you’re looking for a way to pass the time between now and spring, why not start planning a trip with your friends?

Instead of going on your typical American vacation, why not make it somewhat educational and fulfilling? While the U.S. lacks much of the centuries-old history that European countries have, there’s still much to be seen in these five historic cities.

1. Charleston, South Carolina

If you’ve never been to Charleston, South Carolina, you’re missing out on a big piece of American history. You’ll find yourself immersed in a city that, at times, can feel like it’s straight out of the 18th century. Named after King Charles II of England (originally Charles Town), the city is frequently noted as one of the most friendly in the United States.

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Historical Fact: “Charleston is frequently referred to as the ‘Holy City’ for a couple of reasons,” Strawberry Tours explains. “Firstly, because churches and cathedrals are so prominent in what is a fairly low rise city. Secondly because it was one of the few original colonies to accept all Christian denominations.”

2. St. Augustine, Florida

Much like Charleston, St. Augustine will transport you back in time. There are entire streets lined with beautiful 17th and 18th century architecture, large Spanish forts, and beautiful coastlines just waiting to be enjoyed. There’s also incredible food from restaurants that have sourced their recipes from the city’s rich history.

Historical Fact: Founded by the Spanish in 1565, St. Augustine stakes claim to the title of oldest continuously inhabited European-founded city in the United States.

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3. Boston, Massachusetts

If you want to be in a place of firsts, travel up the east coast to Boston. This proud city has so much character and tradition, you’ll feel guilty leaving it behind when your trip is over. Home to the country’s first public library, first public school, first public park, and first public subway system, history oozes from Boston’s core.

Historical Fact: After owner Harry Frazee traded Babe Ruth to New York in 1920, the Boston Red Sox failed to win a World Series championship for 86 years (breaking the streak in 2004). Bostonians called it “the Curse of the Bambino.”

4. Williamsburg, Virginia

Founded in 1699, Williamsburg is recognized as the first colonial capital of Virginia. The settlement actually arose after Jamestown’s poor location along swampy land forced settlers to move seven miles inland. Today, you can visit Colonial Williamsburg, which spans 301 acres and still features 80 of the original structures that were preserved from the development of the colony.

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Historical Fact: Originally called Middle Plantation, Williamsburg was strategically chosen for it’s geographical placement between two rivers. This provided better access to water and more protection from Indian attacks.

5. New Orleans, Louisiana

While much of America’s history is rooted in English history, the city of New Orleans breaks away in a major way. Founded in 1718 by the French Mississippi Company and sold to Spain in 1763, New Orleans is heavily influenced by both French and Spanish architecture, food, and culture.

Historical Fact: Canal Street, which was once the widest in the world, was actually named for a canal that city planners were supposed to build on the street’s dividing median. It was never built, but the name stuck.

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Hit the Road, Jack

Looking to head somewhere new this year but remain in the country? Plan on visiting a couple of these historic cities together with your family and friends. You can even go solo! You’ll have a blast – and might even learn a thing or two in the process.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Larry Alton

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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