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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

Business Consultant

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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

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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