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Winter Destinations to Include in Your Travels This 2017

Winter Destinations to Include in Your Travels This 2017

Some of us are winter babies who’d rather bask in frosty sunlight and adjust our clothing layers based on our cold toleration. We look forward to Christmas season not because of the gifts, but because of the skiing opportunities, abundance of hot chocolates, rosy cheeks and snow. Lots of it.

Whether you’re looking to avoid summer or just want to experience Christmas in June, here are some places to enjoy winter activities all year long:

1. Japan

From December to March, Japan offers many opportunities that can only be enjoyed during winter time like hot spring baths, hot pots, or a visit to a village made entirely out of ice.

Temperatures during Japanese winters tend to fall below 10℃ (50°F), so keep yourself warm. Looking kawaii isn’t really necessary, but you can try using disposable heating pads to protect your feet from the cold without the need for bulky footwear. There are a handful of ski resorts to choose from that are just a few hours away from Tokyo.

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2. Canada

Picturesque Niagara Falls is even more scenic when its waters are frozen and glazed over. Go skating in Ottawa’s Rideau Canal, which freezes over in the months of January and February. The world-renown 7.8 kilometer-long skate way is equivalent to 90 Olympic-sized rinks.

Your definition of “freezing” will completely melt away (pun intended) once you experience a Canadian winter, since temperatures tend to remain at subzero, even reaching -20°C.  Indoor hockey is the country’s number one sport; treat yourself to tickets to a live game and cheer along with fellow local supporters.

3. Alaska

It typically feels like winter all year long in Alaska, but popular to contrary belief, they get summers WITHOUT snow, too. Since the sun doesn’t set until midnight, your days feel much longer.

If you’re patient enough, you’ll even be able to see an Aurora Borealis without the need to travel to faraway winter wonderlands like Iceland or Russia.  Other typical winter action include ice skating, winter biking (using studded tires or fatbikes), snowmobiling, or snowshoeing.  Try extreme sports like heli-skiing or watch dog sleds slide along in a race if you prefer adrenaline boosting activities.

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4. Iceland

Tourism has increased in Iceland in the past year. Don’t be fooled by its name and presumed temperature – it gets just as cold as New York, sometimes even colder.

Taking a dip in the therapeutically healing waters of the geothermal Blue Lagoon during winter is perfectly normal. Go ice caving, glacier hiking, ride a snowmobile or walk along black sand beaches.

Plan your tours ahead of time, especially if the northern lights is part of your itinerary. This activity requires a rather dark accommodation due to the light pollution in the main cities.

 5. Tahoe

Home to one of the more kid-friendly slopes, Tahoe offers family-packages that include going on a sleigh ride (while pretending you’re part of Disney’s Frozen cast). I know for a fact that my definition of “fun” during winter also included sledding and tubing, which are also a must in Tahoe. This was always followed by a warm cup of hot cocoa indoors, complete with marshmallows on top.

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Adults have the option of going to the winery if they’re in no mood to hit the slopes or gamble at a casino.

 6. New Zealand

There’s snow from the months of June to September for those trying to escape the sweltering American summer. Trek like a hobbit thru their snow-capped mountains and green fields as these were also major filming locations for The Lord of the Rings movies. Go whale watching around their migration period around June or July.  

Like Iceland, New Zealand also offers dips in their geothermal hot springs.

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Winter lovers, rejoice! You finally have year-round destinations to choose from that doesn’t necessarily fall in December. Dressing comfortably will determine how much you’ll enjoy your excursions. Aside from saving money on electricity, living in these cold temperatures means no more excessive sweating, easily adjustable clothing layers (rather than stripping down during summer).

Catching a late sunrise in any of these places is worth it. And anything that includes a fluffy blanket and a warm cup of coffee or tea is always a good idea.

Featured photo credit: Pexels.com via pexels.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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