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3 Places That Won Over My Heart

3 Places That Won Over My Heart

I cannot say that I have travelled the world and lived in exotic countries, yet I have been and lived in a number of awesome places. Each place where I have been won over my heart differently. One place had taught me how to find happiness in solitude, another place had taught me that a healthy vacation is a lot of fun, and with a third place (the place where I was born) I fell in love all over again after being away for nearly 10 years. I am the kind of person who tries to see the best in everything and everyone, so let me tell you about a few of my favorite places where I have seen “the best”, and maybe you will put them on your “places to visit” list.

Rogaška Slatina (Slovenia)

Rogaška Slatina is a town in Eastern Slovenia and is famous for its source of mineral water. Hence, it is also famous for a health tourism. For future reference, you have to fly in to Ljubljana (capital of Slovenia) and then take a few-hours car ride to Rogaška Slatina. I was lucky to enjoy it for a week. To be honest, after the little time I have had there, I started to feel like I was reborn. The mineral water does a very good job in cleansing your body and washing out all the toxins. Your skin becomes smoother and more hydrated. In addition, I suggest to visit this place in winter because the breathtaking view of a snowy mountains literally nurtures your tired soul.

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There is a deer farm (in the village nearby) that you should not miss. Deers are very friendly and just walk around waiting for tourists to give them some food. The farm is surrounded by a vineyard and you can buy an excellent tasting wine of your choice (to drink after the cleansing part is finished). It was also extremely cool to ask questions about wine and vineyards from the owner himself instead of Googling them.The simplicity and purity of Rogaška Slatina felt like something from the myths and exactly because of it I will go back there again.

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Hamburg (Germany)

Hamburg was a place where I started everything from 0: new flat, new job, new social life, new city to discover. The fact that I was alone pushed me to develop a new relationship with the city itself. I have realized that it might work out with Hamburg and me, after I found out how many great parks there are in the city. After I discovered Jenischpark 10 minutes away from my flat, it became my peaceful place. This big 18th century park became my place for jogging, my place for reading and my place for unwinding (thankfully the weather allowed it).

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There were not so peaceful moments too: I experienced culture shock after my visit to St. Pauli and the Reeperbahn area. The vibe that I saw there, I haven’t seen anywhere else (perhaps I haven’t travelled enough yet). Those areas are always alive and pulsing. There were pleasent discoveries: the port of Hamburg is the largest port in Germany, hence there is always access to fresh seafood anywhere you go. On Sunday mornings, you can get fresh fish right off the boat in Hamburg’s famous fish market. For a person who’s a pescatarian like myself, it was an amazing discovery. Another discovery was that not all Germans like sausages. Everyone has different preferences and Hamburg offers a big variety of aspects to love.

Kazan (Russia)

When I say that a Russian city called Kazan is a lovely place to visit, I am being fair, because it is not only my opinion. All foreigners that I know who visited Kazan were pleasantly surprised. They were straightforward about their expectations: “ We really thought only a few cities in Russia were worth visiting and Kazan was not one of them”. Well, surprise, surprise Kazan is the third capital of Russia. In the recent years we have hosted quite a few major sporting events and, for all the football fans out there, Kazan will be one of the Russian cities to host the FIFA World Cup 2018.

Kazan is a cozy city where you can see an interweaving of cultures and interweaving of the big megalopolis city lifestyle with the small quiet town life. The best time to visit Kazan (in my opinion) is late spring. During this time, you become a witness to the city’s transformation. The greenery is fresh, the air has some winter hints and people look as happy as if they were reborn. You can get a chance to enjoy long walks in parks, sightseeing and occasional breaks at endless modern coffee shops and restaurants.

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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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