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10 Best Road Trips in America That No One Should Miss

10 Best Road Trips in America That No One Should Miss

Everybody loves road trips! Next time you head out on the road, consider traveling to some of these places.

Road trips provide a super fun, exciting adventure with family members or friends. They also refresh the body and mind from the stress of everyday life. By the time it’s over, you won’t know when or where the time has gone.

Travel to some of these places, and along the way, redefine your life and realize what is important to you.

1. Alaska’s Seward Highway

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    Starting in Anchorage, the route meanders south 127 miles (204 kilometers) from sea to mountains and sea again. It passes the Kenai Peninsula, commencing in the town of Seward on Resurrection Bay.

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    If you are one of the many looking for whales, waterfalls, blue glaciers, sharp-toothed mountains, calm trout ponds, and stormy ocean fjords, this is the perfect place!

    2. Route 6A

    Route 6A

      Begin the journey on the peninsula in Bourne and blaze through towns of Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, Brewster and Orleans. You’ll spot sea captain houses that date back to 18th century.

      3. Authentic Old West

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        The Authentic Old West is a beautiful landscape marked by prairies, volcanoes, pioneer homesteads, and villages straight out of a Western movie set. The landscape has changed little since settlers, miners, and railroad workers progressed along the Santa Fe Trail.

        4. Back Roads

        provence-road-trip-1_22086_600x450

          Head east, about 18 miles or so, then turn left, to the hill town of Roussillon, a rose colored beauty spot framed by red-ocher cliffs. Prepare for the dramatic drive, a 65-mile version of a carnival ride.

          Here you can see people selling jars of regional olives, olive oil, and tapenades. The tourist destination is a wonderful location to have a long, relaxing, and peaceful drive with your better half.

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          5. Blue Ridge Parkway

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            For a taste of the South, head to the Appalachian Mountains for a trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic destination.

            This runs through Virginia, North Carolina, into Tennessee. The drive connects two national parks—Great Smoky Mountains and National Park.

            6. Big Island, Hawaii

            nature-big-hawaii-island-waterfall-wallpaper-37624

              The best way to see Hawaii is to drive around it. You will soon be immersed in a big landscape, a varied one, that is intricate with loads of features.

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              There is a lava desert, jungles, farmland, active lava flows, warm beaches, cool highlands, and views of soaring mountains, as well as plunging valleys. And everywhere around, you will feel the aura of the mysterious Polynesians who landed here more than a thousand years ago and named the island Hawaii.

              7. The Black Hills of South Dakota

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                The southwest corner of South Dakota is utterly inspiring. It is equipped with beauty, and abundant wildlife, as well as marvelous landscapes. Make sure to make this a destination—or  travel spot I should say. It is truly epic. Filled with abundant landscapes, you will have an amazing scenic location to behold.

                8. The Border Islands of Texas

                south-padre-island-texas-view-from-above

                  The Texas Barrier Islands are in the Gulf of Mexico. The island attracts tourists for activities such as dolphin watching. The largest is the Padre Island out of the Barrier Islands.

                  9. Brandywine Valley

                  Hagley_mill_race

                    A road trip through Brandywine Valley offers a taste of America aristocracy. Travelers get a glimpse of the early 20th century.

                    The DuPonts, one of America’s wealthiest and richest families, built estates are seen here—with gardens and extravagant architecture.

                    10. California’s Pacific Coast Highway

                    cali_pacific_coast_highway_650x366_t580

                      An enriching driving experience, California’s Pacific Coast Highway is designated an All-American Road—among the nation’s most epic and scenic—the drive encompasses the Big Sur Coast Highway and the San Luis Obispo North Coast Byway. Seen in movies, this will make you relive former glorious moments seen on television and the big screen. Crave it, and you will behold it.

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                      Ramanpreet Kaur

                      Currently a student but don't know what direction to go in: Let us see if writing gets me anywhere :)

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                      Last Updated on August 13, 2020

                      12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                      12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

                      As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

                      1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

                      I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

                      Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

                      Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

                      2. What is the purpose of meditation?

                      The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

                      It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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                      Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

                      In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

                      You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

                      This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

                      The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

                      Less Physical, More Psychological

                      Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

                      This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

                      The First Benefit of Meditation

                      The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

                      1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
                      2. Relaxation of the body

                      Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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                      Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

                      That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

                      When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

                      When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

                      Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

                      Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

                      This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

                      Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

                      Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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                      This benefit takes you to the second one.

                      The Second Benefit of Meditation

                      While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

                      1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
                      2. Observance
                      3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
                      4. Patience

                      Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

                      You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

                      This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

                      1. Energy

                      Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

                      2. Observance

                      The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

                      3. Peacefulness

                      Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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                      4. Patience

                      The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

                      The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

                      Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

                      Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

                      The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

                      • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
                      • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
                      • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
                      • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
                      • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
                      • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

                      These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

                      Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

                      Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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                      Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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