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10 Non-cliche Places To Travel In Your 20s

10 Non-cliche Places To Travel In Your 20s

Travel is increasingly becoming synonymous with busy crowds, jaded tourists and disgruntled locals. However, there’s always a flip side. As travel is becoming relatively cheaper, faster and more convenient, there are places that are emerging off the grid of traditional travel locations.

You’re in your 20s: you’re young enough to want to go and explore the unseen wonders of the world; you’re old enough to use your own money; you’re (relatively) free; you’re not tied down. You won’t get to relive this decade again. So here are 10 of the hidden gems that you could aim to visit.

1. South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Zambia's bea

    This is a tranquil haven that is home to an embarrassingly diverse array of wildlife. Thronging with big game, little game and about 400 different species of birds, this 9059 kmgem of a park provides a retreat for weary travellers. For the more adventurous there are activities such as the walking safaris that can bring you face to face with a herd of lumbering elephants. For the more mild-hearted enjoy the sunset with an Amarula at a rustic campsite or luxury lodge.

    2. Ahmedabad, India

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    Uttarayan dky

      Throbbing with colour and diversity like most of India, Ahmedabad is the largest city in the state of Gujarat. It is especially vibrant during days of festivals and traditions. Popular ones include Uttarayan, a day of kite-flying and the 9 days of Navaratri, which marks the end of harvest season. Pay a visit to Sabarmati Ashram,a former home of Mahatma Ghandi, or absorb the bustling markets while inhaling the delicious smells of fried snacks as the blood-red sun sets above you.

      3. Shikoku, Japan

      japan34

        Like most of Japan, Shikoku has a rich cultural heritage. Unlike most of Japan, Shikoku is not frequented by hoards of tourists that throng towards the country’s urban metropolises. Shikoku is known for being home to the bathhouse that was featured in Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar winning animation “Spirited Away.” There are all the monuments and buildings that you’d expect from feudal Japan: shrines, luxurious gardens, old castles and the oldest Kabuki theatre in Japan.

        4. Baku, Azerbaijan

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          Baku is a mishmash of the old and new and the East and West. The old city is a UNESCO World Heritage site with ancient Persian influences visible in the narrow alleyways and intricate stone facades of old mosques. The new city co-exists in complete contrast to the old city which it stands beside. It is an emerging hub of economic and cultural activity that exists as a collection of beautiful contradictions.

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          5. Dead Sea, Jordan and Israel

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            The Dead Sea is said to be the lowest point on Earth. The saline waters are famously unconducive for marine life, but the salts allow for extreme buoyancy when swimming. The minerals found in the water are also deemed beneficial for general well-being. The historical riches are plenty: Christianity, Islam and Judaism anchored early roots in the region, as befits the haunting beauty of the place.

            6. Lobito Bay, Angola

            Lobito_restinga2

              The bay is a long stretch of land that protrudes defiantly into the Atlantic Ocean. Lobito was established as a port municipality, dating back to the days of Portuguese rule. This is evident in the architectural designs of the old churches and forts. As well as the history, the coastal town attracts anglers and water sport enthusiasts.

              7. La Paz, Bolivia

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              La_Paz-Calle_Jaen (1)

                La Paz is nestled neatly in between the craggy mountains of the Andes. If the view doesn’t knock the breath from your lungs, the staggering altitude of 3,000m + will. Wander around and explore the churches that date back two centuries ago or through the Witches’ market that sells all manner of things.

                8. Timore-Leste

                Timore Leste

                  Despite being the youngest city in Asia, and its tumultuous history, Timor-Leste has a quiet beauty made up of rugged cliffs and buttery beaches. You can wander through the tropical rainforest vegetation or go for long hikes along the coast or just take in the scenery from the top of a rolling hill.

                  9. Dunhuang, China

                  Dunhuang

                    Dunhuang is located along the well-trodden route of the ancient Silk Road in the province of Gansu. The city boasts historical buildings that pay tribute to the travellers that chose to settle here. The Crescent Lake and Buddhist Caves are popular attractions. The slightly eerie sound of the wind slicing into the sand dunes is ubiquitous among old and new travellers to the city.

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                    10. Bay of Fires, Tasmania, Australia

                    Bay_of_Fires

                      Bay of Fires is an outdoor-enthusiasts paradise. The picturesque turquoise waters and beaches belong on a postcard. The flame-coloured granite rocks break up the otherwise traditional ocean view. You can go on a guided tour that takes you on an exploration of the area.

                      Featured photo credit: Raisa Ismail via facebook.com

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                      Last Updated on August 20, 2018

                      35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

                      35 Anniversary Ideas to Bring You Closer Together

                      Every mature relationship has had a less-than-memorable anniversary. Maybe one of you forgot, or both of you got busy with work, kids, family issues, or something else. Whatever happened, the day came and went without fanfare. And neither of you seemed to notice or much care.

                      But for the health of any relationship, it’s important to make important days feel special. Anniversaries offer the wonderful opportunity to relive beautiful memories, practice gratefulness for your partner, and to show your love and strengthen your bond. Make this year’s anniversary with your significant other something special  — one that will bring you closer together.

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                      The best way to create a memorable anniversary is to do something new and different together as a couple. Stretch yourselves a bit.

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                      While boredom can silently kill a relationship, new experiences reinforce the shared bond you already have and create strong new memories. Just think back to the most significant memories you have right now with your spouse and imagine what new ones you can create!

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                      While you enjoy your chosen anniversary activity, be sure to keep a positive attitude and make your partner happy too on that day. Leave all arguments and day to day detail behind. Just celebrate your relationship. Whether you’re going to spend the day together at home, getting away, or having a wild and crazy new experience together, you can have your best anniversary yet!

                      If You’re Staying In

                      1. Spend an evening with no technology, just the two of you and maybe a board game. It’s hard to keep ourselves away from our computers and smartphones long enough to have a meaningful conversation. Make a rule not to use your tech and you’ll rekindle your relationship!
                      2. Make wine or beer together. If you enjoy drinking together, this is a fun activity to try together. Just remember to buy the necessary equipment ahead of time.
                      3. Learn something new about each other. With an open mind, try asking some of the New York Times’ 36 questions that lead to love. They’ll help spark intimacy and will lead to some really honest moments.
                      4. Have a lazy day. Breakfasts in bed, spend all day in bed talking and napping. Follow breakfast with champagne and dessert! If you feel like getting more active, cook together or play some games. Here’re some simple breakfast ideas for you.
                        • Learn to dance at home. This is best for those active couples who work out together and also enjoy learning something new together. Just go on Youtube to find any music with dance tutorials and learn together.
                        • Visit model homes or open houses and plan your dream home.
                        • Have a special dessert – champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Having an unusual treat makes a day feel extra special. If you want to make the dessert really special, try these tasty dessert recipes.
                        • Create a playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. Choose songs that tell your story, and songs that you bonded over throughout your relationships. Here’re some love songs ideas for your inspirations.
                          • Write your love story. Write it together or ave each of you write your own and then bring them together in an interesting, both sides of the story format.
                          • Get a fondue pot. Fondue is a fun way to enjoy melted cheeses (for savory items) and melted chocolate (for sweeter treats).
                          • Decorate! Turn your home into a dressed-up french cottage, a sophisticated restaurant, or simply with flowers. The different ambience will immediately change the feel of your home and make it feel like a staycation.
                            • Talk about the future together. It might sound simple and everyday, but imagining how you want to spend your retirement together, or planning future trips can be exciting and romantic.

                            If You Want to Get Away

                            1. Take a day trip together to your favorite spot. If you live in a city, it can be incredibly refreshing to get away for an afternoon and drink in the outdoors.
                            2. Go on a scenic drive and stop at a wine and cheese bar. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have lots of options where you live, try a brewpub. There are tons of small craft breweries with fantastic food options too.
                            3. Go camping. Relatively affordable and, if the weather’s right, beautiful and romantic.
                              • Take an overnight backpacking trip. For the more adventurous couples, backpacking is an even more intense way to challenge yourself physically while becoming one with nature.
                              • Take a wine tasting tour. If you live on the West Coast or in the Northeast, take a drive to the nearest winery. Many offer relatively inexpensive tastings and deals if you purchase a certain amount.
                              • Take a scenic train trip. Taking the train means less stress traveling: nobody has to drive, you don’t have to stop for breaks every few hours, and you can sleep if you need to!
                              • Save up for a destination vacation. What better time than your anniversary to enjoy the beach at a beautiful resort?
                              • Explore a new city. Whether you’re on a budget or have a lot saved up, you can have a great time just exploring an unfamiliar town.
                              • Rent a cabin for a weekend away, in the woods or next to a lake or ocean. If you like the outdoors but can only take so much nature, try glamping.
                                • Go on a retreat. Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, beautiful natural surroundings … they’re all the rage. Search for centeredness and calm with your partner.
                                • Spend a day at a food festival. Many cities have fun and affordable food festivals, occasionally based on a theme. Check out your town’s (or a nearby city) calendar for inspiration!

                                New & Exciting Experiences

                                1. Go spelunking. Dark, damp, and utterly exciting!
                                2. Go on a hot air balloon ride. Because the basket is relatively small, this can be a romantic and deeply personal – and yet thrilling –
                                  experience.
                                  • Try sky diving. If you and you S.O. are real thrill-seekers, sky diving can really push you to the edge!
                                  • Explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving. This may take you far away from where you normally live and work, which is an added bonus.
                                  • Experience white water rafting.
                                  • Drive or hike to the highest spot nearby for a new view of the world. America has tons of beautiful mountains where challenging hikes (or drives) can deliver breathtaking views.
                                  • Take a craft or cooking class. Up your craft skills or food  making skills, and enjoy something new!
                                    • Take a wine and painting class today. These classes are easily found these days and even a beginning painter can create a nice painting. Challenging but relaxing, fun, and you get to go home with some artwork!
                                    • Learn to salsa dance. Dancing is a fantastic way to actively get closer and coordinate physically with one another.
                                      • Visit a nearby festival you’ve always wanted to go to. Have fun and let go with fellow audience-members!
                                      • Spend the day at an amusement park together. Laugh and carry on like teenagers.
                                      • Meet new people! At a restaurant, concert, or class, make it a point to meet new friends. Striking up conversation with someone you don’t know – but with whom you have shared interests – can be an adventurous and rewarding experience.

                                      Whether your budget is big or small, and whether you have a little or a ton of time together, focus on each other. There are tons of options, in terms of location, level of physical activity, and cost. You can make the day special in a way that’s right for you!

                                      Featured photo credit: Photo by Taylor L. Spurgeon on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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