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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 December 9, 2019

                      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                      Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                      Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                      Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                      1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                      Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                      This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                      In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                      The result: no more mental stress.

                      2. Unplug

                      Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                      How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                      It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                      Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                      3. Easy on the Caffeine

                      Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                      Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                      4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                      That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                      How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                      • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                      • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                      • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                      While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                      5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                      This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                      The result: mental stress will be gone!

                      So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                      Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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