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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

        mosque-60513_1280

          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 October 20, 2020

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                      • (1) Research
                      • (2) Deciding the topic
                      • (3) Creating the outline
                      • (4) Drafting the content
                      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                      • (6) Revision
                      • (7) etc.

                      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                      2. Change Your Environment

                      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                      6. Get a Buddy

                      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                      Reality check:

                      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                      Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

                      More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

                      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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