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10 Things Only People Who Are Born To Travel Will Understand

10 Things Only People Who Are Born To Travel Will Understand

It must be a gene. The wanderlust, I mean. Actually, the experts are arguing that the desire to seek out new places, explore the countryside and cities and discover hidden gems can really be attributed to your genes, but not just one.

The correct name for the gene is DRD4-7R, but I like to think that the letter D stands for ‘destinations,’ and lots of them. Read on to discover if you have this gene and were in fact born to travel. Even if you can’t seem to relate to everything, read on and dream from your comfortable couch, and maybe you will become inspired.

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

1. You’ve always been crazy about maps.

Apart from studying Geography at school and really enjoying it, you were always reading National Geographic. When I was at school, I remember winning a prize for a picture map I had made of Australia.

Of course, I went on to get a degree in Geography and then tried to teach it to sulky teenagers. Then I had to walk the talk and started to travel around the world. If you have a passion for maps, then you can relate to this. And if you have maps on your walls instead of paintings, then you are perfectly normal.

2. You are the perfect exemplar of the curious human being.

Migration, exploration and opening new frontiers have been essential to man’s conquest of the planet. If you feel that constant urge to discover new places, faces and food, then you definitely have the travel bug.

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There is no cure, except to actually give in and travel. If you have to stay at home, you will curl up and surely regret not getting out there.

3. You have no problems in justifying your travel budget.

When people tell you that the money you spent on your adventures could have been spent on clothes, a car or even a house, it may be time to end the friendship. Well, maybe not that drastic of a measure should be taken. But these people just do not understand the enormous investment you have made in discoveries which will last a lifetime.

Objects will wear out. The travel bug will never really be cured and you are perfectly happy with this chronic illness!

4. You are not easily scared.

In December 1998, 16 tourists were kidnapped in Yemen while I was vacationing there with friends. Later, in a blitz on the hideout by Yemeni troops, four of the tourists were killed. We were not involved and we knew nothing about this horrible affair until afterwards.

When we arrived back in Italy, we were interviewed by reporters at the airport asking us why we had chosen such a dangerous destination! Nobody could understand and I was even reprimanded by a colleague for having taken such a risk.

I later learned that one of his favorite holiday destinations is Vienna! A fairly predictable destination that takes a lot away from the adventure.

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5. You regard strangers as friends you have just not met yet.

Here are some great ways of making friends on your travels. If you are into card games, always carry a deck. Exchanging card games is one great way to make friends.

Another great ice breaker is eating together. Offer to buy some groceries and cook something if you have the facilities. It is also a good way to get to know people better before deciding if they might be possible travelling companions.

But just chatting to people and discovering more about their daily lives is a truly enriching experience.

6. You get a high when you book a trip.

“I think it’s my adventure, my trip, my journey, and I guess my attitude is let the chips fall where they may.” – Leonard Nimoy

Maybe you are one of those people who just let the trip happen and do not plan at all. Some people start planning the moment they have booked the tickets. They say that the anticipation is all part of the fun.

Planning itineraries, reading guide books and learning what is in store is really a great way to get a high. It is also one of the cheapest and healthiest ways I know.

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7. You are not afraid of disease or illnesses.

When I decided to take a job in Naples in 1973, there was a cholera epidemic there at the time. This was practically the only time that I argued with my mother who tried to dissuade me from going. She lost. I got my vaccination and off I went on one of the most exciting adventures I ever had.

A few sensible precautions will likely keep you healthy on your travels.

8. You know all about packing.

If you have the travel bug, you are ready to leave at a moment’s notice because you might get a sudden attack. The secret, as you know, is to be able to pack the essentials in a jiffy ans in the lightest of bags.

You never need to revise your internal list of what is allowed or not. You just know it all by heart. To the same tune, you are a minimalist because you avoid all that checking in and retrieving heavy baggage. It’s carry-on for you for most of your trips.

On my last trip, a fellow passenger told me about using compression packs for the bulky items. A lifesaver.

9. You are not afraid of jet lag.

You are one of those lucky people who are never really fazed by jet lag. You know all the tricks and remedies and you can easily cope with a long flight. For example, you make your main meal the one before you board so that you can have light snacks during the flight. This makes digestion easier.

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You know all about turning your watch to the new time zone as soon as you board. Then you spend the time on board accordingly.

Let us imagine that you are flying from Sydney at noon to LAX, due to arrive at 9 am. You know that as the flight is 13 hours long, you shouldn’t be awake for the entire time, but get some sleep for the second half of the flight. In this way, you arrive at the morning arrival time, having slept some hours on board.

It makes life so much easier, but you know all this of course, as a seasoned traveler.

10. You can never get enough.

A girl I once knew traveled frequently and she was addicted. When she got home after a long trip, she found a note from her boyfriend which read, “Wait a few days before planning your next trip!”

Now that is the really seemingly intolerable bit about the habit of traveling. It never really leaves you and you can never get free – not that you particularly want to.

And you always start conversations with, “When I was in…” No, you are not boring, you are just an extremely interesting and curious human being. In other words, an incurable traveller. Join the club!

Featured photo credit: Freedom traveler woman standing with raised arms and enjoying a beautiful nature. Image with instagram filter via shutterstock.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

1. Salmon

Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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2. Blueberries

Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

Curcumin has also been shown to:

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  • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
  • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
  • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
  • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

4. Coffee

Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

Coffee can also:

  • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
  • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
  • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
  • Improve your memory.
  • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

5. Broccoli

What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

6. Bone broth

Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

7. Walnuts

Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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8. Eggs

For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

9. Dark chocolate

You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

Conclusion

Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
[2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
[3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
[4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
[5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
[6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
[7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
[8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
[9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
[10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
[11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
[12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
[13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
[14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
[15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
[16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
[17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
[18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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