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11 Exotic Destinations Even A Broke Student Can Afford To Visit

11 Exotic Destinations Even A Broke Student Can Afford To Visit

When we think of exotic destinations, it’s easy to think of luxury, expensive hotels/resorts and that sort of deal, but it really doesn’t have to be that way. This list of affordable exotic destinations should provide you with a good idea of where you can go when you’re tired of the same ol’ same ol’.

1. Thailand

If you want to get the most value for your money, make sure you stay out of/spend little time in Bangkok. While the bustling capital is a thing worth experiencing in and of itself, accommodation and food is much cheaper in other places in Thailand, and there are a lot more interesting things to see. For example, the featured image is from Khao Phing Kan, also known as James Bond’s island. Also, many places in Thailand allow you to get up close and personal with Tigers, so if that’s on your bucket list, Thailand is just the place for crossing it off.

2. Indonesia

ubud

    (Picture credit: Arian Zwegers) You might be surprised to learn that Indonesia is the 4th most populated Country in the world, with almost 240 million people inhabitants. This fact, combined with the many small islands that make up the country, makes it a completely different scenery from what most of us are used to. With options like admiring huge active volcanoes from afar, visit what was recently a completely isolated people in Baliem Valley, experience bustling trade districts, the traditional dance performance of Legong(picture), or relax on the beac, it’s hard to go wrong.

    3. Malaysia

    batucaves

      (Picture credit:  Hadi Zaher) At this point you’re probably not surprised that Malaysia made the list. Kuala Lumpur is the most popular destination, and with some cuts, like not staying in a premier hotel, it’s possible to do a longer stay on a budget. The picture is from Batu Caves, a series of caves and cave temples located just north of the capital. Again the options are many, and you can choose to have a very multi-faceted trip if you want to. One thing you should keep in mind is that Malaysia has a primarily Muslim population, so making an effort to not offend them by the way you dress will keep you out of trouble, and might even earn you that little extra bit of good-will you need to have an amazing experience.

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      4. The Philippines

      puertoprincesaundergroundriver

        (Picture credit: Shankar S.) While perhaps being most famous for cheap labor, the Philippines is a great destination for backpackers and budget travelers in general. Not only is it a haven for budget divers and beach people in general, you can also go to see the stunning Banaue Rice Terraces, or the monstrous Mayon volcano, or you could even take a trip through the Puerto Princesa underground river, one of the new 7 wonders of nature. With some suggested daily budgets going as low as 15-20$ per day and even lower, it’s a no-brainer for the sun deprived, broke student.

        5. Albania

        albania

          (Photo credit: Visionn Photo) Although it’s probably not the first country that comes to mind when you hear “exotic,” Albania has some of the cheapest costs of living of all the countries in Europe. And its safety, culture, and the many beautiful beaches, for example Ksamil Beach in the picture above, makes it an ideal location for someone who wants maximum return on their dollar.

          6. Bulgaria

            (Photo credit: Dennis Jarvis) Another East European country where you get a lot of value for your money is Bulgaria. While some of the beach towns have become infamous party towns that are infested with lowlifes who prey on the drunk tourists, there are other more peaceful locations that can have you living the relaxing beach life on a budget. Or you could even visit Plovdiv and see some roman ruins(picture) if that’s more your wavelength. Just make sure you do some research beforehand so you end up with the vacation you want.

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            7. Greece

            parthetnonacropolis

              (Photo credit: Christos Loufopoulos)

              While there is still some social unrest in Greece, the economic collapse has made the country much more welcoming to the broke student. Plus, by visiting and pumping money into the local economy, you’re actually helping them slowly get back on their feet. If you’re a fan of Greek food, or just always wanted to see the Parthenon but never had the money, now is the time to pay a visit.

              8. Portugal

              DSC_6447

                (Photo credit Pedro Ribeiro Simões)

                Another great European country you should definitely consider visiting is Portugal. Also here, due to the recent economic climate, the general costs of living have gone down noticeably, making it a more affordable location for people whose instinct would be to avoid western Europe for travel. The cities of Lisbon and Porto are by far the most popular destinations, the latter being the home of the port wine. If the usual sunset in Lisbon is anything close to the picture, that alone would be worth the trip don’t you think?

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                9. Ecuador

                galapagos

                  (Picture by blinking idiot)

                  If you want to relax on the beach, experience an interesting culture and perhaps learn some Spanish, all on a budget, Ecuador is an ideal location for you. If you’re worried about safety, Ecuador actually has very few instances of tourist targeted crime, and it’s general crime rates are not high enough to prove itself an actual risk to your safety. All this relies on your own behavior though—if you go out of your way and get dead-drunk without friends to look after you, or try to buy illegal substances, you are much more likely to be targeted. The Galapagos islands(picture) is by far the most popular destination, and with possibilities of views like this it’s easy to understand why.

                  10. Uruguay

                  estancia

                    (Photo credit: JohnSeb)

                    Uruguay is perhaps the most modernized of the South American countries, and often to referred to as the safest place to visit in South America. If you’re more interested in a city vacation than chilling on the beach, or want the best of both worlds, staying a few days in the capital of Montevido can be a great idea. Uruguay is a country that should definitely be on a backpacker’s bucket list. One interesting idea is to visit one of the local ranches called Estancia(picture).

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                    11. Peru

                    macchupichu

                      (Photo credit: Jorge Gobbi)

                      With many historical remnants of the Inca empire, one of the most fascinating civilizations in history, it’s hard to get more exotic than Peru. If you love experiencing the culture of times past and imagining what things were like, Peru is probably one of the most exciting places to go. But that’s not all it has to offer either. Peru is also a great destination for aspiring surfers on a budget, or people who want to experience traditional sightseeing and the beach life in one trip. While visiting Machu Picchu might be a bit upsetting for the budget, it’s definitely going to be food for the soul.

                      12. India

                      indianspices

                        (Photo credit: Dennis Yang)

                        It’s hard to write a list like this and not include India. Home to many of the most amazing historical monuments in the world, and some of the world’s most popular dishes(although you haven’t tasted real Indian food until you’ve been, as my friend keeps telling me) and one of the cheapest destinations for food and accomodation in the world, India is perfect for the bootstrapping backpacker. The only problem is that India is such a big country, you would have to write a separate post altogether to guide you in the right direction. Thankfully, there’s this list of best Indian destinations put together by Tripadvisor, arranged in order of users’ enjoyment.

                        Now all that remains is to find a cheap flight, and be on your way.

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                        Ragnar Miljeteig

                        Ragnar is a passionate writer who blogs about personal development at Lifehack.

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                        Last Updated on November 9, 2020

                        10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                        10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                        Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

                        Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

                        Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

                        If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

                        Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

                        1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

                        Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

                        Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

                        Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

                        2. No Motivation

                        Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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                        This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

                        If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

                        3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

                        Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

                        A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

                        A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

                        The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

                        4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

                        One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

                        We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

                        Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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                        You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

                        5. Upward Comparisons

                        Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

                        The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

                        These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

                        Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

                        6. No Alternative

                        This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

                        Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

                        Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

                        Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

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                        7. Stress

                        As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

                        When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

                        We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

                        If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

                        8. Sense of Failure

                        People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

                        Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

                        Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

                        If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

                        9. The Need to Be All-New

                        People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

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                        These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

                        10. Force of Habit

                        Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

                        Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

                        These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

                        Final Thoughts

                        These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

                        There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

                        More on Breaking Bad Habits

                        Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
                        [2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
                        [3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

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