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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 March 30, 2020

                        Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                        Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                        Feeling tired all the time?

                        Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

                        I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

                        Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

                        If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

                        In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

                        What Happens When You’re Too Tired

                        If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

                        Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

                        • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
                        • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
                        • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
                        • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
                        • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
                        • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
                        • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

                        Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

                        Unfortunately, yes!

                        Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

                        Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

                        Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

                        Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

                        Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

                        Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

                        1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
                        2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
                        3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

                        The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

                        It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

                        Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

                        Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

                        If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

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                        Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

                        Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

                        But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

                        Symptoms of fatigue include:

                        • Difficulty concentrating
                        • Low stamina
                        • Difficulty sleeping
                        • Anxiety
                        • Low motivation

                        These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

                        Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

                        How Much Sleep Is Enough?

                        The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

                        Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

                        So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

                        The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

                        Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

                        Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

                        If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

                        And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

                        It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

                        4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

                        Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

                        1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
                        2. Exercising regularly
                        3. Using stressbusters
                        4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

                        So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

                        After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

                        In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

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                        I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

                        Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

                        • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
                        • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
                        • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
                        • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

                        The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

                        And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

                        But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

                        L — Living Healthy

                        Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

                        So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

                        In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

                        As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

                        Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

                        1. Unplug

                        Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

                        So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

                        2. Unwind

                        Do something to relax.

                        Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

                        3. Get Comfortable

                        Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

                        Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

                        Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

                        Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

                        If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

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                        Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

                        This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

                        E — Exercise

                        Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

                        That’s what happened in my case.

                        But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

                        As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

                        My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

                        That made sense to me.

                        So, I decided to swim.

                        I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

                        Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

                        Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

                        So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

                        If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

                        A — Attitude

                        Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

                        When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

                        Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

                        Breathing.

                        But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

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                        Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

                        1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
                        2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
                        3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
                        4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
                        5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
                        6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

                        This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

                        When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

                        Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

                        N — Nutrition

                        Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

                        If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

                        Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

                        For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

                        Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

                        Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

                        1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
                        2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
                        3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
                        4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
                        5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
                        6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
                        7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
                        8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
                        9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

                        Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

                        That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

                        Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

                        The Bottom Line

                        If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

                        If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

                        If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

                        • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
                        • Regular Exercise You Love
                        • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
                        • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

                        Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

                        More Tips to Help You Rest Better

                        Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
                        [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
                        [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
                        [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
                        [5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
                        [6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
                        [7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
                        [8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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