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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 July 8, 2020

                        18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                        18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                        The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

                        1. Understand Yourself Better

                        Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

                        Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

                        2. Keep Track of Small Changes

                        I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

                        Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

                        3. Become Aware of What Matters

                        As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

                        You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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                        4. Boost Creativity

                        The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

                        When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

                        You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

                        5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

                        A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

                        Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

                        6. Process Life Experiences

                        When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

                        Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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                        7. Stress Relief

                        In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

                        Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

                        8. Provide Direction

                        Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

                        One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

                        9. Solve Problems

                        Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

                        Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

                        When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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                        10. Find Relief From Fighting

                        Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

                        Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

                        11. Find Meaning in Life

                        Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

                        12. Allow Yourself to Focus

                        Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

                        13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

                        When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

                        14. Let the Past Go

                        I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

                        15. Allow Freedom

                        Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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                        16. Enhance Your Career

                        Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

                        Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

                        17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

                        All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

                        18. Catalog Your Life for Others

                        No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

                        We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

                        Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

                        Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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