Advertising
Advertising

12 Jaw-Dropping Vacation Spots That Will Leave You Awestruck

12 Jaw-Dropping Vacation Spots That Will Leave You Awestruck

When is a beach not just the shore? When it takes your breath away at every turn! If you’re looking for a new beach to explore, why not try one or two of the 12 listed below? Each has its own appeal, and all afford the opportunity to discover a new area.

1. Lanikai Beach, Hawaii

6953761938_794ef7601f_k

    No passport? No problem! Lanikai Beach is in the United States, although it feels like you’ve stepped onto another planet. It’s a very small beach located near Kailua – it’s only a half-mile long, but it’s as pristine as they come. It’s constantly highlighted as a tranquil place where you can get away from all the stressors of daily living. You’ll feel close to nature here, not to mention encircled by pure splendor.

    2. Playa Norte, Mexico

    Isla Mujeres, Christmas 2009

      Snorkeling enthusiasts and folks who like to play hard at the beach will appreciate Playa Norte. This Mexican beach area offers a warm lagoon with crystalline waters. Not only is it perfect for floating with fish, but it’s the perfect place to boat as well.

      Advertising

      3. Cabbage Beach, Paradise Island, Bahamas

      3000236616_2d8d9c5ded_b

        According to U.S. News and World Reports, Cabbage Beach is quite possibly the most popular Bahamian beach. This means you’ll find other tourists lounging there, but don’t worry: There’s plenty of beach to discover, and you’ll never feel crowded! Rent a beach chair and read that book you’ve been putting off, or take a swim in the balmy, blue waters.

        4. Bandon Beach, Oregon

        9713880228_2de247c2b1_k

          Looking to go to a beach for some peace and quiet? Bandon Beach in Oregon is definitely the spot for dreamers, writers, poets, artists and thinkers. You’ll be mesmerized by the stunning environment and marine sounds as you wander around the surf or just sit on a rock and let nature inspire you.

          5. Ocean City, New Jersey

          Advertising

          5497979040_41782113a2_b

            Sometimes the beach that you’ve loved your whole life is one of the top places in the world. Such is the case with Ocean City, where miles of boardwalks accompany immaculate beaches. Do a little bit of footwork and you’ll soon find pockets of beach that are untouched by human hands and just waiting for you to discover them. Don’t forget to watch the sunrise in the morning here, it’s a sight to behold!

            6. Venice Beach, California

            9409365821_b0e6ead696_k

              Venice Beach is one of those California “must sees.” Not only will you be able to do a little people-watching, but you can enjoy family-friendly fun and shopping while you’re there. Plan on bringing your camera fully charged, because you’ll definitely want to snap shots of the local beach characters who delight the crowds.

              7. Cavendish Beach, Prince Edward Island, Canada

              9510739834_132a25da31_h

                While not always known for its beaches, Canada does have a few that will have you doing a double take. Cavendish Beach on Prince Edward Island is one of those treasures of the Great White North. There are miles of ecological wonders just waiting to be discovered in this paradise. Even during the off-season when it’s too cold to swim comfortably, you’ll be serenaded by the lapping waters and incredible surroundings.

                Advertising

                8. Panama City Beach, Florida

                DCF 1.0

                  Located along the Gulf Coast, Panama City Beach is clearly one of the top travel beaches. There, the sand is white, the Gulf waters are typically warm and there’s even a park next to the beach area. You’ll quickly forget you’re in a city, and you will only be able to focus on the relaxed ambience.

                  9. Warwick Long Bay, Bermuda

                  4607326623_2c8774abc2_o

                    Want to take a trip to the land that time forgot? Warwick Long Bay in Bermuda could be your beach destination. The coral reefs there are stunning, and you can even ride horses up and down this half-mile stretch of beach. Bring your swimsuit for a quick dip; it will refresh both your body and soul.

                    10. Hidden Beach, The Marieta Islands, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

                    Advertising

                    8719103268_445b750f36_k

                      The Hidden Beach in Mexico is exactly as its name implies – an out-of-the-way nirvana where you can even swim in the buff in some areas. This makes it ideal for couples and singles, although kids are probably best left at home.

                      11. Plage de St. Jean, St. Barths, French Caribbean

                      2181709478_d24a4e9cab_b

                        The north beach area, known locally as Plage de St. Jean, is a magnet for swimmers and sailing fanatics. Although it’s a popular beach, it still keeps a strong tether on its inherent charm. You won’t be counting down the days until the end of your visit here; in fact, you might like the atmosphere so much that you wind up making this region the site of your second home.

                        12. South Beach, Miami, Florida

                        3275281544_7b01986f56_b

                          If you haven’t heard of South Beach, you need to find out as much about it as possible. This is the go-to beach for people who want the driving nightlife of Miami and the sun-sational beaches of southern Florida. South Beach is a place to be seen; don’t be surprised if you spot a Hollywood starlet basking on the sand. At night, you can cruise the soft, sandy beach with a loved one and enjoy the beauty of a tropical sunset.

                          Of course, every beach has its own unique qualities. The key is to find the one that speaks to you and to keep exploring new beaches that will help you unleash new levels of enjoyment.

                          Featured photo credit: Keith Robinson via flickr.com

                          More by this author

                          20 Money-Saving Hacks for Parents 20 Things All Mothers Need to Hear 12 Jaw-Dropping Vacation Spots That Will Leave You Awestruck The 20 Most Enjoyable Companies to Work For 40 Creative Ads That Will Inspire You

                          Trending in Leisure

                          1 5 Best Free Websites To Learn Photography Skills Easily 2 World’s 30 Coolest And Most Unusual Hostels You Definitely Need To Visit 3 Beauty Hacks: 25 Smooth Shaving Tips for Women 4 25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are 5 30 Inspirational Songs that Keep You Motivated for Life

                          Read Next

                          Advertising
                          Advertising
                          Advertising

                          Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                          How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                          How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                          Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                          Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                          I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                          You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                          Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                          When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                          I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                          Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                          Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                          Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                          1. The Inner Critic

                          This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                          • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                          • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                          • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                          • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                          The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                          Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                          2. The Worrier

                          This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                          The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                          3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                          This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                          Advertising

                          This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                          The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                          4. The Sleep Depriver

                          This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                          The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                          • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                          • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                          • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                          • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                          How can you control these squatters?

                          How to Master Your Mind

                          You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                          Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                          There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                          • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                          • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                          This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                          The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                          Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                          For the Inner Critic

                          When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                          You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                          For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                          You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

                          Advertising

                          “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                          If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                          • They rile up the Worrier.
                          • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                          • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                          • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                          • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                          Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                          Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                          For the Worrier

                          Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                          Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                          You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                          • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                          • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                          • Muscles tense

                          Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                          If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                          Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                          “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                          Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                          If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                          Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                          Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                          Advertising

                          For example:

                          If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                          “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                          Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                          “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                          Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                          For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                          Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                          The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                          • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                          • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                          • Muscles tension

                          I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                          Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                          Breathe in through your nose:

                          • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                          • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                          • Focus on your belly rising.

                          Breathe out through your nose:

                          • Feel your lungs emptying.
                          • Focus on your belly falling.
                          • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                          Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                          Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                          One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                          Advertising

                          Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                          For the Sleep Depriver

                          (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                          I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                          Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                          1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                          2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                          When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                          From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                          For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                          If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                          You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                          • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                          • Shut down your thinking.
                          • Calm your feelings.
                          • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                          The Bottom Line

                          Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                          You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                          Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

                          More About Mental Strength

                          Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

                          Read Next