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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

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    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

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      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.

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      3. Cabbage Beach, Paradise Island, Bahamas

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        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

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          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

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            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

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              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

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                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.

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                8. Panama City Beach, Florida

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                  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

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                    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

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                      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

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                        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

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                          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

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                          Last Updated on December 9, 2019

                          5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                          5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                          Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                          Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                          Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                          1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                          Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                          This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                          In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                          The result: no more mental stress.

                          2. Unplug

                          Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                          How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                          It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                          Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                          3. Easy on the Caffeine

                          Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                          Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                          4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                          That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                          How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                          • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                          • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                          • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                          While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                          5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                          This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                          The result: mental stress will be gone!

                          So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                          Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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