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14 Awe-Inspiring Beaches That Everyone Should Visit At Least Once

14 Awe-Inspiring Beaches That Everyone Should Visit At Least Once

With the curtains finally drawing on summer, take a scroll through a list of both traditionally beautiful and more unorthodox beaches littered around the world. Whether you prefer sunsets, flour-like sand, or even below freezing temperatures, each paradise listed below has its own unusual characteristic that is worth a spot on your bucket list.

1. Bioluminescent Bay (a.k.a. Mosquito Bay) – Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico

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    Depending on the brightness of the moon, Bioluminescent Bay provides visitors with an enlightening experience. Hidden along the Caribbean coast and only 10 miles from Puerto Rico’s main island, this bay is home to micro-organisms (plankton known as dinoflagellates) that radiate a blue-green glow in the otherwise dark waters. Interested? Be sure to hurry, as the fragile eco-system has recently been experiencing a dimming of its main attraction, likely due to interference from tourists – enjoy it gently.

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      2. Playa del Amor (a.k.a. Hidden Beach), Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

      hiddenbeach

        Shrouded in mystery, no one is certain if the unique structure of this covert paradise is the result of an ancient volcanic eruption or deliberate and experimental bombings by the Mexican government that occurred in the 1960’s. Visitors can kayak into the Hidden Beach, which is also accessible through an underground water tunnel that stretches all the way to the Pacific ocean. Photogenically magical, appearing as though it has come straight off of a National Geographic cover, it’s a definite must-see for adventure-goers.

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          3. Giant’s Causeway – Antrim, Northern Ireland

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            Not necessarily known for its tropical weather or powdery white sand, the Giant’s Causeway is famous for it’s unique and mysterious landscape. The hexagonal basalt columns have drawn inspiration from artists and provoked scientific debate for centuries. This beach is steeped in folklore; many claim that it had been carved out by giant Finn McCool eons ago. Although it had been likely formed by the result of intense volcanic activity, let your imagination guide you.

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              4. Hot Water Beach – Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

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                Within two hours of the low tide, the usually deserted Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula of New Zealand becomes a literal hotbed of tourist activity. Hot water gushes through the golden sands of the beach, allowing visitors to dig their own spa pool – no more inadvertent and awkward games of footsie. Underneath the beach lie two volcanic hot water springs that keep visitors toasty in the face of New Zealand’s cold oceanic winds.

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                  5. Hyams Beach – New South Wales, Australia

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                    On the southern shores of Jervis Bay lies Hyams Beach. Surrounded by clifftops and forests, Hyams stands out because of its extraordinary white sand. How white is it really? The sand covering Hyams Beach holds the Guinness World Record for the whitest sand in the world. Visitors to the record-breaking beach can enjoy surfing, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling (it’s the second most dive-worthy spot in Australia next to the Great Barrier Reef), and bragging rights to have visited a beach that really had the whitest sand on our planet.

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                      6. Pink Sands Beach – Harbour Island, Bahamas

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                        White sand too common for you? Try pink. Composed of coral, broken shells, bits of rock and calcium carbonate, the Pink Sand Beach of Harbour Island boasts a three-mile long stretch of the pinkest sand in the world. Microscopic shelled organisms called foraminifera inhabit the seafloors, washing up on shore to give the sand a pale pink hue. In additional to its unique setting, Pink Sands Beach offers up captivating sunsets and seasonally warm, clear waters.

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                          7. Jokulsarlon, Iceland

                          Jokulsarlon

                            Translating into “glacial river lagoon”, Jokulsarlon is a large glacial lake situated in southeast Iceland. Considered one of the greatest natural wonders of Iceland, the lagoon is often described as ‘other worldly’, as it is surrounded by luminous blue icebergs. Witness some of the most breath-taking (insert your own cold pun here) glaciers that reflect the glow of the rising or setting sun. Easily accessible from the town of Hofn, tour operators are frequently conducting snowmobile and jeep tours to visit the area. So scenic that it had been the setting for films such as Batman Begins, Die Another Day and Tomb Raider, Jokulsarlon and it’s millennium-old ice are worth a taste for the adventurous – seriously, they take you to taste 1000-year old ice.

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                              8. Gulpiyuri Beach – Llanes, Spain

                              Gulpiyuri

                                Roughly 40 meters in length, Gulpiyuri Beach is a flooded sinkhole, described as an inland beach and located a half-mile from the Cantabrian Sea. Interestingly, it is fully aligned with the tides of the Sea, as a series of underground tunnels carved out by salt water allow the water to flow freely back and forth, resulting in a fresh and diverse medley of wildlife and ever-changing experience.

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                                  9. Chandipur Beach – Odisha, India

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                                    Amidst the lush and beautiful vegetation that India has to offer, beyond the sand dunes visible from the oceanfront, there exists an interesting bay of water known as Chandipur Beach. Then, for parts of the day, it ceases to exist, as it disappears into the swells of the ocean. Twice a day, the sea water of Chandipur Beach recedes up to five kilometres. When the water recedes, visitors can explore the exposed underworld, even via a jeep ride on the ocean floor. Whereas other beaches wait for visitors to come to them, this beach proves the complete opposite.

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                                      10. Zlatni Rat Beach – Brac Island, Croatia

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                                        Reaching over a quarter of a mile into the ocean, the pebbly peninsula holds a very interesting characteristic. Supported by the changing direction and strength of the ocean currents, the peninsula frequently changes shape. Due to the fact that the beach consists of pebbles, and not sand, the waters surrounding it are crystal clear and perfect for divers. Much like the Chandipur Beach noted above, the peninsula can disappear completely if swallowed up by a high enough tide. Try not to fall asleep too close to the water.

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                                          11. Cable Beach, Broome, WA

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                                            No beach experience is complete without an unforgettable sunset – exactly what Cable Beach is famous for. Oftentimes described as ‘postcard perfect’ by first-time visitors, Cable Beach boasts the most attractive and photogenic view of the sun. Setting over the Indian Ocean rather than the Pacific, the sun often appears as a setting, orange-red globe lingering in the sky. Easily accessible and within walking distance from the town of Broome, the beach is a must-see for photographers or couples seeking that unforgettable sunset.

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                                              12. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays, QLD

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                                                Australia is home to a number of postcard beaches, but Whitehaven proves to be the pinnacle on the long list, standing out as one of the most perfect beaches in the world. Powder-soft, white silica sand (an extremely high-purity of sand), contrasted with the vivid blue of the waters that cover the beach, Whitehaven can only be described as true perfection. Located on Whitsunday Island, it boasts five miles of immaculate shoreline, exposed to endless rays of sun and littered with lagoons and coves that provide an extraordinary experience.

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                                                  13. Panari Island – Okinawa, Japan

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                                                    It’s a sad reality that some of the most beautiful beach destinations in the world are exposed to an endless slew of tourists, creating a thirsty market and resulting in various measures of exploitation by the tourism industry. Panari Island, situated in Okinawa, has managed to elude these forces. The small, very isolated beaches of this island are only accessible through private tour companies, costing a pretty penny but well worth the experience. The untouched marine life and coral reef surrounding the island are comparable to that of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Rich in natural, untouched beauty, Panari Island contains the traditionally perfect white sand and clear blue waters but lacks the nuisance of shops, resorts and swarms of tourists, ensuring a rare and pure experience.

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                                                      14. ToSua Ocean Trench, Samoa

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                                                        While it may not fall under the traditional definition of a beach, ToSua Trench seems like something straight out of a movie. It is located in a small village known as Lotofaga, home to a medley of ocean blowholes and hidden beaches. Otherwise regarded as a swimming hole, it has been converted into a popular swimming attraction, equipped with a ladder for convenient entry into the 30 meter deep, crystal-clear blue water. One of the most unique swimming locations in the world, ToSua is surrounded by gorgeous gardens and lush vegetation, offering an attractive experience to adventure-seekers with an assortment of nearby must-see’s.

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                                                          Featured photo credit: Crashing Waves, Cabo/liezelzpineda via pixabay.com

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                                                          Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                                                          How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                                                          How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                                                          Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                                                          If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                                                          1. Breathe

                                                          The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                                                          • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                                                          • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                                                          • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                                                          Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                                                          2. Loosen up

                                                          After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                                                          Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                                                          3. Chew slowly

                                                          Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                                                          Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                                                          Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                                                          4. Let go

                                                          Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                                                          The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                                                          It’s not. Promise.

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                                                          Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                                                          Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                                                          21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                                                          5. Enjoy the journey

                                                          Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                                                          Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                                                          6. Look at the big picture

                                                          The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                                                          Will this matter to me…

                                                          • Next week?
                                                          • Next month?
                                                          • Next year?
                                                          • In 10 years?

                                                          Hint: No, it won’t.

                                                          I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                                                          Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                                                          7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                                                          You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                                                          Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                                                          8. Practice patience every day

                                                          Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                                                          • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                                                          • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                                                          • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                                                          Final thoughts

                                                          Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                                                          Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                                                          Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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