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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

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        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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                                                          Michael Woronko

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                                                          Last Updated on January 3, 2020

                                                          The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

                                                          The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

                                                          Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

                                                          The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

                                                          1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

                                                          Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

                                                           I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

                                                          To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

                                                          And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

                                                           2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

                                                          Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

                                                          3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

                                                          Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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                                                          4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

                                                          The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

                                                          5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

                                                          Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

                                                          6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

                                                          Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

                                                          7. Positive people smile a lot!

                                                          When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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                                                          8. People who are positive are great communicators.

                                                          They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

                                                          9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

                                                          One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

                                                          10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

                                                          Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

                                                          How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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                                                          I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

                                                          Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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