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15 Reasons Traveling Is the Wise Man’s Addiction

15 Reasons Traveling Is the Wise Man’s Addiction

When I mention travel, what do you think of? Do you think of glorious architecture balancing over the canals of Venice while Gondolas glide over the water? Do you think of the magnificent rainstorms of Vietnam? The markets of Istanbul? The art of Italy? Let’s face it, We have lives that tend toward the mundane. The doldrums wait around every corner when you have lingered too long in your routine. We need the promise of tropical sunsets and impossibly lovely meals in a piazza surrounded by fountains carved centuries ago by artists long gone to pull us into the future. Yes, travel is addictive but as addictions go, you could do a lot worse. If you indulge this addiction, you come out healthier and happier, especially if you indulge it a lot. Oh, you want specifics?

1. You have something great to look forward to

The long rainy days of Winter are much sweeter when you are thinking about your upcoming trip to the tropics with you looking amazing in your new bathing suit (Isn’t it funny that your imaginative future self is always slim with hair and nails just done?)

2. You learn to think on your feet

Airports can be very stressful. They wind around and sometimes you have to go up several floors, take a tram somewhere and find your gate, all in an hour long layover. Everyone in the airport looks relaxed like they know where they are going and you are the only one completely lost. Finding your way is a challenge but everyone seems to make it through. Things happen to you when you travel. It can be unpredictable. That is what makes it so exciting.

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3. You have to confront talking to people you don’t know

You would be amazed at how many people are deathly afraid of talking to people. This is a hidden anxiety, especially in the US. People are not always so bad and as you travel and meet more people, you start to see that most people are like you.

4. You learn to try new things

I once traveled to Belgium with my family when I was 17 years old. I spoke no French whatsoever because I was doodling in French class when I should have been paying attention. For the first week I ate only Demi-poulet e frites (Half a chicken and fries) until I got brave and tried something else. I never ended up with anything weird and most of the time it worked out. There are so many new things to eat in another culture. It is really fun to sample everything.

5. You learn to accept another culture

Several years ago, my husband and I purchased a home in a Southern Italian hill town. It is the most wonderful place I can think of. At one point I asked my friend who owns that little store in the piazza what it was like growing up there. She pointed to the balcony across the piazza from us. “That is my cousin” she said and pointed at several other apartments next to it and told me that her aunts, uncles and other cousins all lived there. As if on cue, they appeared on their balconies yelling greetings. “It is a family” she said and then she took me on a passeggiatta (a walk) through the town where we shook peoples’ hands, kissed babies and caught up with all the recent news. Not many of us do that here. It was a totally different culture and I loved it.

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6. You make friends easily

While traveling I have made friends for a plane ride and friends that I will keep forever. A few years ago I ended up on the intercity train from Cremona to Scalea; Italy from tip to toe. Half of the journey I shared a cabin with a group of people from Napoli. They spent the journey sharing their meals and asking me all kinds of questions about America. They really wanted to know. It was lovely. We did not exchange addresses but I left with a vague promise to look for them when I came to Napoli. Still, they are friends and they are somewhere in that big city. This makes Napoli seem friendly even though I have only been through there briefly.

7. You get out of your routine

Routine is a joy killer in life. Mix it up! Go somewhere ridiculous (but not dangerous) Go see the Taj Mahal! Go see the Eiffel Tower! GO SEE! Get a different view.

8. You can see your life from a distance

Whenever I travel, I notice that I stay sort of psyched up for about three days then I relax and really start looking at things. The rush of daily life fades and you can take a good look at your life from outside it. Viewing something from outside it is way more powerful than viewing something while you are stuck in it. You would be amazed at the solutions you can come up with for problems that seemed unsolvable before.

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9. You see, feel and live history

Life for most here in the Good Ol’ US of A only goes back about 200 years (unless you’re a native American). We are babies in terms of world history. The pyramids have us beat by a country mile. The renaissance happened 200 years before America was a gleam in our forefathers’ eyes. Standing and looking at the Greek temples at Paestum is awe inspiring. When you look at these ruins, you can easily build up the walls in your imagination and see the markets, the city center and the tall torches used to light the streets. You can live in history.

10. You see the works of masters

From churches built over centuries to bodies of work done by artists all in one lifetime, these were masters. They built buildings and created art with such care for details that they are revered as treasures today. The work of masters like Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Rafael have to be seen in person to be fully experienced. Stand in front of the Doni Tondo by Michelangelo in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence surrounded by other works of art and you will see what the human spirit, discipline and passion can do. You can’t get that from a book or a television screen. you have to go there.

11. You learn new languages

Even if you travel within the US, there are slang words and phrases that are different and colorful. If you are really confident you can head off to Japan or another country in the Far East. My husband has traveled extensively in Japan and other Asian countries and it can be tough to find a bathroom if you don’t learn the language! See points 3 and 6.

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12. The food!

Chefs are the same in all parts of the planet. They spend their lives designing dishes to make people happy. Whether you are at Al Caminetto in Tortola, Italy or the new BBQ place around the corner, these people go out of their way to please you. You get to try something new three times a day. Don’t waste any opportunity.

13. The pastries!

What is it about Europe that they are all completely insane about pastries? Every pastry I have had over there has been so mouth watering, so flaky, so perfectly balanced, that I almost fall into a weepy heaps after putting one in my mouth. They are CRAZY!

14. The coffee

Everywhere you go people LOVE coffee. The cafes in Italy and all over Europe are known for their seriousness about coffee. There is no watered down Folger’s over there. Every time I go to Europe, I save half my suitcase for coffee. One would think I was a drug mule with all the coffee I bring back. I love it.

15. The wine

I love red wine. I don’t over indulge, but there is nothing like sitting on the balcony over the Bella Vista restaurant in Santa Domenica Talao, watching the sun set over the Mediterranean, the ancient village in the back ground turning gold in the falling light and sipping someone’s home made red wine and smelling your meal as it cooks. It is just the best thing there is. Have I hooked you yet?

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Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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