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25 Truly Amazing Places To Visit Before You Die

25 Truly Amazing Places To Visit Before You Die

Studies show that travel can make you smarter and healthier. So now grab a sheet of paper and a pencil, ladies and gentlemen. (Or in more modern terms, create a new note on Evernote.) It’s time to create that bucket list you’ve been meaning to write up:

Item #1: Create a bucket list. Item #2: Travel the world.

About that second item …You’re going to need a few target destinations to lead your adventure. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. When on a journey to travel the globe, make sure each of these 25 amazing places to visit before you die are on the itinerary.

1. The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

great barrier reef

      Photo credit: Source

      The Great Barrier Reef is the largest collection of coral reefs in the world, spanning over 1,400 miles. It’s so large that it can be seen from space, and it’s among one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. It is the place to go diving, offering a one-of-a-kind display of underwater life.

      2. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

      pyramids of giza

        As the only one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World still largely intact, the Pyramids of Giza are definitely worth a visit. Dating back to around 2,560 BC, the Great Pyramid of Giza stood as the tallest man-made structure for over 3,800 years.

        3. Stonehenge, Amesbury, England

        Stonehenge

            Photo credit: Source

            Lots of mystery surrounds Stonehenge, and contrary to those who believe it’s just a pile of 25-ton rocks, it’s actually a beautiful sight. Book a guided tour to visit the center, and at sunset, enjoy the stunning glow of the setting sun between Stonehenge’s pillars.

            4. Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia

            salt flats

              This massive salt flat–the largest in the world–spans a massive 4,086 square miles. Formed by several ancient lakes, this salt flat becomes so reflective in the rainy season that it’s used to calibrate satellites. It’s effectively the world’s largest mirror and a breathtaking sight.

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              5. The Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

              grand canyon

                Carved over thousands of years by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon is a sight to behold that one simply can’t fathom without being there. The massive rock walls span for over 200 miles.

                6. Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA

                antelope canyon

                    Photo credit: Source

                    The Antelope Canyon in Arizona is a picturesque series of crevices you wouldn’t believe wasn’t a photography trick until you checked it out yourself. The way water carved out the crevices millions of years ago–coupled with the manner in which the light hits each wall–makes the rocks appear different colors, creating a dazzling display.

                    7. Easter Island, Rapa Nui, Chile

                    easter Island

                      Like Stonehenge, no one really knows the story behind the 887 Easter Island “moai” statues. Even so, they offer visitors a great adventure. Plus, travelers can enjoy other Easter Island adventure options, like hiking and scuba diving.

                      8. Reed Flute Caves, China

                      reed flute caves

                        Today, the Reed Flute Caves are highlighted by multicolored lights, turning the 240-meter-long cave system into a stunning experience. As one of China’s most popular attractions for over 1,200 years, it’s worth the visit to view these incredible stalactite, stalagmite, and pillar formations.

                        9. The Great Wall of China, China

                        great wall of china

                          This massive, man-made wall stretches thousands of miles long. Not only does the marvelous structure leave many visitors scrambling to pick up their jaws knowing it was made by human hands, but it’s atop a mountain ridge that delivers awe-inspiring views of the area.

                          10. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

                              Photo credit: Source

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                              This area is among one of the most beautiful in the world, with crystal clear waters, lush green scenery, and stunning waterfalls.

                              11. Zhangye Danxia Landform, Gansu, China

                                This incredible collection of rock formations is one of the most amazing worldwide. The rainbow rock features were created by sandstone and mineral deposits laid down over 24 million years ago.

                                12. The Great Blue Hole, Belize

                                great blue hole

                                  Off the coast of Belize, divers find a submarine sinkhole called The Great Blue Hole, where the water is 407 feet deep. It’s over 980 feet wide and can easily be seen from above.

                                  13. Redwood National Park, California, USA

                                  redwoods

                                    The combined Redwood National and State Parks span over 133,000 acres across California’s north coast. These parks are home to the tallest growing species on Earth, the redwood tree, which can grow to be well over 300 feet tall.

                                    14. Yellowstone National Park, USA

                                    yellowstone national park

                                        Photo credit: Source

                                        Yellowstone National Park spans over three states and features a variety of sights you don’t want to miss. This collection of hot springs and geysers will truly have you amazed. Some of the more popular areas in the park include the Old Faithful geyser and the Mammoth Hot Springs area.

                                        15. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

                                        bora bora

                                          Bora Bora is the poster child of the iconic tropical paradise. This island sits 143 miles northwest of Papeete, in the South Pacific, and features the extraordinary turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and beautiful greenery you’d hope to find in the tropics–only it’s more fantastic than you can imagine.

                                          16. Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

                                          taj mahal

                                            The Taj Mahal is a truly beautiful architectural feat. It’s a massive, white, marble-domed mausoleum constructed in the 1600s that attracts over three million visitors each year.

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                                            17. Tianzi Mountains, China

                                            tanzi mountains

                                              Set as the inspiration for the floating mountains in the movie Avatar, these formations are more breathtaking than you can imagine. The area spans 16,550 acres, and the tallest peak rises about 4,140 feet above sea level.

                                              18. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

                                                Angkor Wat was previously a Hindu and Buddhist temple built in the 12th century. Today, it’s an architectural wonder worth visiting.

                                                19. Machu Picchu, Peru

                                                machu picchu

                                                    Photo credit: Source

                                                    Machu Picchu is an ancient Inca site that dates back to the 15th century and sits atop a mountain above the Sacred Valley. The restored site offers a fantastic look into Inca history and an even more fabulous view of the astounding scenery.

                                                    20. Glacier National Park, Montana, USA

                                                    glacier national park

                                                      Glacier National Park offers some of the most stunning scenes in the US. It’s full of beautiful mountains, green alpine forests, and clear lakes. There are over 700 miles of trails, making it a hiker’s paradise.

                                                      21. Pamukkale, Turkey

                                                        This area is home to natural hot springs that leave travelers in awe. Don’t end your journey without bathing in one of the remarkable natural tubs.

                                                        22. Victoria Falls, Livingstone, Zambia

                                                        victoria falls

                                                            Photo credit: Source

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                                                            Are you ready to be impressed? You will be when you visit Victoria Falls. This waterfall measures one mile across and is 354 feet high. That–along with the fact that more than 260,000 gallons of water flow over the edge per second–makes it the largest singular waterfall in the world.

                                                            23. Venice, Italy

                                                            venice

                                                              Venice is the perfect destination for travelers seeking a unique city experience. The canals that run through the city act as roadways, providing a unique transportation option while delivering a beautiful scene.

                                                              24. Lençóis Maranhenses, Brazil

                                                                  Photo credit: Source

                                                                  This area features a collection of clean, white sand dunes intertwined with crystal clear blue waters, creating the kind of picturesque beauty you’d hope for–but rarely see–in a beach.

                                                                  25. Highlands, Iceland

                                                                  iceland highlands northern lights

                                                                    A dazzling Northern Lights show is something that should be on every bucket list, and one of the best places to see the show is in Iceland’s highlands.

                                                                    After visiting these incredible places, settle down in one of these destinations abroad.

                                                                    More Amazing Places to Visit

                                                                    20 Amazing Places In Asia You Must Visit At Least Once in Your Life Time

                                                                    25 Amazing Places in Eastern Europe You Have To Visit

                                                                    World’s 10 Best Destinations To Travel Alone

                                                                    Featured photo credit: martinak15 via flickr.com

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                                                                    Last Updated on July 3, 2020

                                                                    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. To control your thoughts means to influence the way you live your life.

                                                                    Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affects 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. Be someone who can control 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 a few thoughts that are not of my 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 control 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 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 youwhy 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 has no basis. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                                                                    3. The Reactor or Troublemaker

                                                                    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.

                                                                    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. He 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 can control your thoughts, but you must pay attention to them 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 applicable situations.

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

                                                                    1. 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.”

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                                                                    You can also have a dialogue with yourself to discredit the ‘voice’ that created the thought—if you know whose voice it is:

                                                                    “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.

                                                                    2. 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. This may make it more difficult for you to control your thoughts effectively.

                                                                    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.

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                                                                    Now, take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like! Do it until you feel that you’re close to being in control of your thoughts.

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

                                                                    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.

                                                                    3. For the Troublemaker, 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.

                                                                    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, and you’ll be more in control of your thoughts.

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                                                                    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.

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

                                                                    4. 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 a 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 thoughts, 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 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. You can be in control of your thoughts. The choice is yours!

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                                                                    Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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