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30 Stunning Photos From National Geographic’s Traveler Photo Contest 2014

30 Stunning Photos From National Geographic’s Traveler Photo Contest 2014

The 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest, the 26th edition of the competition, closed this week on June 30th. Photographers submit their photos taken in any film medium so long as they submit a digital file to the actual contest, and awards are given based on skill and creativity by a panel of photographic experts. Looking at these photographs gives us a sense of how vast our world is, how diverse its climates, and a remarkable sense of global community. The skill of the photographers is extraordinary, especially in those who have the ability to make those settings familiar to us seem otherworldly.

Below are several of the winning photographs for this year’s contest. Where would you like to visit most?

Iceberg in Antarctica

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    (Translated) “Aboard the Polar ship Brazilian Ary Rangel, on the way to Antarctica, the Iceberg is seen floating.” by Igo Bione

    Rome, Italy

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      “Instead of letting the menacing weather outlook cast a shadow on my short stay in Rome, I chose to embrace the moment.” by Bao-loc-yvan Tran

      Masai Mara, Kenya

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        “We found about 20 lions eating a buffalo. When the male [left] the group we anticipated him to take photos… The lion stops and looks down from the hill, another lion is coming up… The two meet, looking directly into their eyes, they sniff, rub against their heads, the tension drops, they start walking with the same step as when they were puppies, they are two brothers.” by Massimo Mei

        New South Wales, Australia

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          “I had the privilege of being asked to help out a small local Campdraft, by taking photographs to be used for post-event promotions in the local newspapers, industry magazines & for social media. I love having the opportunity to shoot something new and this two day event watching the amazing athleticism and skills of both horse and rider at the Baryulgil Campdraft, rates as one the best, especially when that late afternoon sun hit the low angles and lit up the dust magically!” by Katrina Wade

          Champagne-Ardennes, France

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            “…I had been on a stormchasing photo tour through France, Belgium and Germany while these countries were experiencing severe storms for several days in a row. In this nighttime image you can see nearly all optical features of a supercell under a clear starry sky thanks to very frequent intracloud lightning and moonlight.” by Maximilian Conrad

            North Cascade National Park, Washington, USA

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              “This picture was taken in the North Cascade National park, WA during a 4 day backcountry skiing tour. We linked multiple peaks and valleys, alone and free in the mountains, creating and cherishing our tracks up and down.” by Victor Mesny

              Bretagne, France

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                “2014, Saint Malo France” by Erwin van den Arend

                Churchill area, Manitoba, Canada

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                  “A four months old polar bear cub running after his sister.” by Meril Darees

                  Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh

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                    “Rubel (10) is a son of a fisherman. While his father goes fishing he awaits his return. Children accompany their fathers and learn their skills for the future. Many fishermen live along the beach beside the road between Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf. Fishing from sunrise to sunset they can barely earn around 60 Taka a day (less than a dollar).” by Gmb Akash

                    Te Waihou Walkway, Putaruru, New Zealand

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                      “People have long been drawn to Te Waihou. The river was an important thoroughfare and provided food and flax for local people and visitors alike. The reason for the blue colour (and visual clarity) of Te Waihou is the high optical purity of the water. Pure water is intrinsically blue in hue because it absorbs red light leaving only blue and (some) green light to be transmitted to the observer’s eye.” by Abby Lovis

                      Cape Cod, MA, USA

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                        “I had never seen a humpback whale breach before. On a recent trip to Cape Cod with some friends we took a small boat out to whale watch. We saw several humpbacks doing their thing with the flippers and the tail, but none breached. Then out of the blue this one whale breached pretty close to the boat… It’s amazing how these huge animals propel themselves out of the ocean and get so much air. Watching them up close gives me a whole new appreciation for these wonderful creatures.” by Raj Das

                        Charles River, Massachusetts, USA

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                          “A rower takes a sunrise sally on the Charles River, the waterway that slices through Boston, separating it from Cambridge. The early morning is a popular time for rowing, sculling, kayaking, and other activities.” by Bimal Nepal

                          Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Africa‬‏

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                            “It was a late afternoon, we saw two leopards fighting on a tree top. After a short clashing one of the leopards gave up and jump down.” by Yoel Schlaen

                            Tham Lod Cave, Thailand

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                              “One of the most spectacular natural caves I’ve ever adventured into, Tham Lod is a piece Mother Nature’s masterpieces in the Mae Hong Son region of Northern Thailand. The Lod is a natural limestone cave system, its main feature is the freshwater stream which runs through the middle of the cave for about 200-300 meters.” by Drew Hopper

                              Bimini, Bahamas

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                                “I was waiting at the surface as pretty much all these dolphins were feeding on the bottom. I kept trying to free dive down and get a photo, when I got to the bottom, I had to go back up. This moment was magical as they all came up at once, it was overwhelmingly beautiful.” by Nadia Aly

                                Beijing, China

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                                  “Picture taken in May 2014 on a NGE Photo Expedition. It was a fantastic day: clear sky, no tourists and a full moon!! We were totally blessed.” by Jose Balta

                                  Cao Bang Province, Vietnam

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                                    “This is the most beautiful waterfall in Northern Vietnamese province of Cao Bang. It is located in the border of Vietnam and China. Haft waterfall on the left photo is of Vietnam, the other side is of China.” by Son Tong Tran

                                    Lake Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand

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                                      “[The tree] put on quite a display for us one evening as the fog hung over the lake just before sunset. The rolling hills and snow covering providing a perfect backdrop for the frequent resting place of the birds from the area.” by Paul Reiffer

                                      Sondrio, Lombardy, Italy

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                                        “Walking on a snow day.” by Pisati Beniamino

                                        Kasaragod, India

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                                          “Preparation for the Theyyam performance in the surroundings of Kasaragod city. Theyyam is a popular ritual dance form of North Kerala, particularly in Kannur and Kasargod districts. The Theyyam represents a mythological, divine or heroic character. Make up of Theyyams is done by specialist. There are different types of face painting for which primarily and secondary colours are used. Therefore it is essential that the makeup man should have perfect knowledge of primary and secondary colour combinations. Sometimes, it takes several hours to paint each face.” by Rafal Ziejewski

                                          Bagan, Maynmar

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                                            “A novice monk reads a buddhist text in an old temple in Began. The light reflected perfectly off the pages of his book and the incense smoke was captured by the beaming light.” by Neil Herbert

                                            Luang Prabang, Laos

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                                              “A Khamu woman walking along a road in Nong Khiau, Laos.” by Paul Wager

                                              Hummingbird in Aruba

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                                                “Blue-Taled Hummingbird lands on the Hibiscus flower.” by Damilice Mansur

                                                National Stadium in Singapore

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                                                  “A group of workers seen on the roof of the new National Stadium of Singapore.” by Tong Leng Liew

                                                  Big Sur, California, USA

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                                                    “This shot is taken by the full moon light. The moon light is coming through a key hole. Only couple of times through the year can capture this.” by Kenji Yamamaura

                                                    Venice, Italy

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                                                      “Venice by morning.” by Vlad Da Cunha

                                                      Istanbul, Turkey

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                                                        “Fisherman smokes from Galata Bridge at sunset.” by Pisati Beniamino

                                                        Featured photo credit: Sunset with a chance of lightning & thunder/Yvan Tran via travel.nationalgeographic.com

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                                                        Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                                                        13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                                                        13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                                                        Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

                                                        Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

                                                        Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

                                                        1. Stress Eating

                                                        I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

                                                        While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

                                                        I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

                                                        If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

                                                        How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

                                                        2. Nail Biting

                                                        Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

                                                        People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

                                                        Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

                                                        For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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                                                        3. Hanging out with Naysayers

                                                        We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

                                                        Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

                                                        Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

                                                        4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

                                                        Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

                                                        While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

                                                        Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

                                                        Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

                                                        5. Smoking

                                                        Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

                                                        In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

                                                        Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

                                                        Smoking risks

                                                          6. Excessive Drinking

                                                          All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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                                                          According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

                                                          • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
                                                          • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
                                                          • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
                                                          • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
                                                          • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

                                                          If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

                                                          If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

                                                          7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

                                                          Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

                                                          If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

                                                          A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

                                                          “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

                                                          And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

                                                          While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

                                                          Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

                                                          Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

                                                          8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

                                                          There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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                                                          In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

                                                          Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

                                                          Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

                                                          9. Watching Too Much TV

                                                          I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

                                                          Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

                                                          Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

                                                          It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

                                                          10. Being Late

                                                          Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

                                                          Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

                                                          Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

                                                          11. Being in Bad Relationships

                                                          Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

                                                          I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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                                                          Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

                                                          12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

                                                          Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

                                                          Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

                                                          Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

                                                          By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

                                                          Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

                                                          13. Focusing on the Negatives

                                                          In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

                                                          Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

                                                          Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

                                                          And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

                                                          The Bottom Line

                                                          So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

                                                          Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

                                                          Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

                                                          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                                          Reference

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