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35 Most Exotic Destinations For Your Next Vacation

35 Most Exotic Destinations For Your Next Vacation

We live on a beautiful planet that offers many stunning landscapes, tropical paradises, mist shrouded volcanoes and unbelievable beaches. Raising a toast to the explorer within you, here are a few exotic getaways for you to consider for your next vacation.

1. Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Simply known as Boka, this winding bay will engulf you with its emerald waters and picturesque mountains. The shoreline houses beautiful medieval towns like Perast, where you can stop for a meal and interact with the locals.

BayOfKotorMontenegro

     2. Petra, Jordan

    Rising out of a cliff between the Red and Dead Sea, the lost city of Petra still has secrets to reveal. It has several tombs and carved structures spread across a sandy landscape. Many scenes from the Hollywood blockbuster Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were filmed here.

    PetraJordan

      3. Longsheng Rice Terrace, China

      These stunningly beautiful terraced rice fields received the name of Dragon’s Backbone because the rice terraces resemble a dragon’s scales while the summit of the mountain range looks like the backbone of the dragon.

      DragonsBackboneChina

        4. Gozo, Malta

        The enchanting island of Gozo is an integral part of the Maltese archipelago. Besides being one of the top diving destinations in the Mediterranean, it boasts of mystical backwaters, historical forts and amazing panoramas.

        GozoMalta

          5. The Great Blue Hole, Belize

          This submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize is in every scuba diver’s bucket list. Even if you are not into enjoying a myriad of species underwater, it’s totally worth flying over the Blue Hole for a breathtaking view.

          GreatBlueHoleBelize

             6. Amer fort, India

            A majestic structure sprawling on a hilltop, Amer fort’s architecture is a magnificent blend of Mughal and Hindu influences. Made out of red sandstone and white marble, it consists of a series of courtyards, palaces, halls, and gardens.

            AmberFortIndia1

              7. Forest of Knives, Madagascar

              It is truly intriguing that wildlife can happily exist amidst razor sharp vertical rocks in this mesmerizing forest. You can hike around the bizarre pinnacles of limestone and observe different kinds of birds and lemurs.

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              Les grands Tsingy, 250 km de long

                8. Namje, Nepal

                There are no roads to Namje. The only way to get to the Nepalese village is along a series of footpaths with views of Mount Makalu, the world’s fifth-tallest peak.

                NamjeNepal

                  9. Taha’a, French Polynesia

                  Most people head to Bora Bora or Tahiti, but why not explore the intimate and exquisite island of Taha’a instead? The landscape is dotted with several vanilla plantations and traditional pearl farm huts.

                  Tahaa

                    10. Porto Heli, Greece

                    From lush olive groves to perfect bays, every scene seems as if it was lifted from a postcard. The calm beaches are ideal for sunbathing and frolicking.

                    PortoHeliGreece

                      11. Pisco Elqui, Chile

                      Those who love to star gaze, look no further than the clearest skies in Pisco Elqui. Surrounded by magnificent Andean mountains, this Chilean village enjoys perfect weather year round.

                      PiscoElquiChile

                        12. Cappadocia, Turkey

                        Known as Turkey’s most visually striking region, Cappadocia offers caves, clefts, pinnacles and ‘fairy chimneys’ (pointed rock formations). Volcanic eruptions formed this surreal moonscape.

                        CappadociaTurkey1

                          13. Con Dao Island, Vietnam

                          In addition to hiking and exploring empty coastal roads and deserted beaches, there are some excellent wildlife-watching opportunities in the islands of Con Dao. Most of the land area is part of Con Dao National Park, which protects Vietnam’s most important sea turtle nesting grounds.

                          ConDaoVietnam

                            14. Timgad, Algeria

                            This Roman colonial town founded by Emperor Trajan in AD100 is a UNESCO world heritage site. Centuries later, it still represents the embodiment of Roman urban planning.

                            TimgadAlgeria

                              15. The Cook Islands

                              Many are of the opinion that Cook Islands are the best kept secret in the Pacific Ocean. The 15 islands are scattered over a vast expanse of seductive and sensuous ocean, boasting of idyllic climate and rare beauty.

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                              CookIslands

                                16. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

                                Built by the Khymer civilization, Angkor Wat is the most famed Cambodian temple, which even appears on its national flag. The architectural genius unfolds many enduring tales of Cambodian history.

                                AngkorWat

                                  17. Fiji

                                  No list of exotic destinations can be complete without mention of Fiji, an archipelago of over 300 islands in the South Pacific Ocean. Besides pristine white sandy beaches and fish-packed coral reefs, there is ample opportunity to climb a mountain, soak in a hot spring or explore a village.

                                  Fiji

                                    18. Isle of Skye, Scotland

                                    The stunning scenery in the backdrop of the misty Cuillin hills offers beautiful hikes and spectacular photos.

                                    IsleOfSkye

                                      19. Yellowstone National Park, USA

                                      Home to the famous “Old faithful” geyser, Yellowstone still remains an unspoiled natural beauty. You are bound to see legendary wildlife wherever you go, be it grizzly bears, wolves or antelopes.

                                      YellowStoneUSA

                                        20. Bagan, Burma

                                        Bagan boast of the largest and densest concentration of Buddhist temples and stupas in the world. For an unparalleled view, you can take a hot air balloon ride at sunrise.

                                        BaganBurma

                                          21. Mount Roraima, Venezuela

                                          Inspiration to Conan Doyle’s Lost World and Avatar, this place is an extraordinary natural geologic formation. It serves as the natural border between Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana in South America.

                                          MountRoraimaVenezuela

                                            22. Cano Cristales, Colombia

                                            Known as the most beautiful river in the world and the “Liquid Rainbow”, this Colombian wonder is a must visit if you are heading to South America. The best time to travel is July – November when the river bed is full of gaudy colors like green, yellow, blue, black and red.

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                                            12184783195_1b3aab6012_k

                                              23. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

                                              The world largest salt flat is breathtaking, especially after rain when it creates a mirror effect. The salt is about 10 meters thick in the center.

                                              SalarDeUyuniBolivia

                                                24. Panjin Red Beach, China

                                                Red Beach is located in the highest wetland and reed marsh in the world. It is vividly red and not covered in sand at all. The color is from a type of sea weed called Sueda, which stays green during summer and turns red in autumn.

                                                PanjinRedBeachChina

                                                  25. Socotra,Yemen

                                                  Isolated Socotra looks like a sci-fi movie set. It is home to 800 rare species of flora and fauna, about a third of which is not found anywhere else in the world.

                                                  SocotraYemen

                                                    26. Whitehaven Beach, Australia

                                                    When you sink your feet into white silica sand that is amongst the purest in the world, you will know why people come here from all over the world.

                                                    WhitehavenBeachAustralia

                                                      27. Lake Baikal, Russia

                                                      The world’s oldest and deepest lake is an ice-lovers paradise. Adventuresome tourists have driven and walked over the frozen lake, but you can kayak, skate or bike.

                                                      LakeBaikal

                                                        28. Giant’s Causeway, Ireland

                                                        Resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, Giant’s Causeway is an integral part of Ireland’s heritage. The most characteristic feature of the site is the exposure of large, regularly shaped polygonal columns of basalt in perfect horizontal sections.

                                                        GiantsCausewayIreland

                                                          29. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

                                                          There is something magical and mystical about castles, especially the Neuschwanstein, which is an inspiration to Disney’s Cinderella castle. It reflects the eccentric life of King Ludwik who withdrew into a world of myth upon losing his sovereignty.

                                                          NeuschwansteinCastleGermany

                                                            30. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Japan

                                                            There is a reason why camera-clutching tourists shuffle their way through soaring stalks of bamboo. But the pictures don’t do justice, so add this to your list of “places to see before you die”.

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                                                            ArashiyamaBambooJapan

                                                              31. Lake Retba, Senegal

                                                              Easily mistaken for a pool of strawberry milkshake, the bizarre color of lake Retba is actually a natural phenomenon. Thanks to its high salt concentration, it is a habitat for salt-loving microorganisms that bring out the pink colorization.

                                                              LakeRetbaSenegal

                                                                32. Badab-e Surt, Iran

                                                                The travertine (a sedimentary rock deposited by flowing water from two distinct mineral springs) terrace is a scenic natural wonder in the highlands of northern Iran.

                                                                BadabESurtIran

                                                                  33. Sossusvlei, Namibia

                                                                  Lifted from a dream, Sossusvlei is full of picturesque sand dunes surrounded by clay pans. The most surreal attraction is the Deadvlei, where the dead acacia trees contrast the white shiny salty floor of the pan.

                                                                  Deadvlei

                                                                    34. Derweze, Turkmenistan

                                                                    Wish to stand at “Hell’s door?” Head to Derweze, a giant illuminated hole rich in natural gas, in the middle of the Karakum dessert. The crater is made by geologists more than 40 years ago, and the flames within have been burning ever since.

                                                                    Derweze

                                                                      35. Fregate Island, Seychelles

                                                                      The private island of Fregate is an ultimate honeymooner’s delight. It is one of the world’s most exclusive resorts with seven pristine beaches to choose from. Simply close your eyes and think idyllic.

                                                                      FregateIslandSeychelles

                                                                        All pictures in this post are from Flickr Commons, license 2.0.

                                                                        Featured photo credit: Intercontinental Bora Bora – Sunrise via flickr.com

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                                                                        Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                                                                        How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                                                        How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                                                        We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                                                                        We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                                                                        So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                                                                        Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                                                                        What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                                                                        Boundaries are limits

                                                                        —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                                                                        Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                                                                        Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                                                                        Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                                                                        Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                                                                        How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                                                                        Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                                                                        1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                                                                        Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                                                                        You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                                                                        To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                                                                        You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                                                                        • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                                                                        • When do you feel disrespected?
                                                                        • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                                                                        • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                                                                        • When do you want to be alone?
                                                                        • How much space do you need?

                                                                        You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                                                                        2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                                                                        Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                                                                        Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                                                                        3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                                                                        Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                                                                        That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                                                                        Sample language:

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                                                                        • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                                                                        • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                                                                        • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                                                                        • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                                                                        • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                                                                        • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                                                                        • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                                                                        Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                                                                        4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                                                                        Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                                                                        Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                                                                        Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                                                                        We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                                                                        It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                                                                        It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                                                                        Final Thoughts

                                                                        Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                                                                        Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                                                                        Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                                                                        The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                                                                        Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                                                                        Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                                                                        They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                                                                        Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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