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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 September 18, 2020

                                                                        7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                                                                        7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                                                                        Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                                                                        Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                                                                        1. Exercise Daily

                                                                        It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                                                                        If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                                                                        Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                                                                        If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                                                                        2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                                                                        Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                                                                        One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                                                                        This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                                                                        3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                                                                        Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                                                                        Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                                                                        Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                                                                        4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                                                                        Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                                                                        The basic nutritional advice includes:

                                                                        • Eat unprocessed foods
                                                                        • Eat more veggies
                                                                        • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                                                                        • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                                                                        Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                                                                          5. Watch Out for Travel

                                                                          Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                                                                          This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                                                                          If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                                                                          6. Start Slow

                                                                          Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                                                                          If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                                                                          7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                                                                          Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                                                                          My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                                                                          If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                                                                          I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                                                                          Final Thoughts

                                                                          Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                                                                          Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                                                                          More Tips on Getting in Shape

                                                                          Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                                                                          Reference

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