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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 November 9, 2020

                                                                        10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                                                                        10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                                                                        Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

                                                                        Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

                                                                        Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

                                                                        If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

                                                                        Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

                                                                        1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

                                                                        Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

                                                                        Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

                                                                        Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

                                                                        2. No Motivation

                                                                        Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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                                                                        This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

                                                                        If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

                                                                        3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

                                                                        Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

                                                                        A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

                                                                        A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

                                                                        The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

                                                                        4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

                                                                        One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

                                                                        We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

                                                                        Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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                                                                        You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

                                                                        5. Upward Comparisons

                                                                        Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

                                                                        The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

                                                                        These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

                                                                        Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

                                                                        6. No Alternative

                                                                        This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

                                                                        Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

                                                                        Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

                                                                        Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

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                                                                        7. Stress

                                                                        As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

                                                                        When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

                                                                        We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

                                                                        If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

                                                                        8. Sense of Failure

                                                                        People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

                                                                        Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

                                                                        Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

                                                                        If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

                                                                        9. The Need to Be All-New

                                                                        People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

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                                                                        These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

                                                                        10. Force of Habit

                                                                        Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

                                                                        Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

                                                                        These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

                                                                        Final Thoughts

                                                                        These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

                                                                        There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

                                                                        More on Breaking Bad Habits

                                                                        Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

                                                                        Reference

                                                                        [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
                                                                        [2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
                                                                        [3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

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