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6 Reasons to Travel When You Graduate

6 Reasons to Travel When You Graduate

Those of a certain age always have memories of times where things were simpler, but as a college or graduate student, those times can seem like less of a reality. The ability to do adventures, like travel, can seem like a “luxurious hobby” rather than something actionable. It may be hard to believe, but this is the perfect time for you to travel. A desire to see the world is all you need, and here are six reasons why you should consider going abroad sooner rather than later.

Traveling Young Offers More Opportunities

The thought of going to a foreign country may seem unthinkable, but the younger you are (especially after the age of 18), the more opportunities you are given to travel abroad for a lower cost or even for free.

The most common option is studying abroad. While the rules of studying abroad differ depending on the university you attend, it often involves studying for a short-term in a foreign university with English-speaking professors. You are given the time to explore and experience the country for the 4 – 8 months you’re there. There are various scholarships and grants available for those studying abroad as well, which makes it more economical.

Volunteering can make a summer, winter, or Gap Year break more worthwhile. Various organizations provide opportunities to help those underprivileged or just in need of assistance. From providing a hand on a sheep farm in Australia to helping kids in third world countries with Operation Smile, the opportunities available allow you to help others and experience the world at no or a low cost.

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Traveling Allows You to Discover Yourself

You’d be surprised how many individuals I’ve met while abroad who have mentioned how much travel influenced their life course. Helping out on a farm could expose you to the experiences that may want you to switch your major. Maybe that all-expenses-paid teaching job in South Korea pulled at your heartstrings and made you want to pursue a career in education. The experiences you are given through travel while young, can truly shape what you want to do when you’re age becomes more advanced.

Traveling Increase Your Confidence

Last month, I was about to leave a hotel and wanted to have a final look-around to ensure I didn’t forget anything. I did have everything, but one important item: my travel pack, which had my wallet and passport. I freaked inwardly but was in action mode outwardly.

When I finally recovered the pack in the nick of time, relief wasn’t the only thing that came over me. This experience, a little fifteen-minute sliver of my two-week trip, taught me lessons of independence and the ever-useful life lesson of thinking on your toes about how to handle a problem in a mature way.

It may seem like a small experience to those who haven’t traveled, but to a traveler, your wallet and passport are the two things that ensure you have a place to stay thousands of miles away from home and your symbol as an American traveler.

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As a traveler, you’ll experience situations when you have to think on your feet or be placed in an awkward, lost-in-translation experience. This is what creates confident individuals in the end, who have broken out of their shell. This is something that can only be experienced when you have the time and energy of a young adult.

Traveling Young Breaks the Tourist Mold

Extending on the point made above, traveling young is the perfect time to become a true traveler, not simply a tourist. A tourist is someone who fears the alternative path, opting for popular sightseeing before returning to his or her four-star hotel. A traveler doesn’t have a problem staying in a hostel or two-star hotel, and taking the path less traveled. These are the acts that allow a young traveler to experience what others may not.

While your friends, with their wives and kids, may have their best memories of their latest trip to Egypt riding the camels while viewing the pyramids, yours as a young traveler may be trying new delicacies before playing an impromptu game of soccer with your new Egyptian friends.

The difference between a tourist and a traveler isn’t always based on the places visited, but more on the experiences and connections taken from where you’ve been. This may not be possible with having two little travel companions and a spouse.

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Traveling Advances You Professionally

When exposed to a foreign language, the longer you find yourself abroad, the more of the language you absorb.

Those who haven’t traveled before may find it unimaginable how native English speakers can leave the United States with only basic conversational skills and come back in a couple of months with a professional level command of the language.

Going abroad puts you in situations when you learn words as you go along. When a traveler has a basic exposure to the language and its rules before leaving the states, they have a higher chance of coming back with a better command of it. This is by no means a useless feature of an employable adult.

Various companies, both in the private sector and in the government, are clamoring over young adults who can speak a second language. This could prove to your parents that your year abroad in Morocco could reap much larger rewards once you return home!

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Traveling Allows You to Put Myths to Rest

Finally, and best of all, traveling young when your worldview is still being molded can allow you to become an advocate against the myths and misconceptions that may be placed on the country you visited. You experience firsthand how the people in that country viewed you as an American, as a woman, or as a young adult.

Returning from such a country, you are able to either quash or provide a different perspective to myths about a country. Not all individuals are painted with the same brush stroke, and travel allows you to grow compassion and common ground with those who aren’t the same as you. This is by far the best lesson of a young traveler.

So what’s keeping you from traveling? Let us know in the comments below and let’s start a conversation.

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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