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8 Unusual Winter Holiday Destinations

8 Unusual Winter Holiday Destinations

So you are looking for a place to spend winter holidays, but all the usual locations suddenly seem too dull and predictable? Why not try something new? Take a look at this list, and perhaps it will give you some inspiration!

1. Venice, Italy

Venice is usually associated with hot Italian sun, trips in gondolas and warm Mediterranean sea; why on Earth go there in winter? Well, for once, Venice is beautiful at any time of the year, but in the winter it is far less crowded and, therefore, accommodations (found via Wimdu, for example) are much more affordable. Moreover, there are things you will find there only in the winter—like the world-famous Venetian Carnival that takes place in February.

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    2. Germany

    When choosing a winter holiday location, one usually tends to select something tropical, with a lot of sun, cheap cocktails and sandy beaches… and gets bored to death halfway through. If you are looking for a place with a rich set of winter, New Year and Christmas traditions, Germany is your choice. Festivals like Waldkirchen Rauhnacht, Bischofsgrün Snowman Festival or Maschkera carnival in Alpenwelt Karwendel, traditional pastimes like sled racing, unique atmosphere of an ancient European country—all this you won’t find anywhere or anytime else.

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      3. Oman

      Oman is an excellent choice for those who want to catch a bit of sun while doing lots and lots of sightseeing. Only a couple of decades ago it was one of the most backwards and isolated societies in the world, but today it turned into a fascinating travel destination with a genuine Middle-Eastern feel without the maddeningly high prices of some of their more illustrious neighbors. Medieval forts, excellent beaches, sea and mountains—no matter where your preferences lie, Oman has something to offer.

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        4. Jamaica

        Looking for a bit of a really relaxed lifestyle? Try out Jamaica. Although the weather is excellent all year round, there are some unique reasons to choose winter for your visit. Seasonal attractions like Negril Reggae Marathon, Reggae Month in February, Jamaican Jazz & Blues Festival in January/February, Fat Tyre Festival—whether you are look for an athletic tour or music, Jamaica is the place for you to be.

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          5. The Gambia

          Not really a buzz word when it comes to holidays, eh? Yet the Gambia may be one of the best places to go in winter if you it is value for money you are after. Cheap hotels, fantastic yet not crowded beaches, affordable wildlife excursions, bird watching tours, river tours, bush camp accommodations—in other words, a nice choice if you are looking for something yet untried.

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            6. Cape Town, South Africa

            An excellent combination of perfect summer weather, stunning mountain views and a lot of opportunities to sample local culture: trips to famous South African vineyards paired with chocolate tastings, nature reserves, all kinds of accommodations, from luxury hotels to treetop villages and teepees, shark diving—there is a lot more in Cape Town than guidebooks are ready to tell!

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              7. Canada

              Canadian resorts are among the most underrated in the whole world—perhaps people are not keen on freezing a little bit extra when they are already cold. Yet to those not faint of heart Canada has a lot to offer: spectacular views, unspoiled nature, excellent food and wine, isolated accommodations for those willing to take a break from people, dog-sledding and snowmobiling. In other words, Canada is a place to go if you want to experience a bit of a real winter.

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                8. Kenya

                Want a taste of adventure without freezing your ears off? Classical safaris in Kenya may be the answer to your urge: great choice of game drives, horse-riding tours, walking safaris, mountain climbing, training courses of Maasai warriors—take your pick.

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                  Holidays are not always about frying on a beach all day long—if you have a bit of imagination you will be able to find thousands of ways to spend your time in a way you’ve never done before. We hope this list will be of help—make your choice and have a good time!

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                  Melissa Burns

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                  Last Updated on December 2, 2018

                  How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                  How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                  Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

                  The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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                  The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

                  Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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                  Review Your Past Flow

                  Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

                  Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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                  Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

                  Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

                  Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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                  Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

                  Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

                  We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

                  Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

                    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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