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Travel Hack: Make Your Own Content

Travel Hack: Make Your Own Content

Summer’s coming and you might be getting ready to take a long trip, either on the road or perhaps a long flight to Grandma’s place. If you’ve got kids along for the ride, you know that keeping them occupied is a strong element of your own satisfaction with the journey itself. Here are some ideas on making your own content for the trip.

Materials

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  • Home computer (relatively updated) with CD burner (or a portable MP3 player, if you go digital)
  • Audio recording software (Audacity is free for PC or Mac)
  • A microphone (either your built-in, a desktop mic, whatever)
  • CD burning software (if you want to make an audio CD)
  • Books to read, magazine articles, something to talk about
  • Music (that you have purchased, own, etc- don’t sue me RIAA)
  • The family

Now What?

That depends on who’s going to be listening. I’ve got a four year old daughter and a 3 month old son. My daughter isn’t yet into chapter books, so in my case, it’d be fun to read stories into the mic, and let her listen along. Mix some music in there, and we’ve got a production. Using sound recording software is fairly easy, especially if it’s just for your own consumption. There’s a record button, a pause, a stop. It’s fairly straightforward.

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Record Billy Goats Gruff using all the funny voices you can muster. Read the next chapter of Harry Potter in your own voice, with your own effects. Sing along to the music, and better still, get the kids to help out!

Now, what becomes an additional fun part of this hack is that you can get your kids to do some of the recording with you. Sit them in front of the microphone, and now you’ve stretched the experience into the recording sessions, and also their consumption of their own voice when they get to the car.

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I won’t address older kids because they tend to have their own media to consume, but obviously, you can mix and match into this things that would be of interest to other people in the vehicle. Don’t forget yourself and your significant other. Feel free to mix in short bits that are pertinent to yourself, including a song or two that’s kid-safe but more for you than them.

Why This Works

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As I mentioned, part of the pain of travel is doing something to keep the kids engaged enough that they don’t suffer, and that their suffering doesn’t spill over into being your problem. Some famlies do well playing travel games, like spelling the alphabet over and over based on any text they can see out the window (I’ve occasionally been tempted to cheat and write “Q” on a napkin and hold it out the window).

But the beauty of this hack is that by getting the family into the act of creating the content, there’s much more reason for them to want to listen to it while on the road. Further, when all is said and done, the disc or mp3 files become a kind of soundtrack for the trip that you can later incorporate into a multimedia project later on. Imagine using bits of your newly created content along with some of the video and images you’ve snapped to send Gramma and Grandpa a new DVD of the family to watch.

Now, remix this. How would YOU add to this hack?

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Last Updated on May 15, 2019

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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