Tag Archives: vacation

How To Fill The Time While You’re Traveling

What a lot of people don’t tell you about traveling is that it isn’t all fun. Although you get to explore some incredible cities and see new things every day, there are times when you’re waiting around for a bus or sitting on a dark train through the night or trying to get over jet lag at 3AM in an uncomfortable hostel room bed, and at those times, traveling really doesn’t seem like as much fun as it’s cracked up to be! Here are some tips to help you get through the hardest and loneliest parts of traveling the world…

Start Reading

There’s nothing better than an e-reader to get you through some rough times. Download your favourite books to dive into whenever you feel a little blue – try Harry Potter or the Game of Thrones series for exciting reads that you’ll be able to dip in and out of. Not only will it provide you with something to do, but if you don’t feel like talking to anyone then reading is a surefire way to tell them that you’re busy and to back off.

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Get A Streaming App

Streaming apps can enable you to watch movies and TV shows on your devices, whether that’s your smartphone or your tablet. Being able to watch a half-hour comedy on your tablet with your headphones on underneath your sheets as the hostel you’re staying in will help you feel a little more grounded and it’ll put you in a much better mood. ShowBox is a popular app among Android users – the latest version APK download link is here if you want to check it out. Just remember to take an extra charger so your devices don’t run out of juice too quickly.

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Plan Your Trip

One of the best things to do if you feel a little bored and down is to start planning the next phase of your trip. Even if you’re about to head home, why not start a list of the next countries that you plan to visit? If you’re feeling a little lost and you miss your friends and family at home, opening up your guidebook and deciding what attractions and cities you want to visit next will remind you why you wanted to start traveling to begin with. It’s also a good idea to start looking at your budget to make sure that you have a decent money situation – you want to make sure that you can travel in financial comfort.

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Make Friends

Finally, use any moments of loneliness to start making new friends. Other people traveling will be remarkably friendly and could prove to be friends for life – and even if they’re only backpacking friends, that’s okay too. Some people are perfect to have as friends for a certain part of your life before parting with goodwill towards each other. Strike up conversations with people who seem friendly but make sure that you stay on your guard and remember that if any situation makes you feel uncomfortable it’s totally okay to remove yourself from it.

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Destination: Cruise

If you are on a tight budget, and would prefer knowing how much your trip will cost you before even getting to your destination, then you are probably into the idea of going on a cruise! There are several other advantages when choosing to go on a cruise.

  • A cruise is as luxurious as it gets in terms of rooms – It is as moving hotel! Picture this, you have to unpack once, yet you get to see tons of different cities and exotic places. Your room will contain perks such as air-condition, flat-screen TV, a mini-bar, wardrobe space as well as tea and coffee making facilities.image.png
  • You don’t even have to think that far ahead on where to go for drinks or meals as you have several options under one roof. Not just that, but it is included in the price! On top of that, one can enjoy the entertainment provided. From live music, to west-end shows, to quizzes, casino and even stand-up comedy! There is really something for all ages!

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  • You don’t have to do much planning – You just have to be ready to go when the ship comes in. Who doesn’t enjoy being driven around – Less stress, more fun!
  • Traveling on a cruise is most definitely more convenient – You get to enjoy whatever you fancy, move around at your convenience, and appreciate the fresh air! Highly recommended for those who are claustrophobic or afraid of flying!

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  • If you enjoy socialising, going on a cruise is by far the best way to meet new people. People tend to enjoy chatting and getting to know each other, especially when drinking is involved.

There are many destinations to choose from, and you can get on a cruise ship from any continent in the world, as long as it has a port:

  • Sail from Newcastle, UK to the Fjords and Glaciers. This is a dream destination for me when it comes to enjoying a holiday in Northern Europe. This one week long cruise would take you to Flam, Skjolden, Bergen and Olden in Norway. These picturesque villages offer beautiful sightseeing opportunities ranging from mountains, to glaciers, to even historical cobbled streets.

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Nærøyfjord, Norway
  • Leaving from Montenegro Bay in Jamaica, embark a cruise liner for the next 15 days. Enjoy the rainforests in Costa Rica, Panama, the coastline in Colombia, old towns in Cuba, followed by the white sandy beaches in Mexico. This is truly a magnificent way of appreciating the simple life away from modern, hectic America.

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Havana, Cuba
  • The eastern Mediterranean offers so much when it comes to history; A 7 nights cruise would cover stops such as Alanya in Turkey, which is the legendary hangout spot for Queen Cleopatra, the holy sites in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and of course Crete – famous for the Greek mythology remains.

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Alanya, Turkey
 

Personally, I like the idea of going on a cruise, to relax and sample destinations. This way, I can decide which localities are worth revisiting for a longer time period in the future.

Things a’changing

There are days, when I question things about my life, and my choices. Today has been one of these forsaken days. Actually, I have been at it since 3AM, but that is beyond my point.

I was thinking about back in 2011, when I had my first Christmas alone, living far away from my family, friends, and on top of that, in another country – How courageous was I, to take such a big leap, leaving everything and everyone behind!

Before then, I have never lived alone, and I had no idea about the kind of responsibility and effort it entails to live and make ends meet at the end of the day, and month when all bills came crawling up. I have done a great job, and learned a lot from this experience.

When I have moved back to Malta, I was not willing to move back with the family, as I enjoyed my independent life too much to let go of it. So much so, that within a year of renting, I purchased my own property.

Although this made sense financially, this has indirectly tied me to this country without even realising at the time. Now that I have settled down in such a “grown up” lifestyle, it seems to me that I have become more self conscious when taking decisions. And I shall give you an example. This week, I was meant to travel, but my plans fell apart, and I have decided to give up the holiday based on two reasons:
1. I should not travel alone at night
2. Accommodation has risen up in price (it also being Christmas holidays, and included NYE), and a last minute purchase would have costed me my entire savings for my holiday.

If I did not have my house to worry about, and if I were not such a wuss, I would be in the UK right now, enjoying cold weather, possibly fog and snow, and beautiful beautiful scenery. How silly am I? Where has all my self confidence gone? What has tarnished my spirit in such a way?

And if you are wondering why I wrote this and why I am sharing this with my readers, it is because I want to be able to read this whenever I need to, so I do not repeat such thing ever again. And also, to try to keep reminding myself that not all my decisions in the past years have been as bad.

Now to try and live life guilt free… and keep moving forward… >>>

Christmassy?

7 years ago, back when I used to write a lot of poems, I wrote the below. It still makes a lot of sense to me… How do you feel about this time of the year?

Winter weather Nov 30thChristmas is near –
Some hold it dear
Others regret it
They can’t bare it.

Celebrations
are on their way,
Finances
go down the drain.

Everyone spending
Everyone drinking
either out of pleasure
or depression.

Christmas spirit
I can’t feel it,
Where did it go?
Not there anymore.

All it is to me
Is holidays and booze
I should let it be,
How about you?

2009.12.23

What Does The Science Say About Staying Happy At Work?

A lack of happiness in the workplace is a big issue. So it won’t come as any surprise that scientists are trying to figure out what makes workers see the brighter side of life. Unhappy employees lead to high rates of absenteeism and high turnover and it all damages business’s bottom lines.

So how does one create a happy workplace? It all comes down to positive psychology and positive emotions. It’s the reverse to how we usually think about our mental wellbeing. We see mental health as all the things that can go wrong with our minds. But positive psychology is different, It asks what we can do to actively make ourselves happy.

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The findings from this field are relevant and can be applied to the workplace. Let’s take a look at some of the field’s most pertinent conclusions.

Positive Emotions Are Contagious

In one study researchers wanted to find out if positive emotions were contagious. They set up a group situation and planted an actor in its midst. The actor was trained by the researchers to exude positivity in the group setting. The researchers found that the person acting positively transmitted their positivity to others. The group experienced less conflict, more cooperation and better performance in doing tasks.

It showed that being around positive people really does have an impact on workplace productivity and wellbeing. Being around happy people rubs off on the rest of us misery guts.

Small Actions Have A Big Impact On Personal Happiness

You might think that in order to achieve happiness, something incredible has to happen – like winning the lottery. But the evidence suggests that people react far more positively to the smaller things. This is great news for employers, as it means that they don’t have to spend vast sums of money trying to make their workers happier.

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Take bereavement for example. As the bereavement leave guide by Peninsula Group explains, employers don’t have a duty to provide workers with time off right now. But employers who allow compassionate leave can help to improve the wellbeing of their employees enormously. Small gestures like this are surprisingly effective. So too as things like making lists of all the good things a worker did or writing a letter saying how much a worker helped you.

The Unexpected Makes Us Happy

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When good things happen to us that we didn’t predict, it makes us a lot happier. The researchers found that people’s happiness centres lit up more on MRI scans when positive stimuli were unexpected.

At work, managers often create very predictable happiness programmes for their employees. They organise summer and Christmas parties. They give out bonuses. And they organise team events. But when it comes to happiness, this might not be the best strategy. It might be better, in fact, to make your happiness activities more random and to surprise your employees.

Random acts of kindness around the workplace seems to be the way to go. You could surprise a high-performing employee with a reward. Or you could give workers a surprise trip out of the office to a local theme park. The possibilities are endless.

So Many People Make These Mistakes With Their Trip To Canada: Don’t Be One Of Them!

Canada is one of the most popular countries in the world to visit. After all, it’s one of the most picturesque places you can go with dozens of lakes and mountains. And the cities are fantastic to take a look at with so much to see and do. However, so many people make mistakes with their vacation to Canada. Here are some things you should avoid doing when you make a trip to the country!

They don’t travel around by bike

You will be surprised how many people have to pay out to rent a car while on their holiday. But it’s often an essential while in Canada as you want to get out exploring while you are on your vacation. However, you should consider hiring a bike instead. While you are biking, you get to view amazing sights around you. Biking instead of going in a car means you can get to more secluded areas where you can see beautiful surroundings. Also, having a bike is so much easier to get around the cities such as Vancouver. Therefore, don’t make the mistake of hiring a car when you can get around much easier with a bike!

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They think it’s the same as America

A lot of people group America and Canada together as the same place! But it’s not the same, and the rules differ. For example, you won’t be able to use your dollars in the country; they have their own unique currency (Canadian dollars). They also have different rules to the USA when it comes to drinking. A lot of places you can actually drink at 18, unlike our rule of 21. Also, not everyone speaks English in Canada. A proportion of the people in America speak French, so it’s best to learn some basic words for your trip. Also, just because you are American, it doesn’t mean you can legally get into the country with just your passport. You might need to apply for an Official Canada eTA so that you can make a trip to the country. You can look online to see if you are required to get one when traveling from your state. You don’t want to end up stuck at the airport as you don’t have the right documents!

They think everywhere is within close distance

Did you know that Canada is actually much bigger than America? It has fewer people living there, but there is a lot more land! In fact, it’s one of the largest countries in the world. However, a lot of people don’t realize that, so they head to Canada thinking that everything is within close distance. But you need to check exactly where you are staying and how far away things are located before you book. For example, Vancouver and Toronto are actually a five-hour flight away from each other! Therefore, choose wisely where you want to stay. If you want to enjoy Niagara Falls while on your trip, you should choose Toronto. That way, you can enjoy famous landmarks like the CN Tower, while only being an hour and a half away from the magnificent waterfall.

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And don’t just stay in the cities while you are in Canada. There is so much more on offer in the beautiful countryside.

Post-college Travel: How Can You Afford It?

Post-college graduation is an excellent time for you to start traveling. You have a great education and the means to make some money. You might not set off on your travels right away, but maybe you’re desperate to start making some trips. The only problem is, you might not be making too much money after college. Plus, many people have mountains of debt they have to overcome. So if you want to travel after college, how can you afford it? Fortunately, you have lots of options to make travel affordable. Try some of these techniques to ensure you can see the world.

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Deal with Your Student Debt

When you first leave college, one of your greatest concerns is probably your student debt. It’s hanging over your head, and you want to get rid of it as soon as possible. But there’s a lot of it, and you have other expenses to take care of too. How can you travel when you have so much money to repay? The first thing you should do is look into Obama student loan forgiveness. You might be able to have some or all of your debt removed so you no longer have to repay. The next thing to do is consider consolidating your loans or managing them in another way. Create a budget to ensure you’re making timely payment.

Lock Down a Job First

Going traveling straight after graduation sounds great. However, you’re unlikely to have much money. Maybe your parents will be kind enough to loan or gift you some. But once it’s run out, that’s it. Before you set off on your travels, it’s a good idea to find your first post-college job. Here’s the crucial part: you need one with good vacation time. Of course, that shouldn’t be your only criterion. But a steady income coupled with flexible vacation time will allow you to travel more.

Travel Frugally

Traveling doesn’t have to mean 5-star hotel and first class flights. You can see so much more if you’re willing to budget your travels properly. You can save by staying in hostels or even camping. You can find cheap places to eat or perhaps avoid eating out altogether. If you stay in a hostel or maybe a homestay, you can cook for yourself. Book your trips at the right times to get the best deals. Go to the right destinations too, where you can get more for your money.

Combine Work and Travel

Here’s another idea: work as you travel. You can look for work programs in various countries that allow you to experience a new country and earn money. You could work as an au pair or in hospitality. There’s seasonal work and other opportunities. You could also consider volunteering or combining travel with studying. You can get experience in the workforce while also gaining life experience. You might even learn a new language.

Traveling after college is achievable if you go about it in the right way. Consider your dreams carefully to plan them successfully.

Find Your Centers Of Spirituality Around The World

Human nature leads many of us to find spirituality during our lives. You may seek religion, meditation, or community. Whatever your choices in life, it can be a wonderful experience to seek out other centers of spirituality. We’re all different, but many of us are united in our love for travel. Why not check out some of these wonderful places next time you take a vacation?

India

The Garhwal region is home to four of the holy shrines of Hinduism collectively known as Chota Char Dham. The area itself is stunning. Just being here can be an experience you’ll never want to forget. The landscape is so beautiful and so peaceful, it’s no wonder people come here to explore the spirituality of the region. The rivers here are very significant, so it’s worth making an effort to explore their paths.

You can also find an important center for Yoga here, with many options for a retreat. If you enjoy the physical side of Yoga practice why not come to explore the internal or spiritual side? If nothing else, it’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with new people. Cities like Mumbai offer plenty of fascinating temples to visit as well. Some are an integral part of beautiful cave systems. Others are magnificent stone structures of extraordinary architectural design.

United Kingdom

Stonehenge is a mystery. It has been there for thousands of years, but nobody can determine with certainty why. Even more mysterious is the answer to the question how. It doesn’t seem to be humanly possible for the stones to have been erected in that place at that time. Yet they exist, and they continue to be an important center of spirituality for people all over the world. The position of the sun has been successfully charted using these giant standing stones. This makes it an important place for gathering during the solstice.

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Standing stones are more common than you think in the UK. Orkney’s Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar are Neolithic. These ancient structures must have been incredibly important to our ancestors. It was during a time when life on earth here would have been harsh. While they don’t draw as many visitors as the Salisbury Plains, the atmosphere here is no less captivating.

Egypt

Ancient Egyptians worshiped their pharaohs but also had deeply held beliefs of their other gods and deities. Animal shaped statues and ornaments are still revered, and many are on display for visitors to see. The connection to their past is still highly regarded by modern-day Egyptians. But is it perhaps the magnificent pyramids, like those at Giza, that we marvel at.

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Getting in touch with an ancient culture’s spirituality is more than just an educational experience. It can be a route to finding your own interests and perhaps even the roots of some of your own ideals. More than anything it is a connection to past civilizations not so distant from our own.

We all find spirituality, faith, and connection in different ways and in different places. Why not add a few more places to your list?

 

What’s Up

My blog is a priority to me, however there are times and things that surpass my blogs. Such things are travelling and starting a new job; which in this case are very, very true.

In the last month and a half, I have taken time travel and in total I have visited 5 countries in almost 3 weeks. This has not only led me to learn new things about different cultures and do plenty of sightseeing, but also helped into finding myself again. To me, traveling is the very best thing. It is new and exciting… an adventure!

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For more photos of my travels and my endeavors please follow me on Instagram: SteffiWorld.

After making it back to Malta, I have spent a few days catching up with friends, doing the laundry and relaxing. This is because two weeks ago, it was time for me to change my job. This time, my role is Reporting Specialist, which is highly focused on reporting – gathering data and specs, creating the reports and reconciling. It is a very exciting role as there are a lot of changes going on, and my role is a part of it, and in two years time, I am hoping to see myself in a managerial position. I have been aiming for this for some time, and it has gone unnoticed in my past job, so I am very happy to be in this position now.

I have noticed in the past weeks, that my followers on WordPress have been increasing exponentially which is great to say the least. While I would like to welcome you all to my humble blog of anything that comes to mind, I would also like to excuse myself for the lack of writing, and hope that going forward I will have more energy to entertain you!

Travelling Abroad With Kids

 

Family holidays are what memories are made of; fun in the pool, ice creams and sand castles on the beach. But taking young children on holiday requires a fair amount of planning and consideration. To keep your holiday fun-filled while keeping safe and everything running as smoothly as possible, here are a few things to bear in mind.

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Get Vaccinations Up To Date

You won’t always need specific vaccinations when you’re travelling abroad depending on where you’re going. However children should be vaccinated with their regular childhood immunisations. Ideally they will be vaccinated at the routine times for their age, although if you are due to travel abroad it’s likely that these will need to be done more quickly. It’s important be be aware that not all travel related vaccines are effective in infants, and in some cases they may not be recommended at all due to the risk of doing more harm than good. Making sure your child’s regular immunisations are all up to date before travelling is important, for the full list of jabs they need check out this.

 

Hire a Car

It’s no secret that young children get restless quickly. Instead of lugging them (and all of their stuff) onto public transport you might find it’s easier to hire a car. You can load everything into the boot before you leave each day, and you have much more control of getting from A to B. Most car hire companies will offer hire of children’s car seats and booster seats too, giving you one less thing to pack.

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Get The Right Visas

A huge number of countries require Visas before you’re able to enter. For example if you’re from outside the US, you’ll require an American Visa application in order to visit. Both accompanied and unaccompanied children no matter what their age require their own independant Visa. It’s quick and easy to do, most are granted online within seconds although it’s recommended that you do this seventy two hours before you’re due to fly. The same applies if you’re an American looking to leave the US, you and the children will require Visas for a large proportion of places- so make sure that’s all sorted in advance. Something to bear in mind when you’re travelling abroad with kids, as they won’t just be covered under your paperwork.

 

Plan Activities

Having a rough idea of what you want to do while you’re away (with the willingness to be flexible) can help to add some structure to the chaotic fun. Don’t try and cram in too much, instead choose a few key activities and assign them to certain days. Leave plenty of time before and after each trip or excursion to relax and rest.

 

Choose The Right Travel Insurance

In most cases you will be able to get cover through a family policy but it’s important to read through carefully, or you could end up out of pocket if you need to make a claim. You will need something with a high level of medical cover, and which includes all of the activities your children will be doing on holiday. This is why it’s worth spending time on the point above and planning some activities beforehand, so you have an idea of what you’ll be doing. Swimming, biking, outdoor games- make sure they are all included. Don’t skimp to get a cheaper premium cost, you’re much better off making sure they’re completely covered.