Yes, you can afford to travel 0 1656

Traveling is not a luxury activity for the one percent, it is an obtainable goal at any budget. Staying in five-star hotels and rarely leaving the resort is not traveling, it’s a vacation. Traveling is about getting to know a culture and stepping outside of your comfort zone, not ordering room service. You don’t have to sell your kidney on the black market to afford to travel. Learn some of best travel secrets to afford to globetrot across the world. Here are 10 travel tips everyone should know about traveling on a budget.

  1. Adjust your Spending Habits

Budgeting for travel doesn’t mean you have to spend every night at home eating cup-of-noodles. It is about prioritizing your spending. Stop spending money on things and start spending money on experiences. Don’t waste your money on material items, spend it going out with friends. And when you have to buy a sofa at the second-hand store it won’t seem so important when you have a life filled with experiences rather than a storage unit full of lamps and sofas.

  1. Travel Strategically

Culture, beauty, and adventure can be found in just about every corner of the world, so deciding where to travel can be daunting. Narrow it down by researching countries that are affordable for your budget. For beach destinations, don’t travel to Malibu or the French Riviera, instead visit the coast of Colombia or the beaches of Montenegro. When traveling to Asia, consider options such as Vietnam and Thailand rather than Japan for example. There are hidden gems in countries you would never expect. Looking for the road less traveled has many benefits, and saving money is top on the list.

  1. Travel Off-Season

Everything is cheaper during low season. From plane tickets to accommodations to restaurants, you can save a lot of money by traveling off-season. Choose a few countries of interest and do some research to determine the high season for tourists. Perhaps February is high season for Brazil but the low season for Argentina. If your heart is set on Brazil simply go in March or April instead when the high season fades.

  1. Choose your Travel Partner Wisely

Traveling alone is an incredible experience, but often times we travel with friends or in groups. Choosing a travel partner with a similar travel style is important for a plethora of reasons, but especially when it comes to saving money. For example, a traveler that prioritizes spending money on dining out as opposed to spending money on nicer accommodations would not travel well with a traveler that prefers to save money by eating cheaply and spending more on accommodations. The right travel partner can make all the difference in having an unforgettable trip and staying within your budget.

  1. Stay in Hostels

Don’t let the film “Taken” scare you, staying in hostels is the best option when you are traveling. Hostels are not only cheap but an experience that allows you to meet fellow travelers from all over the world. Hostels often come equipped with kitchens and bars so you can cook and socialize with other travelers. Fellow travelers, along with the hostel staff, provide a wealth of knowledge and helpful resources for cheap places to eat, drink, and free things to do in the area. And if you’re not keen on staying in a shared room, most hostels have very affordable private rooms.

  1. Cook

Discovering the food of another country is one of the most exciting pieces of traveling. With great prices on hostels and Airbnb, it’s never been easier to find accommodations that include access to a kitchen. Get lost in local markets and buy produce and ingredients typical of the region. Cooking a traditional dish with local products is an incredible way to get to know a culture. Plus it saves money. Cooking at least one meal per day will cut costs drastically.

  1. Travel Light

Most airlines have weight or size restrictions for luggage, so travel light. To avoid paying extra money for checked bags take just one traveler’s backpack and one personal item that fits the luggage restrictions. Put the heaviest items in your ‘personal bag’ rather than your checked-bag, typically the airlines don’t bother weighing personal items. Generally, checked luggage must be 21 inches or less in length. Forget about bringing 10 books or five pairs of shoes, pack light with versatile clothing and only the necessities.

  1. Travel at Night

Overnight travel is a great trick to save money. There are plenty of overnight buses and trains to get your from city to city or even one country to another. They tend to be more comfortable than taking ‘red-eyes’ or overnight flights, but all accomplish the same thing; eliminating the cost of a night of accommodation. Especially if the trip involves traveling to many different places, overnight travel cuts out nights of accommodation fees. While it can be hard to sleep on buses, trains, and planes, an easy remedy is to have a couple of glasses of wine before you board to help you fall right to sleep.

  1. Visit a Friend

Travel to places where you have friends. Everyone has a friend they are envious of for living somewhere cool. Staying with friends is not only a great way to save money on accommodations, but friends are like having your own free tour guide to the area. Just bring a bottle of wine or buy a round of drinks to show your appreciation.

  1. Get a Travel Credit Card

Flights can be the most expensive part of traveling, so having a credit card that earns miles is very valuable for a traveler. If you have good credit, get a travel credit card, and use it for every purchase you make. Be sure to pay the card off completely each month. Many companies offer double or triple points for travel and dining expenses and give huge bonus points for frequent usage or recommending friends. Finding the right card and using it properly can be the difference between paying for flights and flying for free multiple times per year.

Stop envying those that travel and become a traveler. Budget travel is not only possible but an incredible life experience. What are you waiting for, pull the trigger, buy the plane ticket and go!

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What are nootropics? 0 70396

Nootropics, according to Corneliu E. Giurgea, the father of nootropics, are drugs that simultaneously enhance learning and memory, protect the brain, increase the efficacy of brain-related control mechanisms, should lack the pharmacologic structure of psychotropic drugs, and be devoid of side effects. Over time, the description has been expanded to include other non-drug substances.

Whether or not drugs are involved, the idea of nootropics is that they boost mental capacity, allowing you to accomplish goals that would be quite strenuous without them. They are used by various individuals, ranging from students wanting to get more studying done or turning in a paper on time, to engineers trying to figure out a problem.

What are nootropics made of?

Nootropics are traditionally made of naturally-occurring substances like ginseng, or synthetic substances in the form of chemicals not uncommon in drugs (like L-Theanine). Even though Corneliu Giurgea’s description referred to drugs, nootropics have evolved to include non-synthetic substances that can give similar outputs. Nootropics are sometimes called “smart drugs”.

Various nootropics

The large range of nootropics make it difficult to describe them with a blanket sentence other than “they boost brain performance”. So, instead of a generalization, here is a short list of popular nootropics, as well as their specific actions, and possible side effects.

1. Caffeine: Caffeine is without-a-doubt the most popular nootropic, being present in most nootropic substances available on the market. It’s effective in wakefulness, improved concentration, increased motivation, alertness, and focus.

The side effects of caffeine are as well-known as its usefulness. Excessive consumption of caffeine causes insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, tachycardia (elevated heart rate), and even muscle tremors.

2. L-Theanine: Unlike Guarana, L-Theanine is an amino acid that can be found in many tea leaves and herbs. It’s known to aid stress relief and reduce anxiety. Even though is also taken to increase focus and attention, stress relief is its most evidence-based function.

Its side effects may include nausea and irritability.

3. CPD Choline: CPD Choline is naturally-occurring in humans and animals and is an intermediate substance in a common biochemical process that involves converting Choline to Phosphaatidylcholine. Studies show that CPD protects the brain, especially in times of low oxygen supply. In addition, it also increases alertness and consciousness.

Being a natural substance in the body, CPD has no negative effects, except when it is taken in excess, where it can cause stomachaches and diarrhea.

4. Modafinil: As far as performance-boosting drugs go, Modafinil tops the list, having been shown to increase fatigue resistance, improve mood, as well as increase motivation and vigilance. It really is a wonder drug, often rumored to be used by sleep-deprived doctors.

Its side effects are abuse-induced, which means you may suffer things like chronic headaches, if you use it all the time to fight fatigue, without getting enough sleep.

5. Guarana: Guarana, also called Guaranine, is a plant with well-researched and documented effects of improved mental focus and alertness. It is also taken for various other purposes from weight loss to exercise tolerance, but these have not been proven.

Being a naturally-occurring fruit, it does not have severe side effects. However, users have been known to experience insomnia and fatigue when taken in high doses.

6. Panax Ginseng: Certain herbs are sometimes assumed to have positive, even performance-enhancing effects. One of the most popular is Ginseng. Common in East Asia and North America, the plant does not have any nootropic effects backed by strong scientific evidence. However, it has been said to increase energy levels and activity.

Ginseng does not have any known side effects.

7.Ginkgo Biloba: Also a leaf extract, it is wildly known as a cognitive enhancer, with weak scientific evidence to support it.

8. Vitamin B12: The controversy surrounding vitamin B12 is that it may not be a nootropic, as it does not have any noticeable, quick-onset effects. It is considered more of supplement and nutritional requirement than a nootropic. However, it’s on this list because some people still consider it a smart drug.

Nootropic tolerance

Overuse of many nootropics can lead to your body building tolerance, and needing more and more of the substance to get the same effect. It’s a little like what happens with regular alcohol drinkers. They often need more and more alcohol to feel its effects.

Things to remember about nootropics

Many individuals have their definition of nootropics, thus making it a controversial topic. The situation is made worse by substances that are claimed to boost productivity but have not yet been proven. Amongst all these controversies, here are some points for you to keep in mind about nootropics:

  1. They are performance-boosting substances and are often used to get an extra edge.
  2. They should be free of side effects, and should have low toxicity.
  3. They contain naturally-occurring substances.
  4. They work by interacting with receptors in the brain.
  5. Even though they are supposed to be side effect free, some supposed nootropics do have side effects.
  6. Some substances considered nootropics work, and some don’t.
  7. The adverse effects of nootropics can sometimes be avoided by keeping dosage low and cycling between usage and abstinence.

5 Yoga moves to add to your daily stretching today 0 53353

Introduction

It’s no surprise that the practice of yoga has grown in popularity over the last couple of decades. It has several benefits like core strengthening and improved flexibility. However, yoga has several poses and positions that can get a little confusing when choosing what poses to do to achieve your goals. Whether you are just starting out, or are looking to raise the bar during your yoga, this is the post for you.

A brief history on the origin of yoga

Modern yoga as we know it is a combination of different poses and forms, evolved over centuries and modified by different practitioners. Take the first ever recorded instance of yoga, which dates as far back as the 2nd century which, although it was not clearly described as yoga, involved a sitting posture described to require a steady form and comfort. The form was assumed for meditation, not unlike what we have today. In about the 11th century, there was a description of a non-seated pose in which the practitioner balances on the hands. As the centuries passed, yoga became more evolved, and more adapted to modern cultures like ours.

Simple forms

Even though yoga has changed over the years, there are simple poses that have remained relatively constant through the ages, retaining their simplicity and form.

Here are 5 of those simple forms that can be incorporated into your daily routine

  1. Lotus Position: The lotus is one of the most fundamental positions in yoga, with a long history like we discussed. The lotus has a special position among all the stretches and positions not just because it is the oldest, but also because it is key to meditation, which is a big part of yoga.

To enter the sitting position:

  • Sit on the mat with your legs and your back straight
  • Fold your legs so that your feet now rest under your thigh as you relax and let your feet rest comfortably on the floor.
  1. Cow position: The cow position is also a relatively easy position to attain. It is especially good for stretching and relaxing the back muscles as it involves stretching the vertebrae (back bone) and the spinal muscles.

To perform the cow position,

  • Start by kneeling on all fours (hands directly beneath shoulders, and knees directly beneath the hips)
  • Breath in and turn your head upwards as if to look at the ceiling, forming an upward facing curve with your back (the hollow facing upwards)
  • Breath out and return to the neutral position
  • Repeat as necessary
  1. Child Position: The child pose is different from the cow position, only because it stretches the back in the opposite direction, as well as the neck, arms, and legs. It also tones and strengthens the core muscles, giving a mild general body stretch. The child pose is especially good in situations where you don’t have a lot of time during the session. It is a great pose for stretching a lot of areas at once.

To enter the child position:

  • Kneel on all fours like in the cow position
  • Lower your hips so your thighs touch your calves
  • Lean forward, and extend your arms so your elbow and hands touch the mat
  • Maintain the position for the desired length of time
  • Repeat
  1. Bridge pose: So named because of the way the body resembles a bridge when done correctly. The bridge position can be considered the opposite of the child’s pose because here, the back is active and extended, with the hips and knees flexed and bearing most of the body’s weight. The bridge is good for stretching the abdominal muscles and the thighs.

To enter the bridge position:

  • Lie flat on your back and bend your knees
  • With your bent knees, elevate your body so your buttocks and lower back lift off the mat
  • Bring your arms forward so they are positioned directly beneath your body
  • Be sure to keep your upper back and head on the mat during the pose
  • Hold for as long as necessary and repeat as desired
  • Repeat
  1. Locust Position: The locust position is an intermediate level position, because of the core strength it requires to execute. It is very similar to the “superman” in resistance training. While the superman is for strength building, the locust is for stretching and relaxation. It concentrates on the arms, legs and upper back.

To enter the locust position:

  • Lie on your chest with your arms and legs stretched out on the mat
  • Lift your legs from the hip off the mat, while simultaneously lifting your head, arms, and upper chest
  • Maintain the position for the desired length of time
  • Repeat

Incorporate these stretches and positions into your daily routine to increase strength, flexibility, and improve inner-peace. Let us know what you think!

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