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Are You Suffering From Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?

If you suffer from restrictive airflow, you may be suffering from COPD.

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     Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, more commonly known as COPD, is a group of aggressive lung diseases that negatively affect airflow. In fact, COPD has become the 3rd leading cause of death in the US. Surprisingly, 48% of those suffering from the condition don’t even realize they have it. Those suffering from this chronic inflammatory lung disease have difficulty breathing, consistent coughs and wheezes, and excess mucus production. These symptoms are caused by heavy and long-term exposure to gas and particulate irritants – the most common being derived from cigarette smoke. Left untreated, individuals with COPD have greater risks of developing lung cancer, heart disease, and various related condition.

     COPD and its various forms may arise from several risk factors. Long-term smoking is a common entry-point into the body but second-hand smoke may also be a concern. Aside from the most obvious culprit, age, genetic imperfections, and exposure to fumes and irritants from the burning of chemical and substances in the home and workplace may also be to blame.

Causes

     COPD, at least in developed countries, is largely a result of tobacco smoke. However, in the developing world, the condition is a result of direct and indirect exposure to fumes and irritants from burning fuel. Fumes of burnt fuel may come by cooking or heating homes. These pollutants are more commonly seen in poorly vented enclosed spaces.

Again (& largely), COPD and its complications are self-induced due to extended cigarette smoking. That being said, there are several other factors that come into play during development (and subsequent worsening) of the condition. Furthermore, only 20-30% of long-term smokers may suffer from COPD, alluding to the fact that genetics may help in preventing or easing the condition as well.

Symptoms

     COPD symptoms typically worsen over time, especially if irritant inhalation continues or worsens, but won’t normally appear until recognizable lung damage has been established. Nonetheless, those suffering may experience one or several of the following:

  • Shortness of breath – particularly during sports and exercise
  • Wheezing
  • Chest constriction
  • The constant need to clear one’s throat in the morning of excessive nighttime mucus production
  • Blue tint of the lips and/or fingernail beds – also known as Cyanosis
  • Respiratory infections
  • Apathy
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Swollen legs/ankles/feet

Those dealing with COPD may also deal with the exacerbated episodes of symptoms – unexpected, short-term worsening of symptoms.

Concerns

     Starting in the most common area, patients with COPD will suffer greatly from even the most simple of respiratory infections. These infections are capable of increasing breathing difficulty and may cause additional damage to lung walls and tissues. Thankfully, an annual flu vaccination will largely rid yourself of the danger of these lesser-illnesses. However, threats only continue. Quitting the use of tobacco can help but COPD may increase the risk of heart attack, lung cancer, and pulmonary hypertension – high blood pressure in the lung arteries. Additionally, as an unexpected side effect, breathing difficulties may cause an inability to participate in once-enjoyed activities. This may lead to a feeling of helplessness, ultimately leading to a mild or severe form of depression.

Prevention

     Any attempt to quit smoking is beneficial, but the true secret is to quit as soon as possible. No matter the struggle, the overall quality of life will greatly improve upon removing the dangerous inhalation of smoke. If needed, partaking in a suitable cessation program to quit the drug altogether will be your best possible line of defense. Additionally, if you work in an occupational “danger zone,” discuss with your manager the possibility to minimize your chance of irritation.


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Guides

Satisfy Your Wild Side With A Safari

There are many great safaris in the world, but these are six of the best… according to our experts. 

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     Everyone should experience a safari at least once in their lifetime. It’s one amazing adventure… But there are several wonderful options to pick from – so it may be hard to know which ones are worth considering.

Well, look no further! Here are the absolute six best safaris you can find from around the world.

SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK (TANZANIA)

The Serengeti is probably one of the most popular places to go on a safari, and it’s on the top of the list for a reason. On any given game drive you could encounter wildebeests, buffaloes, leopards, lions, rhinos, giraffes, and elephants within a couple of hours of each other. Not to mention Tanzania also offers gorgeous beaches.

VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK (RWANDA)

If you want to live like Jane Goodall on your next vacation, then a safari in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is the place for you! There are gorillas (including plenty of babies) galore in Rwanda, aka “the land of a thousand hills.” And a guided trek through the jungles of Volcanoes National Park is a great option for those that like to take the path less traveled and get a proper nature experience under their belt.

KRUGER NATIONAL PARK (SOUTH AFRICA)

This is an ideal trip for the newlyweds and lovers out there. Kruger National Park is the most famous and popular park in South Africa, and there are multiple safari packages that equally value the love-struck couple and natural wildlife. You can even take a self-driving tour if you really want some privacy. And aside from the beautiful wildlife, this park also offers powerful rivers and beautiful lakes.

OKAVANGO DELTA (BOTSWANA)

If lions and zebras and elephants aren’t your thing, then head on over to the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Here you can take in a water safari on the swamps and rivers and catch a glimpse of some truly massive hippos. There are also plenty of luxurious and pamper-heavy accommodations in the area for you to get your relaxation on.

YALE NATIONAL PARK (SRI LANKA)

Yale National Park in Sri Lanka is a sneaky alternative to take in a great safari if, for whatever reason, you don’t want to go to Africa. But make no mistake, this beautiful park still offers views just as amazing and all the wildlife you can handle including leopards, elephants, deer, bears, and even adorable sloths! And similar to Tanzania, Sri Lanka also has many beautiful beaches that are ideal for a great vacation.

MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE (KENYA)

This breathtaking park is the final destination of over a million wildebeest every year that migrate there all the way from the Serengeti in Tanzania, a journey that is known as “The Great Migration.”

But what makes the end of their migration so compelling, is when they reach Maasai Mara National Reserve and the hippo and crocodile-infested Mara River. Not to mention the Hyenas and lions that are waiting for them on land. The migration happens between July and October every year and is definitely a must-see.


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Destinations

Spots That Should Be On Your Bucket Lists

No need stress about picking a destination; we have created the ultimate travel bucket list for everyone.

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Life is too short and most of us don’t get to see even half the places on our bucket list, so let’s change that. Why work so hard if you don’t get to play every once in a while? The time for travel is now and we can help with the toughest decisions. No need stress about picking a destination; we have created the ultimate travel bucket list for everyone. Time to book your travel plans and get out and see the world, before it’s too late.

 

Tokyo Technology

Head to Tokyo to see a modern city sitting on the edge of technology and marvel at the futuristic advances. The city of Tokyo is so forward-thinking and modern that most visitors are amazed in awe of how well it all works together. Check out the city of the future, today in Tokyo, Japan.

Mardi Gras Bourbon Street

Experience the insanity that is Mardi Gras in the French Quarter or New Orleans so you can check that off your bucket list. Catch some beads while imbibing in alcohol on the famous Bourbon Street as revelers dance and frolic all around you.

Aussie Good Time

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most diverse and lush ecosystems on the planet and quite possibly the best place to scuba dive. Because of rising seawater temperatures, the reef is quickly dying so you might want to hurry up and book this trip soon 

 

Machu Picchu

This Incan ruin sitting atop a mountain range in Peru is one of the most spectacular ancient cities anywhere and a trip will seriously change your life. After a grueling hike, visitors are welcomed to an incredible site.

Old Town Havana

The embargo and ban on travel to Cuba have recently been lifted so this hidden gem is now open to the world. This land caught in time is a great place to visit and it’s vintage cars and buildings will tug at your heartstrings. Smoke an authentic Cuban cigar and drive a vintage car here.

African Photo Safari

Is any bucket list complete without a real African Safari? Imagine photographing zebras, lions, and elephants in their natural habitats while in the safety of a 4×4 vehicle. Easily one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life, so book your safari soon.

Morocco

Morocco is one of the best places to get lost and you will not want to be found. Explore one of the city’s many Souks, or open-air markets and get some souvenirs.

Hawaii

Hawaii is paradise lost and easily one of the most spectacular places on Earth. Everyone should hike an active volcano and Hawaii has a few of them. Experience Earth’s power and beauty as you hike up Kilauea volcano. Afterward, relax on some of the World’s greatest beaches.

Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi coast in Italy is one of the world’s most gorgeous coastlines and a popular destination for the rich and famous. Live like a celebrity and cruise down the coast from Sorrento to Salerno and see what all the hype is truly about.

Eiffel tower

Paris is the international lover’s city and is full of rich history and culture. No trip to Paris is complete without a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower. The views are remarkable and the memories will last a lifetime.

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China was built hundreds of years ago to keep out roving hordes of Mongols, but this massive wall is now a top shelf vacation attraction. Walk a nice stretch of this incredible architectural feat and see for yourself just how awesome it is.

Overwater Bungalow

Possibly the most common vacation dream, staying in an overwater bungalow, is more easily accessible now than ever before. Head to Bora Bora in French Polynesia to experience overwater bungalows at affordable prices and live like a celebrity.

Galapagos

See what Charles Darwin saw in the Galapagos Islands that made him come up with the Theory of Evolution. These remote islands off the coast of Ecuador are home to some of nature’s greatest variety of animals and marine life. The eco tours here are incredible and life-changing. 

Greek Gods

Come to Greece to experience where democracy was created and see some of the oldest structures still standing. The Acropolis, Parthenon and original Olympic Stadium are just some of the awesome sites Athens has in store for you. The Greek gods will shine down a great vacation for you. 

Pyramids in Egypt

Is there any destination more iconic than the Pyramids in Egypt? These massive mausoleums of Egyptian rulers have stood the test of time and are one of the original Seven Wonders of the World.

Northern Lights

If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis, in person, you are missing out. You have to head to Iceland for the best opportunity to see the Northern Lights in all their glory. The Frost and Fire hotel is located in the Arctic Circle and near the North Pole, so your views of the lights are second to none.


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Guides

Make Some Dough While You Travel

Most people don’t know this, but there are actually a lot of ways you can make money while on vacation! And it’s easier than you make think.

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Traveling can be expensive. However, there are tips and tricks out there to help you spend as little as possible while you’re on vacation. But did you know you can actually make money while on vacation? It’s true! It might even be easier than you realize. 

RENT OUT YOUR HOME WHILE YOU’RE GONE

This is the best and most obvious option for making money while you’re out of town. Everyone is aware of sites like Air BnB and VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) these days. There are always going to be tourists visiting your city while you’re in another. So why not let someone pay you to live in your home while you’re not there? 

RENT YOUR CAR WHILE YOU’RE GONE

Similar to Air BnB, there are also apps that let you rent your car while you’re out of town. The two biggest ones are Turo and Getaraound. It’s a little more dangerous, obviously, as damage to your car is much more likely to occur here than damage to your apartment or house. But there’s a built-in insurance and liability system so even if something does happen to your car, the expense won’t fall back on you.

SELL YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY

There are all kinds of travel websites and Instagram accounts that will pay photographers for their travel photography. So if you have even amateur level photography skills you just might be able to make some money off your pictures while visiting a new country or city. Even if you can’t find any online company to sell your images to, you can always get some prints done when you’re back and sell them in a gallery or to friends and family.

BECOME A FREELANCE WRITER

And even more than with photographers, there are countless websites out there that are always on the lookout for more freelance writers. Especially when it comes to writing about travel. They typically will pay out by the article, and it’s never all that much, but it can still make all the difference when trying to spend as little money as possible while on vacation. “Written” is one of the better sites out there that will pay bloggers for their writing, so start there.

JOIN A VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

This is really cool, too. There are actually a handful of volunteer programs, Voluntary Service Overseas, to name just one, that you can work with while you travel. In reality, it’s more like you’re just working a new job in a new country for a small amount of time and they’ll cover all your room and board and even give you a small living allowance. It’s a lot of work, but the work is fulfilling and meaningful, and then you’ll still have time to explore and experience a new country.

PERFORM!

Ok, for this one, you’ll actually have to be at least a little bit talented… but honestly not that talented! No matter where you vacation, you can probably find a club, bar, or venue where you could make a few bucks to play or sing a few songs, or tell a few jokes (depending on what talents you may have). So if you’ve ever performed live at all, definitely try to find a few gigs while traveling in a new city or country!


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