These days just about everyone has some kind of credit card debt. Whether we’ve hit some bad luck and needed the help or we’re just plain lazy and bad with money, we all know what debt looks like. In fact, a recent report estimated that the average American family has around $8,000 in credit card debt alone. That’s well over a trillion total!
Kind of makes you want to throw your credit card in the ocean, doesn’t it? Well, as much as we’d all like to get rid of our credit cards, it’s not as easy as you think. I know this because I actually tried it! And while I’m happy to be rid of my debt and won’t likely build anymore, it was still a lot harder than you’d think. Here’s everything I learned from the experience.
First and foremost, the most important thing I learned is that getting rid of your credit card (or credit cards) is very, very hard. Mostly because so many things these days require that you have one! Booking hotels and flights, setting up accounts online, putting down a deposit or a “soft hold,” etc, etc. Sure, debit cards work sometimes, but not all the time. So, if you’re thinking about pulling this off yourself, just be prepared to put in the work.
The next major lesson I learned that should be blatantly obvious to all of us, is that if you can’t pay for something with cash, you can’t afford it! Now, I’m not saying you should only keep your money in cash form and just constantly walk around with thousands of dollars in your pockets. That, of course, would be very stupid.
Basically, it means, if you can’t pay for something using the real money you have in your bank account (check, debit card, cash), then you really shouldn’t be buying it all. So many of us convince ourselves that we can put a charge on our card and we’ll definitely pay off the card at the end of the month. No problem. But then, come the end of the month, all of a sudden we don’t have the money to pay off the credit card and now we’ve got a bunch of fun, new debt! So if you’re really looking to get rid of some debt, stick to your checking account.
At this point, many you reading this might be thinking, “Yeah, I hear ya. Debt is scary and easy to rack up. But I just love my rewards!” And, trust me, I hear you. The benefits that come from credit card purchases can be great! Emphasis on can. More often than not, our credit cards are already so full that we’re facing pretty steep interest charges. So if you’re getting a sweet $35 reward on a given purchase, but you’re paying $85 a month in interest charges, you’re not exactly saving yourself any money, are you?! (Hint: No. You’re not.)
Then there are the ever-dangerous store cards. You know, those credit cards you can start that are specifically for H&M or Victoria’s Secret or Old Navy? I’m not going to beat around the bush here, folks: if you open one of these cards you are terrible with money. The interest rates on these cards are typically higher than any other credit card and the rewards are rarely worth it. So if you’re still struggling with the idea of ditching your proper credit cards, at least do me the favor of getting rid of these foolish cards.
And now it’s time for one of the greatest benefits I found when I got rid of my credit cards: I actually started being as frugal as I always wanted to be! When you can put something on your credit card that you promise yourself you’ll pay off later, what’s another couple hundred bucks?! Just go for it – buy both of those sweaters you love!
And therein lies the basic problems with credit cards. It so rarely even feels like real money. So when you get rid of them and start actually using real money, it turns out you’re much smarter about how you spend it and only spend exactly what you need! And when it’s all said and done, I promise you, the things you wanted to buy, and would have bought if you had a credit card, will not be missed whatsoever. In fact, you’ll probably be happy you didn’t bother.
The Unique History of Dumplings
Did you know that a dumpling eating record was set in Sydney, Australia in 2019?
To celebrate the Chinese New Year, they held a celebration in Sydney in which 764 people all ate dumplings at the same time. They met the previous record in 2013 when 750 individuals participated.
Whether you choose to eat them at a massive celebration or in the comfort of your home, dumplings are an indisputable part of global cuisine. But where exactly did this tasty meal stem from?
We’re here to fill you in! Check out our guide below to learn the evolution and ancient history of dumplings!
Intro to the History of Dumplings
Dumplings have popped up in various cultures throughout history. The easiest way to narrow down their origin though is by first asking: what is a dumpling?
Dumplings are pieces of dough that are fried, boiled, steamed, or baked. Typically the dough holds meat or vegetable fillings. Occasionally the dough is cooked without fillings.
We can trace dumpling-like recipes as far back as Ancient Rome. However, the classic dumpling we all know and love has its origins in Ancient China.
The history of Chinese dumplings began over 1,800 years ago under the Eastern Han Dynasty. A man named Zhang Zhongjian returned to his home village and found that the villagers were suffering from frostbite.
Zhongjian was a medicinal practitioner and searched for a way to assist his fellow villagers. To fight the cold, Zhongjian blended together meat, vegetables, and herbs and wrapped the mixture in scraps of dough. The dumplings were then steamed to bind all the ingredients together.
It’s believed that Zhongjian used his skills as a doctor to create the dumplings. He chose herbs that would help combat frostbite and keep the villagers safe and healthy.
The steaming hot dish was a good way to fight the ill effects of a harsh winter. The villagers enjoyed the meal so much that they continued to make dumpings even when spring arrived.
The Spread of Dumplings
The history of dumplings doesn’t end with its conception in Ancient China nearly 2,000 years ago. Dumplings have pervaded throughout the centuries, and they’ve evolved and changed to fit the needs of the people.
We can see the passage of dumplings as early as the 1300s. At this time, traders often carried their goods along the Silk Road. It’s suspected that this is how one dumpling recipe came to pass from one culture to the next.
At this time, it’s suspected that the Turkish peoples adopted the manti dumplings, likely from the Mongolian peoples traversing the Silk Road. Manti dumplings are made from a spiced meat mixture—typically lamb or ground beef—which is then wrapped in a thin dough before they’re boiled or steamed.
This type of dumpling is most commonly compared to the Chinese jiaozi and baozi dumplings. The manti steamed buns are now a staple even in Russia and post-Soviet countries, where they’ve crossed over from Central Asia.
Pierogi is the Polish word for dumplings and another dumpling variety that many Westerners have grown familiar with. Pierogi—which is actually the plural of the word pieróg—are a Polish staple and are even commemorated with a yearly festival. These dumplings, wrapped in unleavened dough, are stuffed with either savory or sweet fillings before they’re boiled and then pan-fried.
Pierogi have a debated origin story. However, some suspect that pierogi entered Poland from China via the Silk Road, much like the manti dumplings that emerged in Turkish culture.
Additional Cultural Adaptations
While China is often considered the earliest origin site for what we now refer to as dumplings, other dumpling variations have cropped up around the globe since then. Whether you travel through Latin America, Africa, or Central Europe, you’re sure to find the local take on dumplings.
Many dumpling recipes arose as a solution to poverty. It’s much cheaper to combine a ration of meat with vegetables and dough scraps than to create a more meat-hearty entree.
Many of these recipes even take a different route and create sweetened dumplings, perfect for desserts. Others incorporate cheese, much like the Italian ravioli and tortellini and the potato-based gnocchi. You’ll even see an American spin on dumplings in the classic Southern chicken and dumplings dish.
The Globalization of Chinese Dumplings
However, the tasty variations from China still prevail around the world and are a notable addition to American cuisine.
In fact, Chinese food in general has become an integral part of the diets of many Americans. It’s likely that dumplings, as with many other popular Chinese dishes, arrived around the same time.
Chinese immigration to the U.S. began in the 1800s, so we can safely assume that dumplings arrived in the U.S. at this time as well. The Chinese diaspora would still indulge in traditional Chinese celebrations throughout the year. Food played an important role in these celebrations.
By the mid-1800s, Chinese restaurants were becoming more popularized in America. Chinatowns, such as the largest one in San Francisco, were growing in popularity, and their cuisine was too.
Dumplings were but one of many Chinese dishes to emerge in America, but the mass Chinese immigration in the 19th century certainly solidified the dumpling as an addition to the ever-evolving Chinese-American cuisine.
The Importance of Dumplings
The history of dumplings stretches back hundreds of years and has been passed down by hundreds of thousands of hungry travelers and chefs. We’re happy to say that there’s a dumpling for everyone, whether you’re indulging in Chinese potstickers or Italian ravioli!
For more articles on travel and your favorite foods, check out the rest of our website!
5 Silver Lake Restaurants Every Food Lover Needs to Try
Silver Lake, the aggressively cool hipster hideout a hop, skip, and a jump north of Downtown LA, is filled with things to see and do. There is any number of must-see landmarks, laid-back cafés, and trendy bars to explore. But for the food lover, the real draw of Silver Lake is the amazing selection of eateries it offers.
From casual and cozy spots to high-end establishments, there’s something for everyone here. Whether you’re in town for the weekend or a long-time Angeleno, one thing’s for sure, if you’re a food lover in Los Angeles, you won’t want to miss these restaurants.
1. Little Pine
Little Pine restaurant was once owned by Moby, and predictably, serves exclusively vegan fare. That doesn’t mean it’s boring though. You won’t find endless variations of raw salads and green juices on the menu here. Little pine is dedicated to serving up innovative and most of all hearty vegan food that even meat-eaters will love.
2. Boo’s Philly
If you’re looking for something that’s decidedly not vegan, but nonetheless delicious, then Boo’s Philly is definitely the place for you. Serving up a small menu of impressively large-sized subs, this causal little deli is a must-visit if you’re seeking the most authentic Philadelphia cheesesteaks this side of the liberty bell. Their hoagies have to be seen to be believed, and luckily, you can check them out at this browse link.
3. Botanica Restaurant and Market
For something quintessentially Californian, it doesn’t get much better than Botanica Restaurant and Market. Owned by two former food critics, the plates are healthy, organic, locally-sourced, and beautifully prepared. Using only the finest produce, and with an impressive selection of natural wine, this laid-back spot is great for a casual brunch or dinner with friends.
Alimento is a Silver Lake staple serving up some of the most delicious Italian food you’ve ever eaten. Headed up by James Beard-nominated chef Zach Pollack, Alimento is a quaint and cozy little bistro with amazing wines and pasta to die for. It’s one of the pricier options on this list, but we’re sure you’ll find it’s most definitely worth every cent.
5. Ceviche Project
Although slightly niche, Ceviche Project definitely deserves a place on a list of food to love in Silver Lake. This tiny little restaurant contains an extensive and inspiring menu of Latin American inspired seafood dishes. Critics and everyday patrons alike rave about the amazing flavor combinations and fresh ingredients produced by chef Octavio Olivas. A great choice for an intimate dinner or date night.
Food for the Food Lover
In order to fully explore all of the best food in Silver Lake, it would take much more than 500 words and a much longer list. Silver Lake’s many restaurants are characterized by their attention to detail, fresh ingredients, and creative menus. What we’re saying is, if you’re a food lover, it’s not a bad place to be.
For more reviews and tips on where to find the best food, check out the rest of our guides.
5 Reasons to Visit Oludeniz, Turkey
Turkey is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world, attracting around 35 million international tourist arrivals. And it’s no wonder why — Turkey has everything a tourist can want. Beautiful scenery, a vibrant culture, and several amazing historic sites are what you can expect when you visit Turkey.
But where in Turkey should you visit? Istanbul? Antalya? While these are great cities, you should also consider Oludeniz, Turkey.
Oludeniz is a hidden paradise in the hidden corner of the country. It’s one of the few places in the world that conserved its unique nature and there are many fun activities to make your trip unforgettable.
Here are 5 reasons to visit Oludeniz.
1. Water Sports
Oludeniz has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Situated on the Turkish Riviera, this small beach boasts crystal clear water and offers many sensational experiences. This is why water sports are one of the best things to do in Oludeniz.
From parasailing to scuba diving, the number of water sports you can do is limitless.
If you’re looking for the ultimate thrill, you should try paragliding. Paragliding is an activity where you’re gliding through the air on a parachute. And Oludeniz is the ultimate destination for paragliding. At 2,000 meters in the air, you can see Oludeniz’s unique landscape that consists of mountains, greenery, and breathtaking beaches.
Oludeniz Turkey boasts a unique landscape and wildlife. If you want to learn more about this unique city, you should go on a safari. You’ll see animals such as wolves, goats, foxes, jackals, badgers, wild boars, and otters.
Most safaris also go into the local villages so you can discover Oludeniz’s unique culture and try their delicious food.
4. Boat Tour
What better way to see Oludeniz than on a boat? There are many boat tours in Oludeniz where you can see the lovely coasts and even view some places undiscoverable by foot. Some boat tours even take a break so you can go for a swim.
There are usually boat tours every day throughout the coast.
It’s no surprise that Oludeniz is one of the best spots for nature lovers. This is why a hiking trip in Oludeniz is a must.
The Lycian Way trail is regarded as one of the best hiking trails in the world. You not only see Oludeniz’s unique nature but also some incredible history. The trail begins at Kaykoy, a town abandoned by the ancient Greeks. From here, your walk consists of trekking through the mountains and making it back to Blue Lagoon where you can go for a swim.
Visit Oludeniz, Turkey
If you’re booking your Turkey vacation, add Oludeniz, Turkey to your list. Oludeniz has everything you could ever want in a vacation spot, from beautiful nature to breathtaking beaches. Being one of the hidden gems in Turkey, you should discover this untouched spot for an unforgettable experience!
Do you need more travel destination ideas? Continue reading our blog where we cover various travel spots throughout the world!
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