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Life Lessons Learned From Living Abroad

Living abroad can be a very scary and very rewarding experience all at once. If you’re considering making the move yourself, read through these common experiences first. 

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 For some of us, the thought of living abroad is a nearly unachievable fantasy if not a completely unappealing and crazy decision. But for others, it’s the most magical and exciting choice available. Regardless of what your personal opinions are about living abroad, there are plenty of positives and negatives that come with it. Here are some that anyone who has actually done it can agree with.

RELATIONSHIPS COME AND GO

One of the greatest things that comes from living abroad is new and wonderful friendships. Meeting people from different areas of the world with different experiences than yourself can be invigorating. It can help you learn more about yourself and give you a new and powerful perspective on life.

But on the flip side, moving abroad can greatly damage your existing relationships. Is it so hard to believe? Suddenly everyone you’ve ever known and gotten close with is halfway around the world. So naturally, you’ll lose some friends. Some of those losses will be organic, some will happen because certain friends are angry you left.

This can make the experience very difficult. But if you’re considering making the move don’t let this deter you. The most important people, the relationships that really matter, will always be there. And in some cases, it will even make the bond stronger.

SAY HELLO TO YOUR NEWFOUND CONFIDENCE

Deciding to move to a different country where you have little to no comfort zone can be very scary. How are you supposed to get comfortable in this new, foreign city? How are you supposed to just build a new social circle from scratch? How on Earth will you get comfortable?!

But dealing with those questions, and eventually answering them, can be an extremely rewarding experience. It will force you to know yourself better than you ever have and achieve a level of confidence and comfort with yourself that you never thought was possible. And you can take that newfound comfort and confidence with you for the rest of your life, wherever you may go.

GET READY TO MISS VERY IMPORTANT STUFF BACK HOME

This can be one of the hardest parts for anyone living abroad. There will be some many important events: birthdays, funerals, weddings, the arrival of a new baby, etc, etc. And you will most certainly miss at least some of them. It’s just impossible to travel back home enough to be there for every important moment. So it will be very difficult to pick and choose which ones you use your vacation days on.

But while you’ll miss lots of memorable events with family and friends, hopefully you can convince plenty of them to come and visit you for always enjoyable memories abroad!

BE PATIENT, BE WILLING

Many people, when visiting or moving to a new country, will remain in their own comfort zone and make very little effort to truly immerse themselves into the local culture. This is a sure fire way to make sure you move back home much sooner than expected.

It’s important to really make an effort to take in whatever city you move to in all its glory and imperfections. And, possibly even more crucial, it’s important to be patient and give yourself time to get comfortable there. It could take a while. Longer than you think. But if you give yourself plenty of time to adapt and get comfortable in your new city, you will eventually get the full experience you set out to get in the first place.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

The concept of “home” has a lot of different definitions for different people. For many people, it’s as simple as where they’re from – where they grew up. But for others, it’s as simple as where they live. Either way, it’s easy to move to a foreign city and find yourself missing that feeling of “home,” regardless of how many friends you have or how much you’ve immersed yourself in the culture.

This can be a very difficult emotion to live with and there’s really no perfect answer for how to deal with it. It will vary from person to person. But be sure to give it the proper amount of attention and really evaluate on your own time what “home” means to you and how important it is. Because that childhood home that you’ve barely spent any time in over the last decade may not be as important as it used to be anymore.

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Travel

Everything That Makes South Africa An Amazing Vacation Destination

South Africa is slowly but surely becoming one of the most vacation0-worthy countries in the world. 

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I think it’s safe to say that when most people start thinking about where to go on vacation, South Africa is not very high on their list! Trust me. The country is amazing and more and more people are starting to realize it. So get in on the fun and visit the country before the tourism gets completely out of hand!

Here are the best things South Africa has to offer.

THE BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPE

If you can actually swing it, South Africa is best experienced by traveling to different areas of the country as it has all kinds of fascinatingly different landscapes and sights. Cape Town specifically offers crystal clear ocean waters and warm, sandy beaches, a bustling and exciting city, and breathtaking mountains just a short drive away. While the Kruger National Park offers more of a nature adventure with plenty of wild animals, wide plains, and even tropical forests.

HIKING TRAILS

If you’re an avid hiker, South Africa has to be on your must-visit list. The trails there are just incredible. Once again, Cape Town offers a bunch of great options that are easily accessible. But some of the other great hiking trails in South Africa include those at Lions Head and Table Mountain, which even has an awesome cable car that takes you to the top without the troubles of actually walking anywhere.

THE CLIMATE

More often than not, picking a vacation destination is all about climate. And I’m here to tell you, South Africa does not disappoint in that department! Not to mention, it has the massive bonus of being in the Southern Hemisphere. So it’s seasons are flipped from ours, making it the perfect place to escape any potentially brutal winter you may be subject to wherever you live.

But even the South African winter is pretty mild. For the most part, you’ll get to enjoy warm days and cool nights no matter what time of year you find yourself there.

THEY HAVE PENGUINS!

You heard me right. South Africa has penguins. Who doesn’t love penguins?! But so many people just assume you either have to go to a crowded zoo or to the dang North Pole to actually see some in person. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, people! There are literally wild penguins living on the beaches of Cape Town and you can literally swim with them. I mean… come on!

KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

We already mentioned the beauty of Kruger National Park earlier in this article, but we’re going to mention it again. This park is really something to see. It’s actually the largest game reserve in the entire continent of Africa! The park itself covers roughly 7,500 square miles which, for reference, is bigger than New Jersey! You can see all kinds of amazing animals there too, including buffalo, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and lions.

PLENTY OF ACTIVITIES FOR ADRENALINE JUNKIES

South Africa is certainly more than just beautiful scenery and nice weather. There’s also plenty of amazing activities for the adrenaline junkie in you! You can do a little cage diving and swim the with sharks, go horseback riding in the beautiful wetlands, drop in for a little bungee jumping in Tsitsikamma, or hike the great Northern Drakensberg Traverse. Heck, I might need to go to South Africa more than a few times just get all this stuff in.

LUXURIOUS (AND AFFORDABLE) ACCOMMODATIONS

As tourism in South Africa has steadily increased over the last decade or so, plenty of new and amazing luxury hotels have gone up in Cape Town, among other cities. But here’s the great part: they’re not even that expensive! Mostly because the US dollar goes a long way in the country. The best cheap yet luxurious hotel in South Africa is easily 21 Nettleton. It sits up on a rolling hill so the views from every room’s balcony are truly incredible.

WINE COUNTRY 2.0

I know, I know… there’s only one wine country! And it’s in California. But I’m here to tell you: South Africa is a truly awesome vacation destination for wine lovers! They really make delicious wine there and it is incredibly cheap! You can get a really nice bottle for 4 or 5 bucks. California can’t beat those prices, people!

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Your Next Vacation Could Be In Space

A newly started company by the name of Orion Span recently announced that they will soon be opening a luxury hotel… in space.

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I’m calling it. We are officially in the future.

A newly started company by the name of Orion Span recently announced that they will soon be opening a luxury hotel… in space. In the statement, they claim that their first guests will get to enjoy an off-planet vacation as early as 2022. They named the hotel the Aurora Station, and it will allow for four guests and two crew members. The space-cation will last 12 days and will travel roughly 200 miles above the Earth. Um… where do I sign?!

But the perks don’t stop there, folks. Here are some of the other amazing things guests on the Aurora Station will get to enjoy: an average of 16 sunrises and sunsets every day, learning how to grow food while in orbit, experimenting with virtual reality tech, and a constant state of zero gravity. This trip will truly knock you off your feet!

The station will be roughly the size of a larger private jet (about 43 feet long and 14 feet wide). It will also offer high-speed internet so guests can still stay connected with family and friends back on Earth and, of course, post great Instagrams! But Orion Span isn’t stopping there. They have even bigger plans.

The CEO of Orion Span, Frank Bunger, also said in the statement that they have plans of one-day launching condos in space. Imagine living in space! “Our long-term vision is to sell actual space in those new modules. So, either for living or subleasing, that’s the future vision here – to create a long-term, sustainable human habitation in low Earth orbit.”

Bunger added the company (and his) overall mission is to make space available to all. It won’t be easy, though. Anyone who wishes to take the luxury trip will have to complete an extensive three-month training program. And while three months may seem like a lot of time, Bunger said that they have streamlined a training program that used to take an incredible 24 months. So it turns out three months isn’t that bad!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’ve probably been thinking it the whole time you’ve been reading this article. “How much is this going to cost?” Great question. This futuristic trip requires an $80,000 refundable deposit and a whopping $9.5 million for the entire trip. The good news is you can put down your deposit right now! The list opened on April 5th. So if you happen to have a loose $80,000 laying around, now you finally have something to do with it!

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Don’t Leave Home Without These Items (If You’re Going To Paris)

Paris is one of the most vacation-worthy cities in the world. But if you want to do Paris right, be sure to bring these must-have items!

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Paris is one of the most vacation-worthy cities in the world. The history, the culture, the art, the wine! You name it, Paris has it. It’s just one of those cities you have to experience before you die. But if you want to do Paris right, be sure to bring these must-have items!

POWER ADAPTER

One of the most potentially frustrating parts about traveling in Paris is the power outlets there. They’re completely different than ours in the states! So if you have anything that needs to be plugged (which, at this point, how could you not??) you’ll definitely want to invest in a power adapter. The good news is, it’s not that hard to find one once you’re actually in Paris.

RESTAURANT GUIDE

Obviously one of the best parts about a trip to Paris is the food. Honestly, Paris might very well be the best culinary city in the world. You’ll easily have 4 or 5 of the best meals of your life just in one week in Paris. But you’re going to want to make sure you hit as many of the best spots as you can. So be sure to bring a handy restaurant guide with you everywhere you go!

WINDPROOF UMBRELLA

We’ve all seen these somewhat funky looking umbrellas before. But aside from the potential stylish appeal, these umbrellas are actually very functional as they’re windproof! And that can be crucial to staying comfortable while walking around Paris. Not to mention, if you grab a transparent one you can keep yourself completely dry while not affecting your view of this beautiful city!

COMFORTABLE SHOES

This should be a no-brainer. One of the best ways to really experience Paris is just to walk around and take it all in. There’s an energy about the place that is just unmatched. Plus there are endless options out there when it comes to comfortable shoes, so you can still be stylish while you’re at it!

A TRAVEL BAG WITH HANDLES

While we obviously appreciate the benefits of rolling luggage, the convenience of it kind of goes out the window when you’re Paris thanks to all the narrow, cobblestone streets. Not only do they make rolling your suitcase to and from your hotel difficult, but they could actually just break the thing! So go out and find a durable bag that still has enough room to bring everything you need.

CELL PHONE TRIPOD STAND

Look, I know. Selfies can be very obnoxious and selfie sticks can be downright offensive. But don’t deprive yourself of the fun of taking tons of pictures just because you don’t want to look like an annoying teenager! Paris is a beautiful city that needs to be photographed and if you’re not actually in the photographs were you ever even in Paris?! Exactly. So invest in one of these handy cell phone tripods so you can get some great pictures without them blatantly looking like selfies.

A CORKSCREW (THAT’S TSA COMPLIANT)

What would a trip to Paris be without lots, and lots of wine? It would be pointless, that’s what. Did you know you can even drink wine in Paris’ public parks until as late as 4 p.m.? I know! So you’ll definitely want to have your own corkscrew on you at all times. Just make sure it’s TSA compliant so you don’t get arrested before even getting on your flight.

 

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