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The Motivating Couple With An Incredible Weight Loss Journey

     It’s safe to say that most of us have struggled with our weight at some point during our lives. Thankfully, many of us outgrew the phenomenon during adolescence or were able to maintain our weight before we let it weigh us down. However, some of us simply get into a toxic cycle consisting of constant junk food and ever-present sedentary lifestyle. This was the case with Lexi and Danny Reed.

 

     The loving husband and wife had suffered from a lifelong pattern of lazy living, resorting to the easy and convenient forms of life. But, they both knew it was incredibly unhealthy for them… and non-conducive for their future plans. When the couple finally followed through with their weight loss plans, the results were incredible. Small steps ending up leading to unbelievable results. The before and after pictures of Lexi and Danny are downright astonishing. 

 

 

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Destinations

Britons Get Stuck Abroad Due to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

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Britons get stuck offshore as they await the lifting of the recently imposed travel ban to and from the UK.

Many Britons get stuck abroad due to the recent travel bans imposed. Worries related to taxes, jobs, and Brexit get exacerbated as UK residents are forced to have lengthier stays in their current locations.

As more and more nations start imposing travel restrictions to and from the United Kingdom, more and more Britons get stuck in their present locations offshore. To halt the spread of the recently pinpointed highly communicable strain of COVID-19 virus, UK travel has come into a standstill.

23-year-old Heather Alder, a resident of Edinburg, went to Aarhus, Denmark with her fiancé last week. They had to visit her fiancé’s father and take him to do several tests for cancer. Alder and her fiancé were planning to go back to the UK this week but are now stuck in a farmhouse in Denmark due to the recent travel ban. “Even if the travel ban is lifted in a few days or weeks, we don’t know whether we can leave and we don’t know whether we can get back in easily,” Alder mentions.

Alder was able to secure a new job last month and she is grateful that her new boss has been so kind as to allow her to travel to Denmark. “My father-in-law’s house is about as remote as Denmark gets, so we’ve had to install new WIFI in order to be able to work from here. My boss has been wonderful about it all, but my partner is studying and working part-time for a Danish company, but pays tax in the UK. If we get stuck here for longer, we might have to report it, and he could end up having to pay tax in Denmark, where income tax is at 48%. This would have a big impact on our finances. It’s very stressful,” she shares.

The Brexit deadline is on 31 December 2020 and Alder does not know whether or not she will have to apply for a Denmark visa in case she will be forced to stay in the country for a longer period of time. “It’s very concerning that on top of everything, I now need to sort out my status here before Brexit. Due to Christmas closures, that means submitting documentation so I can apply as an EU citizen for the right to stay by 23 December. Nobody seems to have an answer as to what Britons in Denmark should do in the new year. Obviously, all our documents are in the UK, where we can’t return, which is making the whole process maddening and extremely worrying. The combination of Brexit and coronavirus has turned what was already a difficult situation into an unmanageable one,” Alder says.

The recent travel bans have caused further strain on many UK residents who are presently out of the country. Many of them complain about the need to go back to the UK in time for the resumption of work after the holidays. Nonetheless, Britons get stuck abroad and have to deal with the necessity of securing extended visas in their present locations and seek ways to do virtual ‘work-from-home’ arrangements while awaiting the lifting of the said travel ban.

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Destinations

A Quiet Bethlehem This 2020 Christmas Celebration

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Sans the influx of tourists in the historical birthplace of Christ, a quiet Bethlehem community gets to experience a renewal in faith over a boom in business.

Prior to the pandemic, the Palestinian city located in occupied West Bank was always filled with visiting tourists who wanted to experience walking in the land of Jesus Christ’s official birthplace. In the past, those who wanted to visit the Church of the Nativity were forced to maneuver through the crowds teeming the streets of Bethlehem. This year, however, a quiet Bethlehem becomes largely part of the massive lockdown and quarantine restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Nevertheless, the absence of tourists is an opportunity for renewal, says Father Rami Asakrieh, the parish priest of Bethlehem. “Sometimes there are more than half million people who arrive in this period to visit the Nativity Church,” he recounts.

During the days leading to Christmas, however, the Church of the Nativity has been so silent, devoid of the yearly visiting faithful who traditionally visited Bethlehem from all over the world. A quiet Bethlehem, then, is a new thing for the community as locals are used to the noisy throng of commuters and visitors who annually arrived during the holiday season.

Armenian prayers are recited by four (4) monks below the Grotto of the Nativity, echoing through the typically crowded vicinity. Even during this year’s Christmas Eve, the most essential part of the celebration, the church was closed to the public. The lack of yearly visits from Palestinian authority representatives starkly reiterated the difference of this year’s celebration, as well.

“It has never happened before,” contemplates Asakrieh, as he mentions that the only times that the church was forced to close its doors were during periods of uprisings and Palestinian intifadas that were done in protest against Israel’s continued occupation.

“I think that this Christmas is different because people are not busy with the external manifestations of the feast,” the priest shares, referring to the customary purchasing of gifts and the conduct of extravagant get-togethers that have long been linked to Christmas celebrations.  “Now (people) have the time, and they are obligated, to concentrate on the essential… the theological spirit of Christmas,” he expressed. “Less business, but more religion,” Asakrieh continues.

During the days leading up to Christmas, the chapel of Saint Catherine, a small one that is next to the Church of the Nativity was made open to the local Bethlehem public. Amid a distinctively quiet Bethlehem atmosphere, many of the local faithful turned up as they donned their Sunday’s best.

One of them was Nicolas al-Zoghbi who mentions that the usual joy of the Christmas season was replaced by the overall feeling of depression. He shares that his son is among those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. “We hope the Lord will destroy corona, just get rid of it so we can return to our previous life,” states al-Zoghbi who is now in his 70s.

The city’s economy is hugely reliant on the annual influx of visitors who purchase items like rosaries and other Nativity-based trinkets from the shops and stands that pepper the place. Thus, a quiet Bethlehem during this holiday season signifies a highly decreased income for those who rely on the earnings that used to be generated from these yearly tourist visits.

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Featured

9 of the Best Places to Visit in Florida

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Florida is a hotspot for Americans traveling domestically and for international travelers as well. It’s home to some of the biggest theme parks like Universal Studios and Disney World. 

Plus, it offers some of the most incredible beaches in North America. How can you be that? But the most amazing thing about Florida is that there isn’t just one or two cities that have something to offer.

In fact, there are multiple cities that are great for vacation, and there’s something for everyone. On that note, take a look at this list of the best places to visit in Florida:

1. Miami

Everyone knows that Miami is one of the best places to visit in Florida. It’s one of the top hotspots for vacationers looking to live it up with their hair down.

If you want to sit on a beautiful beach, Miami’s got it. If you want fine dining, Miami’s got it. When you’re trying to figure out where to go in Florida, Miami is the answer.

This city is known for being flashy, and if you want to do a big vacation, this is the place to go all out.

2. Orlando

Orlando is another one of the best places to visit in Florida. How can anyone say no to Disney World and SeaWorld? If you’re looking for the ultimate vacation, Orlando is the spot.

With all the theme parks and water parks that this city offers, you’ll never get bored. Even if you’re not into big parks, they also offer fun activities at Universal CityWalk.

Also, Orlando isn’t just for little kids. This is also a great place for a group of teenage or college kids to visit for a fun getaway.

3. Naples 

When you’re thinking about visiting Florida, don’t forget about Naples. It’s one of Florida’s gulf coast cities, and it’s located in an upscale region. It’s adorned with a nice stretch of beachfront that accompanied by elaborate houses and luxurious resorts.

When you and your lover want to get away, this is the place to go. Not to mention, the beaches in Naples offer some of the best in the entire state. The warm waters provide a nice soothing feel that vacationers can’t deny.

Also, if you want to do something out of the box, check out the best Florida helicopter rides to book an exciting excursion!

4. Tampa

There may not be much sand and water in Tampa, but it’s still one of the best places to go in Florida. It’s filled with famous attractions like Busch Gardens and the Tampa Zoo at Lowry Park.

If you have children, they’ll also love visiting the Tampa Aquarium and taking a walk through the Big Cat Rescue. When you’re not in the mood for the big theme parks of Orlando, Tampa is an awesome alternative.

5. Key West

Key West sits at the southern tip of Florida, and it provides visitors with an island feel. It’s one of the best places to visit in Florida because of its beautiful water. It’s the perfect alternative for travelers who want the experience of an island getaway without leaving the country.

However, if you do decide to take an international trip, Key West is one of the main cruise ship ports for cruise lovers. You can always spend a few days in Key West, hop on the ship, and come back. It provides the perfect getaway.

6. Fort Myers

When you’re thinking about visiting Florida, Fort Myers might not be one of the first places you think about. however, it shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s known as the River District, and it provides travelers and residents with a lot to do.

There is plenty of dining, shopping, and sightseeing. Plus, Fort Myers is home to the IMAG History and Science Center which allows visitors to experience the city in 3D virtual reality.

This town is also situated on the shores of Estero Island, which is slightly separated from the mainland. It’s a hotspot for honeymooners and celebrities.

7. Sanibel Island

If you don’t know where to go in Florida, check out Sanibel Island. It’s just off the West coast of Florida and it’s home to many high-end resorts. There are also numerous water activities for visitors to get into, as well as incredible shopping boutiques and galleries for guests to enjoy.

Although this city is popular amongst tourists, it’s not as famous as some of the other cities in Florida. So if you want a nice getaway that’s not too crowded with tourists, this is it.

8. Pensacola

Pensacola is known for its awesome beaches and laid back, down-home environment. This is an area that many college students like to visit on the weekends or for a spring break vacation. It’s also a nice escape for the surrounding Florida towns that don’t have a beach.

If you’re a local resident, Pensacola is the perfect place to go for a weekend beach vacay.

9. Daytona Beach

Chances are you’ve heard about the Daytona 500 NASCAR race that’s held every year in Daytona. But outside of the big races, many people decide to go to Daytona for the beaches. It too is a hot spot for spring breakers and other visitors who want a fun time.

Daytona Beach spans over 23 miles of the Atlantic ocean, and it’s accompanied by a pier filled with games, restaurants, and amusement park rides.

The Best Places to Visit in Florida

If you didn’t know before, now you know that visiting Florida is a smart choice. It works well for couples who want to get away, a girl’s trip, and a family trip. This list of the best places to visit in Florida has something for everyone.

If you enjoyed reading this article, feel free to read more of our blog posts. We cover content relating to different destinations, the best ways to travel, food, and much more. You’ll love it!

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