Frequently Asked Questions About Double Depression

I am an expat living in the UK for almost 15 years now. My initial plan was to go on a vacation in London after I got diagnosed with clinical depression in the US following my parents’ deaths. The psychiatrist told me a change of scenery might do me some good, so that’s the first destination that came to mind. I only decided to relocate there permanently after six months when I found new friends in the UK and realized that no one would miss me back home.

Life in this new country had been incredible from the beginning. My original office in the US had another base in the UK, so I merely had to ask to be moved there. After five years, I already became a subject of the Queen, which I thought was cool. Then, a couple of years later, I found the love of my life.

Being with Lisa made me happy – too happy that I almost forgot about my depression. She loved traveling, so I always went wherever she wanted. The only thing that upset me was that Lisa refused to move in with me before marriage, but I eventually decided to pop the big question to her with a surprise proposal. Unfortunately, before I could do that, I caught her cheating on me with her boss.

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To cut a long story short, my depression came back. Worse, my new psychiatrist said that I had a double depression. I left London and wandered around the UK until I found Tynemouth, hoping the scenic place would heal.

What does the phrase “double depression” mean? 

Double depression is a unique condition in which an individual gets diagnosed with types of mood disorder. People tend to deal with this mental illness when a psychiatrist initially concludes that they have clinical depression. After a year or so, and symptoms are still there, they realize that they also have dysthymia or persistent depressive disorder.

What are the two leading causes of depression? 

Abuse is one of the primary causes of depression. When an individual gets violated physically, emotionally, or mentally for an extended period, after all, the scars may last longer than people may realize. Even if they move past the abuse, the depression may remain until they work through it.

Another primary cause of depression is genetics. According to studies, if one of your close relatives has been diagnosed with depression, similar symptoms may manifest in you or another relative after some time.

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Can you have more than one type of depression? 

Yes, you can have more than one type of depression. In truth, many people who get diagnosed with clinical depression end up getting persistent depressive disorder (a.k.a. dysthymia) over time. That is especially true if the symptoms of depression come back even after seeming to go away for a while. When it occurs, psychiatrists may diagnose you with double depression.

What is the highest cause of depression? 

The answer depends on the age of the person who has been diagnosed with depression. In case they are young adults, stressful or traumatic events are the #1 cause of depression. For older adults, the diagnosis of a physical illness may make them feel depressed.

Is depression a learned behavior? 

Yes, depression is a learned behavior – that is, if you talk to behavioral psychologists. This idea makes sense, considering the mental disorder comes with unhelpful symptoms that can last for months or years. In that case, mental health professionals believe that you can unlearn depression by modifying how you think and feel towards specific situations. 

Is dysthymia a mood disorder? 

Yes, dysthymia is a mood disorder. By its other name, people may have known it a persistent depressive disorder, a chronic form of depression that may affect a person’s way of living for years. Unfortunately, simple self-help techniques may not suffice to eliminate dysthymia, but mixing antidepressants with psychotherapy may do the job over time.

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What is the primary cause of depression? 

The primary cause of depression is mental stress. It can be the product of various issues like divorce, bullying, unemployment, burnout, etc. The more stressful situations you find yourself in, the more you tend to feel depressed.

Who is at the most significant risk for depression? 

A female between the ages of 18 and 25 is at the most significant risk of having depression. If you think about it, young adulthood is the time when a woman needs to make a lot of life-changing decisions. For instance, “What should I do after college?” “What career should I follow?” “Should I even go to college?” “How can I make my dreams come true?” The more pressure she experiences, the more likely she is to get depressed.

What is the biological cause of depression? 

The biological cause of depression is that mental disorder is inheritable. If someone in the family has been diagnosed with it, there is a high chance that depression is already in your genes, just waiting to be triggered. That trigger factor is typically a series of stressful events in a person’s life.

What are the four types of depression? 

The four types of depression are:

    • Bipolar disorder
    • Dysthymia
    • Clinical depression
    • Seasonal affective disorder

Which country has the highest depression rate? 

China holds the title for the highest depression rate, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A local news outlet in 2016 reported that 100 million people in the country had been diagnosed with depression, although a significant number of them may be unaware of it. Because of that, suicide has become a growing concern for the Chinese government.

Is it normal to cry every day?

No, it is not normal to cry every day, mostly if you are not mourning the loss of a loved one or dealing with tear-inducing circumstances. In truth, crying for no reason at all is one of the many signs of depression. It entails that you may have latent emotions that are yet to come out.

If you find yourself crying every day, you should see a psychologist or psychiatrist for a diagnosis.

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Final Thoughts

I wish I could move to Tynemouth for good. After an entire month of staying near the beach, riding the bike around the town, and inhaling that salty fresh air, I got my depressive symptoms in control again. Alas, I could not stay there any longer due to my job, but the vacation served its purpose. I would undoubtedly go back there as often as possible. 

What Visiting Beaches Can Do To Your Brain And To Your Mental Health

 

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Then and now, the beaches of Tynemouth are a constant go-to for locals and tourists alike. The coastlines of this beautiful city are crowded during the summer, despite the several changes seen over the years. During the Victorian period, people hired boats to have a tan and relax while they are in the middle of the crowded beach. Now, these boats are replaced with kayaks and surfboards of the young and old. Most Tynemouth locals believe that going to the beach has a therapeutic or curative value, which has been proven repeatedly.

Have you ever tried spending a day at a beach and coming back home feeling rejuvenated, relaxed, and more alive? Perhaps you will agree with what the people who have visited the beaches in Tynemouth have said – the beach not only produces a calming effect but it also helps improve your physical, emotional, and mental health. In fact, it has shown positive material changes in an individual’s brain.

Let us discuss some of the evidence-based benefits that visiting beaches can provide.

A researcher from the England’s University of Exeter reports that the beach’s principle of helping enhance our mental wellness is well-established. Since the 18th century, medical doctors often prescribed trips to the beach and visiting ‘bath hospitals,’ specifically designed facilities that offered seawater-bathing treatments for people with mental and other health conditions. The researcher noted, though, that experts have only begun discovering the ocean’s health benefits experimentally in present times.

  • Waves From The Sea Creates Negative Ions

The calming sensation that we feel when we are at the beach could lead to molecular alterations occurring in one’s body. The waves from the beaches we visit create negative ions that increase our body’s capacity to absorb oxygen. These ions also balance the body’s serotonin, a chemical formed by the body associated with stress and mood. This is one reason why going to the beach has been connected to general wellness and improved mental and physical energy. It might even help some people sleep better.

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  • Stimulation Of The Prefrontal Cortex

The prefrontal area of the brain is related to self-reflection and emotional expression. This area was found to be activated when ocean sounds were played. Additionally, scientists took scans of participants of clinical trials that were exposed to sounds of the ocean, and the same results were found.

  • Cortisol Levels Are Lowered

The beach may have a relaxing effect on people because of the beautiful sounds that the waves produce. An auditory neuroscientist who was interviewed during the Blue Mind Summit stated that many studies explained the kinds of noises that people find pleasant and comforting and what kinds were considered stress-provoking and distracting. The most soothing sounds are those that produce foreseeable wave configurations. The sound must be adequate to low, soft, and harmonic in frequency with regular gaps. Oceans waves check out all these descriptions. They are very calming to listen to, and they are very soothing to the ears.

Cortisol, a stress hormone, is heightened in the body when traffic and other toxic noises are introduced to humans. When this hormone is increased, health issues like heart disease and ulcers can develop. The soothing sound of the ocean decreases the levels of cortisol in our bodies. Hence, ocean sounds positively impact our overall health and may help avoid possible health conditions.

  • The Flat Ocean’s View Pacifies You

The horizontal plant of the ocean’s surface can also provide a sense of safety and refuge. Some neuroscientists say that people feel safer when they are somewhere simple, clean, and airy. In forests and other wildlife, people need to be cautious and ready for animal attacks. In the city, on the other hand, they need to watch out for villains and lawbreakers. People’s eyes are comforted by the blue colored water at the beach, reflecting the skies, soft waves, and the beautiful horizon that gives us hope and peace of mind. There is nothing to be afraid of while you sit there watching the view.

From a neurological point of view, we are created to learn to neutralize whatever environment we are in to control our surroundings. When we look at the ocean or walk along a coast, we feel that we are in a stable, foreseeable environment.

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Conclusion

Perhaps the next time you look out your window and see the beautiful glaring sun, why don’t you go for a walk at the beach? You’ll realize that you won’t find it so hard to feel positive throughout the day. You’re doing yourself a favor. If you want more love and good vibes within your family, then take them with you and share the gift of only getting all the good benefits of the beach.

 

 

Why Tynemouth Is An Ideal Location For Family Reunions

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I come from a close-knit family. My relatives were the type of people who wanted to make every occasion an excuse to get together. Sometimes, we had valid reasons, such as a birthday, wedding, graduation, or house blessing. Other times, it was merely because someone got a haircut, learned a new recipe, or found a new movie that’s apparently worth raving about to the family.

Then, when my cousins and I turned into adults, we started to relocate to various parts of the world. My eldest sister moved first to California after getting married to her long-time boyfriend. One cousin got transferred to Paris by the modeling agency that she was working for. Others moved to Japan, Germany, Canada, and different states. I was the last to relocate to the UK because that’s where my company’s headquarters was.

I honestly thought that the family reunions would stop because of the significant distance between all of us. Not everyone could come home all the time either due to our responsibilities at work. However, the elders took it as an opportunity to travel the world to visit every family member. They made us promise that we would meet once a year, be it in the US or anywhere else in the world. 

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I must admit that this scheme was not too shabby. When we went to my sister’s place for the first time, she brought us to this beautiful vineyard that her husband’s family owned. I only remembered half of the visit, though, because I indulged too much on the unlimited wine that they served. When the others got visited, they followed my sister’s lead and took the family to different tourist spots that they knew we hadn’t been to before. 

This year, I faced a slight dilemma when I found out that it was my turn to host the family reunion. Everyone had their tickets booked already, and they would be arriving at different times throughout the day. I often told them how much I loved the UK whenever we chatted, but I honestly had no idea where to bring a bunch of people whose ages ranged from 0 to 77 years old.

Unable to handle the pressure anymore, I decided to ask my local co-workers for advice. Many of them told me not to go far and book a tour in London where we were all staying. But others suggested that we should get out of the city and go to the not-so-little town of Tynemouth.

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Visiting Tynemouth

I took my colleague’s advice seriously; that’s why I found myself traveling to Tynemouth one weekend. My goal was to scope the place an entire day, stay overnight, and decide the next day if it was ideal for a massive group of people.

However, I had only been in Tynemouth for six hours, and I was already in love with it. Something was enchanting about the preserved structures in this town. I had visited other historical places before, and they gave me the creeps, but Tynemouth didn’t scare me. Trying to be objective here, I could say that it was an ideal location for family reunions because of the following:

Everyone Loves The Beach

The first thing that hooked me was the beach at Prior’s Haven. I had seen more beautiful beaches than that, complete with white sand, restaurants, and all, but its selling point was that it was hidden from view. If we could go there during a non-peak season, we could have the beach all to ourselves. Hence, there was no need to worry about strangers doing inappropriate things about us, and everyone could sunbathe and swim in peace.

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Tynemouth Has An Interesting History

At first glance, the town seemed like it was always so serene. But when you look at its history, you would realize that it’s far from that.

I am no expert at Tynemouth history, but I learned that a few ships sank near its shores in the 19th century. Various wars also erupted there, considering people in the olden times used to travel by water. 

I figured it was perfect for the elders in the family who enjoyed a great story.

Cycling Is A Family Favorite

Riding a bike was technically a rite of passage in our family. At the age of five, everyone already had their training wheels off and knew how to cycle on their own. Even our grandparents would go on a bike with us around the park.

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With everything so picturesque in Tynemouth, I was sure that my family would not pass up the opportunity to ride around the town. That’s especially true once they realized that they could tour the entire place in one day on two wheels.

Final Thoughts

The reunion finally happened, and as expected, no one came home without a smile on their face. Without a doubt, we would go back to Tynemouth again soon.

Dine-Out Guidelines In Tynemouth And Across The Globe

 

 

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Eating out during this current pandemic still comes with specific hazards. Here are a few questions that are answered by health experts and other leaders from different sectors. Generally, cafes and restaurants have been recommended to lessen their seating capacity or, in some countries, not to open at this time. For instance, most restaurants in America are advised only to accommodate 50% of people indoors. In the United Kingdom (including Tynemouth), most of their food establishments have closed their doors to prevent or stop the spread of COVID-19. Across the globe, social distancing guidelines are suggested, but not all countries enforce them appropriately. Thus, restaurants are forced to create their protocols for making their place safe for their employees and clients. In some areas, restaurants have reopened despite the strict measures being recommended. So the question is: If there were a chance that restaurants are open in your place, would you go? Is it safe?

 

With so much vagueness there is about the coronavirus, along with its continued proliferation and a testing procedure that isn’t reliable enough to identify and segregate everyone infected, it’s still not safe at all to announce businesses to reopen and restrictions to be lifted in public sectors. Although some states state that theirs is as safe as it should be, truthfully, there is no such thing is safe during this time, as safe means ‘zero risks.’ And since ‘zero risks’ is impossible, how can we minimize the threats that come with reopening businesses? Given the possible methods of transmission of the COVID-19 disease, would you consider dining out indoors or outdoors? With masks on or off? How would you pay?

 

Questions And Answered

 

These are queries that restaurant owners are contemplating right now, as a lot of them are getting ready to reopen. Others also ask businesses what their plans are to avoid virus transmission. There are also basic measures that all should think about and comply with, like getting updates from your community health sector about whether or not the coronavirus cases have decreased, practicing proper hygiene and other infection-control habits, and choosing delivery or takeout if cases in your area continue to rise.

 

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So what if your restaurant is bigger and with bigger spaces that can accommodate socially distanced tables? Is it safer than smaller restaurants? Apparently, yes. A larger, well-ventilated restaurant with more stringent restrictions in terms of the number of people permitted to dine in, and the number of people serving the customers is the safest. If you have a bigger area, you can organize the tables six feet farther from each other. Thus, a smaller restaurant poses a higher risk for the spread of infection, because sitting near someone who is infected poses as the highest risk so far. Proper ventilation is also a must.

 

Another question is: If I would eat at a restaurant with my family, should I be concerned about how many of us are going to sit in one table? How many is too much? According to the CDC, group gatherings should be limited to no more than 10, although other experts believe that a group this size would still be risky. If you’re with people that you’re living with, it’s fine. However, if you’re meeting with friends, eight or more is not a safe number.

 

Studies frequently reveal that the virus reproduces easily among groups of people in closed or small areas. The infection has been shown to happen when people from various households come together for certain activities that are done indoors, like dinner in a restaurant.

 

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Summary

 

Dining out and social distancing is two things that still can’t be seen in all restaurants. People have trouble distancing themselves while sitting on a restaurant table, and they can’t wear masks when they’re eating. Thus, the risk of spreading the virus is clear. The best decision, then, is to continue limiting group dinners in restaurants. It is better not to introduce yourself with people that you haven’t been in close contact with for the past weeks. It is only safe to eat with those you’re living with. There is no ideal dining size, but the general rule would be the fewer, the better.

 

 

 

The Best Beach Activities For You This Summer

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The 2019 Beach Event took pride in its exciting and unique way of spending the summer – the ball drop. Aside from this, however, they encouraged everyone to maximize their stays in paradise by bringing out their adventurous selves. With this in mind, here are the best beach activities that you can do with your family and friends this summer.

Engage In Water Sport

Go out of your comfort zone by trying a water sport. It is the perfect place to bring out your courageous side with water skiing, parasailing, and jet skis. Rest assured that you will experience the ultimate adrenaline rush with all the screaming and falling and the waves crashing your body.

Fish On The Pier

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Some beaches do not allow fishing on the pier. However, many add this to the list of activities their visitors can try. There are even some coastal piers open 24/7. So you can do this with your colleagues at any time of the day. Take note that fishing at night is more peaceful since you relax with the waves’ sound while staring at the twinkling stars.

Don’t worry if you still haven’t done this before. There are some beaches which offer training for beginners. They also rent out fishing tools so you won’t have to carry these bulky rods wherever you go.

Create Beach Art

Several individuals are only used to creating sandcastles or burying themselves in the sand. Are you aware, however, that there is so much more you can do with sand? Whether you’re an artist or not, you can craft your beach art. Use the things around you, like stones and seashells, as your guide.

Munch At A Local Seafood Buffet

Don’t end your vacation without trying the best seafood buffet in town. You’ll be amazed at how fresh the food is as these are fresh from the sea every day. They also have in-house chefs who have mastered the art of preparing it to perfection. This experience might be a little expensive as compared to other beach activities. But rest assured that it’s definitely worth the money.

On your next vacation this summer, keep in mind all of these things. Don’t forget to do these activities with your loved ones, so it’s double the fun! 

Travel In The Time Of COVID-19: Putting Them All In The Bucket List

 

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Indeed, these are not ordinary days, especially for people from Italy, the Philippines, New York, Wuhan, and all other areas that are hit devastatingly by COVID-19. These days are not ordinary for those who are seeing the pandemic realistically, feeling the anxiety and stress of fighting against an invisible villain that has been making chaos in our world mentally, physically, emotionally, and economically. While we are on lockdown with very strict guidelines established in place all over the world, a lot of people, including me, ask if they can still possibly travel and fulfill their life long dreams.

A friend of mine who owns a famous travel planning company told me that the global community is influenced by the promise of discovering the world and the different places that we are presented with when we leave our homes to travel. Of course, recommending you to travel now would be so irresponsible, so he didn’t. Instead, he gave me some useful advice to help me plan for my future journeys.

Concisely, he suggested that I postpone my trips and travel dreams – postpone, not cancel. He recommended that look forward to the fall season, within September and December 2020, when clinicians and researchers foresee that it’ll be clearer and virus-free. Nobody can guarantee this precisely, but it does give us a timeline to be hopeful for beautiful things to come soon.

Soon we will find our way back to the beautiful world again – the world that included chefs, drivers, friends, and everyone who makes traveling so rewarding. Carrie Goldberg, travel director of Bazaar.com, says that his heart aches when he hears people asking whether or not trips to Rome, Venice, or Tuscany will ever be open again, as these places mean a lot to him. He continues that he will surely be the first one to go back to Milan or Venice when it’s safe to do so. The visions of him eating in one of the local restaurants or simply having coffee at the corners of Tuscany is what’s helping him get through the pandemic.

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Planning Your Bucket List

My friend assured me that I would travel again. When these restrictions and quarantine implementations that are placed for our good are finally released, when we will be free from the chains of the coronavirus, we will all need to go out. We need a vacation. He embraced me, saying, “When you will be allowed to on vacation, the world will still be there.”

So in the meantime, I am following his advice and coming up with a bucket list of my dream vacations when the world will be ready for me. I have always dreamed of a long journey that will change and rejuvenate me. It doesn’t matter if I’m in Vietnam having a taste of their delectable cuisine or in Paris being swept away by the romance of it all. I wouldn’t mind learning about the culture in Africa or why dramas in Korea are so sellable. I am just thinking of a trip that will somehow correct the uncertainty of the past months. The desire to go places has always been in my mind, no matter where that is.

Today, I am fixing my bucket list. What of the beaches in Hawaii – a beautiful place that is filled with flowers, trees, and everything tropical. I’m planning a family vacation in one of the rivers in our hometown, where we can set a bonfire and grill some barbecue and smores. There’s no better way to forget about all the negativity that we’ve gathered from this self-isolation than to celebrate freedom with the family?

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Another thing that I added to my list is catching up with friends from afar. That, I haven’t done in such a long time – quarantine or no quarantine. If there is one realization that I had amid this crisis, it is that life is short – it only takes a virus to stop someone from breathing. I have friends from around the world, so I’ll be doing myself a favor of finally being able to keep in touch with them and, of course, traveling! Now I think that’s one of the best ways to live life.

 

Four Etiquette Tips to Follow When You’re Traveling

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The 2019 Tynemouth Summit encourages volunteers and tourists to join hundreds of clean-ups around the country. As the coastline continues to suffer from pollution, they appeal to thousands of visitors to ensure they’re not leaving litter on the beaches. It is fundamental when traveling, to follow and respect the rules put in place. 

While exploring new destinations is rejuvenating, a traveler has to conduct proper behaviors when visiting new places. Here are some of the travel etiquette you need to follow when you’re traveling: 

  1. Don’t Litter

Not only when you’re traveling, but littering has never been a proper thing to do. You have to pick your trash and put it in the appropriate place. At least while you’re enjoying your trip, you can also preserve the environment while you’re at it. There are no countries that would allow or adore a visitor with no respect for their surroundings. Follow the rules and guidelines of the country’s waste management. 

  1. Try To Learn The Language And Custom

You don’t have to join a language course before you travel, but a simple translation to the words like “hello” or “nice meeting you” to the place you’re visiting will suffice. You also have to be mindful of the way the site greets each other. Some countries prefer bowing, shaking hands, or kisses on the cheek when greeting, while some don’t even do physical contact. In this way, you will understand certain gestures and not get surprised by it. 

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  1. Dress Appropriately

When traveling, you have to be respectful of the culture of the place you’re visiting. One factor in this is appropriately dressing, depending on their tradition. Try to wear clothes that are as close as the locals or cover up the knees and elbows to be sure. If you want to know more, you can ask the people around you or conduct a quick search on the internet.  

  1. No Matter What, Be Polite

Remember that you’re a visitor and be courteous when you’re interacting with the locals. People would always want to engage with a friendly person, so be polite no matter what. For example, if you don’t like the food put in your table, don’t show your disgust and try to eat a small bite. In some cases, insulting their food may mean insulting their culture. So be wary.

How To Avoid Losing Your Stuff During Vacation

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I appreciate everything about going on a holiday trip. I love learning about the new places that I have not been to. I enjoy trying different foods that I will never find back home or be able to copy. More importantly, I look forward to meeting various people and sharing stories with them.

If I can let you in on a little secret, though, there was a time when I almost swore off traveling during my vacation days. When I went to Japan once, after all, my luggage got loaded in a different aircraft, so I had to wait for a couple of days for the airline to locate it and bring it to Japan. The year after that, I decided to go to Australia and forgot where I left my purse. I had to retrace my steps, which meant going back to a zoo, three restaurants, and a mall. Such experiences jaded me for some time until I woke up one day and realized that I should stop isolating myself like that. Thus, after I scheduled my next trip, I looked for ways to make sure that I won’t lose my stuff again.

Here are some tips that I have already tried and proven useful.

Take One Bag That You Can Carry

The first thing is to pack your clothes and other essentials in a single bag. You are only going away for a few days, so you do not need multiple suitcases. Even if you want to stay somewhere for up to a month, it is not too difficult to wash your clothes so that you can wear something the next day. No matter where you go, you will be able to find a laundry shop.

By putting all your essentials in one bag, you can carry everything even when you are inside the plan. You don’t have to be responsible for a lot of things either other than the one on your back or in your hands. Thus, you can effectively lower your chances of losing anything while traveling.

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Bring Copies Of Important Documents When You’re Touring Places

Considering you are in a foreign country, it is common to want to bring your passport and other IDs in case you need to prove your identity. If you have gotten a visa before going there, you may need to bring that, too. The last thing you want is to get accused of being an illegal alien, after all.

Well, what’s worse than hearing false accusations is losing those travel documents. It won’t put you in a foreign jail, but you will likely have to process a lot of papers to get new IDs. Because of that, you should take copies of them only.

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Avoid Leaving Your Bag Out Of Your Sight

Another tip is to avoid leaving your bag in a place where you cannot see it. Regardless if your suitcase has many locks, you cannot secure it from thieves. When the location is too crowded, you will have no idea who has taken it. I know that it is a textbook suggestion, but it works every time.

Final Thoughts

Losing your belongings while you are supposed to be having fun is the worst thing you can experience. To prevent going through that problem, you should follow the tips mentioned above.

Good luck!

Ways To Stay Virtually Safe While Traveling

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There used to be a time when people go on a trip and focus on having fun. All they had was the name of the city or town that they wanted to visit. These folks might know a hotel or resort as well, but that’s mere because a friend or advertisement informed them about it. And when they reach their destination, they let loose and try to do as much as possible before leaving.

Nowadays, when folks travel, they do not care much about the number of activities they can do in one place. They use the internet to search for a location where there are plenty of camera-friendly areas. They manage to stop at a few hotspots, but their goal is to take a lot of photos instead of appreciating the structures or the view.

In all honesty, nothing seems wrong with how the people in the modern age spend their vacation. Others say that everyone is becoming less appreciative of what we have, but I don’t think that’s the case. We merely focus on capturing what we see and then sharing it with the rest of the world.

The only issue that always comes up during vacations is internet connectivity. You don’t have to worry if you’re traveling to another city. It means that you will still get a signal from your telecom company. However, if your destination is another country, you may have to look for a different way to stay connected online.

Here are a few ways to be virtually safe while traveling.

Avoid Public Hotspots

Terminals, restaurants, and café often boast about offering free Wi-Fi to their customers. Some come with a password; others you can connect to openly. Most individuals, however, are attracted to the latter because it entails that they can stand outside of the establishment to use their internet.

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The thing is, open Wi-Fi connections are easy to access not only by tourists like you but also by hackers. Who’s to say that hacktivists are not baiting you with the internet to be able to get your personal information? To be on the safe side, therefore, you ought to avoid public hotspots altogether.

Buy 4G Or LTE SIM Card

Assuming your smartphone has an open line, you can remove your SIM card for a while and replace it with a local one from the country that you’re visiting. You see, even when you go to a third-world nation, you can find prepaid SIM cards that come with an internet connection. It may cost you a little more than usual, but it can undoubtedly reduce your chances of getting hacked.

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Use A VPN

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is not as mainstream as other internet services, but it is starting to gain popularity all over the world. The reason is that VPN encrypts whatever data you are sending or receiving, thus keeping you safe from hackers

Final Thoughts

No matter how much you enjoy staying connected virtually when you’re traveling, you should be aware of how you are getting the internet. Not all connections are secure, especially not the ones without passwords. Remember the tips above to ensure your internet safety anywhere.

Good luck!

How To Not Get Lost In A Foreign Place

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I love the idea of traveling to a foreign place every summer. For someone who rarely sees the sun, I have to go to a tropical location to enjoy the beach. It is a perfect opportunity for me to get a natural tan and resemble a bronzed goddess, even if it may only last for a few days. Of course, it feels incredible to bury my feet in the sand and feel the waves crash on my legs.

The thing is, I am the only one in my family who loves going to a new place all the time. When I brought my parents to Cabo, Mexico several years ago, they wanted to go back there every year after that. My father said, “We already know our way around Cabo, and it’s a beautiful location. Why should we have to go somewhere else and risk getting lost?”

As repetitive as I may sound, I reiterate to my parents how we can avoid getting lost in a foreign place. Let me share the steps I take to ensure that.

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Do Extensive Research About The Town/City

One of the vital things you can do before the trip is doing extensive research about the towns or cities that you’ll visit. The internet is your best friend during this phase. When you type a particular location, dozens of information will pop up. You may be able to find blogs from people who have been there.

In case you want to see things for yourself, you can find a street view version of a place. It entails that you will see a panoramic image and even be able to “walk” around the streets.

Figure Out The Routes

Considering you know which places you want to visit, your next goal is to search for the routes that will take you there. Start from the airport, bus terminal, train station, or wherever you will come from. Find out how far your hotel is from a theme park, a famous restaurant, etc. At least a couple of routes may appear so that you won’t feel lost at all.

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Know The Best Mode Of Transportation To Reach A Particular Destination

Another thing to think about is your mode of transportation in a foreign place.

When you consult Google maps, you will realize that the best way to travel is via a private car. You can look for shortcuts, go anytime you want, and not worry about sitting next to strangers. However, trains and buses may bring you faster to your destination than a vehicle that you will drive.

Remember The Names Of Key Establishments

Lastly, you should remember the name of your hotel, the street it is in, the café near it, and other establishments that can lead you back to your accommodation. You cannot forget this, especially if you are in a place where English isn’t the primary language. Even when you cannot communicate fluently with the locals, they may recognize the key locations and point you there.

Final Thoughts

Still scared of getting lost in a foreign place? Don’t be. Follow the tips above and travel confidently.

Good luck!