CRAP CALLS - I now spend a fair amount of time at home, not just doing nothing but doing loads of different things [loving it!]. Of course, since I’m here we do get phone calls thru the day. I don’t mind, so much, human beings calling - whether fundraising or politicking or whatever. I’m willing and able to be kind to them. BUT I hate those machine people calls = the ones for the back braces, car warranties, health insurance, you name it. [I am on the DoNotCall list]. The ones which try to sound like a human, “Hello this is Jennifer”..pause to allow me to say something, then move right along and try to make me think this is a human. BUT I’m having a great time with my call-blocking phone = I’m sure other manufacturers make them, but the one we have is a Panasonic and when one of those machine calls come in [I answer on speakerphone] I hit the Call Block button and even if they’ve spoofed some innocent Iowa area code and number, they are blocked totally. I’ve noticed in the past few days calls have come in and either died on the vine or show “Call Blocked” on the screen and I punch it off. Not having to receive these calls has been great — I just thought I’d report this small success in fighting the machines.
I found one from a trip in 2006 when I spent about a week in Beijing, China [and two in Bhutan] and joined a small tour group bicycling through the hutongs of the old city. I'm going to be having a show in late July at Artisan Gallery 218 with photos of bicycles from that and other trips over the years. Details of the show will be on the website and in its Newsletter or you can contact me for further information.
Sitting here quietly and my iPhone beeped and a text message came in - "841138 is your Amazon security code" --BUT I have not been on the Amazon site for any purpose today or over the past several days. I immediately went there and changed my password then called Amazon customer service. As the lady explained, someone may have obtained my email and password in some fashion [how I don't know and I had an excellent password, I thought] and tried to buy something or get into the account for some purpose. Thus, since I had 2-factor authentication set up, they couldn't enter because the text came to me with the code, not to them. I know I harp constantly about passwords, password managers and security, but this is additional proof of the need to prevent easy access to one's accounts.
Blink Art is featuring some of my images on its website over the next two weeks. Nice to have that recognition.
Travel Creates Tighter Bonds
Whether travelling with a friend, relative or partner, experiencing a new place together can strengthen the relationship. So long as the challenging aspects of travelling are jointly overcome, such as planning the trip or compromising on what to see, you and travel partner will laugh and bond over the entire adventure, forming an enduring cache of memories you can talk about in the years to come.
Tip: Be sure to print out the photos you have taken of the trip and to put them in a scrapbook for you to look at from time to time. In this digital age, many people are guilty of snapping, but not printing, the photos so that they rarely look at them in the years ahead.
In heeding our tips, while learning about the mental benefits of travelling, you’re yielding even more benefits from your upcoming trip. Not going anywhere soon? Then, don’t wait any longer. Book a sitter for your pet, pack your bags, and escape to a relaxing destination today!
The Pre-Trip Happiness is Good for YouThe benefits of travel don’t come to you just during and after your trip. The excitement and anticipation of going on vacation can considerably lift your spirits. According to a University of Surrey study, people are at their happiest when they have already booked a trip. Such people are also more positive about their finances, health, and overall quality of life.
A Cornell University study found that people rate the happiness of anticipating a travel experience over that of purchasing a new acquisition.
Tip: Download a countdown clock app to help stoke your feelings of giddiness and excitement before the trip. The closer you get to the date, the happier you will be.
Travel Relieves Stress
Our day-to-day responsibilities may be time-consuming, and sometimes we totter under the burden of living hectic, busy days on repeat. Travel is a delightful way to escape the commitments and stresses of our daily life, introducing refreshing change and novelty in the form of new sights, experiences and acquaintances. The goal is to relax to the point where both the mind and body reboots, free from the strains of work projects and burdensome relationships, says Margaret King of the Center for Cultural Studies and Analysis.
For many, travel is not about discovering new places as much as escaping from old ones that are adversely affecting our spirits. Vacations sever the feeding channels of stress connected to the activities and places we dwell in for work.
Tip: Sometimes vacations to busy cities like London or New York, while exciting, may overwhelm your nerves a tad. During such big urban adventures, be sure to schedule some down time, like a calm picnic or massage.
You Learn to Be Flexible
When travelling, especially in new countries, you step out of your comfort zone and are forced to adopt to new customs and societal differences. This challenge “opens” your personality more, noted a 2013 paper by Zimmerman and Neyer. New societal adaptation calms your emotional reactions to changes in the day-to-day and boosts emotional stability, their paper concludes. At the same time, you meet new people, expand the size of your existing social network, and fortify your sense of congeniality.
Tip: Charm the locals you meet by learning and expressing, from time to time, typical expressions and idioms of the culture. Punctuating your phrases with a word of curious note will endear you to them.
From time to time I become aware of other's writings on topics relating to travel, both encouraging it and providing helpful suggestions. Catherine Workman of WellnessVoyager has written on this topic. She has a great view of travel: "Catherine believes we should all leave our comfort zones once in awhile. She uses travel to boost her physical and mental health and shares about her experiences on WellnessVoyager.
So, here is one of her discussions and I'll publish others in the near future.
Here are a few reasons why springing for a pleasure trip is a terrific idea, coupled with trip-maximizing tips:
It Sows Creativity
Experts on neuroplasticity (how our brain is connected) say our brains are tremendously influenced by changes in experiences and environments. Studies conducted at Columbia Business School have found that creativity is stoked when cultural immersion is deep. Open-mindedness blossoms when you shift your habits and newly tailor your life to the customs of the country you’re visiting.
Tip: Practice more than one creative outlet – such as journal writing, or craft learning – when traveling, to stir your creative synapses.