However, some nationalities appear to be especially reliant on the internet – 82% of Indians surveyed said they couldn’t imagine an offline life. India has the second highest number of internet users worldwide by headcount, although at 635.8 million this accounts for only 26% of the population.
The UK, while having fewer internet users than more populous countries such as India, China, the US and Brazil, was placed second, with 78% unable to contemplate getting by without it.
The study found that more than a third of UK internet users did a “digital detox” at some point last year, and the age group most likely to take a break were 16 to 24 year olds.
As a result of their digital detox, more than a third said they felt more productive, almost a third found it liberating and a quarter enjoyed life more. Although 16% said they experienced a “fear of missing out”, known as FOMO, and 15% felt lost and 14% cut off.
For some, a night at the theater sounds about as fun as sticking your hand in a ceiling fan. But even Andrew Lloyd Webber haters would willingly spend a few hours in these beautiful venues. Whether it’s the neobaroque state theater in Wiesbaden or the ultra-modern Guangzhou Opera House, these theaters are incredible examples of both art and architecture. Put on your finest opera glasses, which we know you have lying around, and get going:
Teatro La Fenice
Venice, Italy On top of being drop-dead gorgeous, Venice’s famed opera house has some serious history going for it. The theater has hosted world premieres for composers like Verdi, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and Stravinsky (look ’em up, they’re legit) since it first opened in 1792. It’s also suffered a number of catastrophes — including a fire as recent as 1996 — but it’s still going strong in its 223rd season.
Bregenz, Austria “Seebühne” means “sea stage” in German, and it’s a fitting title, since this theater is floating on the GD water. The Bregenz Festival first began staging productions on Lake Constance in 1946, and eventually built a stage in 1950. The Seebühne now hosts everything from The Magic Flute to West Side Story, but no matter the show, you can count on some insane sets. (This one’s from the 2011 production of André Chénier.)
The Winter Garden Theatre
Toronto, Canada This Canadian gem is part of a double-decker theater and while the Elgin (the other half) is great, it’s the Winter Garden Theatre that gets all the attention. Rightfully so, seeing as the walls are hand-painted to resemble a garden and there are actual beech boughs hanging from the ceiling. It began as a bustling vaudeville theater, but closed in 1928 when everyone got enamored with the talkies instead. The Winter Garden Theatre sat there for decades, until the Ontario Heritage Trust launched a multi-million dollar restoration in 1987. They had to clean the whole place with raw bread dough to avoid damaging the original artwork on the walls, but clearly, it was worth the wasted yeast.
Palau de la Musica Catalana
Barcelona, Spain Walk into the concert auditorium of this landmark and you’ll be confronted with beautiful stained glass, tiled mosaics, and marble sculptures at every turn. It’s considered a masterpiece of the Catalan Art Nouveau scene, and is the only concert venue in that style to earn coveted UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Suck it, Lluís Domènech i Montaner wannabes.
Paris, France For an idea of what you’re getting into at this opera house, just look at the bonkers ceiling. Ironically, it’s one of the newer parts of the place (Marc Chagall painted it in the ’60s) but it blends scenes from several famous operas around an opulent chandelier — a chandelier that fell in 1896, killing a construction worker and inspiring Gaston Leroux to write The Phantom of the Opera.
Porthcurno, England Stop by for a show at the Minack and you’ll get live theater and breathtaking Cornish scenery for the price of one. You do have to sit on a stone bench and if it rains, well, you’re going to get wet. But you can do without a plush theater seat and roof when it means these views of the Porthcurno Bay.
Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden
Wiesbaden, Germany First: try saying this five times fast. Second: consider swinging by for one of the neobaroque theater’s 50+ productions per season so you can sit in the Großes Haus and marvel at the frescos.
Sydney Opera House
Sydney, Australia You’ve seen the shell-like exterior, but the inside of Australia’s pride and joy is just as dramatic. The sculpted ceiling helped Jørn Utzon’s creation earn UNESCO World Heritage accolades, despite the opera house’s young age, and it might just hypnotize you away from the ballet or TED Talk you’re watching.
San Diego, CA, United States The Balboa has lived many lives. One as a movie palace. Another as WWII Navy housing. A third as a crumbling, empty space. Now it’s back in action as a pretty, functioning venue for live Nerdist podcasts and VeggieTales screamfests alike.
Moscow, Russia In 1776, a lot of things were happening. America was becoming ‘Merica, the Illuminati was starting up, and Catherine II was granting Prince Pyotr Urusov an exclusive 10-year management of Russia’s entertainment. All of it. The man decided an important first step was a theater, and so the Bolshoi was built in 1780. It’s gone through a lot of changes since then, but it’s still got the kind of swagger that would make those bitchy Anna Karenina society ladies go weak in the knees.
Odeon of Herodes Atticus
Athens, Greece In its early years (think 174 AD early), this Acropolis theater hosted the finest ancient Greek musicians. Nowadays, it still hosts world-famous musicians like Elton John and Sting, who stopped by on his ’96 Mercury Falling tour. Ahem, Hermes Falling tour.
Valletta, Malta Children under the age of 6 aren’t even allowed in the Teatru Manoel, so you know this place is fancy. And if there was any lingering doubt, consider its namesake, the Grandmaster Anton Manoel de Vilhena. The theater has all the classical music concerts and operas you’d expect, but if you thought it was too upper crust for a Ken Kesey production, guess again.
Manaus, Brazil The barons who built the place in the late 1800s took a little bit of this (Italian marble, British steel) and a little bit of that (Parisian furniture) and put it all together to create this opulent, international masterpiece. Other theaters might be as beautiful, but are they also located in the middle of a rainforest? That’s what we thought. Point: Teatros Amazonas.
Detroit, MI, United States When tycoon William Fox opened this stunner in 1928, it had a fleet of 400 ushers, doormen, and other house staff and was deemed the “the most magnificent Temple of Amusement in the World.” It fell into disrepair in the ensuing decades, but luckily, the ubiquitous Ilitches restored it to Jazz Age splendor.
Guangzhou Opera House
Guangzhou, China Even if your knowledge of architecture begins and ends with Ted Mosby, you probably know Zaha Hadid from her splashy sports arenas. (She built the London Aquatics Centre and Tokyo Olympic stadium.) But her firm’s been clocking in impressive work all over the globe for years, and one of the finest examples is this Chinese opera house. The twinkling lights and cascading tiers promise to keep you engaged, even as those Carmen arias are boring you to tears.
France is a popular place for expats, both young and old. This is where modern living meets old world culture, all in one beautiful country. Thanks to the size of France, new residents are able to find the type of climate and way of living that suits them best.
Pick and choose which amenities and activities you want access to. Visit cultural sites and take in remarkable scenery. Dine out and sip wine al fresco. Read a book on the beach. Take a weekend to go skiing.
The following cities also have a strong expat community.
The capital of Provence boasts a Mediterranean climate, keeping it sunny and mild all year long. Locals are known for being educated and intellectual, capable of stimulating conversation. Outdoor lovers can tour vineyards or hit a round at the Pont Royal international golf course.
The city’s natural beauty is complemented by old stone cottages, fountains and churches. Foodies will love the abundant cafes, restaurants, wineries and olive oil tastings. There’s also a strong art scene, plenty of boutiques and a large student community, due to the area’s universities.
You don’t need a car in Aix-en-Provence, since there’s a public bike system, car-sharing services, buses and trains to take advantage of. Eurostar train service makes it easy to take a quick holiday trip to London.
Dubbed “Little Paris” because of its classic beauty and architecture, this port town is home to approximately 239,000 people. Located on the Gironde river in southwest France’s Aquitaine region, Bordeaux was considered France’s wealthiest and most glamorous city for centuries. By the end of the 20th century, though, it had developed a reputation for being conservative and somewhat dull. With the turn of the millennium came a new, fresh outlook. Revitalized largely in part to a new tramway system, new energy was breathed into the city.
Today, Bordeaux has a number of restaurants, cafes, walkways, gardens and art installations. Mild most of the year, the city can get rainy during the winter. There’s no dry season, which is why the area produces such fantastic wines.
For families who are relocating, this area has some of the best schools in France. Like Aix-en-Provence, Bordeaux also has a lot of universities and a strong student population. The Aquitaine area is popular among young professionals.
Located on the southeast coast, Marseille is the second largest city in France and home to a wide variety of nationalities with the climate producing hot summers and mild winters.
The area has several bars, museums, shops and restaurants. Enjoy the walk up the hill to the basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde to light a candle at the city’s spiritual centre. Don’t miss the view from the church, either. When you have a free afternoon, walk along the Corniche du President JF Kennedy on the coast, which has the perfect combination of sunshine and sea air. Visit the labyrinth-like neighbourhood of Malmousque, which has breathtaking views of the coast.
The fifth largest city in France, Nice is located on the southeast coast, between Cannes and Monaco. There’s a large Italian influence in the area, as well as a huge tourist influx, which offers expats plenty of job opportunities. The beauty of Nice has inspired artists for centuries. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the four-mile Promenade des Anglais that runs along the beach, as well as mountain climbing and windsurfing.
While Nice is understated, it’s still a hub of culture, including gorgeous architecture and the greatest concentration of museums outside of Paris. This cosmopolitan area has plenty of shopping and nightlife, but it can also be a place of leisure, depending on the lifestyle you prefer. Or, if you don’t want to choose, you can have the best of both worlds.
Paris is made up of 20 neighbourhoods, called arrondissements. Aside from each one having its own number, they also have unique and defined characteristics, like views of the Eiffel Tower, rich nightlife and Art Nouveau buildings. Most Paris residents live in apartments, which range from the new and spacious to the classic and romantic.
The City of Light comes complete with fantastic cuisine; world-class music, theatre, dance and art; and a superb quality of life. Living in Paris is akin to living in a museum. View the tower where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned, then head to the same cafes where Hemingway and Picasso once frequented. Chance upon complementary concerts and performances, and spend an afternoon lolling in a public park.
Since public transportation is widely available in Paris, there’s no need for a car. The city revels in four seasons, which is ideal if you love changing weather every few months.
NOT ONLY ARE YOU personally experiencing a new culture – you are simultaneously seeing it through the eyes of another, during a different period in time.
Reading is a great form of entertainment and inspiration. However, for aspiring travel writers, it also serves as a necessary tool to learning the craft of writing. Books become your teachers, and who better to learn from than the legends of literature?
Who better to guide you through the streets of Paris and teach you how to make your words sing than Hemingway? What better way to learn how to recreate the details of a train ride than Paul Theroux?
Though your aching back may come to despise you for loading your rucksack with travelogues, your mind will thank you. Here is a list of 50 recommended books to choose from for your next travel adventure.
A necessary piece for those traveling through Spain, most especially for those planning on watching a bullfight. It’s an enviable work of journalistic skill that studies the art of bullfighting and its meaning within Spanish culture.
Paul Theroux’s “Great Railway Bazaar” captures the spontaneous pleasures of travel. Rich in observation and detail, this book is best read during solitary moments on a train. The route takes place from London’s Victoria Station to Asia and finally through the Trans-Siberian express. Capturing the idiosyncracies of train travel, the circumstances Theroux finds himself in, as well as the characters he encounters are a comical portrayal of life on the road.
This mystery novel will take you to the depths of Shanghai in the 1900’s and London in the 1930’s, as esteemed detective Christopher Banks searches for his parents, who had disappeared when he was a child. It is a startling look at loss, ambition, and the power of memory.
An inspiring read for women travelers, as Kira Salak proves that gender is not a barrier for a life of risk and adventure. It is both a story of survival and a personal reflection on a life lived without borders.
Often touted as the launching pad for vagabonders, wherein the purpose of life is to simply “live.” It’s an iconic book that has fueled the imagination of several generations of readers. A piece of pure voltage as the characters traipse their way through America in search of enlightenment. A bible for those “on the road” in search of meaning and adventure.
John Krakauer’s study of Chris McCandles short life will shake you to the core. It’s a story of a young man who decides to give up all his worldly possessions and head towards the Alaskan wilderness. Aptly changing his name to “Alexander Supertramp,” McCandles’ unwavering dedication to the journey is both awe-inspiring and ultimately heartbreaking.
Written like a fable or a tale, this book is a comical, yet touching account of life during the Cultural Revolution in China. Light in its delivery but profound in meaning, it serves as a reminder regarding the importance of intellectual freedom.
Although this book is often looked down upon by the “literarati,” it is an exciting read, especially for those planning on making a trip to the Louvre museum in Paris. Not only interesting for conspiracy fans but also a passion to read for art lovers. It is guaranteed that you will see art in a different light.
At midnight, on August 15, 1957, one thousand and one children are born possessing supernatural powers. With them, like the country, the burden of freedom weighs heavily. Not only is it a stunning work of magical realism, it’s a historical view of the hopes, dreams, and passions of post-colonial India.
Written by Carlos Bulosan, the first Filipino to be published in the United States of America, it is the story of his migrant experiences in the so-called ‘land of plenty’ in the 1930’s. The book is about his journey through the American landscape and discusses life as an exile, dislocation, racism, and poverty.
Kaplan’s ‘Balkan Ghosts: A Journey through History’ is not only a travelogue, but a political analysis of the past and present struggles within the region. He not only provides an interesting account of the Balkan peoples, but also gives insight to the roots and effects of hatred and terrorism.
The story revolves around the character of Christopher Marlow and his journey through the Congo. An important and timeless piece, especially for post-colonial studies, it poses questions on the concept of ‘civilization,’ the inner-struggle between good and evil, and colonialism.
‘Video Night in Kathmandu’ is a collection of essays set in Asia from Pico Iyer, one of the most prolific of contemporary travel writers, which aims to dissect the the cross-cultural relationships between East and the West.
A great piece for any traveler that has felt completely lost and alienated in a strange new city. It is an eerie novel of disambiguation as the character by the name of ‘K’ arrives as a land surveyor in an unamed village and seeks to gain entry into the castle but his path is blocked by mysterious authority figures and indifferent locals.
The character of “Pi” (Piscine Molitor Patel), a young boy from Pondicherry whose father is a zookeeper, is shipwrecked in the Pacific Ocean for 227 days. With him in the life raft are various animals, the most intriguing of which is the Bengal tiger who becomes Pi’s only friend, as well as enemy. A shocking and absorbing story that examines religion, spirituality, and the psychological effects of traumatic experiences.
A great book for those planning on traveling through the former Czechoslovakia, or even those simply seeking artistic and philosophical insight. A novel about love, desire, and the struggle between logic and emotions; it follows the lives of artists during the invasion of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact Allies in the country.
An absorbing masterpiece by Henry James that emphasizes the differences between America and Europe. It is the confrontation of the New World versus the Old World, where the character of the American Isabel Archer travels to Europe to find her destiny. The novel is about the search and loss of freedom and a grand overview of an American in Europe during the Victorian era.
“The Dark Room” is a profound novel that recounts the events of 20th century Germany through the lives and struggles of three characters all connected by their love-hate relationship with the city of Berlin.
Written in the form of a diary, the book is a display of Dalby’s skill for imagination and recreating Japanese literary history. It captures the essence of Murasaki Shikibu, who wrote “The Tale of Genji” and is full of philosophical and cultural insight.
A great adventure story told through the eyes of Buck, a domesticated dog who returns to his primal nature in order to survive the harsh landscape of the Yukon. Though expressed through experiences of an animal, it is a timeless tale of tapping into the savage instincts that lay buried within all of us.
A cult novel that is an account of Thomson’s drug-infused, paranoia ridden journey to Las Vegas in order to fulfill an assignment for Rolling Stone Magazine. Not only is “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” wildly entertaining as a novel, a travelogue, and a biography, but is an important study on the idea of the “American Dream.”
Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast” is his memories, observations and experiences of living in Paris during the 1920’s as part of the “Lost Generation” of America writers and artists. It is an essential piece for those who dream of living abroad or are in the midst of piecing toghether their expatriate lives.
“The Lord of the Flies” tells the story of a group of British schoolboys marooned in an island and have to learn to fend for themselves. In their efforts, they create their own democracy which goes awry as violence and chaos ensues. Set in the midst of World War II, it is an allegorical tale of a society without authority and the loss of innocence.
“Dubliners” is Joyce’s portrayal of Ireland’s middle-class in the 20th century told through a collection of 15 stories. Written during the wake of the Irish nationalist movement, the pieces reflect the people’s search for identity and the struggles of everyday life.
Though mostly popular due to the Disney cartoon classic, the book is a collection of stories set in India. The book is not only interesting for children, but for adults as well, as it details the different customs and traditions in India, as well as a criticism of British colonial powers.
An inspiring novella for those searching for a sense of meaning and purpose. Though largely viewed as a children’s book, “The Little Prince” is about an aviator who lands in the Sahara desert and comes to meet an alien in the form of a boy who teaches him the value of seeing the world through the eyes of an innocent.
“Maximum City” is Mehta’s account of returning to the India he had left behind as a child when his family migrated to New York. The author paints a picture of modern Bombay and the complexities of living between two opposing cultures.
One of the most creative and entertaining travelogues to date, “In Patagonia” is Chatwin’s account of trying to reconstruct the legendary adventures of his grandmother’s uncle through South America. This book, in its literary depths, historical accounts, and adventurous undertakings, set the standard for travel writing.
For anyone who has aspired to start afresh and ‘build a new home,’ so to speak , “Under the Tuscan Sun” is a rich and deeply moving account of her efforts to restore a villa in Italy. It is a memoir that reminds us of the sensual pleasures of food, life, and the importance of making a leap of faith.
A breathtaking true story of Austrian adventurer Heinrich Harrer and Peter Aufschnaiter escape to Tibet after being imprisoned in India by the British during World War II. An insightful novel that gives an insiders account of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan way of life, that is rarely seen by outsiders.
“Going Solo” is Roald Dahl’s biography and is an account of his life as a pilot in North Africa during World War II. Not unlike his captivating children’s books, this book is rife with exciting adventures, interesting encounters, and laugh-out-loud humor.
Kuki Gallman’s memoir of her life in Africa is simultaneously inspiring and heart-wrenching. In the wake of a tragedy that occured in her homeland in Italy, Kuki moves to Africa with her family and lover and is about overcoming and embracing the challenges of living in a world so different than her own.
“The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific” is J. Maarten Troost’s hilarous yet discerning account of living in Tarawa for two-years. The novel touches on the romantic image of “Paradise” we often attach to island living and the sad realities that need to be acknowledged.
“Letters to a Young Poet” is a collection of letters between Rainer Marie Rilke to an aspiring young poet by the name of Franz Xaver Kappus. Not only is it inspiring to read while on the road, but also a necessary piece for those of us searching and striving to live an authentic life.
This masterpiece by Thomas Pynchon raises the bar for what any would-be-author would aspire to create. A postmodern epic set during the end of the 2nd World War where its protagonist, Tyrone Slothrope search for German V-2 rockets is linked with the pattern (specifically, constellation) he created to keep track of the women he has slept with. Although a difficult read, its complexity, subplots, and confusion are allegories to the challenges of the modern world.
After the movie of the same title came out, hoards of adventurous backpackers made their way to Thailand in search of snake blood and hidden maps. However, the book is more exciting than the film version as it highlights the travelers quest for the unknown, yet also reveals the pitfalls of exploitation travel.
“The Size of the World” by Jeff Greenwald is an inspiring book for travelers searching for creative ways to explore the world. It begins with Greenwald’s goal to travel the globe without leaving the ground, and before he begins his journey he posts a query in the personals section of a newspaper to find a female travel companion. Thus, the story is not only an adventurous chronicle of the 9-months spent traveling by buses, trains and boats, but also a hilarious account of the women who respond to his ad.
A dramatic piece of literature set in Morocco, where the desert becomes an untamed character in itself. Set in the 20th Century, the characters of Kit and Port Moresby are a married couple from New York who travel to North Africa in the hopes of re-igniting the passion in their marriage, however they must learn to battle the elements, circumstances, and sense of dislocation brought on by the “sheltering sky.”
“Around the World in 80 Days” by Jules Verne set the stage for the future of adventure seekers everywhere. A classic novel that begins with Londoner Phileas Fogg, who makes a Ã‚Â£20,000 bet with his friends that he can circle the globe in 80 days with his French valet Passerpout.
Written in the form of a diary, Byron’s “Road to Oxiana” is a moving account of his travels through Persia and Afghanistan. Each page never fails to entertain, as Robert Byron’s skill in painting an image of his personal experiences, opinions and encounters to the reader.
“Travels with Charley” is Steinbeck’s account of his journey through America during the 1960’s with his best friend, Charley the dog. His prowess as a writer is unchallenged, as he weaves together his observations of modern America and highlights the value of surrendering oneself to the journey.
Published in 1869, it is Twain’s travel story through Europe and the Holy Land via a pleasure cruise. A pleasure to read, not only for Mark Twain’s clever observations, but also because it highlights the relationship between the Americans and Europeans during the 19th century and how each viewed their place in the world.
An intriguing and entertaining collection of short stories by W. Somerset Maugham that include pieces set in Asia, Europe and the Americas. The tales will shock, captivate and amuse the reader as Maugham pulls the “skeletons out of the closet” of his seemingly conservative, ‘civilized’ characters.
“The Summing Up” by W. Somerset Maugham is a must-read for any aspiring writer. Maugham emphasizes that the book is not his autobiography but are his reflections on the the craft of writing and the importance of travel, literature and philosophy.
A novel that teaches the lessons of love as the character of Kitty, a shallow and confused socialite marries the passionate bacteriologist Walter Fane who she later cheats on with the Charles Townsend. When Walter Fane discovers her infidelity he takes her on assignment with him to China. Not only is the book about discovering the meaning of love, forgiveness and compassion, but also paints a vivid picture of China during the 20th century
An exciting read, especially for those planning on traveling by train; Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” will have you on the edge of your seat as esteemed detective, Hercule Poirot tries to solve the case.
How to make a great first impression — and a great lasting impression?
There’s a formula to making a great first impression: Smile, make eye contact, be engaging. But first impressions can also quickly lose their impact, especially when there’s no substance beneath the surface glow.
But you can, because being the most likable person in the room has nothing to do with your level of success, or your presentation skills, or how you dress, or the image you project. Being genuinely likable is all about what you do.
How can you be more likable, in a sincere and authentic way?
1. Give before you receive, knowing you may never receive.
Never think about what you can get. Focus on what you can provide. Giving is the only way to establish a real connection and relationship.
Focus on what you can get out of the other person, and you show that the only person who really matters is you.
2. Shift the spotlight to other people.
No one receives enough praise. That means one of the easiest ways to be likable is to tell people what they did well.
Wait, you say you don’t know what they did well? Shame on you — it’s your job to know.
Not only will people appreciate your praise, they’ll appreciate the fact you care enough to pay attention to what they do. And then they’ll feel a little more accomplished and a lot more important, and they’ll love you for making them feel that way.
3. Listen three times more than you talk.
Ask questions. Maintain eye contact. Smile. Frown. Nod. Respond — not just verbally, but nonverbally. That’s all it takes to show the other person he or she is important.
When you do speak, don’t offer advice unless you’re asked. Listening shows you care a lot more than offering advice does, because when you offer advice, in most cases, you make the conversation about you.
Don’t believe me? Who is “Here’s what I would do” about: you or the other person?
Only speak when you have something important to say — and always define important as what matters to the other person, not to you.
4. Never practice selective hearing.
Some people — and I guarantee you know people like this — are incapable of hearing anything said by someone they feel is somehow beneath them.
Sure, you speak to them, but that particular falling tree doesn’t make a sound in the forest, because there’s no one actually listening.
Charismatic people listen closely to everyone, and they make all of us, regardless of our position or social status or “level,” feel like we have something in common with them.
Because we do. We’re all human.
5. Be thoughtful simply because you can.
I pulled into a service bay to get my oil changed. As I got out of the car, one of the techs said, “Man, those are nice wheels. Too bad they’re so dirty.” He smiled, just teasing.
“I know,” I said. “My next stop is the car wash.” Then I went inside to wait.
When I walked to my car to leave, the tech was just standing up, filthy rags in his hand. “It took some work, but I got ’em all clean,” he said. Every rim sparkled. Every speck of brake dust was gone.
“Wow, that’s awesome, but you didn’t have to do that,” I said.
“We’re not very busy,” he shrugged. “I had time. Figured I would make ’em look better.” Just then a car pulled into another bay so he hustled away, saying over his shoulder, “Have a good day.”
That was years ago, but I still haven’t forgotten it.
Instead of turning idle time into “me time,” likable people use their free time to do something nice — not because they’re expected to, but just because they can.
6. Put your stuff away.
Don’t check your phone. Don’t glance at your monitor. Don’t focus on anything else, even for a moment.
You can never connect with others if you’re busy connecting with your stuff, too.
Give the gift of your full attention. That’s a gift few people give. It alone will make others want to be around you.
7. Never act self-important …
The only people who are impressed by your stuffy, pretentious, self-important self are other stuffy, pretentious, self-important people.
The rest aren’t impressed. They’re irritated, put off, and uncomfortable.
And they hate when you walk into the room.
8. … Because other people are always more important.
You already know what you know. You know your opinions. You know your perspectives and points of view.
That stuff isn’t important, because it’s already yours. You can’t learn anything from yourself.
But you don’t know what other people know, and everyone, no matter who he or she is, knows things you don’t know.
That makes other people a lot more important to you than you — because you can learn from them.
9. Choose your words wisely.
The words you use impact the attitude of others.
For example, you don’t have to go to a meeting; you get to go meet with other people. You don’t have to create a presentation for a new client; you get to share cool stuff with other people. You don’t have to go to the gym; you get to work out and improve your health and fitness.
You don’t have to interview job candidates; you get to select a great person to join your team.
We all want to associate with happy, enthusiastic, fulfilled people. The words you choose can help other people feel better about themselves — and make you feel better about yourself.
10. Never talk about the failings of other people…
Granted, we all like hearing a little gossip. We all like hearing a little dirt.
The problem is, we don’t necessarily like — and we definitely don’t respect — the people who dish that dirt.
Don’t laugh at other people. When you do, the people around you wonder if you sometimes laugh at them.
11. … But readily admit your own failings.
Incredibly successful people are often assumed to have charisma simply because they’re successful. Their success seems to create a halo effect, almost like a glow.
The key word is seem.
You don’t have to be incredibly successful to be remarkably charismatic. Scratch the shiny surface, and many successful people have all the charisma of a rock.
But you do have to be incredibly genuine to be remarkably charismatic.
Be humble. Share your screwups. Admit your mistakes. Be the cautionary tale. And laugh at yourself.
While you should never laugh at other people, you should always laugh at yourself.
People won’t laugh at you. People will laugh with you.
They’ll like you better for it — and they’ll want to be around you a lot more.
Our homes are tricked out with comfortable furniture, stylish decor, and the latest technology — shouldn’t our work spaces be equally lavish?
From the indoor lawns at Japanese ad agency TBWA to the bright blue slide at footwear company Toms, the coolest office spaces around the world understand that a well-designed workplace can impact people’s happiness just as much as where they live. You might even want to move into these offices.
In Jakarta, Indonesia, the offices of ad agency Ogilvy & Mather turn ordinary stairs into a work station and playground slide.
Ogilvy + Mather
Microsoft’s offices in Vienna features a slide of its own, as well as retro-chic conference rooms in rich blues, pale greens, and natural wood.
Facebook’s offices in Tel Aviv make use of public chalkboard walls to write on — but with a more restrained design intended to promote work over socializing.
Pixar’s sprawling campus in Emeryville, California sits behind a locked gate and contains gardens, a lap pool, and an oversized sculpture of Luxo Jr. (the famed animated lamp) and his ball.
Melia Robinson/Business Insider
Groupon’s office in Chicago features breakout spaces with indoor swings and island-themed areas to relax — random boulders included.
The Toms office in Los Angeles comes with a big blue slide, motivational signs, and all the wood embellishments you could ask for. Another plus: It’s totally dog-friendly.
Kickstarter moved to its current Brooklyn location in 2014. It occupies an industrial space adorned with successful projects funded on the site, including a plant that turns electrical energy into music.
Madeline Stone / Business Insider
The offices of the architecture firm Sanctuary, located in Bangalore, India, blend the outdoors and indoors with movable walls that facilitate air flow. The bungalow-like feel also allows workers to escape in a canopied-style patio, shaded from the harsh sun by surrounding trees.
World Architecture Festival
Square’s San Francisco office was designed to function like a city. Co-workers convene around a “town square” coffee bar and travel down a main “avenue” as opposed to a hallway.
LinkedIn’s office in New York features a “Tavern on the Blue,” a take on Central Park’s famed restaurant, Tavern on the Green. It’s one of three kitchens in the office.
Robert Libetti/Business Insider
Quicken Loans, headquartered in Detroit, gives employees ample ways to decompress — including a pool table built to look like a Ford Mustang, a basketball court, and in-office scooters.
Google’s office in New York sits right above the popular Chelsea Market. It’s home to a rock climbing wall, work from New York-based artists, and intimate breakout spaces.
The studios of Selgas Cano Architecture, in Madrid, are tucked inside the woods and nestled partially underground.
Skype’s headquarters in Stockholm look like a cross between Ikea and the inside of a lava lamp. It’s no wonder the designs are clean and flawless.
In New York, Spotify uses pieces of string instead of drywall to separate spaces. Employees use the lightweight barriers to signal they’re working but aren’t impossible to reach in case something comes up.
Twitter’s home base in San Francisco was built to look like a giant wooden birdhouse. Its cafeteria is known as #theperch.
Robert Johnson/Business Insider
The ad agency of TBWA Hakuhodo, in Tokyo, gives employees a way to connect with nature without venturing outside: soothing indoor lawns.
Broadcasting service Onefootball takes its sport seriously. A winding track snakes through the office, culminating in a goal where employees can take penalty kicks during breaks.
More young professionals and creatives are moving abroad than ever before, according to overseas relocation experts.
Inquiries to move between countries from the 18 to 35-year-old age group increased by 60% over the past 12 months, says Movehub.
The company suggests so many young adults want to move around the world because they have fewer ties holding them back.
“Today’s young people have considerably less spending power than their parents’ generation, and long-term investments such as buying a house are considered a pipe dream by many,” said the firm’s Patrick Gilligan.
” It’s not surprising, then, that many young professionals are breaking ties with their birth countries and seeking a more affordable and better standard of living overseas.”
Researchers asked 20,000 expat movers why they wanted to leave their home country.
Most were attracted by better job prospects and financial benefits of moving to a developed country.
But the traditional big three expat countries – the US, UK and Australia – all saw a drop in the number of inquiries, explained Gilligan.
“The UK took the biggest hit as inbound international moves plummeted by 22% whilst Australia saw 6% fewer expats arriving at its shores, suggesting that the high cost of living in these countries is forcing many people to consider alternative destinations,” he said.
Besides the big three, other top 10 countries attracting expats are Spain, Canada, France, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland and Portugal.
Surprise entrants into the top 30 relocation destinations were Reunion and Guadeloupe.
Movehub explained their popularity as due to more people retiring to the French overseas enclaves from their home country.
There was a time when few travelers visited Colombia, when the country was synonymous with drug lords, when the only English you heard on the streets was spoken by American Marines.
That Colombia — a country of conflict and cartels — has largely disappeared, replaced by a rejuvenated capital of Bogota and a resilient culture that refuses to be bogged down by the dark days.
Premonitions and stereotypes should be swept aside before visiting this South American country of spectacular scenery. Today’s Colombia is much more than the ugly Escobar legacy or its famed Andean coffee — though a cup of café will most certainly reach your hands during a trip.
Here are some important things to keep in mind before visiting the country with the third-largest Spanish-speaking population in the world (about 46 million), after Mexico and Spain.
1. Medellin is the world’s most innovative city, officially Anthony Bourdain travels to Bogota to eat in a place that has served traditional Colombia fare for over a century. Jutting out of a mountainside packed with russet cinder-block slums, the three black shards of Medellin’s Espana Library stand out in a sea of shanties. Completed in 2007, the Espana Library has become a calling card for the revitalized city, just one of the examples that led the Washington-based Urban Land Institute to name it the 2012 “Innovative City of the Year” in a competition co-sponsored by the Wall Street Journal and Citi. Zipping up to connect the library and surrounding area to the city is the MetroCable, a novel approach to addressing poverty at the grass-roots level.“Medellin is a city that works hard to tell the world of its capabilities and broadcast its impressive tourism opportunities,” said Maria Claudia Lacouture, president of trade group Proexport Colombia.
2. Drug culture stereotypes are false and offensive
Drop your ideas of a coke-soaked land still lost in the days of the Escobar gang.
While residents of Medellin can recall growing up in a battlefield, where even trips to buy groceries meant dodging violence, Colombia is no gangster’s paradise.
The coca leaf is still chewed in some rural communities, and coca leaf tea is stocked for tourists, but suggesting that Colombia hasn’t moved on from its inglorious past is considered ignorant and rude.
Colombia has persevered, though unfortunately so has the drug war, migrating closer to its end market — the U.S.-Mexico border.
3. Bogota must be seen from Monserrate Every big city has a perfect vantage point from which to appreciate its immensity. For Bogota, that magic spot is Monserrate. Perched on a mountain dominating the city, Monserrate is home to a church where pilgrims visit a shrine devoted to El Senor Caido (Fallen Lord). From the summit, Bogota’s vast gray and red concrete expanse absorbs the green valley that frames it; the sight puts the sprawling proportion of this megacity into perspective. Monserrate can be reached via an aerial tramway, funicular or by climbing on foot.
4. Security has dramatically improved Since controversial policies implemented in 2006 by former President Alvaro Uribe encouraged paramilitary groups to “demobilize” after their conflict with communist guerillas, Colombia’s security situation has vastly improved. The country’s new image has led to a rise in tourism, with bus trips (albeit on select routes) now considered safe for foreigners. It’s common to see military personnel at checkpoints outside cities, but this is once again an improvement that represents the government’s control of the country.
5. Real Colombians drink cafe tinto
Most Colombians will be happy to show you some introductory moves on the dance floor.
Colombia is synonymous with coffee, so it’s little surprise that the morning beverage is in such high demand that leagues of women walk Colombian cities serving it.
At first glance, these women may appear equipped to snuff out pests, but their mobile packs aren’t meant for exterminating bugs, they’re meant for pouring hot coffee.
A real Colombian, you’ll inevitably be told, takes the stuff black, or cafe tinto.
6. Salsatecas are best when hot and sweaty What’s Colombia without salsa? Not Colombia. Beginners can take salsa classes to get familiar with the basic steps. Those who can’t be bothered with formal lessons will find Colombians to be warm people, even warmer when dancing. Most will be happy to show you some introductory moves on the spot if you’re charming enough.
7. Pueblitos are favored weekend destinations Pueblitos, or small villages, dot the Colombian countryside, serving up a colonial past and antiquated charm not found in cities. From almost every major Colombian urban hub, pueblitos can be accessed via road, making for easy weekend trips. Outside Bogota, Guatavita is a small town near Guatavita Lake that offers idyllic views of casitas, the small houses that exemplify Colombia’s countryside.
8. Nothing is more Colombian than aguardiente If you’re looking for a stiff drink, a $6 bottle of aguardiente is the most Colombian way to find it. All departments (administrative regions) in Colombia have license to produce their own aguardiente, a 60%-alcohol spirit that means “fiery water.” There’s no Colombian celebration without aguardiente. Even more local? The unforgettable guayabo (Colombian slang for hangover) de aguardiente.
9. Colombian climates vary wildly Colombia may straddle the equator, but that doesn’t mean you should leave your gloves and sweater at home. Bogota and Medellin are in tropical highlands and can get chilly at night — especially Bogota, where heavy jackets and scarves are the norm year-round. Visit the coast around Cartagena, however, and you’ll be sweltering. This climatic disparity is reflected in Colombia’s cultural composition. Locals come in as many varieties as the weather; there’s no one look for a Colombian.
10. Cali is Salsa City The gravity-defying female assets of Cali’s nightclubs thrust out to such fierce degree that they can’t be overlooked — the sultry salsa city is renowned for its talent-laden, sexually dynamic dance floors. Those seeking a more subtle experience can start with a viejoteca, where there’s more actual dancing, less physical drama and fewer crazy drinkers.
The Economist’s Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released its annual Liveable Cities ranking, listing the ten most and least liveable cities in the world.
The concept of liveability is to assess which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions.
Assessing liveability has a broad range of uses, from benchmarking perceptions of development levels to assigning a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages, the EIU said.
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in any given location, and allows for direct comparison between locations.
As was the case in 2016, global terrorism has kept the world on shaky ground, and has impacted the liveability in places like France and the UK, where attacks have taken place. Iraq, Libya, Syria and Turkey remain the subject of high-profile civil unrest and armed conflicts, while a number of other countries, such as Nigeria, continue to battle insurgent groups.
For the seventh consecutive year, Melbourne in Australia is the most liveable urban centre of the 140 cities surveyed, closely followed by the Austrian capital, Vienna – separated by only 0.1 percentage points.
Just 0.2 and 0.3 percentage points separate Canada’s Vancouver and Toronto (ranked 3rd and 4th, respectively), from Melbourne, and another Canadian city, Calgary, shares joint fifth place with Adelaide in Australia.
On the bottom end of the ranking are countries that have also long featured on the list for the wrong reasons, with war-torn Damascus in Syria taking the bottom spot, just below Lagos, Nigeria, which has slipped to second-worst of the 140 cities ranked.
The top ten and bottom ten are virtually unchanged, with only a few countries in the bottom improving their scores slightly.
The 10 most and least liveable cities in the world in 2017
Looking at Africa and South Africa, nine cities featured, but only the two South African cities were ranked within the top 100 – being Johannesburg (87th) and Pretoria (93rd).
87 – Johannesburg
93 – Pretoria
120 – Nairobi
124 – Lusaka
129 – Abidjan
130 – Dakar
132 – Douala
133 – Harare
139 – Lagos
The rankings are determined by assigning every city a rating of relative comfort for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure.
Each factor in a city is rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable. For qualitative indicators, a rating is awarded based on the judgment of in-house analysts and in-city contributors.
For quantitative indicators, a rating is calculated based on the relative performance of a number of external data points, the EIU said.
Work has been rough lately, and although you love your family and home, you find yourself daydreaming about getting away from it all. You close your eyes, and you can almost feel yourself on the beach, in a foreign city, or taking an ocean cruise.
That’s because traveling can be really good for your mental health. There’s a reason you think about travel when stressed; it can improve your mood and make you happier. There are even ways to make the most out of your trip and even avoid stressing over what to do with your pet. But first, you need to understand just how beneficial travel can be. The Mental Health Benefits Of Travel
One of the problems with modern life is its sameness. Although technology provides us with plenty of entertainment options, you can easily find yourself stuck in a rut doing the same thing over and over again.
One of the biggest benefits from travel is that you break this routine. Taking a break and traveling gives your mind a rest from the same old habits and occurrences. This also helps you appreciate the old routine when you get back to it.
Your personality becomes more open as you leave your comfort zone back home.
Seeing new places and having a lighter schedule can reduce your stress.
Relationships with those you travel with are strengthened.
Making The Most Of Vacation Time
You’re probably thinking that just any vacation might not boost your mental health. You’re right that you can end up wasting those precious vacation days by doing things wrong on vacation. Thankfully, Inc.com has an excellent article about getting the most from your time off. Some of the recommendations include:
Unplug from work. Avoid checking emails and voice messages while on vacation.
Before you leave, talk to your loved ones about what can stress everyone out.
Pamper yourself and do something extraordinary while traveling.
When it comes to planning, how much should you do? Aim for the sweet spot between over-planning and being unprepared. You make the most out of your vacation time by finding a balance. Do your research and schedule some fun activities during your trip but be sure to leave plenty of time to sleep in, discover your destination, and even just sit on a beach for a while.
Don’t Stress About Your Home Or Pet
Even with a balanced schedule, it can be hard to relax when you’re worried about home. That goes double when you have a pet dog. How can you travel with a furry friend at home?
As the Daily Treat explains, you need to find a dog sitter. The website Rover.com has 25,000 dog sitters across the country that are safe, trained, and ready to keep your dog company. These sitters undergo thorough background checks so you can rest assured that your home and pet are taken care of while traveling.
You can also help keep your home secure by making sure you stop delivery of mail, use timers for lights at night, and hiring help to keep your lawn mowed and walkways shoveled if it snows.
You Deserve A Mental Health Break
People take vacations for many reasons, but improving your mental health is an important reason. You can boost your creativity, happiness, and mood with the right vacation. Just be sure to create a balanced schedule and hire a dog sitter to keep your trip relaxing.