// What Does A Perfect Hotel Room Look Like?

Traveling is a beautiful experience for everybody, and we all enjoy exploring new countries, cities, and all of the exciting things they have to offer. Discovering fresh foods, and languages, as well as the cultures of the different people that we visit are fantastic pastimes and something that we love to do. If you are a keen traveler, then you will know that It enhances your life in ways you never thought imaginable. Paragraph if you are new to traveling, however, there may be some things that you aren't sure of or some tips that you may need to improve your traveling portfolio. But either way, hotel rooms vary significantly. And a "perfect" hotel room can consist of many things. Here is a list of things to look out for in the ideal hotel before Booking your accommodation.

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

Walking into a hotel room, whether it's a two or a five star, can bring you different viewpoints. Obviously, it depends where in the world you're traveling, but if you have a beautiful landscape if you are in a countryside location, or a cityscape, if you are near the center of the city is always going to be appreciated. Obviously, there is a vast difference between the two different options mentioned here. Still, ultimately a view other than the side of another hotel or a building site is what you are aiming for. Many people have been caught out in the past by not doing their research, but most are operators or websites where you can book directly, will give you options such as choosing a seaside room with a Seaview, for example. This is clearly high on the list of priorities for most people. Since waking up in the morning and eating your breakfast on the balcony with a Seabreeze hitting your Face is a memory that most would love to have. It doesn't always have to be about the most expensive room, if you are smart, you can still Book a place that doesn't cost the Earth but still has a fantastic view. Of course, you want to make sure that the maintenance of your room includes a 24 hour ac repair at the very least if you are in a hot country.

Soft furnishings
Soft furnishings in a hotel room can really improve the comfort of your stay. Having clean, fresh linens and fluffy towels at hand, as well as a beautiful chair to relax in, is quite essential. And it goes without saying that a comfortable, clean, and well-maintained bed to sleeping should be near the top of your priority list as well. Getting a good night's sleep can actually change your whole perspective of a holiday, so you really want to do your research on this.

Most hotel rooms now include a TV for your entertainment, and even go further to include Wi-Fi and plenty of electrical ports for you to charge your electronic devices. Of course, you will be sightseeing or going on excursions while you are on your holiday, so you may not need a tremendous amount of entertainment in your room, but it is 2020, and we need to keep our creature comforts with us at all times. That being said many people do you like to have an unplugged holiday these days, so having the option there is lovely but maybe not completely necessary for everybody.

// this is a contributed post for this charming life.

// Adding Value To Your Home

When you are on the property ladder it is usually with the aim of climbing up it. The idea is that you start off with you can afford, earn money on your home by ading value and then sell to buy bigger or better until you reach yours forever home. To add value you need to complete renovation work in order to improve on the house you’re living in. Whether it’s adding an extension, creating an open plan living space, adding in modern appliances or making the necessary repairs to get it into a good work order, there is a number of different ways you can add the value you’re looking for. 

Let’s have a look at some of the ways you can add value to your home and get yourself moving up the property ladder: 

When you buy a house it will depend on the age to whether there are repairs that need to be done. If you buy a new build or a relatively new home you will find that you are just playing the maintenance game, where you only need to keep on top of the standard that is already set, whereas, is you buy an older house chances are, there is some repairs that you do to get the house in tip-top condition. Looking at things like identifying any problems with mold, repairing plaster on the walls and replacing chipped flooring are good places to start. Have a walk through your home and jot down any repairs that need to be done and work your way through them to get your house looking presentable for any future buyers. 

Creating More Space 
Something that works really well for people looking to increase the value of their home is to create more space. This can’t simply be done by having smaller furniture, however, you can create more space with small projects such as built-in storage in bedrooms and under the stairs. Some of the best ways to create more space in your home are to use a residential general contractor to add an extension, convert the loft or basement or renovate the downstairs by removing a wall and making it open plan. 

Another great way of adding value is by focusing on the areas of the home that may need to be updated. Often buyers looking to purchase want to have a move-in ready home that they aren’t going to have to spend a lot of money on in the first five years of their mortgage. This means that you can easily add value by completing updates to areas such as the windows and doors, the kitchen, the bathroom, and the garden landscape. Touching upon these areas can almost always enable you to improve the value of your house, especially when it comes to selling. Not to mention the money you may save on energy bills if you focus on adding in the latest energy efficient windows and doors. 

These three methods should help you to add value to your home and enable you to move up the property ladder. Do you have any other ways that you can add to the comments below? 

// this is a contributed post written for this charming life

// Becoming A Landlord: Portfolio-Building Or Lodger Intake?

The two most foremost stereotypes of being a landlord are, you earn quite a bit of money for relatively low workload and anyone can be a landlord if they wish. The first one isn't trying while the second one is. Anyone can be a landlord in theory, but in practice, it's much harder than you think. Corrections, you do make quite a bit of money, but it's not going to be easy. You have to approach the title of landlord like a business. You are essentially a property manager and a hospitality manager in one. You’re looking after properties other than your own, so you’re almost on call 24/7 if something goes wrong. However, if you have great people management skills, working with new clients will be exciting and rewarding. Here’s who you can begin.

It's a business venture
What if you don’t have a property to rent? The simple answer is, you have to invest in a property one way or another. You do have a plethora of options, with property investment loans being on top of the pile. Usually, financial institutions will give you this type of loan if you can show a promising plan. If your plan is to buy a property, fix it up in order to make it into a rental, you’re more likely to be approved. However, after you have established your property, you may want to do the same again and again. This is common for those that want to build a portfolio of rental properties. In that case, a hard loan won’t cut the mustard, it will need to be a long-term loan. Consider the pros and cons of hard money vs long term rental loans. The Visio type of loan is designed for long-term purposes, allowing you to focus on fixing and improving multiple properties at once. Hard money will restrict you to just one property. 

Having a lodger
Many people don’t have the funds or the confidence to get into the deep end of property marketing by becoming a landlord. Rather, they would start off small and see if being a landlord is really to their liking. If you have a spare room in your house, you can offer it up to the renting market. You would be offering the room to a lodger, which is not the same as a tenant. You have more rights and control in the contract if you’re taking on a lodger. Seeing as it's your own property where you live, you can set the rules to your liking. If you ever need to increase the rent price due to an increase in your bills, you can do so with relative ease. The contract is flexible and to your discretion. With this in mind, this is a great way to get your foot in the door and become a landlord with a steady stream of cash coming in every month.

Being a landlord is hard work at times, but once you iron out the kinks you can form great relationships and make quite a lot of money. Treat it like a business venture and not a personal project to get the most out of it. 

// this contributed post was written for this charming life.

// Taking a Path to Higher Education

You can consider higher education at any point in your life. It’s not just teens straight out of college who can pursue a degree! Many mature students (people aged over 21 at the commencement of their study) find the experience extremely fulfilled and greatly benefit from the qualifications that come hand in hand with completing a degree! So, if higher education is something you’re considering, here are a few steps that can guide you along the path to commencing your studies!

Choosing a Course

The first thing you need to do before heading to university is to ensure you choose the right course. So many people make the mistake of rushing into the first thing that strikes them as interesting and then regretting their choice down the line - whether that’s because they don’t enjoy the subject or because they realise there’s a different course out there that would have better suited their needs and ambitions. When it comes to higher education, you’re likely to have to choose one or two major subject areas. If you choose one subject, you do a standard degree. If you choose two, you will be doing a joint honors degree, where you split your time equally to study two separate subjects. The key to finding the right course is research. If you want a particular career, look into courses that can open doors into it. Also remember that courses going by the same name can vary from one university to another, so don’t assume they’re the same. Look into the syllabus as well as the course title. This will show you available modules.

Choosing a Mode of Study

Remember, you don’t have to study on campus. This is a great option for many people. Some people enjoy the university experience, want to spend time on campus and want to attend seminars and lectures in person. But you can study online if you wish. Many courses are now available online, such as online mba programs accredited. You will receive the same qualification, but can lead a more flexible route of study.

Choosing a University

Once you have an idea of what course you want to do, see which universities provide it. League tables are a good indicator of the quality of education different universities provide, but they shouldn’t be gospel. Research how others found their education and whether they deemed the courses are of good quality. You will also need to bear your current qualifications in mind before applying. Different universities will have different requirements when it comes to entry grades. See which fall in your bracket, or you can always try retaking courses to boost your grades if you want to study with a particular institution. Another factor that comes into play when choosing a university is location. You need to decide whether you want to study locally (maybe you love your home town or have responsibilities and commitments there). You may want to travel further afield (in which case, universities in different cities or even universities abroad could be a good option).

Sure, heading towards higher education can be daunting. But the journey itself can prove extremely rewarding in so many ways! Hopefully, the above advice will help you along the way!

// this is a contributed post written for this charming life.

// Holiday Activities to Help You Relax

The holidays can be a hectic and fast-paced time, so it’s important to factor in some self-care. When you’re able to dedicate some time to yourself, you can ensure that you’re able to unwind and enjoy the holidays to the best of your ability. With this in mind, take a look at these top holiday activities to help you relax and rejuvenate:

Spend Time with Loved Ones

Spending time with the people you care about can have a remarkable impact on how you feel. If you want to laugh, reminisce, and enjoy yourself, there’s no better way than with friends. Of course, getting together face-to-face might be trickier than usual this year. If you can’t meet in person, be sure to plan virtual meetups so that you can still enjoy one another’s company.

Binge-Watch Your Favorite Series

There are loads of great new TV shows being released in the run-up to the festivities but, sometimes, there’s nothing better than revisiting your favorite holiday shows from times past. Settle down in front of the TV, grab some snacks, and prepare to relax.

Of course, you’ll want to ensure that whichever streaming service you use, you can enjoy it safely. By finding the best vpn combo for your TV and accessories, you can ensure your online activity is kept confidential. No matter what you’re watching, a VPN allows you to do so safely. Not only that, but it gives you far more access to far more shows, so it’s more likely you’ll hit upon something you love, too.

Pexels - CCO License

Light Up the Holidays

Light can have a transformative effect on your well-being, so be sure to surround yourself with lots of it. The reduction in natural light in wintertime can exacerbate low moods but you can counteract this by using specialist lights to help you feel more energized. As well as enjoying the holiday lights, use a dawn simulator or lightbox to enhance your mood.

Make Festive Treats

The holidays are a great time to enjoy special foods and drinks. From eggnog and pumpkin pie to candy canes and mulled wine, there are endless treats to explore. However, you don’t have to let your healthy eating habits take a backseat during the festive period. Eating well is a great way to take care of yourself, so look out for traditional recipes with a healthy twist and practice your culinary skills.

Try Volunteering

Becoming a volunteer allows you to support people in your local community and provide help to causes that are close to your heart. In addition to this, volunteering can also have a positive impact on your own well-being, so it’s beneficial all-round. From volunteering your time to donating your skills, there are numerous ways you can help.

Maintain Your Equilibrium Over the Holidays

With so much going on during the festive season, it’s easy to feel overstretched and overwhelmed. If you want to ensure you enjoy the holidays, begin planning your activities now. This will give you a chance to get a head-start on any important tasks and enable you to incorporate some time for relaxation and self-care too.

// this contributed post was written for this charming life.

// How to Stay Connected When Traveling Solo

Traveling by yourself is an experience you’ll never forget. It gives you the chance to explore the world and meet new people. And doing it alone is special because it gives you the space to carve out your own journey without worrying about the needs and preferences of another person. So, if you get the chance to travel alone and to travel extensively, it’s certainly an opportunity you should grab with both hands.

But one of the things that you need to think about when you’re traveling the world by yourself is how you’re going to stay in touch with the many people back home who love and care about you. They may worry about you and want to know that you’re safe, even though you’re alone in places you’ve never been to before. It’s all about staying connected and this can actually enhance your experience as well. Find out more about this below.

Stay Active (and Safe) on Social Media

Social media is something you’ll definitely need to give some thought to ahead of your travel plans. You want to stay active on there so that people back home can know you’re doing okay and that you’re having a good time. But you also need to think about your personal safety.

It’s really important to set your social media to private when you’re traveling solo. Sadly, that’s even more important for female solo travelers. You don’t want your movements to be tracked by strangers, and if your profiles are on private, only people who know you will be able to see your updates.

Keep a Blog Tracking Your Journey

It can be a big idea to set up a blog for your family and friends to follow. You can write in more depth about what you’ve been doing and how you’ve been experiencing the places you’ve visited along the way. It takes a little more time, but it could be worth it.

It might act like a modern day alternative to the travel journal or diary. You can note down your thoughts and experiences, and it’ll even be a nice thing for you to look back on and enjoy in the future.

Send Postcards Home

If you don’t like the idea of starting a blog to let your family and friends know the details of what you’re getting up to, you could always send some postcards home instead.

It’s a nice old-fashioned way of letting people know what you’re getting up to and they act as a nice token and souvenirs for your family and friends to hold onto as well.

Use Skype to Your Advantage

The great thing about modern technology is that it allows you to stay in contact with people in ways that are far easier than they would have been in the past. As long as you have a smartphone and internet connection, you can easily talk to anyone face to face, no matter where you or they are in the world.

Skype might be a vital lifeline for you if you’re someone who doesn’t like texting as much as immediate face to face contact. You don’t have to only rely on the faceless forms of communication that we’re so used to these days; there are alternatives out there.

Get the Right SIM

When you’re going to be away from home and traveling, you’ll want to have a constant and reliable internet connection. That’s why it might be worth considering SMARTY SIM only deals that allow you to access much more mobile data than would otherwise be possible.

You want to be sure that you’ll always be able to contact people back home no matter where you are. Search for the SIM and deal that works best for you and that you’ll be able to rely from the start of your trip until its end. It might sound like a small thing but it makes a big difference.

Before You Head to a Remote Place Where Communication Will be Tough, Let Your Family Know

If you’re doing some really remote hiking or backpacking, there may well be no way at all for you to contact the people back home and stay in touch with them. If you’re going to be heading to a remote place for part of your travel plans, be sure to let your family back home know.

When they know that there’s a clear reason why you’re able to answer your phone or reply to the messages they’re sending, they’ll be much less likely to worry about you. You don’t want to put them through any unnecessary worry, so be sure to think about things like this.

Keep Spare Chargers Nearby

Having a charger nearby at all times is a must when you’re relying on laptops, computers and other devices in order to stay in touch with other people. If your charger stops working or you somehow misplace it somewhere along your travels, it’s good to have a plan B.

It might sound a little unnecessary, but it really does pay off to have two of every type of charger you need. You never know when you’re going to leave one behind at the hostel or when the wire decides to stop working properly. 

Start a Group Chat

If you want to share your journey with a select group of people and keep them updated along the way, it might be a good idea to create a group chat. That way, anyone who’s interested and anyone you want to share your journey with can come together in one place.

This is what lots of people choose to do these days and you might already have a group chat for your close friends and another for your immediate family, so why not make the most of these? It could be the ideal and easiest way for you to stay in contact with everyone.

Take Plenty of Photos

When you travel, you should take photos so you can share your experiences with others. These days, many of these photos will be shared online. It offers a great way of indirectly staying in touch and in contact with your family and friends back home.

They’ll be able to see all of the photos you’re posting online and sharing with the world. As a result, they’ll be able to follow your journey from a distance and know that you’re having a good time without communicating directly with you all of the time, which is nice.

Don’t Forget to Live in the Moment

Traveling is also about living in the moment and enjoying the experience. If you don’t do that, you’ll be wasting this wonderful opportunity and you’ll regret it later. So, yes, keeping in touch with your loved ones is important, but you shouldn’t stress over it too much when you’re out seeing the world.

Your family and friends will want to know you’re safe but they’ll always want to know that you’re having a good time and making the most of it from start to finish, so make sure you do that too. The memories you create and the things you remember will stay with you for a long time to come, but you need to create and live them first.

If you take at least some of the steps discussed above, you’ll find it easy to stay connected and in touch with the people who matter most to you as you embark on your solo travel adventure around the world. It’ll be more than worth the effort, both for you and for the people in your life back home.

// this is a contributed post for this charming life.

// Finding Time For Yourself In A Busy Schedule

Life can be a constant rush of things that need doing, from the moment that we wake up to the moment that we fall asleep you may find that you are rushed off your feet. Finding breathing space in a world that is moving at a thousand miles a minute can be tough. As women, there is are so many pressures that we face on a daily basis, it can be hard to manage family life, careers, our interests, while also living up to the need to look amazing while we do it. 

Taking control of your life will provide you the opportunity to create a better sense of balance. You may be able to unlock some time that you can spend on yourself, and as such find that you will be able to enjoy life a bit more. Here are a few ways that you can free up time in your life, whilst looking after yourself and keeping on top of everything that you need to. 

// Plan Your Days
Using a daily planner or an app on your smartphone, you should create a plan for your days. This will mean that you will be able to find the time to fit in everything that you need to do. Quite often, when things are not written down on a list, then they will get forgotten about. 

Allocate yourself half an hour once a week to go through your daily schedules and work things through. Give yourself a slot each morning in which to enjoy a healthy breakfast that will fill you full of energy to face your busy day. Five minutes of yoga, exercise, or meditation can be all that you need to spark your brain into a heightened sense of focus and tune yourself in to face everything that you have on your plate for the day. 

Look for ways that you can do more than one thing off your to-do list at once. If you can save time by cooking and cleaning at the same time, you should plan for this. If you are able to deal with life admin tasks from your phone on your commute, this will be helpful. 

Be sure and plan in some time to yourself each day. Even half an hour to catch up on a show that you love will give you the opportunity to unwind and push out any thoughts that may be stressing you out. 

If you live with anyone else, try and create a schedule of housework that you can all stick to. Sharing the load between you can make life much easier for you, especially if you continually find that you are always having to deal with it yourself. 

// Use Five Minute Makeovers
Contour makeup is the latest trend in beauty. This technique can take years off your appearance and leave you looking a million dollars. It can make any face shape appear slimmer, lifting your cheekbones, giving definition to your jawline and also creating a slimmer looking nose. 

Contouring need not take too long to do. You will need two different shades of contour stick, one dark, and one light. Using the darker stick, you will create a dark shade from the sides of your hairline. Then, moving to your cheeks, you will use the lighter tone to create a brightening lift. Your nose will use a line of each shade in order to give in a sense of shade and light, and then you will move down to your chin and jawline where you will create a sense of definition.

Getting used to creating a great look in minutes will reduce the amount of time that you spend each day on getting ready. If you can do this and not feel rushed, then you will be onto a winner. Getting your makeup time down to less than five minutes will be the ideal way to open up your day to wider opportunities. 

// Fit In Some You Time
In a busy life, taking an entire day to yourself may seem like a luxury, but sometimes it will be a bit of a necessity. Once in a while, you will need to make sure that you have a clear schedule. You can use this time to do whatever will help you relax. If that is a day on the sofa binging Netflix while eating all of the snacks that you can find, so be it. 

It may be good to plan a day out somewhere and take in some new sights and enjoy some time with friends. This can be as positive for your emotional wellbeing as having a day of doing absolutely nothing. 

// Be Kind To Yourself About Having You Time
How ever you choose to spend the day that you keep space, make sure that you allow yourself the opportunity to not feel guilty for taking time away from your normal commitments. So often we put ourselves last because we feel as though we are wasting time by doing nothing at all. Sometimes we need to say to ourselves that our own happiness and wellbeing is more important than fulfilling obligations. It is important that we are often firm about the need to look after ourselves. While we may feel as though it is counterproductive in our lives to put everything onto the back burner for a day or two, if we neglect our own health and wellbeing too much we will end up becoming ill.

Putting too much pressure on yourself will ultimately lead you to feel stressed too. Learning to forgive yourself for loosening up on the pressure will make things that bit less stressful for you, meaning that overall you have a much happier, balanced and productive life on the whole. 

// this is a contributed post for this charming life.

// Why You’ll Want To Hit Up Vegas Before You Die

Las Vegas is seen as probably the most electric place on the planet – if it’s not THE most, then it’s certainly in the top two or three. When you have lots of money saved, and you think about hitting a holiday destination, Vegas is always in your thoughts, right? It’s quite the cliché of a destination, but it’s a cliché because it’s such a good idea. How many people head to Vegas and leave disappointed? Not many. 

There’s so much fuss surrounding the place, as you know already. Why, though? Why specifically do people want to go there? It’s obviously very famous, but what does it actually have other than the stereotypical stuff? Well, it’s jam-packed full of stuff to do. If you were to head there or a week or two, you’d have a lot on your plate! Here are a few reasons as you why you should probably visit Las Vegas, Nevada before you pop your clogs: 

There Are So Many Legendary Parts 
Las Vegas has all kinds of places that you should probably visit at least once in your life. When you think of Vegas, one of the first things that comes to mind is probably Caesar’s Place and all of its luxurious bits and pieces. There’s also the MGM Grand and T-Mobile Arenas that hold events such as boxing and mixed martial arts, respectively. The nightlife isn’t too bad. If you’re a partier, then you’ll be interested in the clubs Vegas has to offer. You can learn more about free entry to certain places here if you’re interested in gaining priority access some nights. Even the walkways and views are astonishing and breathtaking. Just being amongst all of that stuff would knock your socks off.

There’s Nothing Wrong With A Flutter!
Sure, too much gambling is obviously a problem because the bookkeepers tend to win nine times out of ten. There’s nothing wrong with a little bet every now and again, though! People enjoy the rush of potentially getting loads of money from a simple action. Las Vegas is obviously notorious for gambling! People choose to fly all the way over just to see if they can hit the jackpot. If they don’t, then they still have a great time anyway.

The Weather’s Not Bad!
Nevada is pretty much a desert – and those things are quite hot, wouldn’t you say? If you’re from a pretty lovely climate, then this kind of thing probably won’t attract you. Not everyone has the luxury of warm weather, though. In the summer, you’ll be nice and toasty, that’s for sure.

The Services And Amenities Are Amazing
Vegas has the grandest hotels you could imagine. With so many high-profile individuals entering this city, there needs to be some high-quality service. As we’ve said before, Vegas is caked in luxury, so if you find yourself in one of the big-name hotels, then you’re in for a treat. You’re treated like royalty, and there are so many things you can do – you’ll never run out of ideas.

You Can Say ‘I Was There’ 
As we said before, Las Vegas is one of the most famous places on the planet. Just being in this busy and crazy place will make you feel as though you’ve accomplished something. Exploring different parts of the world is awesome, and this is certainly a place you need to throw onto your bucket list – if you indeed write one out. 

// this is a contributed post for this charming life.

// Top Things To See And Do In New York

It's not a secret that you could spend a lifetime in New York City and still not manage to see everything, but there are some things that no one should miss.

Photo by Nout Gons from Pexels

Have a look below at some of the places you should be adding to your list:

Top Of The Rock
Sitting at the top of the Rockefeller Centre, the famous sightseeing hotspot has three observation decks where you can see breathtaking views of the city. Definitely something you don't want to miss. It's open right up until midnight so what better reason to live like a movie star and watch the sun go down over the city skyline. 

Empire State Building 
Again another famous sightseeing destination for many who visit New York, it's an art deco masterpiece that is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. The observation deck is open right from sunrise until 2 am, and on some of the days, you even have a live saxophone player to enjoy. 

The Theatre
You can't go to one of the most famous destinations for broadway without stepping foot into a theatre or two. Why not treat yourself to tickets to a show such as….. Dress up, buy your book of mormon tickets and enjoy a night on the town. 

Statue Of Liberty
It goes without saying that the Statue Of Liberty makes it on to many visitors lists. It's a world icon that is known worldwide. An inspiring symbol of New York City's immigrant history, its no wonder so many people taken the trip to Ellis Island to visit her and the Immigration Museum.

American Museum Of Natural History
It doesn't matter if your an avid museum visitor or just want to see something that will blow your mind, the Natural History Museum has something to amaze most. From dinosaur bones through to space exploration this place has it all. 

The Museum Of Modern Art (MoMA)
Hosting pieces of art from the likes of Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol and many more. This museum is a must-visit. It holds some of the best known and most influential pieces of art in the world of modern art. 

Big Bus Tours 
There certainly is a lot to see in New York and often people only visit for a few days at a tome, this means that it can be hard to see everything. A great way to up your chances and see as much as possible to use something like the Big Bus Tours. They cover a lot of ground and take you to places like Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Wall Street and the Brooklyn Bridge. Not only that it’s also a great way to get around.

9/11 Tribute Center And Walking Tour 
New York is complete without visiting here and although a more solemn occasion than most activities for visitors, the 9/11 Tribute Center and Walking Tour are a way to reflect on the events of September 11, 2001. For many, this experience is a powerful, memorable method of paying their respects. 

These are just a few of the top sightseeing points of New York that should be on your list. Do you have any other just see spots that you can share in the comments section? 

// this is a contributed guest post written for this charming life.

// Under Pressure: Reaching Milestones in Adulthood

There’s so much pressure to do things a certain way once you reach adulthood- as if your life has been pre mapped out for you without your say. There are all these timelines and milestones we’re expected to reach by certain ages, and these can add unnecessary stress to our lives. Just about all of us will feel like we’re ‘behind’ in some way or another, but that’s because these timelines don’t really exist. If you look at your peers also in their twenties and thirties you’ll notice that everyone is at a completely different point, where they’ve all prioritised different things. It doesn't mean any of you are right or wrong, it’s all about what’s right for you! At the end of the day we’re all only human with a set amount of hours in the day, you can only do so much meaning that you won’t always follow every typical milestone expected of you by a certain age. And that’s completely ok! It’s your life so live it as you wish, you could achieve all of these things or none of them and still live a happy life. Here are some examples of the expectations people tend to have in adulthood.

Overseas travel
There’s no denying that overseas travel is great- it educates you, opens up your eyes to different cultures and ways of life, it allows you to have incredible experiences. But not everyone can afford to take a gap year or go travelling overseas before starting university. In fact, many people only really have the luxury of travelling later on in life. If getting abroad and seeing more of the world is on your list, just do what you can with your time and budget. If getting away for six months, a month or a week isn’t possible- go for a few days instead. If you can’t travel abroad, do more in the country you live in. Anything from camping to boating to road trips can still give you wonderful experiences and memories. 

Higher education
The standard route into higher education tends to be leaving school, attending sixth form or college and then going to university shortly after. But again, it doesn’t work out this way for everyone. Maybe you hated school and couldn’t wait to leave, maybe you had a baby young or were caring for an unwell family member at the time. If years have passed and you’ve decided now is the right time to get the qualifications you want, there are lots of online colleges and universities you can sign up to these days that allow you to study from home. Since they can be done on a part time and flexible basis, you don’t need to give up your job to learn. 

Getting a good job
Speaking of getting a good job, this is another thing that’s expected in adulthood. It’s a little trickier these days, unlike in our parents and grandparents generations, a job is rarely ‘for life’ now. Things change so quickly that businesses come and go and a much quicker pace, the tasks that many businesses require their workers to do change and evolve along with technology. If you’ve still not found a job that you feel settled in, don’t panic. Consider doing some education or voluntary work if you can to make you more employable. You could even look into setting up your own business and working for yourself. 

Buying a house
Getting onto the property ladder by purchasing a house for sale is always going to be a good thing. It gives you security, stops you from wasting money on rent and is a great thing to achieve. But again it’s simply not something that everyone can do, especially in early adulthood. Renting can be a great option if you’re not sure where you want to live and want to try out some different neighbourhoods, cities or even countries. If you do want to buy a house, start a savings fund and even if you only save a small amount, it will add up over the years and you’ll reach your goal eventually. 

Getting married 
Getting married really isn't something you can rush. Most of us have to ‘kiss a few frogs’ so to speak before we find the person we want to settle down with. Maybe you’re happier being single or never getting married, and that’s ok too! The trick is to find someone with the same outlook as you, so you’re on the same page. 

// this is a contributed post for this charming life.

// The Art of Embracing Life and Saying Yes

In a lot of articles and self-help posts, you are likely to find that many posts talk about saying no more. The main points with these kinds of posts talk about in life we say yes to a lot of things that in reality, we don’t actually want to do it anyway. Saying yes can mean more pressure and responsibility, as your calendar will be filled up more than if you said no. The articles also cover points that if we say yes because we want to people-please, then it won’t be for the right reasons. So as a result, according to this mindset, people believe that we can start to lose sight of our own goals and priorities.

Of course, there can be some truth to this, because we do need to set some boundaries and make sure that we aren’t just doing things to please others. It is important to set up some priorities in our life, and being able to handle our own time. Life is short, so you don’t want to spend it doing things that you have no interest in or can’t help. Saying no for some people isn’t a problem, and if that sounds like you, then it might be that you need to say yes to some more things. Saying yes for some people, can be more of a challenge. 

Saying no means no failure. Is that worth it?

If you have an introverted attitude towards things, or have a fear that runs deep, when it comes to failure, then it can mean that saying no is a safe and happy thing to do. You don’t have to push yourself if you’re not doing anything. And if you’re not doing anything, then you won’t have anything to fail at. Saying yes can be something that can feel a little daunting, but it can also help to encourage some commitment, confidence, and self-belief. It is all going to be worth it, especially if things make you anxious or fearful? 

The answer for so many of us is going to be yes, it is worth it. So many fun, interesting, and exciting things can happen when you are out of your comfort zone. You could be offered the chance to move to a new city with your job, for example. Moving can be stressful, of course, but you can get help from companies like MyBekins, and you can also think of the life lessons and growth that you could experience as a result. You can learn new things and push yourself when something like that comes along in your life. Just imagine learning a whole new language or customs from another culture. What about learning how to live a fast paced lifestyle if you've always been accustomed to the slow and steady? Even more challenging, in my opinion, would be to learn to slow down and savor all that a new city has to offer. Another example of this is meeting new people. Can you meet the one for you if you’re just sitting at home? In reality, that is unlikely; you need to make an effort. You could be introduced to a wide array of people, with so many fascinating stories to share. New people help us see the world through different lenses, and they open our minds to all the possibilities out there. Saying yes to meeting new people is a great way to network and grow your community, too. So don’t think about the fear and what could go wrong, but think about all that you will gain as a result. 

Find some new ways to say yes in your life, for the things that are going to really benefit you. Saying no has its place, but so does saying yes.

// this is a contributed post for this charming life.

// 3 Myths You Probably Believe About Apple

Apple is one of the largest companies on earth. They are so large in fact that there is barely a person who doesn’t own or hasn’t owned one of their products. Being the size they are, Apple has been subject to many myths and fallacies over the years.

Today we are going to attempt to separate fact from fiction and squash those pesky little myths, once and for all.

The Apple Logo

One of the most prominent and most twisted tales when it comes to apple is the story of its logo. Many people will claim to know why the Apple logo is what it is, the truth, however, despite what teachers have told the students has nothing to do with Turing.

The myth that circulated for many years, and still today is that the apple is inspired by the bite that Alan Turing took from the apple. The amusing thing is that Rob Janoff, the graphic designer who created the apple logo that we know, didn’t know a fat lot about Alan Turing.

Another myth that followed the apple logo was that the bite from the apple was meant to represent a metaphorical ‘byte.’ The reason for the bite is far more amusing. Janoff decided to include the bite as a way of stopping people believing the image was that of a cherry tomato.

Apple Computers Are Difficult To Use

This has been something that has been circulating incorrectly for years now. There seems to be a convoluted myth that apples are far more difficult to operate than a pc.

The truth behind this matter is quite simple; it’s a matter of what you are used to. Most schools across the world had a tendency to adopt a windows based system when it came to educating the world in the way of computing.

With the lack of initial users in comparison to windows, it just became a ridiculous notion that spanned across the ages. The truth is, it is just as easy to access activity monitor on Mac as it is with Windows.

One of the most controversial things that could be said is that a Mac may be slightly more user-friendly that a Windows PC nowadays.

Macs Work Better With Apple Accessories

If you have ever visited the apple store and spoke to one of their “Geniuses”, you may be fooled into thinking that when it comes to your mac, you better have apple products for optimum performance. 

This is one of the biggest myths that surrounds Apple, and it is generally pedalled by Apple itself. Apple has a fantastic ability to try to make the use of third party products as difficult as possible. 

Unfortunately for Apple, the Chinese market is always quick to follow up any apple release with a cheaper solution, and in all honesty, as the Apple graveyard in China does put out some quality alternatives. 

// Improving Your Ethical Wardrobe

(Image Credit)

There is a problem that is facing the clothing industry. Fast fashion has long been convenient, filling our wardrobes with cheap and cheerful items. But the cost of these items is far greater than the small number that we see on the price tag. These garments have a big impact on the world, from environmental concerns through to the ethical concerns of the way that they are produced, the fact of the matter is that these throwaway items are costing us the earth. 

There is also the way that they have affected our outlook on clothing as a whole to think about. Where quality was often the benchmark of a good item of clothing in years gone by, these days we vote with our purses and demand disposable items that we may wear just once before casting aside. If you did choose to wear these cheaper clothing items through to the end of their lifespan, you may well find that they don’t even last that long. If you are buying this type of clothing for practical reasons, it suddenly becomes a false economy as you will probably replace it multiple times in comparison to the lifespan of a well-made item. 

Changing Into Something More Environmentally Friendly

One of the major problems with fast fashion is the effect that it has on the environment. The textile industry is a huge polluter. It causes problems when it comes to growing and producing the materials used to make the items, through to pollution in the actual production. Once the items have been made, they need to be shipped. Very often these products find their way from China and when you go to your local high street you will see stores and stores crammed full of items that have had to be transported the length of the world to be worn once or twice before finally ending up in a landfill. 

As shoppers, there are things that we can all do to help reduce the carbon footprint. Learn about the way that clothes are made, and look for environmentally friendly clothing suppliers. There are a number of clothing manufacturers out there that are attempting to make a positive change. One example of how companies are fighting to alter the way that their industry is affecting the environment is to change the materials that they are using. For example, Ralph Lauren has created a version of their classic polo shirt that is made entirely out of recycled plastic. You can see more about Polo Ralph Lauren in SVD.

Buying second-hand items are one way that you can help to reduce your own clothing carbon footprint. While an item may not be new, it is new to you and may provide you with a similar sense of joy than one bought in a fast-fashion outlet. 

If you are handy with a sewing machine, you could always bring new life into worn or tired fast-fashion items. Turning them into something completely new and useful will mean that their lifespan has increased and they won’t be destined for the dump. 

Check Out The Ethics Of Fast Fashion

Fast fashion is big business. Shops make big money out of the stack-it-high, sell-it-low mentality. The quantities of the items that they buy mean that they are paying almost nothing per unit. Consider that a garment that costs you barely anything will have tax added, so the government get a fair-sized chunk of the sale. Then, the store they are sold in as staff costs, store running costs. The item will have been shipped and there may have been import or export duties at differing stages of the journey. After all of this is accounted for you will be left with the actual cost price that goes back to the original manufacturer which will be barely anything per item. Take out factory costs, raw materials, and by the time you pay the staff that made it you can imagine that they will earn barely anything. 

Factories overseas won’t have the same labour standards as at home. They can work their staff for longer hours in harsher conditions and for much less pay. This is the major reason that fast fashion outlets choose to buy their clothing overseas. 

Try and read into the companies that you like to buy from and make buying choices that don’t fund sweatshops and poor environmental practices. There are things that we can all do as consumers to make the world a better place, and our wardrobes are as good a place to start as anywhere else. 

// this is a contributed post for this charming life.

// Traveling The World: How Will You Do It?

If you are a travel enthusiast, you have probably come across a variety of holidaymakers. Some enjoy a historical visit through a new city, as a way to embrace a new culture and make a new one their own. Others prefer a peaceful sunbathing holiday instead. However, how about picking your holiday destination based on your favorite mean of transport? Sounds odd? Don’t let this disturb you. If you want a cultural holiday, you need to consider spending a lot of time on the road, from a place to another. So why not make your holiday a transport-centered experience that takes you to the very heart of a new culture?

Mediterranean holidays: get that scooter ready
If you want to discover the sweet charm of the Mediterranean region, from the Provence to the south of Italy, then you need to look for a scooter or a small bike to make the most of your time. Can there be anything more iconic than riding through the tiny streets of a seaside village? If you have got a car driving license, you will be pleased to know that you can still hire a small bike or a scooter because these don’t require any additional license. However, you might need a few tips before you take your darling for a ride – make sure that you do your research about everything you need to prepare before the ride, and what you need to pay attention to as you ride. Picture yourself riding an old scooter from the 1950s or 1960s, with a basket attached at the back for your picnic. How idyllic does that sound for a discovery of the Med?

Metropolitan holidays: tube and cabs 
If you are one for quick and easy transportation and you do not like to wait, you might prefer to stick to Metropole cities. From London to New York, there are plenty of exciting cultural spots to discover: museums, prestigious restaurants – the View, the spinning restaurant at the top Marriott in NYC is a great address – and historic buildings. The best way to navigate from one spot to the other is the ally of all urbanites: public transport and cabs. It is a safe way to be part of the everyday life of the locals. However, if you fancy something a bit different, think about getting a charter bus service to get around from place to place. 

Nordic holidays: give your legs some action
If you have a soft spot for Nordic landscapes and the beauty of flat lands, you will love the idea of a cycling holiday. Is there any better way to discover Sweden or Norway during the warm months than to on a bicycle, pedaling slowly along the canal or the sea front? Get your legs into action and love the fresh smell and the green landscapes.

Take a canal tour through Europe
How about taking some time off work to discover the old water ways across Europe? You can hire a barge for a few weeks or book a room on a bigger boat to enjoy the slow pace of life. Reconnect with the elements: water under your feet and fresh air in your hair. Canal holidays are a big hit in England, France, and the Netherlands.

Road trip through the US
Hit the iconic Route 66 in an open-top car and experience what America really has to offer. This historic route will take you on an unforgettable self-drive journey filled with captivating Americana and the history of the old west. You will visit Chicago and St Louis, experience the highlights of Las Vegas and Los Angeles and discover the captivating beauty of the Grand Canyon and the vast lands of the Texas Panhandle.

Cruise the world
The ultimate luxury in traveling holidays is a cruise. The good thing about a cruise is that someone else does the hard work for you, while you lie back and enjoy cocktails on the deck. Cruise around the med or the Carribean, soaking in the crystal blue waters and make the most of every opportunity to hop on to dry land and explore your stopover points. 

So what will be your take on the traveling world? Are you one for a trendy ride, stretching your legs or do you prefer the peacefulness of the water?