This is a featured article by Yoga lover and world traveller Carri Uranga. Her passion for yoga began as an outdoor enthusiast seeking flexibility and crosstraining after thru-hiking the entire Appalachian Trail in 1998.
I was first introduced to Yoga at home in Texas after hiking the Appalachian Trail in 1998. It was offered at my local gym and always looking for something new, I took the class three times a week. These particular classes were pretty basic and easy, but I still went since I rarely stretched on my own.
Yoga to the Rescue
I figured a Yoga class would force me to stretch and after walking 2150 miles across the country I definitely needed to do something different with my body! There were three of us students and sometimes the instructor wouldn’t even show up so another more experienced student would lead the class.
The following year, when we moved to Vermont, a friend suggested we take an Ashtanga for Beginners class together. I was instantly hooked. I couldn’t believe how your body could work so physically hard yet your mind remained calm.
My heart rate was actually elevated yet I was standing still…fascinating! The long-lasting effects of Yoga on my body and mind intrigued me.
From then on I sought after various series and classes; Yoga for Skiers and Riders, 6 weeks of Iyengar or a month of hot Yoga. I did not practice every single day, but incorporated it into my overall training schedule. Again, looking to balance out the others activities I was doing at the time like soccer, snowboarding, softball, running, mountain biking, hiking and being an overall gym rat which included weight lifting, spinning, racquetball and rowing.
At the time I looked to Yoga to simply stretch and cross train, but I also liked how quiet the room was, how everyone just seemed to be in their own little zone and how it didn’t really matter if you were “good” or not it just mattered that you were there doing it. In fact, no one seemed to care about what anyone else in the room was doing. It was a complete judge free zone and for once I wasn’t competing. For once I felt like I didn’t have to be the best. Of course my ego wanted me to be, but the reality is I just wasn’t and that was OK.
This time the only person I was competing against was myself.
The first several years of my practice was very sporadic. It wasn’t until 2007 when my husband and I were traveling for a year in Central and South America that I decided to participate in a Yoga Teacher Training course. After that trip and training I knew I could never go back to a “real” job. Luckily, Yoga affords me the alternative lifestyle that I have always leaned towards. I have never really had a typical job. I used to work at a craft brewery in Vermont where the owner was bare foot most of the time (although in winter was forced to wear socks with his sandals).
While I now practice some form of Yoga on most days and view it as much more than just stretching I definitely still value it as a cross training tool.
Sure, I could have run a Marathon in 2011 without Yoga, but my joints, tendons and ligaments didn’t hate me and my body recovered faster with Yin Yoga, which I credit as my secret weapon. When I rode a Century bike ride last Summer (having only ridden a road bike 12 times in my life) it was Yoga to the rescue in relieving my neck, shoulders and back, again the key to finding ease in these other sports.
My purpose isn’t to convince you to cross over and conform to the Om chanting, trance dancing meditation life style, but if you want to feel stronger, perform better and recover faster I suggest you give it a chance. You may think yoga is not for you, but let’s put it this way – if you want your body to not feel like shit after putting it through hell…do Yoga, even if your current activity is sitting on a 20 hour bus ride or spending 12 hours in front of the computer.
The best part is all you need is your own body and the desire to feel good.
My Yoga journey has brought me teaching at Yoga retreats around the world and I now train others to become Yoga instructors. I turned 40 last year and while I am still young, active and travel as much as possible, I will continue to tap into this “fountain of youth” and endorse Yoga as the tool that helps me age gracefully with ease.
While attending her first Ashtanga series in Vermont Carri was fascinated by the way she felt not only during practice, but long afterwards which led her to practice a variety of Yoga styles.
In 2006 Carri and Chris sold their house in Vermont, most of their possessions, gave away a car and traveled in Central & South America for 1 year, hiking, biking, surfing, eating and drinking their way through this amazing and beautiful land. It was during this journey Carri decided to get certified to teach Yoga.
Her passion for Yoga and travel has led her around the world teaching in Peru, Italy, South Africa and working as a volunteer at Ibiza Yoga. She now leads her own Yoga Teacher Training courses with Drishti Yoga International in Mexico, India, Peru and Italy.
As if that was not enough, Carri was also honoured to be a 2012 Sponsored Athlete by the women’s clothing company Athleta!
The Often Overlooked Benefits of Rail Travel
Out of all the modes of transportation, planes, trains, buses, ships, rail travel might be the winner for long distance trips.
Why? Well, for one thing, there’s the sights that one can see, then there is the ability of the individual to meet others and enjoy a whole different experience while also potentially contributing to a cleaner environment as well by maximizing for efficiency.
Yes, trains could offer one of the most immersive travel experiences that you could enjoy in your lifetime.
Rail travel doesn’t really rush you from one location to the other like you are a part of a flock of sheep (looking at you, airplanes). Instead, it gives you ample time to kick back, relax and enjoy the extended time it takes to get you to your destination.
Due to that reason, tailor made train holidays have gained quite some traction among those who want to not only travel the world as much as they could, but actually explore all of what the planet has to offer in all its natural glory. You can’t argue with that approach either – I, for one know that when I travel with friends or family, my journey has to absolutely live by that motto.
Granted, rail travel might not be for the fast-moving business people that have to make it to important meetings in quick fashion, but it is definitely the right mode of transportation for those who have got some extra time on their hands either due to a vacation from work or a break from school – or just because they have taken a leaf out of Richard Burton’s book and decided to travel across the world as a way of life.
If you fall under any of those categories or are just an adventurous soul who wants to enjoy their time off of everyday chores, then rail travel might just be the experience that you are looking for.
Here are a few reasons why experiencing rail travel could give you a little – or a lot of – something that you would cherish for the rest of your life.
The Scenic Sights Are to Be Held With Awe
No matter how many flights you have caught within your lifetime, watching a sunset through a plane could never beat the same sight when it is witnessed through some luscious mountains on the ground (trust someone who has experienced it firsthand).
While this is mostly due to the extra time that you get to enjoy the sight while traveling by train, the “backdrop” aspect of the scenic locations is what makes it a thousand times more magnificent.
This added effect of natural sight staging is not only reserved to sunsets, but depending upon the route of your journey, could very well extend to you witnessing sparkling waters as your train jumps through bridges as well. You may find you are practically hugging the clouds as the train goes through highpoints of elevation; or you coming face to face with glaciers as the railroad moves inches away.
Simply put, by getting into a train for your journey, you sign yourself up for an adventure of exploration, something which a compactly packed airplane or a single-worldview cruise ship cannot offer.
The Food Provides an Unforgettable Gastronomic Experience
When you are traveling, and especially when you traveling abroad, having great food is one of the most pressing concerns that you may have in terms of adaptability to the new location.
While food travelers like the legendary Anthony Bourdain may have introduced an entire generation and more to come to the gastronomic offerings of different cultures, it still does not change the fact that your taste palette – and more dangerously, your stomach – might not be as adaptable to newer cooking techniques.
No matter how bland airplane food could be, you end up wolfing it down in fear of what you might be offered at landing, but that bland concoction of ingredients itself does not go very well with your system.
On the other hand, when you take a bespoke, well-designed journey through a train, you open doors to let yourself enjoy a wide variety of foods that could rival a Michelin-star restaurant (that is, at least by the opinion of those who travel frequently by trains).
The menu in extended-journey trains is designed in such a manner where you could try various dishes each day of your rail travel, and still end up with plenty of options that you could enjoy on your returning journey home.
This provides rail travel with some well-earned brownie points. It makes sense too – after all, if you have to live in the train for a few days, why not live your best life while doing so?
The Cabins, Seating, and Entertainment Offerings Could Rival a High End Hotel
And not a creepy hotel from American Horror Story that would give you the heebie-jeebies either, but something that could provide some serious competition to high end vacation destinations.
From well-decorated and comfortable sleeping cabins to one of a kind parlor seating, depending on the train you select for your travels, you could enjoy an array of comforting spaces that would make you feel like you are on a moving vacation.
The entertainment spaces in these trains also seem to offer the world to their passengers. The details that are present within is what really makes the trip.
Think about it, you can enjoy a cocktail in a more extravagant fashion when you see sip while looking upwards through the glass ceilings that let you have a clear view of the morning sky or starry night thousands of miles above. Being able to consume drinks at the well-stocked bar built within the train does not hurt the experience either.
Similarly, the parlor and other common entertainment areas in such trains could also provide you with customized entertainment options, where you could read a book while sitting by the panoramic windows or enjoy a movie through one of the screens within the train’s fixtures.
All in all, the entertainment options in these modern trains have the ability to transport you back to the glory of yesteryears without the added hassle of living without technology. Only those who have experienced this mode of travel could really resonate with these words – which is why, if you haven’t done so, then this would be the time to book your rail travel vacation.
Rail Travel Strikes the Perfect Balance Between Relaxation and Activity
Rail Travel is great because it incorporates technology and simplicity, one can find the perfect balance between rest and relaxation as well as the ability to be active.
So, if you are planning to take a vacation soon, make it one that is centered around rail travel. While you might not witness a murder on the Orient Express, you could still enjoy all the amenities which that train had to offer – actually, much more than that, minus the homicide.
How To Run A Successful Online Business
Running an online business can be an exhilarating experience. To be your boss and to have your own business is truly an empowering experience. Much goes into starting an online store and much that you need to take into consideration for your business to be successful.
The saying, if it were easy everybody, would do it is not only true but something that you should take into consideration when starting an online business. It will not be easy, but if you consider these facts, then you will be able to make fewer mistakes and be a bit more successful in your endeavors.
How To Run A Successful Online Business
# 1 – Invoicing
Be able to provide stellar invoices to your customers and clients (depending on what you are offering) is a great way to show that your business is legit and professional. Being able to create your invoice with an invoice template app will be sure to capture your tone and style of your business perfectly.
# 2 – Keep Your Web Design Simple
Having an amazing looking website can be alluring, but for people who are looking to purchase something or looking to get something forms your site, it would be a good idea for you to keep the design of your website simple and easy to navigate through.
# 3 – Respond To Visitors Promptly
Communication is crucial, and it would serve t be a good idea if you respond to your visitors as quickly and as soon as possible. The faster the response the ever relationship you will form with your customers. It is all about communication and communication is important for building a relationship.
# 4 – Offer Your Visitors Discount and Free Gifts
It will be a good idea to provide your visitors with discounts and gifts if they are constantly purchasing from your website. Showing them that their service is highly appreciated and valued will not only keep them coming back, but it will also potentially have them tell their friends about your site. Word of mouth is a powerful tool in getting your business reputation out there.
#5 – Finding Your Work Space
While your customers may interact with your business in an online capacity, you still need a physical space to get work done. While a coffee shop or the library can end up being busy and distracting, setting up your own home office can provide an environment free of distraction. You’ll be spending many hours in your work space so a few things to consider are what kind of desk and chair would be most comfortable for you, would you prefer to work in a space with lots of light or a dimly lit room, and lastly if you have any physical products or documents how will you organize and store these items? Having a comfortable office space for your online business will help you put your nose to the grindstone.
Running An Online Business Can Be Easy
These are just a few things you should consider when trying to run a successful online business and there are many more. The most important thing you can do when starting an online business is engaging your customers and doing so in a friendly and professional manner.
Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, bus, car, or any other form of transportation, today’s traveler is bound to spend long stretches of time just sitting around. You’ll sit around in airports and train stations too. Do you really want to watch that inane in flight movie or read that magazine? Why not use your free time to learn new things by reading business textbooks, as well as other educational books?
Today’s textbooks are totally different from the old fashioned clunkers that you had in school, whether it’s high school, college, or graduate school. Not only can you rent them at a super low price, but you can also get them in convenient ebook form and as books on tape. If they’re not readily available as books on tape, you can get Google Voice to read ebooks to you by simply uploading them to Google Play. This is a perfect option for people who drive long distances.
You can also download movies from Youtube to watch while you’re in flight as well. Sites like Khan Academy offer business courses in video form to make it even easier for you to improve your skills at career boosting topics like business, economics, and accounting.
If you have too many textbooks left over from either your education or your kids’ education, you can sell them at Books Run and on other textbook sites to get money to buy even more textbooks, or to travel even more. Books Run pays great prices for these old clunkers because there’s always somebody out there, looking for textbooks that you don’t need anymore. One man’s trash can truly be another man’s treasure. Used textbooks are also good for the environment because it saves paper to not have to print new books.
Not only do sites like Books Run contain business books, but you can also find textbooks that enhance your travel experience. Are you going to a country that speaks a different language? Check out textbooks for basically every language. Read up on the history of your destination and learn about not only the business etiquette, but how people live.
The actual act of traveling might be tedious, but it still creates some downtime for the traveler. Whether you’re going by plane, by train, by car or by bus, why not spend the time productively instead of crushing candy? By checking out the options above, you can improve your career prospects while traveling for your career, or for fun, or for any other purpose at all. Now you can spend your spare time productively while improving your travel experience. So why not take the leap?
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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