How to Build Your Future Like a Modern Person

We live in a time when we have so much access to information about pretty much every topic that can interest us, and yet we use very little of it and prefer to stay in the dark for the most part. We need to wake up and make sure that we are using all available resources in planning our future and acting on those plans, otherwise, it’s easy to each old age filled with regret and disappointment.

future

Keep a Healthy Circle of Friends and Acquaintances

It’s easier than ever to stay in touch and keep your social circle as wide as possible, but this can also make us socially lazy in some ways. It’s important to ensure that you clean out the closet every now and then and cut ties with people that are not bringing anything good in your life. Yes, that can even include those that have been with you for a long time if they start being a toxic presence for you.

On the other hand, you should also put effort into maintaining the relationships you already have. That’s not very difficult with the help of social media and the various communication tools we have available, so make use of all that. Just don’t overdo it of course, and remember that personal communication still has numerous benefits that should not be forgotten. Supplementing it with online chats in a healthy dose can work great though.

Find a Viable Career and Pursue It

You don’t have to stick to the first career path that comes your way, and you should definitely put some effort into researching what you can do best and how to develop your skills. Checking out a list of accredited medical billing and coding schools in NYC is not a bad idea if you’re good with numbers, for example, and it’s a great way to work in the medical field.

There are many ways to put a person’s skills to use that are not immediately obvious, and it’s important to explore the full range of options you have available. And that brings us to another important point.

Don’t Stop Being Curious

It’s so easy to stay informed on everything that interests you nowadays, and you really have no excuse for complacency. You can’t stay where you are forever, and the best way to expand yourself and grow as a person is to make sure that you never stop being curious. You must always be on the lookout for new things you can learn and do, and don’t forget that there is a world of opportunities right around the corner.

There are plenty of places online where you can learn and grow, no matter if you’re looking to become a programmer, a chef, or anything else. In fact, you should pick a skill that’s completely outside of your zone of comfort and try it out. You never know where you’re going to find your new favorite thing, and the right factor can bring great improvements into your life.

 

Winter Is Here: Tips For Staying Healthy & Safe This Winter

winter

Winter is a time to enjoy being warm inside your home, a time to re-energise after the busyness of the year and plan the next year ahead. Despite being a time for cosiness and great scarf weather, winter brings with it its own set of challenges. It is a time for getting cozy with friends and family but with this comes the added risk of infection and contagion with so many visitors coming in and out of your home. Viruses thrive in the cold weather, so making sure you know how to do your best to avoid coming down with something is more important than ever. To make sure you enjoy winter to the fullest, it’s important to know how to optimise your chances of staying safe in all weather, staying well and avoiding nasty illnesses.

Wash Your Hands

First and foremost, make sure you wash your hands after coming into contact with surfaces that you can’t guarantee are sanitised. Viruses that cause flu can survive on hard surfaces for 24 hours, so be sure to keep your hands washed and the surfaces throughout your home clean. When out and about substitute the sink, hot water and soap for hand sanitizer. Carry hand sanitizer with you as you leave the house and apply it at regular intervals during the day. You cannot be too careful where winter illnesses are concerned. Norovirus, otherwise known as the winter vomiting bug, runs wild in winter and the chances of contracting the virus peaks between November and March. Washing your hands vastly reduces your risk of infection since the chances of passing infectious agents to your face from your hands are cut significantly. It is by getting into your urogenital openings; such as your eye, mouth and nose, that microorganisms can spread and multiply in your body. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so stock on hand sanitizers, wash your hands and clean your house as often as you can.

Stay Warm

During the bleakest and bitterly cold months of the year, ensure you are warm and keep your house well heated and insulated. Respiratory infections can be exacerbated by staying in cold conditions, so it is paramount your living environment is kept warm for the sake of your health and happiness. If you have damp patches in your home and haven’t already sought resolve, then be sure to before the very wettest months are on you. It is preferable to stay wrapped up surrounded by blankets in front of the fire as often as you find yourself in the position to do so. Schedule and work-life permitting, you should try to settle down quietly and read a book or another restful pursuit instead of facing the elements outside. Think too about avoiding unnecessary visits to the doctor’s surgery, which are a hub of germs during the winter. If you require a repeat prescription for medications, then look at ordering online instead. You can save on going to see your doctor and browse on the web. Use eDrugSearch for example, and order your prescription drugs all while staying warm inside your own home.

Keep Fit

There’s no need to let your fitness regime slip just because it’s cold outside. If you’re one for usually running outside in the open, then sign up to become a member of your local gym. You can easily use their indoor facilities to continue chipping away at your goals and maintaining your level of fitness. Swimming is a great, low impact alternative to running should you wish to take advantage of the gym’s swimming pool through the winter months. Swimming is fun and plunging yourself into the jacuzzi afterwards should be high on your list. You should also try out the sauna and steam room. Sweating has long been utilised as a method of therapy, and as sweating increases circulation, it’s perfect to ease muscle soreness and ease arthritis pain. If this doesn’t sound quite like something you’d enjoy, then opt for body resistance training that is performed indoors.

Eat Well

You should always try to get a hearty breakfast, such as porridge. Oats and oatmeal boast a whole range of health benefits. For lunch have warming soups, homemade soups are a great way to increase your vegetable intake since you can blend any of your choices and make it quicker to consume the goodness you need from a variety of vegetables. Any vitamins and minerals that you require more of can found in pill form. Consider taking different supplements depending on any deficiencies you might have. Find these at wholefoods shops and go from there, consult your doctor before doing so, and once getting the go-ahead see how you feel after taking them.

Plan A Vacation

In the unfortunate event of you falling ill this winter, then having a short vacation already planned for the spring, for example, will give you something to look forward to when you’re not feeling well.  Once you’re out the other side of feeling rotten, then you can get excited about how you will spend your time away.

Stay Safe On The Roads

You should avoid driving in adverse weather conditions. With the cold weather comes the perils of driving on ice. Ice is unpredictable and can be anywhere on the road; just because you cannot see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Remember that stopping distances in rainy and icy conditions are greatly reduced. You should be aware and understand the danger of driving at these times. When driving on wet roads, the overall stopping distance is doubled, and when driving on ice is multiplied by ten. So, when driving on ice, you should stay ten times further away from the car in front of you than you usually would in normal dry conditions. During the winter there’s the possibility of snow, and when driving on such occasion, your vision is inexplicitly impaired. Much like snow, fog and sleet can be just as dangerous, so be aware, be safe, take care of the roads and drive more slowly.

 

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

 

Essential Travel Tips for St Martin

St Martin is split between St Martin (French) and St Maarten (Dutch) offering an eclectic combination of European and Caribbean cultures. Dream vacations don’t always go to plan so follow these tips to make sure your vacation to the Friendly Island is perfect.

St Martin

Get an Awesome Place to Stay:

What could be better than waking up and seeing the ocean from your bedroom window? Tourists have the choice between luxury St Martin vacation home rentals and resorts. Do your homework and choose a nice place to stay with an even better view. If this is a dream vacation, make sure you stay somewhere perfect.

Rent a Car:

When arriving at the airport, get yourself a car. Driving is the fastest and most convenient way of seeing the island on your own terms. Several companies will try to give you extra things, but you don’t need anything apart from the vehicle itself. The roads are relatively clear and driving is a pleasure on both parts of St Martin. Clear road signs and efficient maps help tourists get around without any problems.

Avoiding Theft:

Compared to other destinations in the Caribbean, St Martins is a safe island. But this doesn’t stop opportunistic thieves from operating on unsuspecting tourists. Car theft isn’t unheard of along the beach, which can lead to a miserable experience. And then there are the extra fees you may need to pay at the rental company to repair the damage. The solution is easy. Don’t leave anything inside the car and keep the windows down on a clear day. Potential thieves won’t even look twice at the car as you’re showing that nothing valuable is inside.

Avoid the Tourists:

St Martin has always been a typical stop on cruise ships around the Caribbean. Vast numbers of liners and ships pull up in Philipsburg, the capital of Dutch St Maarten, and hordes of passengers disembark. Front Street and the Boardwalk are their first calling point, which makes it very crowded during the daytime. This area is worth visiting to enjoy the sites and duty-free shopping. But, don’t spend too much time here as there are other much better places. And it’s advisable to avoid the area after nightfall when a few dodgy characters come out.

Explore Both Sides of the Island:

The Dutch Side attracts visitors looking for a touristy experience. St Martin on the French Side has a more natural, laid-back atmosphere. Visitors can freely pass between the two administrative regions without needing to show their passport or face other bureaucratic complications. And both have something different and unique to offer tourists. The island itself is small (87km2) making it easy to get around. Take advantage and explore the island. However, the signs are in different languages and calling someone from one side to the other is actually an international call!

Spending Money:

Tourists tend to rely on their credit cards more often when they take a vacation. St Martin is no different. However, it’s not uncommon to encounter problems with the card machine in shops and restaurants for one reason or another. If you’re carrying a limited amount of cash, it’s advisable to check with the restaurant before you order to make sure your credit card will work. Another point worth mentioning is that some of the receipts may have the entire card’s number rather than blanking sections out. Make sure you check before throwing it away.

Tipping Etiquette:

Check your receipts carefully after ordering a meal as some will include an additional 15% tax or service charge. Some places add this whereas others don’t. Unsuspecting tourists who don’t check their bills end up paying the service fee and an additional tip. St Martin is an expensive island to visit and leaving an extra can equal 30% of the total cost of the bill. It’s entirely up to you and more research is needed on your behalf. But, wouldn’t you rather spend the extra money taking a day trip to Prickly Peak or renting snorkelling equipment?

Drinking Water:

The tap water is safe to drink in St Martin. Locals drink from the tap and many tourists do too. Bottled water is expensive on the island, especially when you’re eating at a restaurant. If you ask for water, specify that you want tap water (free of charge) rather than a small bottle that costs several dollars. The feeling of paying for something, albeit at a low cost, when you can get it for free isn’t ideal for a perfect vacation.

Take a Day Trip to One of the Islands:

St Martin is surrounded by a number of smaller islands, which make for a good day trip. Some have an active infrastructure for tourists whereas others are completely unpopulated and have quiet, secluded beaches. Popular trips are to Saba, St Barths, and Prickly Pear. The first two have a number of restaurants, bars, and lodging whereas Prickly Pear is completely uninhabited. Activities on the islands include snorkelling in the reefs, sunbathing, and water sports.

If you want to travel a little further afield, take the ferry and visit Anguilla. This British Overseas Territory offers a different vibe and experience to St Martin. Regular ferries depart every day between Marigot and Anguilla every 20 minutes or so from 7.30 am until 7 pm. Remember to bring your passport.

Trip of a Lifetime:

St Martin makes for a great and diverse travel destination, but unsuspecting tourists can get caught out. Follow our tips and avoid the mishaps to make sure your perfect vacation stays perfect.

No Budget, No Problem: How To Successfully Transform Your Home When Funds Are Tight

A happy home life is something that we all deserve, which is why making improvements to the property is a key item on every homeowner’s agenda. Completing those jobs can enhance our daily lives while they often have a positive impact on the value of our most valued assets. Sadly, though, a lack of capital is the major stumbling block that stops many people from turning their visions into a reality.

When funds are tight, it can be tempting to give up. There are ways to bypass those perceived problems, however. Here’s all you need to know.

Accessing Funds

Just because you don’t have cash at your disposal right now, it doesn’t mean you can’t access extra capital. Unsecured loans for homeowners allow you to gain funds for home upgrade plans without borrowing against the property. Better still, this option is open to those without perfect credit scores too.   

Of course, taking out a loan for luxury products and holidays is probably a bad idea. Nonetheless, improving the home is an investment that will pay for itself in the long run. Besides, ignoring necessary jobs could come back to haunt you.

Take The DIY Route

Make no mistake; some jobs are best left to the professional. Still, removing (or at least reducing) labour costs is the easiest way to cut the overall expense. In this age of online tutorials and affordable materials, there’s no excuse for ignoring this option.

Creating a new atmosphere through the use of stylish lighting is an easy job that brings a massive impact. On a similar note, a few coats of paint can transform the look of the walls and the vibe of the entire home. Meanwhile, simple decks and garden projects can be completed at a leisurely pace, which is great news for your budget and sanity.

Think Beyond Money

Adding value isn’t simply about increasing the potential sale price of the property. Sometimes, the best upgrades are the ones that actively improve your life. In many cases, simplicity is the answer.

Upcycling is a popular trend right now, not least because it saves money. There are many tasks, such as using old toys to improve a child’s bedroom, which will give your home that special glow. Meanwhile, repurposing organizational folders by using adhesive tape can add extra storage space. This can quickly create more room throughout the property. With a little creative thinking, great things can be achieved.

Put Safety First

It’s great to have the luxury entertainment items, but the property will never feel like home unless it is safe. Installing CCTV cameras is easy while advanced tech means that they are now cheaper than ever too. Frankly, they will instantly give you that peace of mind needed to enjoy home life to an even greater level.

Of course, childproofing the home is equally important. Meanwhile, you must be vigilant to leaks and damaged structural features. Let those necessities take priority over cosmetic jobs, and your capital will be used to far greater effect.

You’ll gain a better home without ruining your financial status. What more could any homeowner ask for?

 

Image source:

Image 1 – http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/photo-475883

Image 2 – pixabay.com

 

5 Easy Bike Maintenance Tips

Riding a bike is good for health or weight loss. However, a bike can only serve this purpose if it is maintained well. A bike that is maintained works smoothly, lasts longer and is less prone to accidents.

bike

It is uncommon to find people who do not know how to maintain their bikes in the right manner. Here are the top five tips you need to consider.

Keep the Tires Inflated

The pressure of the tires has a significant impact on the quality of a bike. A low tire pressure means that you have to work harder on the pedals to keep the right speed than tires with high pressure. Tires with low pressure are also more susceptible to flats than those that are well inflated.

You need to invest in a quality floor pump with a gauge to help keep the pressures of the tires at suitable levels. The rear tire should have more pressure since it handles most of the weight. You should check the pressure of the tires at least once in two weeks.

In case you are changing a tire, run your fingers along the inside of the rim to check for foreign objects. Foreign objects such as gravel or pieces of glass can pinch the tire against the rim and cause a flat. Also, check the new tube to make sure it is not caught between the tire and the rim.

Adjust the Brakes Correctly

You want to make sure your brakes respond correctly when you need them. They can only perform correctly if you adjust and repair them.

You first have to test the performance of your brakes by pressing the brake levers while the bike is moving. If you pull the lever until it touches the handlebar, then your brakes need some adjustments.

You can adjust the brakes using the barrel in the brake lever. Making the screw in the barrel tight moves the brake pads closer to the rim. You may also unscrew the bolt holding the wire and straighten or tighten the wire before screwing the bolt back.

It is also imperative you keep the pads and all components of the braking system free from dirt. You can use alcohol-based products for cleaning.

Clean Your Bike Regularly

A clean bike is easier to ride than one with mud and dirt everywhere. It also becomes easier to spot a problem and deal with it without too much trouble if your bike is clean. For instance, fixing a flat tire is often difficult when the bike is dirty because you cannot locate the point of puncture.

All you need to clean your bike is a bucket of warm water, detergent that cuts grease, a few sponges and at least two brushes. Make sure you wet the entire bike to loosen any mud or grime before you use the brush. This way, you won’t scratch the paint, which is what normally happens when you begin scratching with a brush before wetting the whole surface.

Make sure every part of the bike is clean, including the brake pads and rims. It is also a good idea to inspect the bike for any faults as you clean.

Keep the Drivetrain Lubricated

A bike that produces a rattling and squeaking sound is embarrassing and annoying, especially when you are riding in a group. You can save yourself from the embarrassment by cleaning and greasing your drivetrain regularly. The squeaking sound is produced when the metals rub against each other due to insufficient grease.

It is also not cheap to replace the worn out parts, so make sure you regularly clean and grease the drivetrain to save some money. You will require some rags, bike oil and de-greasers. You may also require a toothbrush and screwdriver to access the inner parts of the chains and wheels.

Make Sure the Bolts and Nuts are Tight

Make sure all the screws, bolts and nuts in the bike are where they should be by checking if they are loose. Screws and bolts often come off as a result of the constant vibration when you are riding. Some bolts, especially those holding the head tube and handlebars, can cause serious accidents when they come off.

Make sure you don’t tighten the bolts too much. Some bolts have the torque limit written on them. You can buy a bike multi-tool that applies only a specified amount of torque.