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    Find Your Paradise: Beautiful Beaches Around the World

    Looking for a beach vacation that's more than just sun and sand? These unique beach destinations all offer something for the beach-bound traveler that you can't find anywhere else. Take a trip to these once-in-a-lifetime beaches and enjoy all they have to offer!

    Hot Water Beach: The Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

    An underground river of hot water flows beneath Hot Water Beach. Nearby volcanoes on the Eastern edge of New Zealand's North Island create these reservoirs of hot water.1 During low tide visitors flock to the beach because the hot water bubbles up through the sands. When the timing is right, you can dig a hole in the sand and relax in your own personal hot spring.

    Railay Beach: Krabi, Thailand

    A small peninsula south of Krabi, Railay Beach is surrounded by towering limestone cliffs giving the beach a secluded island feel. The limestone cliffs are famous with rock climbers and there are many rock climbing schools nearby that will help even the most novice climber experience the cliffs. For the adventurous, hikers can follow a rugged jungle path up a karst cliff where you'll find a hidden lagoon and a breathtaking view high over East Railay Beach.2

    Trunk Bay: St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

    Trunk Bay is a spectacular place for snorkelers. Not only is there abundant sea life and beautiful coral reefs to see, but Trunk Bay is part of the National Park's underwater snorkeling trail. The trail begins just offshore, and underwater monuments are marked by floating buoys. These monuments have signs that provide environmental information that indentifies some of the flora and fauna common to the coral reef.

    Gardner Bay: Española Island, Ecuador

    A visit to Gardner Bay often includes encounters with local wildlife. Colonies of sea lions can be seen lazing in the sun, sea turtles swim offshore, and Hood mockingbirds welcome new visitors.3 Snorkelers are often greeted by young sea lions looking to play and large schools of tropical fish that include yellow tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish and bump-head parrot fish. The quantity and variety of wildlife is amazing!

    Whitehaven Beach: Whitsunday Island, Australia

    Whitehaven Beach is the most photographed beach in Australia and was named "Queensland's Most Beautiful Beach" by Keep Australia Beautiful.4 The beach certainly lives up to its reputation. Crystal clear water and soft sand beaches run along the island for seven kilometers. For the best vantage point, hike up to Tongue Point at low tide and take in all the colors Whitehaven Beach has to offer.

    Red Beach: Santorini, Greece

    Deep blue waters hug the shore of Red Beach in Santorini. The landscape of the beach is extremely unique, surrounded by red rock formations that create a breathtaking volcanic landscape.5 Due to the surrounding rock formations, the shore is also made up of red sand. It is truly an awe inspiring landscape to behold.

    Sources:
    1: http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/28/travel/100-best-beaches/
    2: http://railaybeachkrabi.info/
    3: http://www.galapagosexpeditions.com/islands/hood-island.php
    4: http://www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au/destinations/whitehaven-beach/
    5: http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/sea/beaches/santorini_beaches

    Fully Relax on Vacation

    Story 2 Fully Relax on Vacation

    Do you ever find yourself returning from a vacation, only to feel like you need another vacation? You were so busy on your trip that you didn't find time to actually relax and unwind? While all the sights you saw and things you did were probably worth it, nothing feels better than returning from vacation feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready to tackle the world. Check out these tips to help you fully relax on vacation:

    Unplug
    No surprise here. If you're constantly connected to email, social media, your phone and other electronic devices, you won't be able to truly unwind and relax. Go on an electronic hiatus while you're on vacation, or at the very least, set aside 15 minutes a day to check your electronics and that's it. This will help you focus on your vacation and not what's going on back home.

    Slow Down
    Work some time into your schedule to simply relax and unwind. Whether it's relaxing by the pool, sunning on the beach, or sipping coffee at a café – a little quiet time goes a long way towards refreshing your spirit.

    Have a Buffer
    It's tempting to work right up to your vacation and then return to work right when you get back. But a buffer day before and after your trip can help you lower your stress levels. You'll have a whole day to pack and prepare for your trip, and a whole day to unwind and get back in the swing of things on your return.

    Go Where You Know
    Perhaps one of the most leisurely vacations you can have is to a destination you've been before. You won't feel the same pressure to do and see everything and you'll be free to fill your time however you'd like. Plus, without the need to see major tourist attractions, you could find yourself in smaller venues and experience a whole new side of your destination.

    Plan Your Next Getaway
    A study in the Netherlands1 found that people enjoyed a mood booster up to eight weeks prior to their vacation. The anticipation of their trip made them less stressed and excited (understandably so). Unfortunately, the same doesn't work on return. The study found that people quickly returned to their stressed mental state after their trip. The take-away? Start planning your next trip now!

    Check out more travel tips and tricks here!

    Sources:
    1: http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/emotional-health/how-relax-vacation

    Where in the World?


    Where in the World March

    Where in the world can you find this unique hot spring?

    Answer:
    This is Emerald Spring and can be found in Yellowstone National Park. Because of yellow sulfur deposits that line the pool, the water of the hot spring appears to be a magnificent emerald green.






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