4 Tips to Stay Safe While Backpacking

Safety is always a major issue when talking about travelling. Thefts, mugging and accidents can occur; traffic jams and unexpected delays will, at some point, interrupt your plans. However, with simple research and planning, it’s easier to stay secure and safe while travelling. Here are four useful travel tips to stay safe throughout your journey.

  1. Talk to Locals About Risks

If you are going somewhere notoriously dangerous, chances are you have been doing researches about the place. Let’s take Medellin, Colombia as an example. Perhaps, you’ve read about cocaine cartels and gang violence that almost ripped Colombia apart years ago, but it turns out that Medellin is pretty safe now.  

One thing you should be researching more of is the smaller crimes, such as theft and scams. Unless you are a popular personality, you’re more likely to be targeted by thieves seeking for quick money than a big time syndicate. No one knows the risks of the area better than the locals, so it’s advisable to speak to employees of your accommodation about what to look out for.

  • Avoid Carrying All Your Money

If you’re pick-pocketed at home, it can be a problem to cancel all your cards—but that’s all. However, if you’re out of the country, even getting to a phone is already a problem, and making an overseas call is another story.

To avoid this when travelling, carry just enough cash and a card that contains your information in case of emergency—keep the rest of your valuables in your hotel locker. Additional tip: carry a ‘dummy wallet’—a small wallet with a few useless cards and a small amount of money in it. If ever you get mugged, you can oblige and handover your wallet without losing everything.

  • Keep a Clear Head at All Times

This means don’t get drunk. Almost all incidents that involve backpackers getting into trouble are because they were drinking too much, which often leads to poor decision-making.

No one, in their healthy state of mind, would ever think that it’s safe to wander along the shore of Rio de Janeiro at night, but when you are drunk, it seems romantic. We’re not saying don’t drink at all. A glass or two won’t hurt, but make sure to keep a clear head afterwards. This is even more important when travelling alone, because there’ll be no one to pull you back when you’re about to do something dumb.

  • Prepare a Back-Up Plan

This basically means do all the boring stuffs. Get a travel insurance plan and make sure it covers every activity you plan to do, such as hiking, bungee jumping, skiing, scuba diving, etc. Scan your passport, visa, the front and back of your credit and debit cards and other important travel documents. Keep a set in each of your bags, so if you lose anything you can redeem a copy of it to take to your embassy.

Taking care of these things may sound boring, but we assure staying safe and secure will make your trip much more fun. Keep in mind these tips, and only by then you’ll fully enjoy your vacation.

5 Realistic Ways to Be a More Interesting Person

Being an interesting person is beneficial for both your personal life and career. When you’re interesting, everyone you know—from your friends to your boss—want to be around you. Not only will this make it easier for you to build a network career-wise, relationships are also easier to strengthen and maintain.

To reap such benefits, here are some simple ways to make yourself more interesting.

  1. Loosen Up and Be Natural

One reason why people shy away from trying to become interesting is that they worry over small things and in result come across as unnatural. The effort backfires and make them look they’re trying too hard. Instead of worrying, loosen up and take things the way they unfold. Avoid worrying over things you can’t control and remain as calm as you can.

  • Be Optimistic

Interesting people are jolly and optimistic people. This is one of the reasons why everyone loves to be around them. Simply think about it: would you want to be with a negative and grumpy person? To invite company and more people toward you, start by focusing more on the positives of your life. Remember that attitude is contagious, so make sure yours is worth catching.

  • Consider Voice Tone and Body Language

It is not always about what you say. If your words aren’t accompanied with the right gestures, you may appear insincere. Your voice tone and body language matters greatly in making sure that you’re conveying the message clearly to the person you’re talking to.  So, don’t hesitate to smile, laugh, be passionate and to modulate your voice. Don’t just blurt the words out.

  • Explore and Try Something New

Boring people usually have a limited comfort zone. They are scared to broaden their horizon and just live their lives not even trying to reach their full potential. Try to constantly challenge yourself to expand your comfort zone. Start small such as joining a pottery class to as big as conquering a fear. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can become the most interesting person in a group.

  • Be Curious

One sure-fire way to be a boring and dull person is close yourself off to different viewpoints and opinions. Since you don’t want to be that awkward person in the party, actively seek out new experiences and ideas that you know will change the way you think. Stay curious and always keep an open mind.

As you can tell, becoming interesting isn’t as difficult as you thought it would be. Take it one step at a time, and it’ll feel natural over time.

Benefits of Having a Mentor in Work and in Life

A mentor is someone, typically a professional, who is willing to spend time to share his/her knowledge and experience to the mentee. Many successful CEO’s around the world have mentors and advisors. Even Singaporeans who work in office jobs consider mentorship. Here, then, are some benefits of having a mentor!

Motivation and inspiration

Your mentor will tell you about all the challenges he/she had to face on the way to success. Every time you lose motivation or when your challenges and frustrations are piling up, think of how your mentor was able to see success after they suffered just like you. Taking inspiration in their determination and success. Plus, because they’ve gone through this before, they’ll be able to help you move forward as well.

Knowledge

Your mentor wouldn’t be in the place he is now if he didn’t have extensive knowledge of the field. Good mentors, for example, are always aware of the movement in the industry, ups and downs in the market, job openings, and a lot more. They might also be able to give you advice on business opportunities so that you can avoid any mistakes they have done in the past. You can rely on your mentor to teach you basic information or complicated technicalities that you ought to know.

They can help you focus

There are always times when we’ll feel lost and lose our concentration because everything in life is happening too fast. It will be easy for you to get sucked in despair in these times, especially if you don’t have anyone to depend on. A mentor can help you use different perspectives that will help you overcome your trials. The great thing about this is, they help you learn by yourself. They won’t spoon feed you because, of course, that does more harm than good.

Experience

Much like their having broad knowledge, they will also surely have much experience. You can’t really consider someone a mentor if they just started out at the same time as you. You will, most likely, go down a similar path as your mentor. So, you can use what you learn from their experiences and apply those in your own journeys. But, because things can be different in their time and yours, you should still use your own knowledge and incorporate their teachings accordingly.

They give honest feedback

Another important benefit of having a mentor is that they will always give you honest feedback. This is because it is very easy for us to trick ourselves into making wrong decisions. A lot of times we also fail to see who we truly are. Our mentors will be able to keep us grounded and immediately let us know if we’re doing anything wrong. They won’t sugar-coat their words and will show you your weaknesses and mistakes truthfully, of course without being hurtful. This will help you not only in work, but also in life as a whole.

Great Places to Get Chilli Crab in Singapore

Chilli crab is arguably one of the most famous dishes in Singapore. Many people, both locals and tourists, say that you can’t leave Singapore without trying the chilli crab. So, here are some of the best places in Singapore to have the best chilli crab!

No Signboard Seafood Restaurant

No Signboard Seafood actually started out as a small hawker stall. It is said that they got their name from not being able to afford a signboard in their early beginnings. Now, No Signboard Seafood has become one of the more famous seafood restaurants best known for their “White Pepper Crab” dish.  They also have a variety of flavors including Chilli, Steamed, Cheese, Salted Egg Yolk, and a lot more.  It is said that no other place serves better White Pepper Crab than No Signboard. That’s typically because it is a culinary invention of No Signboard itself.

Long Beach Seafood Restaurant

If you’re looking for a place to have crab that’s extra spicy, Long Beach is said to have the spiciest chilli crab on the island. Much like how White Pepper Crab was invented in No Signboard, Long Beach also takes pride in its own creation and signature dish, the Black Pepper Crab. Many describe the sauce as a flawless combination of spiciness and sweetness that goes well not only with the crab but even the man tou. The meat of the crab itself is also described as fresh and juicy.

Red House Seafood Restaurant

Red House is another well-known seafood restaurant in Singapore. Whether you choose to have a black pepper crab or any flavor of chilli sauce, you won’t be disappointed. You can even have the Crab in Red House Chilli Stew if you prefer a sweeter and less spicy dish. An added bonus in Red House is that there are tables outdoors. You can relax and eat with a nice breeze and a great view of the ocean.

Jumbo Seafood Restaurant

Jumbo Restaurant is known for having a less spicy version of chilli crab. But make no mistake, their chilli crab is just as good as each one mentioned before! The sauce has the classic slightly spicy yet thick and sweet flavor to it. Because it’s copiously layered with egg, the thickness of the sauce compliments the crab exquisitely. This gives you all the more reason to order more man tous!

Crab Party

The Crab Party menu takes pride in the different flavors they serve their crabs with. From the classic chilli crab, white pepper crab, and black pepper crab, to their specialty salted egg, you’ll have so many flavors to choose from. Their chilli crab also leans to the spicier side, so those who like a good spicy kick will definitely like it here.

What Happens When You Cut Sugar from Your Diet

Even though you like to think you live a sugar-free life, you’re most likely eating more of it than you should because so many things have sugar in them – and bread, chocolates, and most sweets are only the start.

So if you have a sweet tooth that you need to satiate, trying to cut down on your sugar might be really difficult. But here are five astonishing things that happen when you keep sugar in your diet to a minimum when you do:

  1. You lower your risk of heart disease

Sugar is so sweet it can kill you – and many studies show that people who consume as much as twenty percent of their daily calories from added sugar easily have a much higher risk of suffering heart diseases later on in life.

This is because sugar turns into fat when stored, and when you’re consuming more than what you need, it isn’t great for your body.

  • You get rid of empty calories

Added sugars from processed goods have no nutrients that your body needs, which means they are essentially empty calories. But it also means that replacing them is so much easier.

If you need to sate your sweet tooth, making fruits part of your diet is a cheap and easy way to consume less sugar and get into a healthier lifestyle.

  • You eventually settle into the routine

The first two weeks of trimming sugar from your diet are the hardest, but once you settle into it, you can see the positive changes for your body.

For instance, your skin will appear brighter and any pimples you have will start clearing up. Your mood also stabilizes, which is a huge improvement compared to when you would drink coffee with sugar in the morning, and you feel more energetic throughout the day.

  • You start losing weight

Weight is one of the first things that goes when you decide to cut down on the sugar. Not only is it mostly empty calories, but it also turns into stored fat when you’re not burning them with an active lifestyle.

Aside from the weight loss, your sleep quality also improves since your body naturally will be able to adjust naturally to waking up in the morning without needing for coffee.

  • Your taste buds change

When it’s not easy to cook dishes or adjust your diet to have less sugar in it, you’ll eventually notice how your tastes will change after a few weeks of trimming it from your meals – the biggest of which is that you start to notice it more in foods when you actually taste them.

How to Remove Ceramic Tiles in 3 Easy Steps

As much as ceramic tiles are beautiful to have in any area in your HDB flat, they can also be expensive, and there can be many times in construction and renovation jobs that don’t always need new tiles when old ones can still be removed and set in place again at a different area.

With the right care, you can remove old tiles without damaging them and still use them for all kinds of projects at home. Here’s how you can remove and reuse ceramic tiles in seven easy steps:

            1. Observe proper safety

The first step you need in any work is to observe proper safety steps, such as wearing safety googles and a mask to keep debris from entering your eyes or to keep you from accidentally breathing it in.

            2. Chisel the grout

In order to remove tiles, you need to start chiseling the grout or caulk filling the gaps between them. You can do this by scraping with a sharp utility knife, or chipping slowly away with a putty knife and a hammer.

Alternatively, you can also remove the grout a lot more quickly using a dedicated grout remover tool that will allow you to remove the tiles in a specific section or area in your home that you want to remove.

            3. Pry the tiles

The first tile is arguably the hardest to pry off, and while many owners simply break this, you don’t have to follow suit.

Once all the tiles are free of any grout or caulk, tap the tiles lightly to see if they are loose before gently prying off with a putty knife. This can be a lengthy process because not only do you need to be careful to keep the tile from breaking, but mortar is also difficult to pry off.

Individuals vs. Sections

Tiles can be removed either individually or by sections, but this depends on the type of material. For instance, even though you’re not likely to remove entire sections successfully if the tiles are installed on top of wood, drywall is a much easier surface to work with.

You should also feel around the area first before you can remove tiles. If you encounter a loose tile, that’s the one you should focus on removing first.

Re-using Ceramic Tiles

Reclaimed ceramic tiles can be used for all kinds of locations just as you would a new tile, or even used for different projects.

Once the ceramic tiles have been fully removed from their surface, be sure to clean both sides using a wire brush in order to remove any remaining dust, debris, and grout while being careful not to chip or scratch the tile.

5 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Surely, many of us have had New Year’s Resolutions. But, a lot of people also find that year after year, their New Year’s Resolutions are still the same and they haven’t made any changes. We all have to admit though, that it sounds simple, but it’s not that easy. This is simply because we’re beings of routine. But then again, if we really want to change something for our life to be better, there are many paths we can take. Here then are some ways for you to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions!

1. Make them simple

One essential way to keep New Year’s Resolutions is to keep them small and simple. When you aim to completely turn your life around, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. It may be easy enough when you’re still planning about but surely, you’ll find yourself faltering soon if your resolution is too big to attain.

2. Write them down

Writing your goals down will help you hold a greater sense of responsibility and accountability, hence having a high chance of achieving them. Write them in a journal or any piece of paper that you can stick to places and easily see, like your desk or on your refrigerator. It helps to see your goals on paper to keep your motivation going.

3. Plan it out

If you want to take it further than just writing your resolutions down, then try to plan out what you want to do. You don’t really have to work out a specific and complex plan too. For example, let’s say you want to start losing a bit of weight and start going to an ActiveSG gym. Check your daily schedule and see your availability each day. If you don’t have enough time to go 3 times a week, how about two? If you can’t, go at least once a week. Think about it, when you go once a week, you’ll be able to go 48 times a year. That’s definitely better for doing your resolution than not going at all.

4. Tell others about it

When you tell others about your plans, it also holds you more accountable. It makes it harder for you to back out because others are already expecting you to push through with your resolutions too. In addition to that, it’s a good way to get support from others. When you’re finding it hard, especially in the beginning, it would be great to have family members or friends to keep you motivated.

5. Take note of your progress

Keeping track of your small achievements will also keep your motivational fire blazing. If you’re focused only on the end result, you will easily feel discouraged. You might even wonder if you can actually achieve your resolutions or not. But when you celebrate your small successes, it can help you recognize your progress.

Ways to Enhance Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is one’s ability to manage, express, and be aware of his/her feelings. Having high emotional intelligence is important for many aspects of life, like work for example. Singaporeans are among the hardest working in the world. But sometimes it can get in the way of our life and we have difficulty controlling and expressing our emotions. Here, then, are some things we could do to manage our feelings better.

Allow emotions to flow

No matter if you’re happy, scared, miserable, or excited, do not try to suppress those emotions too much. When you feel happy, then go ahead and show it. If you feel sad to the point of crying, then by all means cry. This improves your emotional intelligence because it helps you express the way you feel at any given moment. That, then helps you manage and control your emotions better.

Name your emotions

Another good thing to take note is to name your emotions. It’s a small practice that can help you understand your feelings and yourself better. Many people say they feel “bad” which is a general term that can basically mean anything from “frustrated”, “anxious”, “annoyed” and etc. But, when you learn to be more specific and really recognize your emotions, you will begin to understand what exactly you are feeling even in the future. So then, you can upon these emotions accordingly

Listen to your body

Acknowledging physical sensations also plays a role in improving emotional intelligence. This is because our emotions also manifest through our body whether we notice it or not. One common example is having sweaty palms when you are nervous. Or that funny feeling in your stomach when talking to someone you like. When you’re able to notice these, you can also better understand your emotions.

Write about how you feel

This can tie down with naming your emotions. You can try to take time off your day and write about how you’ve felt throughout the day. When you write your feelings down, you can actually map them out because feelings and emotions are complicated things. You won’t be able to describe an emotion in one word, so write how you and elaborate the things you feel no matter if they connect or not.

Pick your company well

While you have a BFF who will try to make you happy all the time, it would also be best to have someone who is honest to you. This is because your BFF, most likely, will never say anything to hurt you. But with someone who is honest, you will be able to see both your good and bad qualities and emotions. This “someone”, of course, should be a person whom you can completely trust. 

Easy Magic Tricks You Can Learn to Impress Your Friends

Whether you’re simply hanging out or at a dinner party, you can be sure to wow your friends and be the center of attention using these five amazing magic tricks that you can pick up easily:

The Spoon-bend

While it may seem confusing at first, you will only need ordinary spoons and a quick sleight of hand. Start by getting your audience to notice the spoon with one hand and make sure they’re paying attention to that one hand.

Take another spoon with your other hand and bend it against a hard surface (usually the table), and hold it in a way that hides the bend. Next, present that spoon to the audience still in that hand and wiggle it gently to make it appear as if you’re bending it.

Floating Cards

There are simple ways to make cards float in mid-air from your hands – or at least, make them look like they’re doing that.

One way to do it is the following:

  • What you need for this trick is a playing card, black sewing thread, and a piece of tape. Tape one end of the thread to the center of your card and fasten the other end of the thread from a button in your shirt.

Run the thread in a way that it goes between your index and middle finger, and goes over your thumb. It also helps to wear a dark shirt, as this will conceal the thread better.

Another way to do it also requires black thread and tape:

  • You will need tape, black thread, a short straw, and a card. Cut a section of the short straw, secure it to the back of the card, and insert the thread through the straw before taping it to the back.

When doing this trick, keep in mind that you’ll need to pay attention to lighting, your clothing, and distance.

The Magnetic Hand

Mysterious playing cards that somehow stick to your hand can be easily made using just regular cards – the trick is to cut a small tab out of one card and glue a second card to it.

Once you have your modified card, hold the tab using your index and middle finger, and then proceed to slide other cards underneath that card. Turn your hand upside town to make it look like the bunch is sticking to your hand.

So the next time you’re with your friends or entertaining guests, you can brush up on these tricks and be the life of the party.

Keep in mind, though, that the true ingredient to making any magic trick work is being able to direct your audience’s attention where you want them to. This may take a while to master, but with constant practice, you’ll be able to pull it off flawlessly.

6 Gorgeous Alternatives to Traditional Wedding Band

Metals like gold, silver, and platinum – alloys included – are timeless symbols of commitment, but they also have their downsides other than their price tag.

For instance, they’re great for conducting electricity and insulation (bad news if you’re constantly exposed to electricals and high heat!).  They can also trigger metal allergies and put you at a risk of hurting your hand in certain instances.

If you find that any of these apply to you, then here are some material alternatives you should definitely start mulling over:

  1. Silicone

Couples with an active day job or lifestyle, where they need to be hands-on all the time, will be sure to love a ring that won’t slip off, conduct heat, or be prone to accidents that would lead to finger damage.

This is where silicone rings come in. Their structure makes them durable, hypo-allergenic and extremely flexible and non-conductive, which makes them perfect for most work environments.

  • Tungsten Carbide

Because even classic bands like gold and silver can get scratched after a long time, choose this material for your ring instead.

Not only is tungsten carbide scratch-resistant, but it’s also harder than steel and gold. The biggest advantage is that it’s much cheaper than traditional precious metals, making durability a much more affordable option for any engagement or wedding ring.

  • Ceramic/Wood

Ceramics are an excellent non-allergenic alternative to rings made of precious metals, since rings made of these precious metals and their alloys can be lost, scratched, and/or easily damaged.

With wood, you have a number of advantages – you have a ring that’s unique in appearance, durable, and hypo-allergenic, but also eco-friendly and really cheap.

These two options are particularly great for those who happen to work near sources of heat or electricity. It minimizes the risk of burns or electrocution, and in hazardous work conditions, there’s no need to take off the ring.

Non-Ring Alternatives

Non-ring alternatives also exist for those constantly working with their hands, such as the following:  

  • Wedding Tattoo – Worried about your ring snagging or getting in the way at work? Can’t find a suitable substitute for a wedding ring?

How about no ring instead?

This new trend where couples simply get a wedding tattoo instead of a ring is not only cheaper, but also a more creative way of showing your commitment.

  • Necklace/chain – Instead of a wedding band, more and more couples are donning a gold chain that they can wear around their neck – and the ring can be strung on the necklace depending on your preference.
  • Watch – While this isn’t a less expensive option, it does make for a non-finger option while still being an expensive reminder of commitment and marital status.

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