GetTheFunOut, aka GTFO, is about enjoying life. While the focus is on travel and outdoors, we're here to help you have fun all around Arizona at festivals, fairs, food trucks, museums, sports, and all of the other unique activities Arizona has to offer. Follow on twitter @gtfoaz to get updates on what's going on around the state.
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Gem Lake and the Rocky Mountain National Park on a Colorado vacation last year.
We're lucky to have another guest post by Michael Bourke, the co-creator of SciCamps, which is currently in its very early stages, but aims to provide people with learning resources outside of the classroom. Michael is a former boy scout and is a current lover of the outdoors and nature.
Most of us enjoy going on vacation, but did you know that it is actually good for you? Planning and taking vacations can help you to be happier, no matter whether you travel to distant lands or stick close to home for a “staycation.” The act of planning time away from work and focusing on yourself and relaxing, in whatever manner you prefer, makes you happy and reduces stress.
Physical Benefits of Vacations
There are many physical benefits to taking a vacation, including getting out from behind a desk. Vacationers tend to walk around and be more physically active than while at work, and this improves your blood pressure and, believe it or not, your diet. Getting out into fresh air also increases your levels of happy hormones, decreasing blood pressure. Seeing and discovering new things also causes the brain to form new connections, which stimulates your brain function. All these physical benefits can lead to a healthier you.
Emotional Benefits of Vacations
Emotional and mental benefits of taking a vacation include meeting new people and forming social connections, whether with fellow travelers or locals from your visited destination. Getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things also improves your mood and feelings of creativity. You feel gratitude for your own life when you see others who are struggling and making their lives work. This enables you to rethink your own experiences as you gain a new understanding of others and yourself in relation to them.
Meeting new people and seeing how others live can help you see the world from a new perspective and form new coping mechanisms. Seeing different cultures and ways of life can spark a new way of thinking about your own life and how you can connect to others and reconnect to yourself. It reminds you of the true essence of life, which is bigger than our day to day difficulties.
These benefits can also assist those who are traveling as part of an addiction recovery program. When you see the world through new eyes and see yourself as a tiny part of the world, your problems are put into a different perspective. Seeing how others deal with harsh conditions on a daily basis can enable you to see your stressors in a new light and see yourself as “fixable,” and also as worthy of being well. Traveling helps you develop gratitude by seeing yourself in relation to the world around you and putting your own problems into a more balanced perspective.
Once you see yourself in relation to others and how you fit into the broader world, you are better able to be flexible in looking at your own life and journey. Life is about self-discovery and personal growth, and sometimes we get caught up in focusing on the bad things and forget to think about what’s right in our lives. Getting away for a vacation reminds us that the world is bigger than we are, and we are a small but important part of the many experiences happening on it. Embracing our journey as seeing it as a changeable, flowing progression that we can affect can be quite powerful. Seeing ourselves as an agent of change in our life, enabling us to work on who and what we want to be, rather than an inevitable resolution of our previous choices and experiences, can help us work towards making our life what we want it to be. Stepping outside of our daily routine by taking a vacation can be the first step in creating the life we want to live. Go for it.
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Big Guy Gear Reviews are what the
sound like--gear reviews focused on the usability for big guys. If you're a
proportional six-footer, congrats: you can use literally every piece of gear on
the market. If you're a big guy, however, you know it's a frustrating
marketplace. I'm here to help. For reference, here are my basic
dimensions: 6'5", 235 pounds, dress shirt is 17"x37". I wear XL-tall shirts and 38x34
pants—as long as they’re not straight legged, boot cut, or whatever else skinny
hipsters have pushed the market toward. I'm built with more of a weak-man's
barrel chest than a fat-man's beer belly. I have what Lululemon calls
"hockey butt." If you're tall and not broad, or broad and not tall,
these reviews should still help you find usable gear. Each year I return to the Blue Ridge
Mountain area of Virginia to hunt white-tailed deer. Each year I am confounded by hunting
clothing cut to fit gnomes and Santas. If
I want a shir…
Admittedly, Roanoke VA isn't on the tip of anyone's tongue in Phoenix. Most people I meet only know of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island. When I clarify that there is, indeed, an existent Roanoke in the Appalachian Mountains they hear "Appalachia" and assume inbred hillbillies. When I clarify there's a difference between Appalachia and Appalachian, they lose interest and talk about something other than where I'm from--with someone other than me. Ten years ago, I might have agreed that their disinterest was justified; now, though, Roanoke is becoming a bit like a Fort Collins of the East.
For visitors from hot Arizona, Roanoke can easily be a three season destination. Come for the spring blooms, the fall colors, or the ability to condescend to locals about how 92 degrees in July is NOT hot.
I've written before
about my experiences hiking Havasupai, but with it now being Havasupai hiking
season I wanted to take a moment to boil it down to the basics of what you need
to know to have a fun hike, including a basic gear list.
And here's a free pro tip: cache snacks and drinks in your car for after the hike. You've never seen anyone so jealous as my friends when I pulled out Doritos and a Dr. Pepper to munch on immediately after finishing the hike.