Social media has changed the way we travel

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When it comes to understanding how we experience travel, and how it in turn impacts us, it is fair to say that each of us have our own understanding of its vast expanses. We are lucky to call Earth home, and this is a notion that, more and more lately, is becoming abundantly clear to us. The best way to get to know this incredible planet, is by travelling it. As has been said before, adventure is in the pocket of the traveller, and that has never been truer than it is now. Travel has always been a wondrous adventure, and it has long called to all of us in our own way. While many of us experience travel from a unique perspective, there are also those that adhere to the broad viewpoints (at least, before they experience a destination for themselves). We thought we had travel all figured out. And then along came technological advancement, to prove yet again that just when we think we have reached a peak, technology can – and does – somehow reach higher.

Technology has changed the entire world. The modern world as we know it is one that is paved with digital intentions, and we are the masters, the creators of this world. If not for our stubborn insistence, we would not have the modern world that we do today. From the way that we work and the way we experience life at home, to the way we learn and even the way we travel, technological advancement has been an empowering ideal that has long been impacting us and the world that we have come to know and love over the centuries. We are a unique species in many ways, but it is our own self-interest and determination to push forward our own progression that is most prominent in this digital era. The way of the modern world is pivoted towards continuing to enhance all aspects of modern (and future) life, and travel is one of the most deeply impacted aspects of life, of all.

There have been many technological advancements that have changed the way we approach and experience travel, but perhaps the most influential of them all on a wide scale is social media. This is a virtual network of platforms that were designed to connect people in their social circles, in ways that allowed them to continue smooth, fluent communication from across oceans. Over time, people became more and more obsessed. By the time Instagram arrived, society was collectively hooked on social media. Instagram introduced a new way of sharing (yet again) that encompassed aesthetic programming and ideal photos and footage. This aesthetic promoted individuals sharing only what they wanted to, and travel has always been one of the most common trends the world over. So, travel quickly became a key hashtag on the social media platform. Today, the hashtag #travel has over eighty-four million posts on Instagram alone, and it is a number that continues to consistently climb by the second.

We all lust after travel and lifestyles that promote travelling to the core. From the urge to get out of the classroom on a beautiful day, to the steps getting onto a plane to somewhere exciting and new, travel evokes a sense of excitement and wonder in all of us. Now, as we stand amid a social media revolution that we are all positively obsessed with, we are more drawn to travel. Every time you look at your newsfeed on any social media account, or respond to a notification, you are bound to see someone you know (or even people you do not know, just follow online as if they are long-lost friends) travelling and experiencing somewhere exciting and new. So, people take screenshots of these travel posts, and they make new buck lists with the whole new world of exploration they have, right on their device screens. It is the new norm of travel, and it is one that is continuously evolving all the time, in all the best and brightest ways possible.

The world of travel is one that is constantly proving to us just how special and wondrous the world around us is. We are always endeavouring to see more of the world that is largely mapped out around us, that quite literally immerses us all. Humanity has spent generations exploring and adventuring around the world, and we thought that we had it all figured out. However, over time, what has become more and more obvious in recent times, is that while our peak may have been nearing possible completion, technology can always take us further. While technological advancement has changed the face of travel in many different ways, perhaps the most widely acclaimed is that of social media. Social media has given the world a new, unlimited perspective on travel, and it is one that is constantly elevating and updating. In short, social media has changed the way we travel, and it will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future (if not always). This is just the start, and it is sure to be a wild ride.

International surge in solo travel adventurers

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Travel is something that we all want to experience, in some way, shape, or form. In travel, we often find the sense of adventure and excitement that sometimes tends to lack due to the necessity of balancing work and life in general. Travel can be the perfect solution to any problem. If you need to get your head out of the books for a long weekend, a road trip up the coastline could be perfect. If you want to backpack around the world, a global trip starting in Australia or Europe fits the bills. For adventures with family, or relaxing with friends, a camping trip can be the perfect anecdote to the chaos that is an inevitability throughout life. We all want to get away sometimes, and often the best way to do that is to literally pick up and get away. Of course, owing to the nature of the standard work/life balancing act we are all juggling, it can sometimes be difficult to etch out the perfect escape that suits everyone’s schedules. For this reason, there is an ongoing international surge in solo travel adventurers.

There is a growing trend in travelling solo that is capturing the hearts and the minds of eager adventurers the world over. While there will always be a unique magic to travelling, and experiencing life and all it has to offer with loved ones, there is an unparalleled sense of appreciation and achievement that comes with stepping outside of one’s comfort zone, and into the wild world that surrounds us all. Solo travel allows you the chance to see the world from a lens of your sole creation, and that is something that is at once empowering and profound. Seeing the world without someone else on your tail gives you a deeper sense of appreciation for all the world is, all that it offers, and all that is made possible by its very existence. We are but a small piece of a monumental planet, and travelling alone encourages and embraces the appreciation of that fact.

The world is a big, wide place that is full of adventure and promise, and those that take it upon themselves to travel it on their own – even if only once – experience not only the world to themselves, but the world within themselves as well. We are all driven to understand what it is about this big, wide world that we love so much, and solo travel gives you the chance to understand it on a deeper, more personal level. When you travel on your own, there is a keen, undeniable sense of understanding now just how the world around you works, but how you work as a piece of it, and as an individual that is finding their way through the world. This sense of self-discovery is one that is unrivalled, and it keeps drawing more and more adventurous souls into the throes of its reaches. And sometimes, solo travel is the push that even the most introverted people need to leap out of their self-imposed boundaries and embrace the unfamiliar in exciting and new ways.

The rise in solo travellers taking the world by storm is the result of a building sense of urgency to see all the world has to offer, in due course. There has never been a time where travelling the world solo has been such a coveted experience, and it is a motion that is likely only going to continue to bloom and flourish further and further as time goes on. In a world that is hinged on self-respect, love for the environment, adventure, and compassion, solo travel is the perfect solution for many of life’s big questions. There is little that cannot be put into perspective when one is travelling the road less travelled, in an entirely new place, with no company but the backpack on their backs and the phones tucked into their pockets. If nothing else, solo travel encourages us all to trust ourselves more, and to embrace the unknown in unprecedented and wild ways, always.

We all love to see the world in our own way. Whether that is through backpacking adventures or by the big blue sea, or any other manner of escapes in between, is never the point. The point of travel is to open our souls wide open to new experiences, to delve in the unexplored, to adventure in the great, wide unknown. And for more and more people, they are realising the potential in travelling the world on their own, on their own terms. Solo travel is a notion that has been steadily gaining traction over the years, and it is now in full swing. All over the world, more and more individuals are being driven to explore the great unknown solo, and it is no at all difficult to understand why. In solo travel, there is a sense of complete freedom that comes with travelling on one’s own terms, without having to cater to the needs or schedules of anyone else. There is power in travelling solo, and it is that power that has captured the hearts and minds of adventurers the world over.

The Obsolescence of Men: Are Men Becoming an Endangered Species?

By Stefan Aarnio

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Is it just my imagination or is man becoming an endangered species? Oh, I’m not talking about the anatomical male gender. I’m talking about masculine men. You know, the stuff cowboys are made of. Why is it that we have to watch old western movies to see role models of men opening doors for ladies, tipping their hats beautiful belles, or risking a fight to the death to defend their woman’s honor?

I confess, I’m unashamedly male, comfortable in my masculinity and I have little patience for males who flee to crying zones on college campuses when someone hurts their feelings. In my newest book, “Hard Times Create Strong Men,” I chronical millenniums of history but realizing how tight time is on college campuses these days, I’ll sum up the history of mankind in a 10-second quote:

“Hard times create strong men, Strong men create good times, Good times create weak men, Weak men create hard times.”

There, you just save $20 on my book. But in case you want to read more details, as well as such topics as proof of failure of the feminist movement, you may buy it from the company owned by the company founded by bourgeois billionaire businessman Jeff Bezos.

Meanwhile, here are some questions to ponder, most of which is addressed in my book, “Hard Times Create Strong Men.”

25 Questions to Help Determine if Men are Becoming an Endangered Species?

  1. Why are men so afraid to be men?
  2. What is the difference between being feminine and being a feminist?
  3. What were the goals of feminism, how many of them have been achieved, and what has been its outcome for the beloved women of our planet?
  4. What is the expanded version of the 10-second quote: “Hard times create strong men, Strong men create good times, Good times create weak men, and Weak men create hard times” as put into the context of historical cycles?
  5. Who were some of strong men in history?
  6. A popular buzz phrase these days is ‘toxic masculinity.’ Isn’t advocating traditional masculinity bucking the trend?
  7. From a temperament perspective, do you view President Trump as a strong or weak man and why?
  8. What is Zeitgeist and does Trump embody it?
  9. Who are the strong men in business? (Mark Zuckerberg? Elon Musk? Jeff Bezos?)
  10. Man is defined by his work. Is that an oversimplification of who a man is?
  11. Who is Stefan Aarnio? (besides a self-made multi-millionaire before 30 and 6 foot 4 inches tall and quite thin)
  12. Why did you fast in the rain forest of Costa Rica and do you suggest others fast?
  13. In seeking spiritual truth, what did you discover during your recent 40-day fast?
  14. How can a man or a woman balance virtue and vice?
  15. Historically, the term “Strong Man” has not always that complimentary, has it? Why do you use it?
  16. Strength is often measured by muscle and machismo but is there more to manhood than this?
  17. You like to quote Will Durant who said: “A nation is born a stoic and dies an epicurean.” How does that apply to our modern culture and where does the United States stand in its historical cycle?
  18. Back to philosophy, but not yours, this is a quote by Ayn Rand.. “A Creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” Agree or disagree and what does this mean?
  19. Zeitgeist: The defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time. What is the current defining spirit of this dot in space called earth?
  20. You’ve told us a lot about what men want, but what do women want and need?
  21. Is it possible to pursue manly goals, marry a woman, and have children, without abandoning the goals we have set out to do as men?
  22. And let’s say we hit it off with a woman and we want to tie the knot. What power shifts should we expect as we transition from single cave man into monogamous middleclass morality?
  23. Chapter 30 of your book, “Hard Times Create Strong Men” is titled “Extinction: The obsolescence of man.” What does this end look like?
  24. In the book, you wrote: “The greatest generation, the World War II generation, was born in the 1920s. By the time they were 10 years old, they were living in the Great Depression, a hard time that created strong men. After the Depression, these strong men fought in Europe in the 1940s, storming the beaches of Normandy. Wounded or not, they returned home to build a house with their bare hands, have several children, raise a family, and work at a job they may or may not have loved for 40 years until retirement.” Are we ever returning back to those days?
  25. How can men reverse the trend in becoming an endangered species?

ABOUT STEFAN AARNIO:

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Stefan Aarnio is an award-winning real estate investor, award-winning serial entrepreneur, motivational coach, educator and author of multiple books including his latest, “Hard Times Create Strong Men.

Having built his fortune through purchasing real estate at 40-60 cents on the dollar, Stefan became an avid student of negotiation at a young age testing and learning the principles in this book first-hand in the real world. On a day-to-day basis, Stefan is the CEO of two multi-million-dollar companies and travels the world educating business people and entrepreneurs to bring forward the next generation of success.

Currently, Stefan is on Talk Show encouraging men to be men and debunking so-called ‘toxic masculinity.’ His clarion call is for men to make a mass exodus from the crying zones on college campuses into inject themselves into the real world to showcase and celebrate their masculinity.

 

How Individual Influencers Have Managed to Make a Living from Instagram

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Over the course of the last few years, social media platforms have drastically changed how companies can market their product or service. However, it is not just businesses that have learned how to target users and to create a community that manages to pay the bills. The rise of the influencer has created a new set of opportunities and headaches for those navigating the social media platform. From simply a way to share photos with family and friends, it is now possible to make a living from engaging with followers and working with brands.

Much of this has to do with the fact that the platform itself has gone through a number of changes within the past few years. After being acquired by Facebook in 2012, the platform has transformed into a way to make documenting your lifestyle a full-time job. Advertising is now available as an option for individual creators as well as businesses, and you don’t have to have a social media manager in order to develop a following that attracts the attention of brands who want to partner together.

This began when brands began to reach out to celebrities who already had a decent following because of their public status. These figures could be paid for promoting a certain product or service, and companies would hope that a celebrity endorsement would be enough to direct buyers to their site. Over time, celebrities were not the only people who were contacted for these partnerships, and those with a large following could also make money while promoting a brand. It also extended to those who had built a following on their own, either from exceptional photography, or personality-driven posts.

The rise of the Instagram influencer has made the switch from publications and companies controlling the content that people see to individuals having more “influence” than traditional media. While a company might have the same amount of followers, there is no guarantee that they will be able to sell a product more effectively than an individual, who might have more of a personal connection with their followers. While various companies might work with individuals with a specific amount of people following their account, or they might choose influencers who have a type of audience that targets their product or service.

Some influencers have even managed to make a living from working with companies on campaigns. Lifestyle, travel, and fitness influencers can charge businesses to promote products on their channels, and it is not uncommon to see sponsored posts coming from the most successful influencers. Because it is such a new industry, there are not always clear guidelines on how much influencers can make from posts, but it is suggested that influencers with a following of over 150k might make as much as $2000 a post. This also depends if they have agreed include products within their stories or IGTV accounts, as well.

Inevitably, this has led to companies and individuals looking to see how they can promote themselves better on Instagram. They might choose to purchase third-party applications in order to better manage posts or to analyze analytics. Some have even chosen to buy Instagram followers as a way capitalize on this new market. Even by appearing as though a company or influencer might have a large audience, they can attract new people by looking as though they already have a solid following. While this has been debated by the social media site if it should be allowed or not, brands and influencers are finding it hard to compete without being able to use some additional tools.

An Instagram following as led several people to move beyond the platform, and it is not uncommon to see these individuals create blogs, videos, obtain book deals, or even move into true celebrity simply by personality. This has been the case for figures such as Cardi B, who now makes a living touring as a rapper. While it is a very small segment of people who manage to rise above the platform into actual fame, the possibility does exist. This has not only added to the number of people who have joined Instagram, but also those who are looking to use it as a way to create income.

This has made the platform even more crowded for potential want-to-be influencers, who are finding it more difficult than ever to compete with established brands. This is only likely to become more of a challenge in the future as more accounts start to succeed and there is a smaller piece of the Instagram pie to take part of. Nonetheless, Instagram has established a new norm of curated content that directly addresses customers and allows for engagement in a way that other platforms do not.

Speeding laws around the globe do little to persuade drivers to drive safe

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In the world of law, there is perhaps no other facet that has as strong an impact, or exists as a daily constant, as that of auto law. We have become so used to having instantaneous vehicular transportation at our fingertips that we now take it for granted, in every sense of the word. Not only do we find ourselves in a state of discomfort and shock when our vehicles suddenly are unavailable to us (for whatever reason), but we also tend to bend, or even entirely break, auto laws when we are in control on the roads. This is an ongoing issue that is prevalent around the world. It is not an issue that is unique to a specific country or region. And it is an issue that is becoming worse and worse as time goes on. This is especially true of speeding laws. Regardless of which country someone lives in, speeding laws are obviously put in place to ensure the most secure sense and reality of safety possible. When we speed on the roads, we take our safety, and that of those immediately surrounding us, into our own hands. And this is where trouble often brews chaos.

Day in and day out, drivers speed in traffic, and whether it is intentional or an honest mistake rarely (if ever) matters in the eyes of the law. The reality, the fact of the matter, is that laws are put in place for a very good reason. And the auto laws (not unlike speeding laws around the world) are enforced to ensure the maximum level of safety that is feasible for all on the roads and surrounding the areas that automotive traffic frequents. Speeding laws are essentially a set of enforced defence mechanisms, aimed at providing property and, above all, life with the utmost protect possible. It’s a worthy cause (if not one of the worthiest there is), and it is one of the branches of law that makes undeniable sense. And yet, it is one of the branches of law that is broken most often, and most severely. And here’s the thing. Nobody ever speeds with the malicious intend to kill a person. Nobody wants to speed to cause property damage. But when you take the enforced speed limits into account, and then blatantly ignore the, both these savage realities occur – sometimes in overwhelming fronts.

Let’s look at the specified impact that speeding has had, and continues to have, on people and places. In the United States alone, there was over $90 million in traffic violation fixed penalty notices last year. This is a staggering and yet equally sobering financial deficit, and it is one that has been proven to surge consistently year after year. Despite speeding laws and punishments becoming stricter and more severe over the years, we continue to see these incidents playing out in front of us, around us, or on the latest news reports. Speeding quite literally kills, and it is mind boggling that for some people the possibility is not enough for them to slow down. It is especially frustrating when you take into consideration the fact that nobody is being asked to drive well below the legal speed limit, having to grind along like they are sitting in peak hour traffic, little by little. All the law asks for and requires is that people drive responsibly and to the conditions. That’s it. It really is not a difficult concept to grasp. When will enough prove to be enough?

Recipients of speeding fines and other legal repercussions of activities on the roads can always call in legal representation in the form of motor vehicle lawyers to represent them if they feel their speeding fines and subsequent punishments are not in line with their offence, their circumstances at the time of the offence, or the surrounding environment where the offence allegedly took place. And people are encouraged to seek that legal representation if they feel it necessary. However, at the end of the day, there are strict speeding laws in place for the best reason there is, and unless you have the strongest reason in the world to have been speeding (and even then, it is probably not enough), be prepared to pay the piper. Taking accountability for one’s actions involves being willing to fess up and pay up when you are in the wrong. Anything less is, quite honestly, pathetic. Automotive laws are the most constantly enforced and ever-present set of laws in the world. While different countries operate with their own set of automotive laws, it is a constant struggle to reign in citizens always and ensure the utmost safety on their roads.

One of the most consistently presented auto laws that is tested is the speeding laws. This is a constant source of unrest not only for the legal systems that enforce these laws, but for the people who are impacted by the breaking of these auto speeding laws. Laws are put in place for a reason, and when they are tested time and again, always seemingly growing worse, there is something overwhelmingly devastating about that reality. Too often people go a “few kilometres” over the limit, justifying their actions by telling themselves that there aren’t many people around, a little more speed surely can’t do much damage, they haven’t seen speed cameras positioned in the area they are zipping through. The list of excuses is endless, but the statistics are louder than those excuses. Death tolls around the world continue to rise, with too many incidents being the result of speed. The law is not a joke; it is a defence mechanism, a system of rules put in place to protect.

Building Relationships in the Technological Age

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Relationships are a crucial part of our lives. People who are socially connected with family, friends and community live happy, healthy and long lives. Relationships include intimate relationships between the partners, parent-child and sibling relationships, and bonds forged between friends, colleagues and larger community. Human beings crave for intimacy and feel the need to love and be loved.

Life has changed dramatically in the past few decades. The world has become inter-connected and integrated due to the wide-spread use of mobiles, email and social media platforms. It is easier to connect with people from far and wide. Paradoxically, it has become difficult to enter into and sustain serious relationships as connecting digitally is not the same as being together in the real world. Emojis cannot replace an actual person who can help during the darkest hour and be a constant companion amid the upheavals of life. Personal relationships are essential for a long life as research suggests that people with strong social relationships are less prone to die prematurely. Similarly, commitment to a partner adds years to life. Strong relationships are a major determinant to good health.

How Technology is Transforming Relationships

Technology is redefining the meaning of relationships. It has changed the way in which we interact with others. Social media apps such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat and Skype facilitate connection and communication within a matter of seconds. This has opened the possibility of meeting new people, exchanging experiences on a daily basis and sharing things from our lives. We go to the extent of sharing intimate details of our lives online, blurring the boundaries between the private and public. Technology has enabled people who never met earlier to call themselves friends, rendering the distinction between connections, acquaintances and real friends nebulous. We have entered into a new era that has re-written the rules and practices that have guided the birth and sustenance of relationships down the ages.

Online Encounters

Internet dating and match-making websites have become a huge success in the recent past, especially among the 25-plus age group. These websites provide a platform to meet the right people and socialize in busy modern-day society from the comforts of the home and office environs. It needs emphasis that relationships would not mature into marriage until they transcend the virtual world into the real, and there are websites for cheap wedding dresses that would actualize the adage that marriages are made in heaven.

Abbreviated Word

Computers and social media have become a standard tool of communication. Abbreviations such as LOL and ROFL may express our delight and appreciation, but are no substitute for actually seeing people laugh and lift our spirits when we are low. Making things worse, such abbreviations have infiltrated into the offline world as people can have entire text conversations that look like a foreign language to the uninitiated. This has become a modern-day poem of sorts and is here to stay.

Death of Good Old Conversations

We do not talk with our loved ones anymore. Even if there is an interaction, it is limited to a quick text message rather than a heart-to-heart conversation over the phone. On the other hand, we spend a great deal of time putting social status updates to superficial followers. The ubiquitous presence and convenience of mobile phones create the illusion of being available at the touch of a button and this, in turn, imposes an immense pressure to be so.

Transition to the Impersonal

The most deplorable aspect of modern relationships is the manner in which we chat with the significant other. It is one thing to send a quick text message at work to check about the day and remind of an impending appointment, but texting a partner when they are just across the room seems to indicate that there is something amiss in the relationship.

Using Technology to Build Relationships

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Many deride Facebook as a distraction and blame it for snatching time away from valuable connections. But a Facebook message can also affirm others, make them feel better and bolster relationships as was done by handwritten notes in yester years.

Video Recording

Video recording is probably among the best ways of reaching out to others. Youtube and other services can send a personalized video greeting and connect with people in a humane manner. Video is a natural means of communication as people can watch the facial expressions, hear the voice inflections and view the surroundings. Being creative in connecting with people is the route to building strong and enduring relationships.

Video Conferencing

Believe it or not, videoconferencing tools such as Google Hangouts and Zoom can provide a boost to relationships. Video conferencing can help to connect with people in a frequent and cost-effective manner.

Smart Photography

Today’s smart phone technology has made photography a breeze and an awesome endeavor. Creative ways to capturing important people in one’s life through photos can add value to others and zest to moribund relationships.

To conclude, technology is an amazing tool that has shrunk the world and brought us closer together. Technology should not be used to push us apart and tide over the uncomfortable fact of face-to-face confrontation as the internet and other electronic media transmit emotions poorly. Technology should, rather, build relationships and herald much-need transparency in communication. Supplementing tech-driven interactions with an in-person approach can shape and bolster relationships in the technological world of today.

 

Through the Lens: How Celebrity Photographer David Molnar Scaled Explosive Growth

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David Molnar – Your Photography Mentor

A picture can express a myriad of emotions and moments, playing host to vivid imaginations and capturing memories. With photos featured across the New York Times, People magazine, American Idol and millions of Pepsi cans, celebrity photographer David Molnar has brought to life a string of popular brands that we see today. Albeit the success story, a glimpse into his journey to clinching success will narrate a different take on life. At just about 19, Molnar was involved in a terrible accident which forced him to undergo several reconstructive knee surgeries, nearly bringing most of his career plans to halt. Despite the odds, he took this to be an opportunity and channeled his energy into building an ultra-successful business and one of the fastest-growing platforms online. He found very early success by realizing his life’s calling, persevering to build a company that is now mentoring over 80,000 students in photography – right from understanding camera aperture, to shooting natural light portraits – helping them realize their goals.

David started out with plans of becoming a pilot, while continuing his love for sports. He enjoyed surfing, and was taking up wrestling. He decided to leverage his exceptional progress in wrestling to get a scholarship for college, eventually using his college degree when trying to earn his pilot’s license. Ambitious and career-driven, David wanted to push his boundaries and explore the many opportunities outside of the idyllic town where he grew up. However, his plans came to a halt after the tragic car accident. The accident left him shattered, particularly because he had pinned his hopes on building a successful sporting career. At a time when David was performing extremely well in the wrestling arena, the accident left him physically and mentally shaken.

Over time, David’s attempts at rebuilding his life and piecing together his goals paid off. Although devastated, he knew that he had to prod himself to move on and forge his path. Not knowing what to kickstart next, he took up volunteering projects with a non-profit organization. The experience there really helped his perception, and he was encouraged to use his photography skills to build his career. Through a mutual friend, he was able to connect with Tammy, his now-wife, who helped him score a gig to photograph one of his favorite bands. This launched one of his first projects with the camera, and he was smitten. Photography was more than a passion to him, and he was soon driven to make it his career.

David spent over two years working as an assistant to other photographers. He hustled. One project led to another, and his sheer hard work opened up ample opportunities for him in other areas of photography. David scored gigs in the entertainment industry, eventually becoming a full-time photographer. The going wasn’t an easy road. David had to reach out to multiple contacts across Nashville, until one of them reached out to him and checked if he could turn up right then for a gig. He grabbed the opportunity and didn’t look back. He spent years honing his skills and learning from the experiences he gained, soaking up as much knowledge as he could.

His career as a photographer took him places, and after spending over a decade as a wedding photographer, he decided to switch directions and find a more scalable way to get work done. Despite the hiccups that came his way, David did not shy away from taking up the various challenges. He had planned to write a book for around two years, but once it was out in the bookshelves, it was one of the biggest factors that spurred him to chase his other dreams. David decided to re-prioritize his projects and spend more time with his family, focusing on work that he was passionate about. His plan was to automate his business activities, and transition to curating educational content, tutorials, online courses, and building an audience for his book. The business took off extraordinarily well, and his initial audience base more than doubled – from around 500 subscribers, it touched over 13,000.

The biggest takeaway? He picked up a lot of learning on the way, and stayed committed to what he wanted to achieve. David began by reading a lot on running the business, and provided his subscribers with free and extremely useful resources they could tap into. Although his distribution base doubled overnight, he stayed committed to meeting his deadlines. Oftentimes, it’s easier to hold back and not provide free and useful services, but what one misses is the scope for building a new relationship. To amplify your business, this is crucial. David didn’t stop at just one model – he tried to find more ways to bring value to his services, and it worked exceptionally well, helping his business achieve robust growth.

Environment Friendly Travel – The New Trendsetter

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At a time in the world when the cumulating effects of man’s actions on the environment can be felt directly and explicitly, climate change is an issue that needs to be tackled now more than ever. From rivers being replaced by plastic waste instead of water in Indonesia to a 19-mile long crack appearing in the glaciers of Antarctica to the biggest wildfire California has ever seen, man’s actions have had disastrous consequences on the ecosystem of the world, and tourism has much to do with it. Travelling has a great impact on the carbon footprint produced by individuals – aeroplanes emit harmful greenhouse gases and carbon particulates, hotels around the world utilise gallons of water to do laundry, tourists at vacation spots buy and use more plastic in the form of single-use water bottles and food packets.

In light of its environmental impact, there has been a recent trend among many travellers to be more responsible in their travelling choices and make environmentally conscious decisions while vacationing around the world. A survey by TripAdvisor shows that nearly two-thirds of travellers today want to want to make more eco-friendly choices in terms of booking hotels, modes of transport and even their meals. Many tourist locations have even started to shift their priority from mass tourism to valuing local cultures. Jon Bruno, the executive director of the International Ecotourism Society says, “Sustainable travel is all about creating a positive effect on the communities you visit”. Eco-friendly travel thus entails merely leaving a place better than it was found.

Travelling ethically and sustainably is not as difficult as it might seem – from small actions like turning off the lights while leaving the hotel room, to reusing hotel towels, to using greener modes of transport, there are multiple ways to lessen the impact on the environment and local communities while travelling. The simplest step that can be taken to ensure an eco-friendly vacation is to choose a green travel destination. The Global Green Economy Index by the consulting firm Dual Citizen found that the greenest destinations for 2018 were Sweden, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Finland. However, more than a country’s ranking, while researching vacation spots it is more important to pay attention to how a destination embraces the green lifestyle – is there a strong public transportation system? Do they encourage farmers markets and local produce? Are there walkable neighbourhoods?

The next thing to keep in mind for a sustainable travelling experience is to choose environmentally friendly modes of transportation. Trains are the most sustainable way of travelling, and so are buses. Instead of using car rentals, taking public modes of travel reduces the carbon footprint left behind by groups of travellers. If renting a car is inevitable, opting for electric powered vehicles over traditional diesel or petrol engine cars can dramatically cut down the greenhouse gases produced. While at the destination, perhaps the most conscious choice that can be made is to ditch traditional hotels and resorts in favour of Airbnb, eco-lodges or even staying with locals in the area in homestays. Surveys have found that Airbnb and homestays consume much less energy and water, produce less waste and emit fewer greenhouse gases when compared to chain hotels. Further, staying with locals can allow for exchange of valuable cultural information in addition to directly contributing to the local economy and giving the traveller a more authentic experience.

An important thing to be kept in mind while vacationing is the ethical considerations of animal tourism. Being a responsible traveller entails researching into the treatment of animals in the tourist spots that one visits – more often than not, the demand for animal tourism in tourist countries leads to mistreatment of the indigenous animals. This can be seen in the various vacation pictures posted by people beside drugged up tigers or taking safari rides on the backs of elephants. Interaction with animals can be done in a safe and ethical way through animal rescue and rehabilitation centres where one can be assured that the animals are being treated with the love and respect they deserve.

While travelling, keep in mind to minimise the waste left behind – this involves not only generating less waste while on vacation but also trying to clean up the waste generated by others and encouraging others to be more responsible. The sight of beaches strewn with plastic bottles, chip packets, candy wrappers, empty sunscreen tubes and disposable utensils has become a sight common to many travel destinations. Some ways to tackle this problem include – travellers should try to use reusable bottles, bring their own toiletries, practice recycling, and opt for reusable stainless steel straws instead of plastic ones.

Travelling ethically and in an eco-friendly manner doesn’t have to be a huge task that requires major sacrifices. Incorporating a few of such simple changes into travel plans can lead to a positive impact on the environment of the travel destinations and of the world in the long run, in addition to providing unique experiences that conventional, luxury travel cannot.

Successful business in this modern era starts with sound morality

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The modern business market is vastly different from the one that existed fifty years ago. We have evolved and shifted through countless eras and innovations to get to where we are today. The present-day business model centres around a healthy workplace environment, a positive team experience, and a passionate employee mindset. And at the heart of it all, successful business in this modern era begins and ends with sound and consistent morality and it doesn’t hurt to have great IT support. Without a persistent drive towards morality, there is nothing. We are more inherently focused than ever on maintaining a happy, healthy quality of life and overall lifestyle, and seeing as we spend (on average) a third of the working week at our jobs, it makes perfect sense that there is more of a drive towards maintaining morally sound, overall positive environments in a business workplace. It is entirely fair that employees want to be treated with dignity and respect, and it is perfectly acceptable to expect all modern businesses to not only comply with this ideal, but to constantly strive to ensure that it is met with the utmost dedication and effort.

First and foremost, it is crucial to understand the difference between a boss and a leader. A boss is someone who stands at the forefront of a ship while their employees tirelessly work to steer the ship in the right direction. A leader, on the other hand, is someone who is amid the chaos, working with their team to bring the ship to the safety of the shore. While a boss steps back and allows his employees do all the hard work, often (if not always) taking credit for the results of that hard work, a leader makes his team stand with him, and even pushes them to the front when the crowd cheers wildly for their efforts. Any good employer aims to be a leader, but only the hardworking, truly great ones effectively become one. We exist in a modern society that, above all else, values the values of teamwork, respect, and positivity, and no modern business can hope to thrive without these ideals and a leader driving the business forward, onward, and upward into new elevations of exceeding success.

The key to creating a business that prospective employees want to be a part of is ensuring that the workplace functions in a healthy way. It is all well and good to say that your company can provide candidates with a great environment to work in and a positive team, but words are just words without action. When your employees are happy, they do their best work. the same can (and should) be said for circumstances where employees are, for whatever reason, unhappy. To get the most out of any business’ employees, and to ensure that the company thrives at its highest possible frequency, the most important thing is maintaining that healthy, positive business model. The core of the business should resonate with the most positive employee experiences. That is how businesses get reputations as highly sought after companies, that is all there is to it. Well, that and a lot of hard work and determination.

When it comes to running a successful business in this day and age, everything starts with sound morality. A leader operates with morality in the back of his mind because it comes naturally and effortlessly. A leader understands that to attract – and keep – the top talent in this modern marketplace, their business must create a sense of imminent drive and whole purpose. There must be a sound reason and a just cause for employees to want to choose to work – and stay – with the business. Anything less and the business is not likely to last very long, not in this modern era. Present-day society demands that any business in operation today can maintain all these positive values, even when the going gets tough (because it will…no path to success is ever a completely smooth one). When it comes down to it, nothing worth having comes easily, and when it does there is probably a bump waiting around the corner.

The world of modern business has successfully made it through countless eras and innovations to get to where it is today. The present-day world of business focuses on the health and quality of life of all employees and business owners. While one owns the company and the others work for it, there should not be a differing level of respect held dependent on which post an individual holds. These days, prospective employees expect and pull favour towards businesses that can and will adequately meet their expectations. Their expectations centre around working in a healthy, positive business environment while feeling driven, challenged, and impassioned by their work. Businesses that are thriving are doing so because they are not stupid – these are the businesses that have recognised the traits of a workplace that matter to candidates and prospective employees entering the workforce. Luckily, they are (most of the time) more than willing and able to comply.

Fashion industry finally becoming body-inclusive

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The fashion industry has an unfortunate reputation for being exclusive in ways that are not always overwhelmingly positive. Over time, there have been multiple instances where the fashion industry has come under fire for its current trends or decisions. Some previous missteps include the fur era, casting strictly Caucasian, tall, and tiny models in all shows, and recently the evolution of leather becoming a less desirable material. But the most recent and perhaps even most important evolution in the fashion world has been the fact that the so-called plus size market has been grossly marginalised and underrepresented by most fashion brands. It has taken a while, but the fashion world is finally becoming more wholly inclusive. Further, consumers are taking notice and driving their business towards brands that have a focus on accepting and catering to individuals of all sizes.

It is about time that fashion recognised that they need to be aware and supportive of individuals that are different to their traditionally-held (ridiculous) standards. Anything else in this day and age is irresponsible and, more to the point, should not be acceptable. It is time that the industry realises that their “one size fits all” mentality is not healthy or realistic in this modern era. While the fashion world has been busy parading their latest looks on runways during fashion weeks and peak seasons, a significantly large percentage of consumers have been left feeling lost at sea and excluded from the excitement. Fashion should be about fun, complete inclusivity, and being bold. The traditional fashion industry depicts none of these ideals, but the modern mentalities arising as new generations begin to become the fashion industry’s target demographic are [finally] beginning to take hold.

The “plus size” mentality that has historically run deep in the fashion world is damaging not only to the hard-working models who have been taught and shown time and again that their body type is “too much” for traditional fashion, but also the young consumers buying these fashions and the brands making and selling them. The average woman in the United States is a size 14 to 16. When such a large percentage of the target demographic fits into the same size that is being campaigned so heavily as “plus size”, the term plus size does not make sense. In short, these sizes are just the same as all the others – sizes. Nothing more, nothing less. Brands have begun to either stock all sizes in the same fashions, doing away with “plus size” ranges altogether, or marketing the fashions differently (and, frankly, less offensively).

The shift in the attitude in the fashion industry towards larger sizes has been promising (to say the least) but there is still a long way to go. It seems that every time the fire dampens around the explosive conversation of larger sizes and models being used in fashion branding, the war ignites again. Even when the issue is put to bed, there is unrest surrounding the morality of it all. fortunately, more and more big name brands are leading the charge to eliminating the stigma surrounding larger sizes in fashion, but even so, there is a tidal wave of change necessary before the change is lasting. There are still some high end, globally recognisable brands that have yet to embrace the inclusion of plus-size models, as well as transgender models.

Victoria’s Secret is one of those companies. A titan of industry in the lingerie world, Victoria’s Secret is a fashion house that has built its empire by having only the most traditionally beautiful women walk. These women also happen to be tall and quite slim. This attitude and conscious decision on behalf of the brand has created an exclusive brand that, more and more often, buyers are becoming uncomfortable with. Certain fashions should not be exclusively available to certain sized individuals, and every shape and size of the human body should be celebrated – especially in high fashion. The fashion industry is one that has been through countless evolutions in its time. One of the oldest industries in the world, the fashion sector has had its fair share of ups and downs.

Having to fight tooth and nail to overcome the pitfalls caused by its own internal errors, the fashion world has been a consistently prominent industry around the world. the most recent (and perhaps the most disturbing) blunder has come as multiple fashion houses have refused to modernise and cater to individuals who wear larger sizes. We are thankfully seeing the beginnings of a tide that is shifting towards positive resolution, but there is still a long way to go. While some fashion houses are too emboldened in their own ways and thus will likely never change, the majority that are ready and willing to change are the ones who are becoming more popular among modern consumers. One size does not fit all, and it is about time that the fashion sector realised this and took conscious steps to include fashions of all sizes.