10 Tips for Adulting in Your 20s

Do you struggle with adulting?  Do you find yourself failing hard at getting your sh*t together on a regular basis?  It is I, a fellow failing adult, here to bring you advice for cleaning your life up, one step at a time!

  1. Exercise

    WorkoutbitmojiUgh, exercising sucks. I am not an athletic person, but putting in the smallest effort to build an exercise routine now will be much easier than when you’re 40 and have 2 kids. Plus, you’re much more likely to stick with the habits you build now.

  2. Stop drinking like you did in college.

    DrinkingSeriously, stop. Your body can’t take that abuse forever, and neither can your wallet. (If you find you are unable to reduce your drinking, please consider speaking with an addiction counselor.)

  3. Stop sleeping until noon

    SleeptilnoonHow much harder is it to get up at 6AM on Monday when you slept until noon on Sunday? I’m not saying you should get up at 6 every day, but it’s good to get your day started in the AM.

  4. Cook

    cookingbitmoji

    Eating McDonald’s 5 nights a week might be easy on the wallet, but your metabolism will not stay strong forever. The eating habits you form now will follow you for the rest of your life. There are tons of easy recipes that are cheaper and healthier than eating fast food or takeout all the time.

  5. Pay your bills on time

    stress_and_enviroment

    I have this bad habit of leaving unopened mail on my coffee table. My rent, car insurance, etc are all paid automatically, so most of my mail is junk. Unfortunately, my annual car tax ended up in The Pile. My state sends it out 3 months early, I believe, and I ended up paying fees because I paid it a few weeks late. It’s not that I didn’t know about it, it’s not that I didn’t have the money, I just forgot. Don’t do this, y’all. It’s completely avoidable.

  6. Stick to a budget

    Budget.jpg

    You’ll never be able to afford to travel or buy a new car or start your own business or pay for your wedding; whatever you want in life you have to save money to do it.  You can’t save money if you don’t know where you’re spending it.  Build and stick to a monthly budget!  Figure out what your expenses are and

  7. Drop your toxic friends

    ToxicFriendsByebyeDrop ‘em. You don’t need the negativity, you don’t need the stress, you don’t need them wasting your damn time. Drop, drop, drop.

  8. Try new things

    HOBBIES-ARE-HEALTHY.jpg

    Have new experiences; try a new hobby, travel, learn to play an instrument or sport, meet new people, or become active in your community.  Does your community have a community center?  Take a weekly pottery class!  Are you passionate about minority rights, veterans, refugees, or human trafficking?  Find activist groups in your community!

  9. Organize your home

    letsgetorganizedYou’ll be happier and more productive if you get your house/apartment all neat and tidy.  Say goodbye to messy cabinets and hello to your new, beautiful, organized life.

  10. Travel.

    20171215_133251_HDRMeet new people, learn new things, become a more worldly person. I can’t stress enough how important it is to travel in your twenties. It will shape who you are and how you view the world. You’ll meet so many different people from so many different places who think differently than you do, who experience the world differently than you do.

Are there any tips you would add?  Share them in the comments below!  If you liked this post, be sure to hit the subscribe button, share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and keep following me here on WordPress for more GREAT content like this!

Sleep image: https://thedailytripblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/insomnia-smoke-alarm-chinese-water-torture/
Bills image: http://www.healthreviser.com/content/environment-changes-manage-your-stress
Budget image: http://ww2.cfo.com/budgeting/2016/08/special-report-budgeting-plannings-changing-world/
Hobbies: https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-activities/hobbies-are-healthy/

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Destination: Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Rishikesh: A quick look

Language: Hindi

Currency: Indian Rupee

Drinking Age: 21 in Uttarakhand (the state), but alcohol is banned within the city itself

Public Transportation: Rishikesh is very walkable, but taxi and shuttle services are available downtown. The closest airport is in Haridwar, about 20 km away.

Passport: Yes, US citizens are also required to obtain a tourist visa prior to arrival in India. For visits of fewer than 60 days, an electronic visa is the easiest and quickest to obtain

Vaccines: Routine, plus Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Malaria medication may also be necessary; visit your primary care physician prior to leaving your home country to receive vaccinations and recommendations for additional medications based on your specific trip itinerary.

rishikesh

Before you leave:

Known as the “Valley of the Saints,” Rishikesh occupies the beginning of the Ganges river in the Himalayan foothills. In addition to being a very important area in Hinduism, Rishikesh is also a very popular spot for yoga and other spiritual education.

Remember that Rishikesh is a sacred city in Hinduism. Because of this, alcohol, drugs, and meat are banned in the city. Although alcohol and drugs are not hard to find if you know where to go, please be respectful of the culture, and do not use within Rishikesh.

Hostels are usually the best places to stay in Rishikesh. The one we stayed in was on top of the hill, which gave a wonderful view of the Ganges and the surrounding mountains. Many have AC, reliable Wifi, and breakfast included. In addition, a popular activity is studying yoga and mindfulness in an ashram, which often includes lodging.

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Once you get there:

Don’t be afraid of the street food. Classics like chaat, samosa, pav bhaji, and pani puri are all extremely cheap at street stalls. Be careful and ensure the food is hot, and you shouldn’t have any trouble. The best way to find the good stuff is to go with a local.

Use common sense to avoid scams. Scams are incredibly common in touristy parts of India, and Rishikesh is no different. Do some research beforehand on the most common ones and tips to avoid them.

  1. Beatles Ashram

    beatles-ashram-rishikesh

This is probably what Rishikesh is best known for in the United States. In 1968, the Beatles traveled to Rishikesh to study transcendental meditation. At the time called Maharishi’s International Academy of Meditation, it’s now simply known as “Beatles Ashram.” There is so much myth, legend, and controversy surrounding the Beatles in India that I can’t cover it all here. Everyone knows where Beatles Ashram is, and it’s definitely something to see when you’re in the area.

2. Trekking/Outdoor activities

Outdoors

Rishikesh sits next to the Ganges river, and right at the foothills of the Himalaya. This puts you in the perfect spot to enjoy activities such as trekking, rock climbing, white water rafting, and plenty of nature tours. You can find guides for these activities at the guide services downtown.

3. Mussoorie Hill Station

Mussoorie

Okay, so this isn’t technically in Rishikesh, but it’s close enough you can do it from the city. Hill stations are small towns that sit atop high mountains, mostly to keep them cool in the summer. It’s a really nice experience looking down the steep mountains into the valleys.

4. Kunjapuri Devi Temple

Kunjapuri temple

Kunjapuri Devi sits high atop a mountain, about a half hour drive from Rishikesh. You can charter a car to take you up there for about 1800 rupees, so try to go as a group to split the cost. The view from the top is *amazing.* A popular activity is to make it up there early in order to see the sunrise. On a clear day, you can see as far as China and Nepal. Culturally, it is the temple to Sati, the wife of Shiva. The super abridged version of the story is that Sati ended her own life after her father humiliated Shiva. After this, her father carried her body throughout the Himalaya, and pieces of it fell throughout the mountains in 52 different places, known as Shakti Peethas. These Shakti Peethas are found throughout Nepal and India. Kunjapuri Devi is where Sati’s chest is believed to have fallen.

5. Neer Garh Waterfall

neer-garh-waterfall

This is a great place to go to get out of the city and enjoy some beautiful Indian nature. After a steep hike, you’re rewarded with beautiful views of the waterfall and surrounding mountains. The water here is nice and clean, and it’s a popular place to jump in and cool off. All in all, it’s a fun place to explore for the day.

6. Visit the temples and bridges

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There are *tons* of temples in Rishikesh. Far too many to name in a short blog article, but I’ll rapid fire off some names to get you started. For temples, the popular ones are Badrinath, Parmath Niketan, Neelkanth Mahadev, and Tera Manzil. Even though it’s not a temple, the Lakshman Jhula bridge is a fun thing to see. A long suspension bridge that connects the two banks of the Ganges, it’s a cool place to get photos of the city and river.

Rishikesh is a great place to get out of the Golden Triangle and see what the rest of northern India has to offer. It’s a great stepping off point to go deeper into the Himalaya, head west into Punjab, or as a weekend jaunt from Delhi. It’s a must see for anybody traveling around northern India.

Disclaimer: I am far from an expert in Indian culture and Hinduism, so I apologize if any cultural facts are incorrect. Let us know in the comments!

Many thanks to David Anthony for creating this guide to Rishikesh, India.

Did you like this article? Have you visited Rishikesh? Tell us about it in the comments! Share via Facebook or Twitter, and as always, follow me here on WordPress for more GREAT content like this!

Sources:
Beatles Ashram photo: http://www.haridwarrishikeshtourism.com/beatles-ashram-rishikesh.html

Rappelling in Rishikesh photo: https://www.thrillophilia.com/rappelling-in-rishikesh

Mussoorie Hill Station photo: https://www.euttaranchal.com/tourism/mussoorie.php

Rishikesh photo: http://industrips.com/rishikesh/

 

 

Travel Mistakes I Made (So You Don’t Have to)

So you just booked your first International flight and you’re thinking “what now?” Or maybe you’re a veteran traveler who is looking to save some money and travel backpacker style. Below are 5 mistakes I’ve made, and tips for traveling on a budget.

  1. Paying for a hotelHotelroom
    • Hostels are not scary. If you’ve lived in a dorm, you can handle a hostel. The  biggest downside is sharing your space. The biggest upside is sharing your space! You’ll meet other travelers who are potential new friends.
    • Airbnb is your friend. You can rent anything from a whole apartment to a couch. You’ll have an opportunity to stay in areas you probably couldn’t afford a hotel in, and chances are it’s nicer. The hosts usually put more effort into making you feel at home than a hotel would. I’ve stayed in whole apartments and private rooms in someone else’s home. I’ll admit, staying with a stranger sounds pretty sketchy, but it’s not as weird as it sounds.  (If you sign up using my link you’ll get a $40 credit and I could receive a small compensation as well.)
    • Couchsurfing. It’s not a service I’ve tried yet, but I know other people have and have had success with it. If you’re nervous about staying with strangers, you aren’t alone but the site verifies both surfers and those sharing their couch. The best part? It’s FREE. You aren’t allowed to offer or accept payment.
  2. Paying $1000s for a flight to EuropeSadonAirplane
    • I flew to Poland in 2014 and I booked a flight through regular* means. It cost me $1200 round trip and included a 12 hour overnight layover. In October of 2015 I flew to Denmark. I booked through Wow air and paid about $600 round trip (yeah, that’s HALF price). I booked both flights about the same distance out (6-8 weeks). One downside to Wow is that they aren’t in many airports in the US yet (I flew out of DC), but they’re all over Europe. Also, flights within Europe are super cheap ($99-200) so getting across the ocean is the most expensive part.
    • Another airline offering cheap transatlantic flights is Norwegian Airlines.  With Norwegian** you can fly from JFK to Oslo for about $400 (booking 5 weeks out). (Look for future posts specifically about flights!)
  3. Checking a bagTooManyBags
    • Checking a bag usually costs extra. You do not need that much stuff. I traveled with someone on study abroad who brought framed photographs for a 4 week trip. Don’t take stuff you don’t need. I haven’t checked a bag in years and I don’t miss it. (Keep an eye on my blog for a full post with packing hacks!)
  4. Not having appropriate converters/surge protectorsPlugandfeet
    • When I went to the UK in 2006 (pre-smart phones) I didn’t have appropriate converter/surge protectors. This meant my hair dryer just didn’t work! Make sure you look into everything you’ll need for your specific destination.
  5. Buying an international phone planDudeonphone
    • Find free WiFi and use Skype, WhatsApp, or Facebook messenger. You aren’t traveling abroad to spend all your time talking to folks back home.
    • If you really NEED a phone for some reason, buy a cheap burner phone when you arrive.

There are so many things you can do to make your travel experiences cheaper and more efficient.  If you liked these tips, check out more in-depth posts about packing light, packing for winter, travel essentials, and more.

Have any good travel hacks of your own?  Share them in the comments below.  If you liked this post, share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and follow my blog here on WordPress for more GREAT content like this.

*I flew JetBlue, then Lot airlines on my trip to Poland.  I had good experiences with both airlines, however, there are cheaper flights out there!

**I have flown Norwegian within Europe, but have not traveled from the US to Europe on a Norwegian flight.