5 Health Benefits of Travel

If you’ve been looking for a good excuse to book your next vacation, your search is over! There is actual scientific evidence that taking vacations improves your health.

Time Zone Globe Schiphol Airport Netherlands

Here are 5 reasons why you should travel for better health:

  • 1. Even just planning a trip will make you feel happier, and mental health matters!

A 2002 study by researchers at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom found that people are at their happiest when they are anticipating an upcoming trip. People who were planning a trip experienced more joy and even felt better about both their health and their economic situation.

People perceive their overall quality of life to be better when they are looking forward to the next adventure.  And as if that were not enough evidence to get you started in planning a trip, a 2014 Cornell University study found that looking forward to a travel experience caused more joy than anticipating the purchase of something special.  We are happier when we have new experiences than when we acquire more “stuff”, according to another Cornell study in 2010.

Sunway Resort Pool Malaysia

And how often should you plan a trip?  Diamond Resorts International did a study in 2014 and found that over 75% of people reported feeling happier when they planned a trip at least once every year. 

What if you actually go on a trip after all that planning? 

  • 2. Traveling helps your mental health

Women who go on vacations more often experience less depression than women who stay home.  A 2005 study by the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin found that women who vacation less often than once every two years are more likely to be depressed and stressed than women who vacation at least twice a year.  This benefit would undoubtedly be similar for men. 

The American Psychological Association conducted a survey in 2013 about stress in America and found that vacations help reduce stress and negative emotions because they take us away from the usual sources of our stress, such as the activities and environments that trigger us the most.  So it’s not always about where we go, but more about the escape that helps. 

At any rate, our health is better when our stress is lower.  One study found that even three days after a vacation, people who had traveled were in a better mood, felt more well-rested, and had less anxiety.  These effects even lasted to some extent for weeks after they returned home. 

Myrtle Beach South Carolina USA
Myrtle Beach South Carolina USA

The vacation doesn’t even have to be very long.  One study showed that a four-day long weekend helped people feel better for as long as 45 days.  Those who traveled somewhere on that break reported more well-being and less perceived stress, and they scored better on recovery and strain.

Clearly, we have established that travel helps your mental well-being.  But what about your physical health?

  • 3. Traveling decreases your risk of heart disease

The Framingham Heart Study is a long-running study which found that both men and women who traveled at least once a year were less likely to suffer a heart attack or develop heart disease.  The theory is that regular travelers are less stress or anxious, or that at least taking a break from the usual stress has great benefits. 

  • 4. Your immune system is stronger if you travel

Travelers are exposed to different environments (and therefore different viruses, dirt, gut bacteria, etc.) which cause your body to create stronger antibodies.  Research shows that this gives your immune system a boost.  So travel more, and get sick less! 

Keukenhof
  • 5.  Traveling helps you live longer

It doesn’t matter whether you travel short distances or trek the globe, research shows that life expectancy is longer for travelers.  Research indicates that the stress reduction from travel actually helps increase brain health.  That in turn leads to living both better and longer.  Part of the brain health benefit comes from the fact that your brain makes new pathways and connections as you see and experience new things.  That’s great for the added benefit of increased creativity as well as brain health. 

So you see, there’s no need to feel that your desire to travel is frivolous.  It’s actually great way to take care of yourself.  Travelers experience a better quality of life and even live longer.  Clearly, most of these benefits are related to lowering your stress, which we know is a good idea for so many reasons.  There you have it, our permission to take a break.  Now, get started planning your next vacation – remember, even the dreaming and planning will help you feel better! 

Kuala Lumpur Tower Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur Tower Malaysia
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Pawnee Indian Museum State Historic Site

Before researching the Pawnee Indians, I had not realized that they and some other Plains Indians lived part of the year in permanent dwellings. This is the site of one of those towns, and the museum is built around one of the actual dwellings.

This is a very interesting historical site, located near Republic, Kansas. The guide was very knowledgeable and interesting to listen to. We went as part of a school group, and the elementary children also found everything to be interesting. Most of what you see is inside, but you can also see some points of interest outside.

It’s a little off the beaten path, but the signage is good and it is worth the drive.


Courtyard by Marriott, Kansas City South (Kansas City, MO)

UPDATE: This hotel used to have a hot tub, but as of April 2019, their hot tub was out of order with a sign that indicated it would not be fixed or replaced. 

We have always enjoyed this hotel, especially the nice pool area and hot tub. It’s bigger than a lot of hotel pools. They have recently remodeled inside the hotel and even the courtyard area, and everything looks great.

For a family get-together, this time we got the one bedroom suite, which has a nice living room area with a table and desk. It was nice and spacious, and it’s nice to have not only the extra space, but also a door that closes between the bedroom and the living-room/office area.

The staff is always friendly. It’s in a quiet area, even though it is close to the interstate. It does not have free breakfast like a lot of places do, but you can purchase breakfast.

It is one of the closest hotels to the International House of Prayer, and IHOP runs a shuttle between the hotel and their services. There is a special rate available for those visiting the area for IHOP. See www.ihopkc.org for more information.

It is also a short drive to many other Kansas City attractions, such as only 6 miles to KC Chiefs Stadium and KC Royals Stadium, 6 miles to Kansas City Zoo, 3 miles to Top Golf, and not much farther to Crown Center, Union Station, and Country Club Plaza. The hotel has a shuttle for destinations within 5 miles.


World War II P.O.W. Camp Museum, Concordia, KS –Part 1

This is just part 1 of our review of the WWII POW site. We visited without an appointment, but plan to return when we can actually see the inside of the museum

Although Google shows the site as open 24 hours, all you can see without an appointment is the guardhouse and a few old foundations down the road by the museum.

We have shared a photo from the door of the museum showing the phone number to call to schedule a tour. We will update our review after we can come back and have the tour. We highly recommend getting to see the inside of the museum, so definitely call ahead for an appointment.

One good thing was that the guard house has a guest book and some flyers available that explain a lot of information about the camp. The POW brochure is very informative, and they also had a brochure of other Concordia places of interest.


Making the Road Trip More Entertaining for the Family

How many more miles?  How much longer?  I’m BORED!

Sound familiar, parents?

One great solution that our family loves during our longer road trips is to listen to Adventures in Odyssey.  It’s a radio show done by Focus on the Family ministries.  Don’t confuse it with an audio book.  I’m sure that some of those can be nice, too, but these are dramas, with actors’ varying voices, sound effects, etc.  Just when everyone is getting on each other’s nerves, it’s great to stop and listen to a show together, laugh together, and enjoy each other’s company again.

There are a variety of collections available.  You start off with just a single CD if you’re not sure if your family will enjoy them or not.  For example, Amazon has this one:

One thing that we like about these CDs is that the whole family listens and enjoys them together.  It’s all part of a shared fun family memory, instead of each child being busy on their own device.

If you find that your kids enjoy them as much as ours do, and honestly we adults enjoy them, too, here are a few collections that are great.

Here’s our favorite collection (so far!):

In The Ultimate Road Trip, you’ll find that every story has a theme of some kind of vacation or road trip adventure.  For our family, these were the first we listened to on our first trip from the middle of the country to the East coast, so they have become classics that we go back and listen to again.  In fact, we also listened to the same stories on our trip to the West coast, and many other road trips as well.

Another good option for a starter CD would be this one, to explain all the main characters for those not familiar with the radio show:

If you would like to work on character development as well as entertain, there are themed collections, such as this one that includes different stories that highlight the importance of being honest:

This one is just a few episodes focusing on Respect:

Or, how could you go wrong with a special collection of fans’ favorite episodes?

These are just a few suggestions.  The main thing is to make sure to keep the road trip a fun family adventure, and these CDs help you all listen to the same thing, rather than each child listening to their own device on headphones.  You can laugh and enjoy the shows together.


Top 5 Places You Should See in West Malaysia

petronas towers kl malaysia

Kuala Lumpur at night – Petronas towers

  There is so much to see and do when you visit Malaysia.  After all, Malaysia is a popular travel destination because it is a microcosm of all of Asia. Whether you want to explore the culture, food, and people of China, India, or the Malay and Indonesian people, you can find it all in Malaysia.  The West coast of Malaysia is the most densely-populated area in Malaysia, so we will focus our list today on that area.

1.  KL Tower

KL Tower

KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

  It goes without saying that you should really visit the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, also known as KL.  There area lot of great sites to see in the city, including the twin Petronas Towers which were at one time the tallest building in the world.  However, if you want to be at the high point that you can easily visit for a great view of the city, your best bet is actually the KL Tower.   You have the option to go all the way to the top and enjoy an open-air view of the city, including a couple of places with a see-through floor, where you can stand above the city and look down, if you are brave enough!  It’s a great place for souvenier photos.

2. Melaka

Christ Church Melaka

Christ Church Melaka

– The locals have signs with that map of Melaka, reading “Don’t Mess with Melaka”, much like the USA’s “Don’t mess with Texas” saying.  They are known for being independent thinkers.  The city of Melaka is a wonderful place to visit for historical cultural information.  The city square features Christ Church Melaka, established by the Dutch in the 1300’s, and a short walk takes you to the Formosa, a part of an old Portuguese fort.  There is also a beach area with some nice hotels where you can enjoy the beach, and some water park resorts as well.  There are plenty of possibilities for a nice family vacation, not to mention a variety of great eating places.

3. Penang

Penang

Penang Malaysia

It is no wonder why Penang is sometimes referred to as the Jewel of Malaysia.  It has all the makings of a great vacation – nice beaches, great food, interesting historical sites to visit, a butterfly park, great shopping, Penang hill, and more.  There is no shortage of great things to see and do.  You can stay either in the city of Georgetown on the coast, or venture across to the Island of Penang by either one of the world’s longest bridges or a short ferry ride.  In fact, the newer second bridge is the longest in Southeast Asia.  
flamingo hotel pool malaysia penang

Flamingo Hotel pool area, Penang

We have preferred to stay on the beaches on the Island of Penang.  The more popular western tourist beach is Batu Ferringhi, which has a lot of touristy things to offer.  We actually got a better deal at the more local-oriented Tanjung Bungah, where we found the beaches to be less crowded.  Check out the Flamingo Hotel and its wonderful breakfast buffet – we highly recommend it.

4.  Ipoh

 Okay, so the locals don’t necessarily consider Ipoh as a resort kind of place, but there is actually a lot worth visiting there and we highly recommend it.  Especially if you love Chinese food, because Ipoh is a mecca of great Chinese specialty dishes.  And it is near the source of the white coffee that is popular in the region – you really should try it!  It’s an easy train ride from KL, not quite the half way point if you are headed towards Penang.  Just be sure to book ahead for train tickets, as many travel back and forth on the weekends if they work in KL.  Be sure to look around the historical train station when you arrive in Ipoh – the architecture is both beautiful and historical.  Enjoy the closer proximity to mountains with slightly cooler weather.  And experience something closer to a small-town feel than you normally find in west Malaysia, while still enjoying the conveniences of the city.  Again, it’s worth the short trip from KL for the Chinese food and white coffee alone.  

5. Langkawi

Langkawi Cenang Beach Malaysia

Langkawi Cenang Beach Malaysia

If you’re looking for the ultimate island get-away with pristine beaches, Langkawi is the place for you. As a popular tourist destination for not only locals but also Westerners, Langkawi offers a great variety of accommodations and dining options.  You can also find a lot of extra tourist activities, such as boat rides, museums, etc.  Of course, we think of Langkawi mostly for its unbeatable beachfront options.  Keep in mind that it is an island, or actually a main island with a series of related islands, so you will need to either fly there or ride a ferry.  It’s an island get away vacation that you will not soon forget. Depending on what you like for your accommodations, you can stay right on the beach in the photo here for anywhere from $35 USD for the  – $145 USD per night – pretty great deals for a beautiful beach get-away!

St. Louis Gateway Arch Missouri USA

Gateway Arch St. Louis Missouri USA

Gateway Arch St. Louis Missouri USA

To be honest, when we visited the Gateway Arch in St. Louis a few years ago, we were not able to see the museum.  It was closed for renovation, so all we got to do was get a closeup view of the outside of the Arch.  And beware – our Google map sent us to the wrong place at first, probably due to the renovation.

Once we found the right spot, we really enjoyed seeing the Arch.  We will look forward to going back to see the museum and taking a ride up the Gateway Arch.  I had a chance to do that back many years ago and found it to be even more enjoyable than just viewing the Arch.

UPDATE:  As of the July 4 holiday, 2018, the museum and visitor’s center has now re-opened.

Our family will make a point to take a tram ride up to the top of the Gateway Arch one day soon.  Be ready for great photos from the top!

Gateway Arch St. Louis Missouri USA

Gateway Arch St. Louis Missouri USA


Yellowstone National Park USA

This is the mother of all National Parks! It is amazing how many wonders you can find in this Park! Everything from wild life, amazing waterfalls, spectacular scenery to other-worldly geothermal wonders! There is a lot to cover and see, as this park is huge! Best to pick your top things to see and enjoy them as time permits. Don’t forget to see the Old Faithful Geyser and the Lodge, Grand Prismatic Springs, Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Falls and Lower/Upper Yellowstone Falls. You won’t regret it!


Private Branded Call Center

Private Branded VoIP Call Centre

So, you’ve heard about VoIP (Voice-over IP), and you want to run your office from the cloud while on the road?

Fortunately, that’s where Globalink Inc comes in. We believe that your customer should stay just that…your customer. That’s why we offer private branding of our VoIP services, so that your customer only knows you. We take care of the back-end technical server stuff, so that you can focus on  managing your customers or your employees. We can help you learn what you need to know and manage your office in the cloud. You can manage everything right from the internet web browser and use our mobile app. You can travel and take the office on the road!

 


How to cope with Jet Lag

How to cope with Jet Lag

I enjoy working with IP communication as an extension to my existing work experience in Local Area Networks and Wide Area Networks. Voice Over IP (VoIP) is revolutionizing the way Globalink is connecting customers across the world. My work and travel interests have taken me around the world.

Travelling can be fun and tiring. It is amazing that Christopher Columbus left Palos, Spain Friday Aug 3rd,1492 and made it to San Salvador (some island in the Bahamas), Oct 12th, 1492. It was 2 months and 9 days. Now you can travel across the Atlantic in less than 7 hours (depending on your flight path)  faster than your body can keep up with the change. Hence jetlag.

Fighting jetlag is key. So how do I do it?  I am usually awake keeping track of the flight on the map and tired when I land. But with the Dream Sleep Supplement, I was able to rest and get some much needed sleep on my long distance flight. I  was able to wake up just fine when they started serving breakfast before the flight landed. I also took EnerLean Supplement that gave me the energy to keep moving during my long layover in Amsterdam, Holland. I was up and wake and off to exploring Amsterdam before I boarded my next flight.