4 Common Solo Travel Mistakes to Avoid

Solo travelling has become more prevalent in today’s generation. With our hectic day-to-day lives and having to deal with different people on a regular basis, solo travel could be the antidote to how busy we are every day.
To make the most of your alone time, get acquainted with the most common solo travellers’ mistakes and make sure not to fall into these traps.

1. Expecting to save a lot by staying at hostels
Backpackers know very well that hostels offer a good selection of affordable private rooms in a well-located area of the city. However, many hostels usually quote nightly rates per person, instead of per room. If the room can hold two customer s, you will be billed for two persons.

Some tourists find this pricing structure opportunistic, but try to view it in the business owner’s perspective, who only wants to maximize limited space for the business to survive. There are times though that paying double will still save you money. Just do not expect to get the same amount of savings a couple can achieve.

2. Ignoring danger warning signs
The area of your prospect accommodation may look perfectly safe in broad daylight, but may become dodgy at night. Are you sure you want to book a night in that location?

Danger warnings are sometimes inaccurate. It could be that the warning is outdated. But just to make sure, err on the safe side. These safety warnings are even more important for solo travellers. Criminals prey on someone who is alone, and tend to ignore those who appear to travel in groups. Therefore, it is best to avoid spots with warning signs and blend in the crowd as much as possible.

3. Scheduling a flight early in the morning or late at night
Flights scheduled during inconvenient times of the day are usually priced cheaper. Since you are looking for a budget flight, you will likely get one of these flights and find yourself landing at night in an unfamiliar place. Similarly, you would be out in the streets three in the morning to catch your 5 a.m. flight.

You can be a target when wandering around with a luggage. Avoid these flight schedules or at least make an arrangement with a reliable person to escort you to the airport. Everybody wants extra savings, but being robbed will only negate the benefit of your airfare savings.

4. Skimping on planning the activities to do alone
It is your only time to enjoy your own company. Even if you have met new friends, there are still activities better done alone. These might be activities that relate to your interests than not everyone appreciates, such as an extended time in an art museum, or physically demanding activities like surfing lessons.

Enjoy the rare times of being alone. It is not every day that you get to spend a lot of your time for yourself. If given the chance, make the most of it and make sure not to waste any on these common solo-travel mistakes.


How Modern Clocks Work

Timekeeping has been practiced since the dawn of civilization. We needed it to keep track of the seasons and to record important events. People employed many ways to do that such as sundials, observatories and ancient calendars. Today, we use wristwatches, wall clocks and electronic clocks on our gadgets to keep time.

When you buy watches in Singapore for your collection, you will notice that clocks are classified in different ways. Let’s look at the different clocks based on the mechanism used.

Mechanical Clocks
The mechanical clock has a pendulum or a balance wheel that is in constant motion to help move the the hands on the clock. It’s not the pendulum that is counting the hours for you, but its motion regulates the turning of the gears and these gears in turn display the number of minutes and hours that it counted according to the consistent movement of the pendulum.

Atomic Clocks
The atomic clock is considered the most accurate type of clock today. It measures the interval of the change of the caesium -133 atom. The oscillations in the atoms replace the movement of the pendulum in a mechanical clock. It was designed to precisely measure the length of a second. There are three types of atomic clocks including the caesium clock as well as the hydrogen and rubidium atomic clocks.

Electric Clocks
Some electric clocks use electricity as its primary source or the electricity is used as an oscillator. There are 7 types of electric clocks that have different mechanisms such as electric remontoire, electromechanical, synchronous, electromagnetic, quartz, tuning fork, and radio-controlled clocks. As long as the power supply is constant, the clock can keep an accurate time.

Radio Clocks
Radio clocks, sometimes called radio-controlled clocks, keep time by receiving information from a transmitter. It’s essentially a radio with a display. Radio clocks function with the help of an atomic clock from which the signal is transmitted. The radio clock automatically synchronizes with the information it receives. That doesn’t mean it will stop showing the time when it doesn’t receive a signal. It still has a base oscillator to keep track of time.

Crystal Clocks
The crystal clocks use a crystal oscillator instead of a pendulum. It utilizes the mechanical resonance of the crystal which in turn creates an electrical signal. By that definition, crystal clocks can be considered a type of electric clock. The electrical signal has a frequency which is the measurement used to tell the time. The crystals must be a type of piezoelectric material such as the quartz and polycrystalline ceramics. Quartz is the ideal choice, however, because its resonance is constant.

Interior Design

What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

Body dysmorphic disorder is not a well-known disease, but it does exist. Most of the people affected by this might also be suffering from eating disorders. So how does it differ from insecurity, low confidence and the lack of satisfaction of one’s appearance?

Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Called BDD, body dysmorphic disorder is characterized by the persistent feeling and thoughts of an imagined or real but slight physical defect. BDD is a type of body-image disorder in which a person dislikes one or more parts of his or her body. When other people tell them that there is nothing wrong with them, the person finds it difficult to believe because he or she sees a significant defect. It will impair the person’s social skills and daily routine because of the feeling of distress. There is no clear cause of BDD, but psychologists point to genetic predisposition, environment and life experiences as triggering factors.

Symptoms of BDD
People suffering from BDD cannot control their emotions. No matter what people tell them, they will not believe that the flaw they see is insignificant or doesn’t exist. They tend to isolate themselves and even opt for cosmetic surgery to correct the defects. Others suffer from a form of compulsive behavior to hide their imperfections. Those who are affected may have had a history of OCD, anxiety, social phobia and eating disorders. The following are often observed in people with BDD:

1. Feeling of anxiety when they are with people
2. Secretive and doesn’t want to ask for help
3. Excessive grooming to conceal the defect
4. Feeling distressed about a particular part of their body
5. Excessive workouts or exercise
6. Obsessed with picking the right clothes
7. Frequently checks the mirror or avoids it altogether
8. Often compares his or her body to others
9. He or she is open to or is actively seeking cosmetic surgery
10. Camouflages the imagined or slight flaws with makeup, clothing, and body positions

Treatment of BDD
It’s important to seek help for the person affected by BDD. Often, they are ashamed of asking for help themselves because they don’t want other people to think that they are vain. Yet they will go to such lengths as changing their appearance by constantly dieting, exercising and even paying for cosmetic surgery. In extreme cases, people ask for a body part to be removed.

Before a person is treated, the psychiatrist will ask several questions to determine how the condition has affected the life of the patient. The severity of the condition will determine the course of action that needs to be taken. Treatment of BDD may involve cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT sometimes alongside medication for severe cases. The primary type of medication that will be prescribed is an antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI.

Health and Wellness

How to Increase Your Work Productivity Any Day of the Week

A 5-day workweek is bound to get employees restless by Friday. In 2012, The Comprehensive Labor Force Survey found out that Singapore had a standard 44-hour working week, with the maximum being 48 hours. These long work hours are notorious for causing us fatigue and stress, and sometimes it also decreases our productivity levels.

Not that we do not get work done, though. While we all have our productive days at the office, the breather we get over weekends cannot really do as much. If anything, it makes our Monday mornings more difficult as we prepare ourselves for work both physically and mentally.

In order to address this, we must learn how to improve our productivity regardless of what day is it in the week. The key here is to have a mindset which disregards slacking off on Fridays (TGIF, anyone?) or get too distracted by your hatred over Mondays instead of using the time to start working on your summary report.

Productivity Patterns
Understanding productivity patterns during your entire work week enables you to plan your work more accordingly. Each of us has different work routines, and if you begin to be aware more of yours you are likely to get more work done at specific times conducive for your personal work efficiency.

The thing is, Fridays aren’t meant for slacking off in the office. Regardless of how tempting it is, take it as another workday for you to give it your all. It isn’t too long until the weekend, anyway. Wednesday is also regarded as the best day for work productivity — but that doesn’t mean you should save all your projects and get started only on Wednesdays.

So how can you improve your work productivity?
• Begin on challenging tasks before lunch
Sometimes, we are far too inclined to put off our most challenging tasks only to forget doing them in the end and disregard their urgency. Remember that putting it off any longer will only make the task more difficult to do. It is encouraged you begin working on them before lunch because this is the ideal time you’re not fatigued from all the activities of the day.

• Prioritize your urgent tasks
If your boss asks you to do an urgent task, prioritize doing it as soon as possible. Even if it falls on a Friday, you can still get work done even if it is not the best day for starting on new projects. Important projects must be done earlier in the week, when you are still on your best mental capacity without pent-up workweek fatigue. Save your general administrative to-dos and other quick tasks at the end of the week.

• Work on a project strategically
With that in mind, working on a new project on a Friday is unlikely to yield the most productive results. Take into account the mental bandwidth starting something new requires. You and your colleagues are likely to be drained before the weekend. It is still best to work on it at the beginning of the week, where everyone in the team is expected to collaborate better.

Work Tips

5 Great TV Shows to Binge-Watch for Your Next Stay-at-Home Weekend

Being stuck home for the weekend doesn’t have to be that much of a bad thing. Aside from the freedom to sleep in and wake up whenever you want, this gives you the perfect time to binge-watch some great television shows lately on various streaming services. (Netflix and chill at home?)

Don’t worry about the time you’ll spend over finishing each of the seasons. There are some TV shows you can easily finish in a matter of days. Best prepare tons of popcorn at home and buckle up for your next cinematic adventure!

1. Stranger Things
This horror series takes you back to 1980’s, which is a great trip down memory lane. The first season is composed of eight episodes you can easily binge-watch the whole day long. With its brilliant storytelling combined with mystical elements such as monsters like the Demogorgon and an alternate universe called as the upside down, it is inevitable to get hooked after the first season.

2. A Series of Unfortunate Events
Lemony Snicket’s book series has about 13 volumes, but thanks to its television adaptation you can get through the first four parts in a single binge-watching session. Dig into the plight of the Baudelaire children and join them as they embark on an amazing investigative journey and face setbacks in the process. This particular adaptation is composed of a renowned ensemble cast and is suitable for kids and adult audiences alike.

3. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Set in the New York Police Department’s 99th precinct, follow the adventures and misadventures of peculiar yet talented detective Jake Peralta together with this team. This show is guaranteed to make you laugh with its witty screenplay and amazing delivery. Some of the characters are relatable, and you might find some scenes familiar and close to heart because of its mundane day-to-day work setting. Perfect for your next binge-watch plans over the weekend!

4. Riverdale
If you were fond of reading the Archie comics while growing up, this TV show is perfect for you! Riverdale is a crime-mystery drama which takes a subversive and dark interpretation on Archie and the rest of his gang. Each episode unfolds crucial information and events relating to the crime of Jason Blossom’s death, of which also explores the reality of small town life and reveals the eerie darkness lurking beneath the series’ wholesome facade.

SKAM has gotten fans across the globe hooked because of its realistic and truly relatable content. It follows the lives of teenagers in Norway with each season focusing on a particular character’s life. With each of their stories, different life lessons are conveyed to the audience which makes you pause and reflect. The format is original and refreshing, the acting of the cast is commendable, and the soundtrack just perfectly fits. See it for yourself and let us know what you think.


How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions this 2018

Now that 2017 is drawing to a close and New Year is just around the corner, you’ve most likely decided to make the New Year a new you.

Though keeping track of progress in certain aspects in your life can be hard, your year will be a much better one if your promises stick all year. Here are a few tips to get you started on your resolutions:

1. Keep your resolutions reasonable
All progress starts with one small step with the determination to make it go a long way, and the surest way for your resolution to fail is to have one that’s really hard to keep in the first place.

Start with a more reasonable resolution that’s easy to keep. For instance, if your resolution is to get healthy by avoiding your favorite food, you can keep it by switching to a new favorite food that’s much healthier instead of having to resist the urge to eat it every time.

2. Make your resolutions a habit
Habits can be difficult to change, especially if they happen to be bad habits, and they don’t often change overnight.

The trick to making your resolutions stick is by treating your resolutions as if they are habits that you intend to make. Over time, make it a point to overshadow these old habits with the new ones. For example, instead of eating out, you can make your favorite dishes at home.

3. Keep a “pros” and “cons” list
Another way to keep track of your new year’s resolutions is by writing them down. You can start with a few items on paper that you can regularly consult to stay motivated in your resolution.

From these few items, you can expand your list into a time-frame, which will be a great physical reminder. A detailed outline of your resolutions could even become a scrapbook, complete with motivational pictures that you can be sure will spur you into action.

4. Keep a schedule
As early as now, start making a timeline of the changes you want in your lifestyle. Deadlines should be set in regular intervals that you can easily keep, and take the steps to meet the deadlines for those changes.

Rewarding your progress is an important part of keeping your resolutions, and each small accomplishment should be a stepping stone for bigger achievements in your planner. Treating yourself for every milestone will help you stay motivated and stay on track.

If you veer off schedule, don’t beat yourself up over it. Perfection is unattainable – at least, on the first try. Minor missteps will inevitably happen, but the important thing is that you’re able to pick yourself up again.


5 Important Things You Should Have in Your Carry-on Bag at All Times

Having only your carry-on luggage bag with you on your journey makes the whole experience much easier in a lot of ways. Not only is it because the airline or airport terminal can get your luggage lost at any time, but it also gives you the benefit of not being weighed down with additional luggage.

Apart from your IDs, passport, money, and anything else of monetary value that you should always have with you on your person, here are a few more things you should always have in your carry-on at all times:

1. Lightweight Clothing
Apart from the towel and underwear (enough to last you the whole trip), a few extra changes of clothes should always be given room. Put them in your bag in the following order: pants, shirts, jacket.

You can skip the shoes unless you really need to dress a certain way where you’re headed. As much as possible, stick with just the one you’re wearing and bring clothes that will match it.

2. Toiletries
All your personal hygiene products, from your toothbrush, soap, shampoo, and deodorant, to your facial and hair care products should go in a separate bag for easy access. If you have to carry these in your luggage, have a mini-toiletry bag in your carry-on just in case.

3. Umbrella
Weather forecasts can either be your best friend or your worst enemy, and being unprepared (and soaking wet from the rain) will get you into a lot of problems in your trip later on. Remember to check the weather and be hopeful that you’ll never have to use it.

4. First-Aid Kit
You’ll never know if you will graze yourself by accident or feel a little under the weather in the middle of your trip, so it’s best to be prepared.

This mini first-aid kit should not just bandages, gauze, and adhesives, but also pain and fever relievers, cold and laxative medicines, antibacterial ointments, sunburn cream or moisturizer, insect repellant lotion, eye drops, and multivitamins.

Hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol is another thing that you should always remember to pack, though the amount you can bring in your carry-on may be limited depending on airport security guidelines.

5. Adapters (And Things to Make You Feel Comfortable)
If you think it’s going to be a long trip, have your electronics and gadgets fully charged in advance. It also doesn’t hurt to spare some room in your bag for your travel journal (pen included!) or anything that you think would help you kill the time.

Getting information on the place that you’re going is important, which makes travel guides another thing that should be in your carry-on if asking people around for directions isn’t exactly your cup of tea.