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10 Things to Do on Your Trip to Southeast Asia

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Southeast Asia has to be one of the most popular tourist destinations at the moment. There’s an endless array of delightful and addictive beaches, mountains, ancient temples, rivers, world heritage sites, rice paddies, vast cosmopolitan cities and petite ethnic villages.
The diversity in Southeast Asia is worth experiencing. Here are some of the most interesting things that you can do when you visit this gorgeous destination.

10. Explore Kratie, Cambodia to get a view of the rare Irrawaddy freshwater dolphins

Take a trip to Kratie, north of Siem Reap to get a glimpse of the rural Cambodian life. You’ll also get a chance to see some of the rarest freshwater dolphins in the world. There’s a small boat company which will take you out to the remote parts of the Mekong. You’ll get to relax on the tiny deck and observe the hypnotic river where these fascinating dolphins reside

9. Take a balloon ride over Bagan, Myanmar

To really get a grasp of how enormous the Buddhist monasteries at Bagan are, get a bird’s eye view from a balloon ride. View the stupas and temples scattered over the plains on the Irrawaddy River. You’ll find the spectacle to be extraordinary

8. Relax in Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands

One of the best relaxation spots in Southeast Asia has to be on Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands. It’s a tiny archipelago made up of two islands, Kecil an Besar. Enjoy activities such as snorkeling, kayaking and diving or just chill and do absolutely nothing.

7. Experience Javanese culture in Yogyakarta, Java

The Javanese culture blooms here. In this beautiful location, you’ll get to hear gamelan orchestras, sample delicious Javanese dishes and even pick up beautiful batik prints. Fascinating archaeological sites of Prambanam and Borobudur are also located here.

6. Visit Laos to see the mysterious Plain of Jars

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You’ll see some gigantic jars here, some reaching heights of up to 3 metres high. These jars are scattered across Xiangkhoang Plateau on northeastern part of Laos. Start your exploration from the hub town of Phonsavan.

5. Go sea-kayaking in the Andaman Sea, Thailand

krabi.co.uk

Enjoy exploring the limestone karsts of southern Thailand. As you paddle past the immaculate beaches and tropical mangroves you’ll relish the exquisiteness as you enter into the quiet lagoons. You may get a chance to see the macaque monkeys playing around.

4. Cruise the famous Mekong Delta, Vietnam

This destination was nicknamed after the Vietnamese rice bowl. It is carpeted in a vertiginous miscellany of greens; a truly inimitable water world shifting to the rhythms of Mekong. Here you’ll see houses, markets, and boats floating on the numerous canals, streams, and rivers traversing the landscape like arteries.

3. Go to Philippines for a dive at Tubbataha

This is the best place to go for a dive in Southeast Asia. The celebrated dive sport is jam-packed with bewildering underwater sights.

2. See the Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand

If you happen to be in Southeast Asia in November make sure that you don’t miss this magical festival extravaganza.

1. Swim in the Kouang Si waterfall near Louang Phabang, Laos

laosbackpackershostel.com

Taking a day trip to this fascinating waterfall from Louang Phabang will be worth your time. Make sure that you bring a camera so that you take some of the memories with you as you leave. The Si waterfall is breathtaking; there’s a series of turquoise pools beneath a forest area of concealed falls and miniature streams. It’ll be easy and more convenient if you just hire a tuk tuk driver for the entire day from the town. Also, buy food from the vendors by the roadside as you head up to the falls. There are several picnic areas nearby the lower, more accessible, pools. However, if you decide to be more adventurous try hiking off the paths slightly to discover your own hidden pools or waterfalls. Enjoy spending your day as you jump off waterfalls and swim in the stunning Laos countryside.

What is Wellness Tourism and Why You Should Try it

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Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels

Wellness tourism revolves around trips or tours that are organized on the principle of wellness. The purpose of this type of tourism is to allow tourists to enjoy healthy food, spa treatments, exercise, and other healthy experiences. This is meant to improve the individual’s creativity and spirituality. You also get to learn how to take better care for yourself, psychologically, and physically.

On a wellness trip you usually visit locations where food and activities support your best health; this is the very foundation on which a wellness trip is built. These days, more and more people are searching for wellness experiences that expand their cultural horizons.

Embracing the Concept of Wellness Tourism

Accept Imperfection: In this journey of achieving Wellness, there will be difficulties, setbacks and disappointments. Thus, you have to be able to adjust, act, respond, reflect, refocus, plan and improvise so that you keep moving forward. You also need to start making decisions that support your mission.

Be Realistic: A day in the spa will not immediately bring wellness into your life. Your wellness goals have to be realistic. Develop goals that you can accomplish in a given amount of time. It’s not difficult to achieve realistic goals.

Attitude: Your general attitude toward life has to be positive. This should also go hand in hand with being open minded and tolerant.

Gratitude: You also have to be grateful for your privileges. This will allow good things to follow you.

Why You Should Try Wellness Tourism

A chance to nourish your Body, Mind and Soul

When you take a wellness retreat, you get a chance to sample many healthy cuisine styles. You’ll understand the importance of health over flavor when selecting your meals. Nutrition experts will educate you on how to nourish your soul and body through a balanced diet. Most of the food will come straight from the farms, ensuring that you only eat fresh healthy food.

A chance to Get Physical

In a wellness break you get a chance to enjoy a little exertion even as you relax. Wellness tourism combines the best physical options i.e. nature and activity. Enjoy adrenaline sports such as shite water rafting, zip-lining, scuba diving, surfing, and other popular activities. Taking adventures that fuel adrenaline, sets a stage for deep relaxation afterwards. There are activities that are suitable for the elderly as well like biking.

Signature Experiences

Decent wellness vacations stand out with signature experiences. You get to experience unique treatments, culture and surroundings. For instance, if you want to have the best yoga experience, visiting a wellness resort in India will be ideal since yoga was born in India. Other signature experiences related to wellness retreats include; unique Nâga experience, physiotherapy, etc.

Enjoy Services that Help You to relax and Sleep soundly

One of the goals of wellness tourism is to help you get a restful night’s sleep. Popular wellness destinations have spa treatments that aim to calm the mind in a conducive environment. You also get to learn several breathing and meditation and techniques.

A chance to choose services that suit you

In a wellness break you have a lot of activities that you can choose from i.e. active tours, spas, culinary tours, hot springs, etc. This means you are able to choose activities according to your own personal interests.

Medical programs are usually incorporated into Wellness Packages

Many wellness destinations are nowadays offering medical testing as a component of wellness retreats. Nutrition evaluations are done to identify any health concerns. From such tests, tourists are able to formulate their own tailored nutritional regimens. Apart from personalized recommendations, tourists can also attend medical workshops and fitness classes.

10 Interesting things about Singapore

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Singapore, which is officially known as the Republic of Singapore, is an island located in Southeast Asia. This city state which was occupied by Japan during the Second World War, is regarded as the easiest place to do business by the World Bank.

Besides the perfect skyline and the bustling city center, there is still a lot about Singapore for visitors to explore. If you are planning to visit this beautiful country, the following facts about it will interest you.

1. Tallest indoor waterfall

Singapore is home to the tallest indoor man-made waterfall in the world. The waterfall is a staggering 35 meters high. This waterfall is located in an indoor garden which houses more than 500,000 plants from all over the world.

2. It has 63 islands

It is made up of 63 islands surrounding the main island. Can you imagine that? Some of these islands are:

  • Sentosa
  • Pulau Ubin
  • St. John’s island
  • Sisters’ islands

Sentosa is the biggest of all these islands. More islands mean more fun in the sun!

3. One of the greenest cities of the world

Despite being a city of skyscrapers, Singapore is also filled with lush greenery. Almost half of Singapore is covered in vegetation. This vegetation goes beyond parks and gardens as they can be found covering buildings. For instance, the four-storey cascading vertical garden that covers the Parkroyal Collection Hotel.

4. City State

Singapore is among the three surviving city states in the world. The remaining two are the Vatican City and Monaco. It gained independence from Malaysia in 1965 thereby becoming a city state.

5. Exciting events

While in Singapore you are sure not to be bored. This is due to the many year round events that will keep you entertained such as the cultural festivals, lifestyle, major sports and art events. For example, there is the Great Singapore Sale that happens annually in June which is followed by the Singapore Food Festival that happens every year in July.

6. Night zoo

The Night Safari, which is the first night zoo in the world, is located in Singapore. As night falls, the night safari’s doors are opened, welcoming you to witness nocturnal creatures and their habitats.

This zoo which operates at night was opened in 1994 and is found next to the Singapore Zoo. The zoo is more of a wildlife park than an actual safari.

7. Singlish

Singaporeans don’t just speak English, but Singlish. Singlish is whereby they add ‘lah’ and ‘leh’ at the end of their sentences. This language is inspired by the multiculturalism of Singapore.

8. F1 Night Race

Since 2008, Singapore has been holding concerts, entertainment and racing activities for fans of Formula One and to visitor s of all ages. Singapore made history by hosting the first ever Formula One night race in the world. This was the star event of the Grand Prix Singapore, known as, the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix.

9. National Anthem on the currency

If you are looking for the lyrics to the national anthem of Singapore, then look no further than at the back of your $1000 Portrait series banknote. The national anthem is written in the official language of Malay. The anthem was composed by Zubir Said in 1958 when Singapore had not acquired self-governance status. It was an anthem to be used during the official functions of the City Council of Singapore. Upon attaining independence, it was chosen as the island’s anthem.

10. UNESCO World Heritage Site

Singapore is home to UNESCO World Heritage Site; the botanic gardens of Singapore which have a history of more than 150 years. The National Orchid Garden, a major attraction, houses a variety of orchid species that are also referred to as Very Important Plants (VIP). This garden houses thousands of species of the orchid.

Conclusion

It is very clear from the facts above that Singapore is one country that you can easily fall in love with. If you have not yet decided whether or not Singapore should be your next holiday destination, then hopefully the facts above will motivate you into choosing it as your next holiday destination.

The Benefits of Traveling to a New Destination (rather than one where you’ve already been)

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Why you should tour a new destination

You don’t have to go overseas to feel more exotic. You can get a lot out of a new place in a very short time. All you need to do is to fill your tour with new, varied experiences. Time will literally fly if you’re on a new holiday destination and having fun. Selecting a new touring destination will definitely be more memorable. You’ll also have more to experience than visiting the same place over and over again.

Mental benefits of touring a new location

The human brain our brain needs new vacations. The mind gets a lot from the experience of staying in a place for a short time. You get to learn new, diverse activities. To really experience what life has to offer, one needs to be open to experience different cultures, and embrace involvement. This is the opportunity to learn new languages, and adapt to an alternate way of life.

Traveling Without a Plan

Most tourists like to plan months ahead before travelling to a destination. Using tools like Google Maps and travel guidebooks to plan their itinerary. Planning for a future trip is a time consuming venture, and most of the time the tour usually doesn’t go as planned, despite the thorough planning. At times however, travelling to a new destination without making plans is just the experience you need. The exciting unknown possibilities waiting for you unravel them. Being spontaneous is a habit that we all need to embrace in our lives. This is one of the ways that you can experience a great tour in a new destination and learn a lot of new things.

Reasons why Traveling without a Plan is best

Freedom of Choice

Planning a tour can be pretty overwhelming, and restricting to your free spirit. Travelling to a new destination without making plans helps you find the right balance for your personality. It enables you to expand your comfort zone and enjoy new experiences. You will be able to see new things that most guides forget to tell you about. Being new to the place, wandering aimlessly may seem difficult and terrifying at first. But, the experience of stumbling upon things and places that you never would have outweighs the fear.

The Stranger’s Secrets

Talking to strangers in a totally new location does not always end up badly like most people want you to believe, especially if you are a grown up. Talking to strangers can produce ecstatic surprises! This is also one of the best techniques that you can use to understand and appreciate the culture of the people in your destination. Using conversation openers like this simple example i.e. “Can you take a picture for me?” you’ll be able to start a conversation before you know it. You’ll get the opportunity to acquire new recommendations for local cafés and eateries that are not found in the guidebook

Growing Through Past Failures

Use this opportunity as your own personal portal to outdoor discovery. Use your mistakes as a channel to build your own personality.Use the opportunity to learn more efficient ways to prepare for future tours. This way you’ll be able to figure out how to make it all work.

Tales to be told

This is the best part about the people who don’t make planned tours. They have so many stories to tell about the places that they visit. Planned trips are usually pale in comparison to the ones you make on the fly. Instead of surprising others, why not surprise yourself? Take an unplanned adventure and see where it takes you?

Foods you should try when traveling to Philippines

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Planning to visit the Philippines sometime soon? In this article we will take a quick look at some of the delicious foods that you can eat while you tour this beautiful country. Most people don’t appreciate Filipino food as much as they should. This is mainly because Filipino food has received a pretty bad rap on the global culinary scene.

However, with many culinary trend forecasters predicting Filipino cuisine the one to watch, people are now starting to slowly embrace their food. Filipino food has a fusion of Spanish, Malaysian, Chinese, and indigenous cooking styles. The experience of eating food in the Philippines is like nothing else on earth.

Here are some of the most popular Filipino foods to watch out for when you visit. Some of these foodstuffs are only found in the streets and will be specified in the article.

Adobo

This is one of the most popular dishes in the Philippines. It consists of either pork, beef, seafood, chicken or vegetables that have been marinated with vinegar, garlic and soy before being cooked in oil and then simmered in the remaining marinade. The best place to enjoy this delicious meal is on the streets in most if not all local restaurants. You can also buy Adobo in market stalls and food courts throughout the country… It costs about $1-2 which is 40-60 pesos. It is normally served with mountains of white rice.

Balut

This is the perfect starter meal for those of you with hearts of steel. It is a traditional afternoon snack that is very popular in the Philippines. You’ll notice that many of the locals will be buying this food from see street side hawkers. However, you need to be careful about cleanliness to avoid any stomach complications later. Even though it looks like a regular boiled egg, when cracked open, you’ll get an 18-day-old duck embryo. This tiny semi-formed duck is enjoyed by cracking the shell from one end and peeling off the top. You then drink the soup and give the leftovers a good shake of salt before finishing them off. Most people say that this food tastes like chicken. You’ll have to try it for yourself to find out.

Bangus

Multicolored dessert halo-halo

This fantastic meal is mainly made from the Philippines grilled milkfish. The milkfish is usually fried and then serve with soya and garlic or vinegar. It is very common in the market stalls and food courts and can be bought for about $2 which is about 60-80 pesos.

‘Halo-halo’ means ‘mixed together’ in Tagalog dialect. This delicious dish is made up of heaps of sweet stuff mixed together to create a surprisingly sensational taste. The dish is usually layered over a base of condensed milk and shaved ice in a tall glass. Purple yam ice cream toppings are added to the dish, with sprinkles of sugar and fruits. This dish will definitely knock you off your feet!

Pancit

This mouth watering dish is normally served alongside Lumpia. The Filipino noodle dish is mixed with chicken, pork, and vegetables and served for breakfast or taken as an afternoon snack. It goes for around $0.5, which is about 25 pesos

Sisig

This dish is often served on a sizzling hot plate. The pork dish is prepared by boiling a pig’s head, and then it is barbecued or grilled to add a smoky flavor. The meat is then chopped into tiny pieces, and fried with garlic, onion, and spices. Most of the restaurants will serve variations of the dish using tuna, chicken, tofu, or even squid instead of pork. Other ingredients may be added too i.e. mayonnaise or raw egg or mayonnaise. This will depend on the order that you make.

7 Tips for Traveling Abroad First Time

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Traveling abroad for the first time is an exciting experience; at times, it’s also a overwhelming. You’ll experience a lot abroad; you’ll also spend money and time trying to adjust to the new environment. Its obvious that you’ll make mistakes along the way, but this article is meant to assist you to manage undesirable situations that are associated with first time trips.

Booking

You need to get everything in check so that you have a easy time when you reach your destination. Ensure that you have secured accommodation, and options to purchase healthy food. This will reduce your qualms and you’ll be at ease knowing that you have sustenance and a place to rest. In the long run you’ll be more flexible. You’ll be able to change your itinerary if you wish to; you’ll also be able to take opportunities when they present themselves.

Why you need a travel agent

Nowadays it’s so easy to book an entire trip yourself over the internet. However, using a travel agent is the best option if you are travelling to a new destination. A travel agent is more accustomed to issues that deal with travelling and they will do their best to ensure that you get a safe flight to your estination. Use them for booking your flights, and perhaps getting an accommodation package. This option will in the end save you some money as well as time.

Dealing with Panic

Whenever something goes wrong or different from you plans, you may panic. This type of response is quite normal and you need to know how to deal with it in advance. You may make mistakes on your journey; perhaps with your accommodation, or flight. Just make sure that you settle down and try to sort it out. It won’t help if you get upset or freak, it’ll only make it worse.

Avoiding scam

God forbid that you encounter any scammer when you visit a new destination. However, if you do you’ll need to know how to handle the situation. Scammers usually like to go after naive rookie travellers. This is because they are their easiest targets. It’s quite difficult trying to deal with scammers, especially professional scammers. Always be cautious of scammers, not every person that you’ll meet will be trustworthy. Also if it’s a deal that involves money, just make sure that you don’t to part with too much cash.

Concerning costs

When you travel to a new place it’s good to assume that everything will cost more than you think it will. This includes the price of the flight, food and drinks and even the rent. These will probably cost more than you anticipate. You may end up spending twice as much as you planned, therefore you need o save some money in advance.

Packing too much

There’s no need of taking a sleeping bag with you whenever you decide to travel, unless you’re actually going camping. Sleeping bags are useless and you probably won’t get to use them. Also, you shouldn’t pack too many clothes because you can buy new things while you travel. You won’t need a huge first aid kit, just some few necessities. Concerning clothes and shoes, just take more about three pairs of shoes, and two pairs of jeans.

Buying too much

At first, it may seem tempting to buy things when you visit a place for the first time. You have to be conscious of the way that you spend your money abroad. Avoid buying things that you don’t really need. Understand that if you decide to use your money recklessly you’ll attract robbers and scammers.

7 Best Places to Visit in Asia

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Are you planning to tour Asia any time soon? There’s a lot that you can enjoy in Asia i.e. sights, food, hotels, spas, legendary service, and night markets. Asia is one of the most reasonable tourism destinations in the world, especially if you intend to travel with your kids.

There’s a lot of god and exciting activities that you can do when you travel Asia. These experiences are also more memorable if you travel to Asia with your family or friends. In Asian destinations you can enjoy activities such as zip lining, cooking classes, rice planting, horse-cart riding, etc.

Most tourists who visit Asia tend to bring their older kids with them because Asia is a fantastic place for family travel. Once you realized how easy it is to travel Asia with your kids you’ll keep on going there as many times as you can.

Discussed below are some of the most interesting locations that you should tour if you are in Asia.

1. Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a myriad of Asian cultures. Tourists get a perfect blend between the exotic and familiar experiences. If you want to visit a location that is modern and exciting, then you should visit Hong Kong. It is so simple to plan an itinerary and travel there. There’s so much travel information available on the internet and this destination is very popular, especially with first-time international travelers.

2. Thailand

Thailand is the best place to go if you desire to tour a destination that is heavily influenced by Western culture. The exotic appeal of Thailand is irresistible, especially if you are travelling there alone and for the first time. It is also the ideal destination for travellers under a budget. It’s quite easy to travel cheaply around Thailand. Once you get there, you’ll enjoy the sights as well as the food.

3. Cambodia

Cambodia is the place to visit iIf you’re the kind of tourists who enjoys exploring ancient temple ruins. This is the place to be if you want to explore Asia’s grandest archaeological sites. . Furthermore, the, locals in Cambodia are very friendly and they also know how to speak good English.

4. India

India is a tourist destination of it’s own, there’s no other place on earth like India. When you visit India, you’ll get the chance to see some of the world’s most outstanding architecture and vibrant mix of cultures. Touring this remarkable country will offer you with a unique experience.

5. Vietnam

Did you know that 1 US Dollar is about 22,000+ Vietnamese Dong. Your money will go a long way in Vietnam. It’s actually easy to be a millionaire in Vietnam, all you need is just USD 50. As a tourist, you’ll be able to buy so many things in this beautiful country. Furthermore, this is the best place to go if you want to traverse the Indochina trail.

6. Singapore

Singapore is arguably the coolest destination to travel in Asia. It also the most proffered destination, by novice travellers. In Singapore you’ll get to experience its ultra-modern city-state that is more “exotic” when compared to other destinations in Southeast Asia. You’ll also be able to enjoy urban comforts if you want to. You’ll have a tough time touring the Singapore once your kids see this paradise

7. Malaysia

This gorgeous country lies between Singapore and Thailand. It’s one of the easiest destinations to tour and it’s also the best place to go for an adventure. It’s ideal to visit Malaysia with family or friend to make the experience more memorable.

The Way This Girl Treated The Waitress Got Her Dumped By Her Boyfriend On Valentine’s Day

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Anyone who currently works or has ever worked in the service industry knows that it is not an easy way to make a living. Not only are you on your feet for many hours, but you will also likely deal with some pretty unpleasant people. One waitress shares her story on Reddit:

She writes, “Last night I was taking care of a party of 16 and a few other tables of just couples. The party of 16 was needy, but they were aware of it and remained friendly… except ‘Angie’.” The first incident occurred when the waitress didn’t take Angie’s order first. When she finally got to her, Angie said, “JFC, about time. People are thirsty.”

The waitress continued walking around the table taking drink orders when Angie exclaims, “excuse me where’s [expletive] drink?” even before the waitress left the table. Her boyfriend “Luis” apologized for her behavior and the waitress carried on with her job.

The next incident was when Angie ate her friend Rebecca’s appetizer which was dropped off by the food runner. The excuse that Angie made when asked about why she ate the appetizer was “How am I supposed to know what I ordered?” This is the convo that took place:

Luis: “Babe, you didn’t even order an appetizer.”

Angie (look right at the waitress): “Well this dumb [expletive] shouldn’t have put it in front of me if it wasn’t mine.”

Once again, Luis apologized on his girlfriend’s behalf.

This issues continued to happen throughout the time that Angie is in the restaurant. When the waitress brings the checks, Luis tells her to put them next to him and that he’ll pass them out. At this time, the waitress was over to another table she was serving and began having a friendly conversation with a couple who were out on their first date.

As they were in the middle of the conversations, Angie storms up to the table and begins yelling at the waitress, “You’re so [expletive] lazy that you can’t even hand our checks to us. You just throw them on the [expletive] table. How are we supposed to know what we ordered??? You need to get your [expletive] back to our table and quit talking to your friends and do you [expletive] job!!!”

The waitress calls her manager to deal with her and sees Angie waving her arms in the air and continued screaming while her manager maintains her smile. When she returns to the table to pick up the checks, she realizes that the tips on all of them have been scratched out. The waitress asks Rebecca about this which sets her off as well.

Luis walks to the waitress with his brother and hands her a 40 dollar tip and, once again, apologizes for Angie and the rest of the party’s rude behavior. But the best part of the story isn’t the tip that the waitress received.

After Luis hands the waitress the money, he walks downstairs to meet Angie. He said something to her, which wasn’t clear until Angie began shouting at him “YOU’RE GONNA DUMP ME FOR SOME STUPID WAITRESS??? [Expletive] HER! [Expletive] YOU!! YOU’RE A DUMB [expletive] TOO!”

This happened on Valentine’s day. The world is not so terrible a place after all.

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What The Seven Most Popular Kinds Of Kisses Actually Mean

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Why do people kiss? Why is this physical act so meaningful and emotionally powerful? But kissing goes way beyond a couple that’s in love. There are a variety of kisses that happen amongst family and friends.

There are so many different kinds of kisses and they can mean a number of things, according to wisetoast.com. The site later mentions that a kiss can be a powerful, magicalexperience.

A kiss offers a special connection to the other person, whether it’s between friends or a warm greeting. For some, a kiss is an expression of our souls, which explains why there are so many options to choose from. Let’s be real, the way you kiss your mother is way different from how you kiss your partner.
Here is a list of 7 of the most popular kinds of kisses and what they actually mean. Some of them may seem a little obvious, while others might actually surprise you!

1. Most of us, if not all, are pretty familiar with the french kiss. It’s pretty popular amongst couples because of its intensity and for being the most passionate of all the kisses. According to yourtango.com, the kiss was originally called “Florentine Kiss” and it originally came from British and American soldiers who were coming home after WWI.

2. Then there’s the quick kiss. According to the Women Daily Magazine, a quick kiss isn’t necessarily a romantic one, but it’s pretty great when you first start dating. Or, it’s a way for couples to greet each other in public. Your mouth is usually closed and just the lips touch. Women Daily Magazine notes that the kiss should last more than 3 seconds…

3. Kiss on the cheek. Whether you are with your grandmother, your mom, or even your dog…a kiss on the cheek is always a great way to show someone you care about them. Totescute.com writes that a kiss on a cheek is the perfect way to greet someone. It’s typically a friendly sign of affection for anyone you know!

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Trump Administration Wants To Decide What Food SNAP Recipients Will Get

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The Trump administration has proposed a change to the current food stamp program in the US, replacing benefits with a “Harvest Box” that would include items like milk, pasta, and meat, but not fresh fruit or vegetables.

America’s Supplemental Food And Nutrition Program (or SNAP) currently provides benefits to around 42 million low-income, retired, or disabled Americans. People who are eligible for SNAP benefits received a specialized debit card, which can be spent on unprepared food. On average, the typical SNAP recipient gets $126 in benefits per person per month, or about $1.40 per meal, according to the Center on Policy and Budget Priorities.

Under the Trump administration’s new proposal, anyone receiving over $90 a month would receive half their benefits as a box of pre-packed food, all “100 percent American-grown and produced.” In a statement accompanying the proposal, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue called it “a bold, innovative approach to providing nutritious food to people who need assistance feeding themselves and their families.” He also claimed that the program would maintain “the same level of food value as SNAP participants currently receive.”

The boxes are part of a proposal to cut SNAP spending by over $200 billion over the next ten years, and the USDA says that the boxes alone would save $129.2 billion of that amount. But critics of the government believe that the program would be more cumbersome to implement than simply giving recipients benefits to spend. The Trump administration did not clarify how the boxes would be distributed, describing it as a “flexible solution for states to handle.” Many worry that the cost of transportation will be downloaded onto states.

Many also believe that the program will make it more difficult for the low-income recipients to eat. Citing the fact that the boxes are meant to be prepared in full kitchens, health policy professor Sara Abiola asked VOX, “What happens if your kitchen is not functional? It’s idealistic to think that folks are going to be able to cook a ‘healthy’ meal.” Many who receive SNAP benefits are homeless or have precarious housing, making it difficult for them to prepare food like pasta.

The administration did not address whether there would be accommodations made for people with allergies or dietary restrictions, or whether there would be instructions on how to cook the specific foods inside of the box. Many see the new plan as a punishment for people on benefits, a way to make their lives difficult without affording any real benefits. In a statement to NPR, Douglas Greenway, the president of the supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children, said, “The budget seems to assume that participating in SNAP is a character flaw.”

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