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Best Places to Visit to Lose Yourself

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man standing looking at mountains

Best Places to Visit to Lose Yourself

If you are struggling with personal anxiety, depression, or addiction, it is important to find a way to unwind and take a break from yourself. Getting the distance you need requires losing yourself in a new environment and concentrating on the meaning of your life. Doing so will provide you with the power you need to beat addiction.

Spending Time Outdoors is Healing

One of the most effective ways to lose yourself is to spend time outdoors. People have noted for generations that the natural world has healing powers. However, it goes beyond simply making a person feel better. Nature is, in many ways, our natural environment. When you go kayaking, take a hike, or camp in the woods, you are coming back to an instinctive home.

It might not be easy for you to manage this kind of outdoor living at first. Many people struggle to enjoy camping or will miss modern electronic technology. However, that’s a big part of why the outdoors are so effective for losing yourself. If you find a comfortable, but not extravagant, cabin in the woods, you cut yourself off from the sometimes negative influence of the modern world.

Great Places to Camp

A few of the best places to camp in our province include Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, and Waterton Lakes National Park. Each has their advantages. For example, at Banff, you can hike to glacial lakes and can camp in one of the most natural and beautiful places on the planet, just a few hours away.

Vacations Can Be Helpful, Too

While spending time in nature is the most efficient way to lose yourself, it may not be right for everybody. Some people simply can’t handle those kinds of mental or physical demands. That’s when a nice vacation can be so effective. People who spend time in beautiful vacation areas often find their troubles disappear and their mind clears wonderfully.

Consider a Mexican Vacation

Mexico is a relatively short flight from Canada and there are plenty of great places where you can vacation. One particularly beautiful destination is Cancun, which has a variety of wonderful beaches to relax on while you lose yourself and your worries.

You could also check out Mexico City, where ancient Aztec ruins exist next to places like the Frida Kahlo Museum. And in Teotihuacan, you can visit the ancient Pyramid of the Sun and celebrate the Day of the Dead in style.

Why Finding Yourself Again Matters

Losing yourself on a road trip to a relaxing vacation spot is just part of the journey towards addiction recovery. Once you have lost yourself and experienced mental and spiritual awakenings, you need to find yourself again. After an experience like this, you are not going to be the same person. That’s a good thing, as the person you were before was struggling with an addiction.

How do you find yourself? By spending time in your new area and thinking hard about who you are as a person. For example, you could try to figure out why you started using, why it became an addiction, and what you can do to stop it. You can also try to rediscover your life goals and brainstorm ways to achieve them.

Losing Yourself Can Help With Addiction

By losing yourself and your troubles in a new environment, you can open up new avenues of self-expression and personal understanding. Many people in similar situations turn to an addiction recovery center in times like these. They can be a powerful tool for those who can’t seem to shake their substance abuse and who need help regaining a sober life.

So if you need help beating addiction, consider visiting one of these treatment centers. They are a healthy and healing way to get through withdrawal, identify the influences behind your addiction, and walk away as a clean and sober person. While it won’t be easy, it will help you become the person you deserve to be and make success a real possibility.

Kevin Gardner

Maybe Kevin’s article gave you the travel bug?  Check out some of Gerry’s adventures and get out and see the world.

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Paul Almeida: My European Favourites in 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1!

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Salzburg, Austria by Paul Almeida

Salzburg is one of my favourite mid-sized cities in Europe and Austria’s fourth largest city, with only about 150,000 residents. Geographically, it lies at the foot of the Eastern Alps, close to the German border and is bisected by the Salzach River. The compact old town, with medieval and baroque architecture is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is easy to explore on foot. Salzburg is visited annually by millions of tourists from around the world and our Azorcan tour groups often list it as a favourite stop.

Salzburg, Austria

5 FUN FACTS

Salzburg literally means “Salt Fortress.” The reigning Prince-Archbishops, the city and the region became wealthy mainly from the salt mines in the area, trade and some gold mining. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit a salt mine in the area to learn more about the extraction of the “white gold.”

The 11th century Hohensalzburg is one of the largest and best preserved medieval fortresses in Europe. You can walk up the path to the fortress or you can take the Festungsbahn funicular railway located just off the Kapitelplatz. From the fortress, you can enjoy some of the best views of the city and the surrounding area.

Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756 in Salzburg, and you can visit his birthplace which is also a museum. You can’t miss the bright yellow building at No. 9 Getreidegasse with “Mozart’s Gebursthaus” in gold letters on the façade. The Getreidegasse is a pedestrian street with shops and restaurants. The ornamental wrought iron signs on the building facades harken back to medieval times. The Schlosserei Wieber shop on the Getreidegasse is a traditional metalworking shop that also continues to make these signs. The city celebrates Mozart Week festival in January around his birthday. A friend once joked that “Mozart was my favourite composer, now he’s my favourite decomposer.”

Hohensalzburg Fortress, Mozart’s Gebursthaus and the metal signs on the Getreidegasse

The famous Salzburg Festival, established in 1920 and which features some of Mozart’s works, is held each summer for five weeks starting in late July. With approximately two hundred drama, concert, and opera events and a quarter of a million visitors, it is a huge undertaking and an important driver of the local economy. The festival celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2020 but unfortunately plans had to be scaled back due to the corona virus pandemic.

The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, “The Sound of Music,” about the Von Trapp family was set in Salzburg and movie fans love to search out film locations in the city.

Some of the most popular places to seek out are St. Peter’s cemetery, the Mirabell Palace and gardens with the Pegasus fountain, the Horse Pond, the Residence Square with it’s baroque fountain, Schloss Leopoldskron and the Nonnberg Abbey. The Rock Riding School, which was initially built to be a cathedral but was changed to a riding school by the Prince-Archbishop, later became Salzburg’s favourite concert venue. This is where the real Von Trapp family won the 1936 Salzburg Music Festival. There are other film locations located in the surrounding areas and there are tours that focus on the Von Trapp’s and the movie.

Mirabell Gardens, Makartsteg Bridge and the view of the old town from the Mochsberg

4 POINTS OF INTEREST

A walking tour of Salzburg usually starts at the Mirabell Palace gardens. The Palace was built by a Prince-Archbishop in 1606 and has a grand marble hall that is popular for weddings. The view from the palace’s gardens to the Hohensalzburg fortress in the summer when the geometrically laid flowers are in bloom is amazing. The Grand Fountain in the centre of the garden with four mythological statues representing the elements (Fire, Air, Earth, Water), the Dwarf Garden, and the Pegasus Fountain are popular photo stops. The best way to cross the Salzach river to the old town from the Mirabell gardens is the pedestrian Makartsteg Bridge which is usually adorned with numerous “love locks.” The locks are inscribed with the lovers initials, attached to the fencing and the key thrown into the Salzach.

As you cross the river to the old town (Altstadt), go to the right and you will find the Monchsberg lift which takes you up to the Museum of Modern Art (Museum der Moderne). The café at the museum is a great place to have a cappuccino and cheese strudel as you admire the view of the old town. The Monchsberg, which was named after the Benedictine monks, is one of five mountains or hills in Salzburg. The Monchsberg plateau has a hiking path through the forest that you can take and enjoy scenic views all the way to the Hohensalzburg fortress. The city has a mountain inspector’s office (Bergputzer) to check the mountain for possible falling rocks. In 1669, an avalanche of rock landed on the city below and killed over 200 people.

On the University Square (Universitatplatz), you will find the Grünmarkt or green

Market that goes back to the 18th century. The farmers market still has vendors selling fruit, vegetables, cheeses, meats, breads and pastries. It’s a great place to sample local products, or grab a quick lunch or a pretzel. The Kollegienkirche or University church dominates the square, and there are several historic buildings surrounding the lively square.

Pretzel kiosk on University Square, Residence Square and the Salzburg Cathedral>

A short walk from the University Square will take you past the Alter Markt square with the St. Florian Fountain and into the expansive Residence Square (Residenzplatz). The square has a magnificent baroque fountain decorated with four horses snorting water, giants, dolphins and a triton. Here is where you can find horse drawn carriages to enjoy the city centre at a leisurely pace. The Residence museum on the square is a testament to the immense wealth and political power of the Prince-Archbishop’s of Salzburg. The lavish state rooms and painting collection make it a top attraction. The 17th century baroque Salzburg Cathedral or Dom on the square is connected to the Residence. The Cathedral has religious relics of St. Rupert, an impressive pipe organ, plus an ornate ceiling and dome. The baptismal font is the same one used to baptize Mozart.

3 INTERESTING ACTIVITIES

To fully understand the significance of salt to the fortunes of Salzburg take a short trip to the Salzbergwerk Dürrnberg, which is located on the Dürrnberg above the town of Hallein. After supplying you with miner’s overalls, you will go by rail deep into the mountain where you will walk through the tunnels, go down two long slides and take a raft trip across an underground salt lake. The very informative tour explains the history of the mine from the age of the Celts to modern mining methods. After the tour be sure to visit the SALINA Celtic village to see how life was 2,600 years ago.

The Red Bull Hanger 7 at the Salzburg Airport is an impressive glass structure that houses the Flying Bulls historical airplane and helicopter fleet plus a collection of Formula 1 race cars. Austrian Red Bull founder and billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz is the owner of the hanger and the collection. If you like cars or planes, this is a must stop when you visit Salzburg or have a layover at the airport.

Going into the Salt Mine, a Red Bull concept race car and inside the Hanger 7

The imposing 900 year old medieval Hohenwerfen Castle, surrounded by the Berchtesgaden Alps, is located about 40 km south of Salzburg and overlooks the town of Werfen. A funicular takes you from the parking area up to the castle’s interior  courtyard. The castle has an extensive weapons exhibit. The main event is a birds of prey demonstration from the Salzburg Falconry Center in the exterior courtyard with falcons, kites, vultures, and eagles. Some of these birds are huge and have no problem walking amongst the spectators. Be sure to check the daily times of the demonstrations in advance.

The impressive Hohenwerfen Castle, the courtyard and a large eagle

2 LOCAL DISHES TO ORDER

Tafelspitz is a popular Austrian dish of veal and vegetables that is simmered slowly. The broth is served separately as a first course then the veal and root vegetables are accompanied by apple-horsradish and chives.

Salzburger Nockerl was invented in Salzburg in the 17th century. Nockerl are vanilla flavoured dumplings dusted with powdered sugar and served with fruit jams or sauces. The warm dumplings arrive in three mounds to represent the three hills that surround Salzburg.

A Salzburger Nockerl, the Augustiner Brewery and their beer gardens

1 BEVERAGE TO ENJOY

There are eleven breweries in Salzburg, and the city is known as Austria’s beer capital. The Stiegl brewery has been privately owned since 1492. The Stieglkeller, located below the Hohensalzburg fortress, is a restaurant and beer garden that offers great views of the old town.

Established in 1621, the Augustiner Brau brewery and tavern is the biggest in Austria with indoor seating and a beer garden. In addition to great beer, you can purchase traditional dishes from food stands located inside the hall or the brewery.

Salzburg is a university town and has a lively café, beer garden and nightlife scene.

In addition to Mozart Week and the Salzburg Music Festival locals celebrate Fasching, Easter and harvest festivals. Salzburg’s Christmas markets are very popular and some shops in the old town specialize in Christmas.

Paul Almeida is the President of Azorcan Global Sport, School and Sightseeing tours and his company has taken thousands of people to Europe on custom group tours since 1994.

Visit azorcan.net to see all our custom group tour possibilities and to see our signature sport, sightseeing and sport fan tours individuals can now join.

Check out our newsletters, and listen to our podcasts at azorcan.net/media

Images compliments of Paul Almeida and Azorcan Tours.

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Mandatory WhatsApp Privacy Policy Update Allows User Data to be Shared With Facebook

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From MacRumors.com

WhatsApp’s latest terms and privacy policy allows the popular messaging app to share a significant amount of user data with Facebook (via XDA Developers).

WhatsApp privacy policy update

WhatsApp users are today receiving an in-app notice informing them about the app’s updated terms of service and privacy policy. The notice gives an overview of the main three updates, covering how WhatsApp processes user data, how businesses can use Facebook-hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats, and how WhatsApp will soon partner with Facebook to offer deeper integrations across all of the parent company’s products.

The changes, which are set to take effect on February 8, 2021, are mandatory and users will not be able to continue using WhatsApp unless they accept the terms.

The new terms and privacy policy appear to build upon changes announced in July 2020, yet this previous update offered users the option to withhold their WhatsApp account information from being shared with Facebook. The latest update eliminates this option.

Users that agree to the updated terms will have their WhatsApp account registration and phone number, transaction data, service-related information, interaction information, mobile device information, IP address, and “other information identified… or obtained upon notice to you or based on your consent,” shared with Facebook.

When explaining how Facebook will use this information, the policy states that shared data is used for “understanding how our services or theirs are used,” “improving their services,” “making suggestions for you,” “personalizing features and content,” and “showing relevant offers and ads across the Facebook Company Products.”

The updated terms help WhatsApp to integrate more closely into Facebook’s family of products, as it aims to provide a more coherent experience to users across services. While the changes help Facebook to achieve its larger goals, the high-level of data sharing that WhatsApp users will now be subject to may raise privacy concerns.

Last month, WhatsApp publicly protested Apple’s requirement that developers submit information about what user data they collect for privacy labels on the App Store, saying that it could give its messaging app a competitive disadvantage.

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