Stay Sharp: How To Have A Productive Gap Year – Youqueen

Gap years are often viewed as taking a year off from the real world to spend all your time partying and sunbathing. Here’s how to have a more worthwhile experience.

So you’ve chosen to take a gap year. You’ve worked out where you want to go, and when you will start your adventure. You’re over the moon with excitement… until the worry creeps in. Is taking a year off really a wise thing to do?

Will you lose all your professional skills by taking so much time away from work and study? Will it be hard to find a job when you return?

And perhaps the question that sounds the most ridiculous, will you get bored of doing nothing but exploring and enjoying yourself?

A gap year doesn’t have to be all about rest, relaxation, and checking out the museums and bars of every place you find yourself in. Wherever you go in the world, there are lots of options to continue learning, working, and volunteering as you travel.

Not only will it be better for your future employment prospects, but it should be great fun and very interesting too.

Volunteer

Volunteering is the ultimate gap year cliché. When you combine a trip abroad with some community work, it becomes known as ‘voluntourism’.

However, you don’t need to pay lots of money to a large travel company in order to lend a hand while you’re travelling. By talking to the people you meet, both other travellers and the locals, you can hopefully find out where there are organisations and projects that might need your help.

If there is a language school nearby, see if they need any classroom assistants.

If you are a native English speaker you could offer your services as a conversation partner, allowing people the opportunity to chat to you in English to improve their skills and become more comfortable speaking in English.

(If you are interested in learning the native language of the country you’re in, you could set up a language exchange club.)

If you’re interested in working with children and young people, look out for a summer camp where you might be able to help out. There are likely to be many of these, especially in the summer months, and you might be able to assist with planning and implementing activities.

Work

waitress is carrying two plates with meat dish

Even with unemployment rates rising in many countries, you can often find temporary jobs to keep you occupied while travelling. These will often be jobs in the service industry, or involving manual labour.

Though you are unlikely to find a secure job with good career prospects, you might find something to occupy your time, to earn you some money, and to cite as work experience when you get back to the world of work.

Getting a job in a bar, café or restaurant is a great way to socialise, meet new people, and practice your new language skills.

Many skills gained through work in the service industry are highly transferable to other industries, and could be used in your first job when you return from your gap year. The fact that you managed to find work in an unfamiliar country might be impressive in itself to your prospective employer.

You might even be able to find work as a nanny in some countries, which will be a worthwhile experience if you plan to go into a career in childcare.

It might be low-paid, but working as a nanny will usually include free accommodation, which means you will not have to worry about booking into a hostel or renting an apartment for a few months. It also usually leaves your nights free, so that you can still head out on an evening to socialise and meet new people.

Study

Although you might be taking a gap year to celebrate the end of your education, or to take a break before starting a new course, there is no reason that you shouldn’t keep learning or studying while you are on your trip.

If you are in a country where you don’t speak the language, it is a great idea to attend a few language classes. Not only will this make it easier for you to navigate and socialise, it will be another string to add to your bow, especially as language skills are in high demand in many industries.

If you are comfortable with your language skills as they are, there are still many courses you could take. You could try learning a new skill or craft, or you could find out if the local college or university has any classes or lectures available to you.

What if you find yourself in a part of the world where classes and courses are few and far between? If you have a laptop and an internet connection, there are many opportunities to take courses for free online. Look for something suited to your interests on Coursera.org, Alison.com, or Openculture.com.

If you are starting a new degree course when you return from your gap year, you could use this opportunity to gain a good foundation of knowledge in order to make the transition smoother. If you’re going to start looking for jobs when you return, take a course that will be relevant to the industry you are hoping to go into.

Alternatively, if you don’t know what job you want, browse through some courses and learning materials to see what interests you.

Project

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Whatever your passion is, be it writing, photography, design, or something else entirely, try channelling it into a project while you travel. Starting a blog while you are away is a great way to keep in touch with people back home – or to stop your parents from worrying about you – but it can also be a wonderful way to showcase your creativity.

If your dream is to be a travel writer, then write a few pieces about each place that you visit. A good combination of topics would be to write one article about a tourist attraction, one about a hidden gem, and one about current affairs or something in the local community.

As well as publishing these on your own blog, you could try pitching them to your favourite websites, magazines and newspapers.

If you are a novice photographer, use your blog to show off your pictures of the beautiful places you are visiting. Remember, everyone will be snapping a few hasty shots of their street food and of the temple they just visited, but you could do so much more than that.

Pick a theme and plan your pictures carefully. Try to tell a story through your pictures, rather than telling the story alongside your pictures.

If you’re a writer of a more creative sort, you can use this time to build up your writing portfolio. Let yourself be inspired by the beautiful nature and fascinating culture you come across, and craft some short stories or poems about each town or city.

Or, for the more ambitious, this could be the perfect time to start your novel. They say that everyone has a novel in them, and what better time to let yours come out than when you are carefree and travelling the world?

Freelance

More and more people are spending many years of their lives travelling the world, while working on a freelance basis, doing freelance writing, editing, or web design work.

If you are able to do any work that can be done primarily on a computer, and completed remotely, then you have the chance to be a digital nomad too.

Some people are able to earn a good living wage by working remotely, and then make this wage go further by living in countries where living costs are generally low.

There are many websites on which you can look for paid work in areas such as writing, programming, translation, web design, and sales. Try Elance.com, Guru.com, or Peopleperhour.com.

If you already have a few good freelance contracts, or have made a name for yourself in your chosen field before you set off on your trip, get the word out that you will still be taking on work while you are away.

Update your LinkedIn or professional website accordingly. Unless they know otherwise, your contacts may think that you are taking time off from your work as well, and will pass you over for another contractor.

Similar to starting your own project while you are travelling, you could start writing a travel blog. The difference between this and a personal project is that you could monetise your blog and live off the money you make.

Make sure you keep the content fresh and exciting, and that you dedicate enough time to doing fun things to write about, rather than just writing the same as everyone else.

Try to focus on having a mix of exciting and informative content, and to balance your personal anecdotes with the culture and history of the country.

The Top 18 Personal Safety Tips Every Woman Should Know – Youqueen

How comfortable are you that you know what to do if some hidden danger presents itself to you? Whether you’re at home or out in public, do you know how to respond in a way that almost guarantees the safety and well-being of you and your family?

You can’t turn on the news without hearing of someone somewhere who was the victim of a crime. In this day and age, you have to prepare yourself for whatever may come your way. There are people out there who are just looking for targets and you want to make sure you’re not one of them.

Here are eighteen things you can do immediately to make sure you’re safe and sound, no matter whether you’re at home enjoying some time with your kids or out running errands:

1. Always, always be aware of your surroundings

businesspeople walking on the street

The worst thing you can do is have no idea who or what is around you. The more you pay attention, the less likely you are to be surprised. Also, if something does happen and you’re a witness, you’ll be able to provide better information to law enforcement.

2. Limit your distractions

If you’re walking through a deserted parking lot, is it really necessary to send a text right that moment? If you’re focused solely on your phone and checking your email, you’re not going to notice if something, or someone, looks out of place.

3. Make eye contact

The best thing you can do is let others know that you see them and could identify them if need be. When you pass someone on the street, look them in the eye and give a polite nod of the head to acknowledge you see them very clearly.

4. Walk with purpose

Young woman walking on a city street

Stand tall and keep your posture so that it represents authority. The less you look like a victim, the less likely someone will target you as such. So, pull your shoulders back, keep your back straight and your stomach in and walk in a way that lets the world know that you will not go down without a fight.

5. If you see something suspicious, report it

Don’t worry about whether you’re overreacting or being overcautious. If you think something is out of place, make a call to the authorities. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. That’s what the police are there for. It’s better all the way around if they can be proactive instead of reactive.

6. If you have to defend yourself, aim for body parts on your attacker that are tender and cannot be strengthened

If you find yourself in a position where you have to defend yourself, you want to aim wherever it’s going to hurt the most regardless of the attacker’s strength and size. These areas are the eyes, nose, throat, groin and shin. You can’t toughen them up so it doesn’t matter if he’s twice your size; hit him in one of these spots and he’s going to feel some pain.

7. Set boundaries and enforce them

If someone comes too close for comfort, tell them and force them to move back and give you your space. Don’t worry about whether you’ll come across as short or impolite. If your safety is at stake, it’s no time to be nice.

8. If someone tries to force you to a different location, do not go

Research has shown over and over again that if someone intends to move you, they also intend for you to not make it out alive. Whatever you do, never get in a vehicle with someone regardless of what they tell you because it isn’t going to be good.

9. Don’t open your house door without knowing who is on the other side

woman opening house door

Even if it’s someone who claims to be from the electric company, if you’re not expecting them then make them wait while you call yourself and verify their identity. The minute you open your door, that person has access not only to your home, but to you and your family as well.

10. Don’t leave things lying around the yard that someone could use to access your home

If you’re working on repainting the exterior of your house, take the ladder in at night. Yes, it’s a pain, but it’s much less painful than someone gaining entry when you’re lost in dreamland and can’t protect yourself.

11. Keep the bushes around your house trimmed so that someone doesn’t have a place to hide

Better yet, when you plant bushes beneath your windows, make sure they’re thorny and would hurt if someone got too close to them. Make your home unfriendly to anyone who wants to access it without your permission.

12. If you have a garage door opener in your car, keep it out of sight when you park in the driveway

If someone knows that all they have to do to get into your house is gain entry to your vehicle, your safety is at risk. Don’t keep the opener on your visor and make sure you lock your car doors at all times.

13. Use wooden dowels in your sliding doors and windows

Don’t make it too easy for someone to just slide open a window or door and let themselves in. The dowel is easy to move in the event you have a fire and need to escape, but it will also keep them from being opened more than an inch or two so no one can fit their body through the opening.

14. Watch your use of social media

Beautiful Hispanic woman relaxing at home and working on laptop

Some people put everything on Facebook, from what they ate to how they did their hair today. Remember that the more information you give out, the more someone else will know your schedule and can figure out when you’re most vulnerable.

15. Take a self-defense class

You can never know too much when it comes to defending yourself or your family from someone who has bad intentions. Take the time to learn new ways to fend off an attacker and make sure you practice them regularly.

16. Carry a weapon only if you’re trained and willing to use it

Some women choose to carry pepper spray or a firearm as a method of defense. While that’s fine, make sure that you know how to use your weapon of choice properly and effectively. Also, don’t carry anything if you’re not willing to use it because then it just becomes something that the bad guy can take and use against you.

17. Trust your gut

Woman Calling on Cell Phone with Mysterious Strange Man Lurking Behind Her

If you feel like something is out of place, trust your instinct. Your sixth sense is actually your mind picking up on miniscule things that your brain doesn’t exactly register. So, if the hair on the back of your neck starts to raise, pay attention because something isn’t right.

18. Never, ever give up!

No matter what happens, never stop fighting. Unleash your inner bitch and let her go. If you’re in a fight for your life, make sure you’re the one who wins. It’s time to play dirty and let the cards fall where they may. Also, realize that even if you’re injured (which you most likely would be in a self-defense situation), it doesn’t mean it’s a critical injury. Just keep fighting and have faith that you will persevere.

The only thing that’s important is that, at the end of the day, you’re the one who lives to see another day. You want to make sure you come home every night and get the time you expect and deserve with your family and friends.

Don’t let someone else rob you of your dreams and goals. If they choose you as a target, make sure they know that they just made a critical error in judgment.

Why You Should Think Twice Before Posting On Social Media – Youqueen

Sharing is caring on social media, so do you share too much? Critical posts are temporary relief with long-term side effects. Get the cure for cynicism. Click now.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are three of many social media platforms reaching billions of people daily. We feel this need to share every second of our lives with the world.

Consequently, some seconds include negative posts about your lover, best friend, co-worker, management, or family. Those personal frustrations unravel to the world. The frustrations leave, and you’re on to the next post.

Is that the best way to channel anger, stress, misery, or melancholy? Unless it’s private, anyone can view the information on the page without having an account on the platform. It doesn’t leave either, so anyone can find it years from now.

Likewise, contemplate the person mentioned in the post. The person may not appreciate private information accessible to everyone looming the internet. There is a thing as airing dirty laundry on social media, and the ramifications are dire. Allow this article to explain.

The dirty laundry line

Vietnamese business lady pondering over ideas for new business project 2

Social media don’t provide too many limitations other than the obvious (explicit content, creating fake accounts, etc.). Therefore, many dirty laundry comments fall within social media guidelines. The decision to air sensitive information on social media is due to emotion. Revenge is in the brain, and the post occurs from acting on emotion without thinking it through.

It is about hurting the other person and eliminating self-pain simultaneously. This is an over-sharing impulse made to self-serve. The post is live, and everyone reading it will give instant feedback. The zinger makes some cheer and laugh; not all will. Regardless, any reaction is great. In the short run, you win because you destroyed the other party.

The ramification

The ‘feel-good’ moment turns counterproductive, and no one benefits. When the post gains traction (and it does at an accelerated rate), everyone involved will get stung. Beginning with the other party, the post deteriorates the bashed person’s image.

The respect leaves. Gossip, bullying and cyberbullying take its place. It becomes difficult to co-exist with employees and managers. The person may lose their promotion, bonuses, benefits, or professional certification/license.

The post may cost him or her job and a possible job reference. Consequently, the post also breaks up families, friendships, and relationships. Already strained interactions get colder. Random strangers will know secrets meant for confidentiality. The humiliated person never wants to see you again. It’s over.

The backlash continues with the person who posted the hurtful remark. That person’s true intent – harm – is obvious. The refusal to patch things up in private or in court shows how uncompromising that person is.

It makes the person childish and vengeful. The same people who responded to the post will not trust you with their secret. The person will have a tough time gaining new friends and relationships due to those antics.

As time passes, the person will move forward, but the nasty reputation remains. Friends, family, spouse, co-workers, management and online users will never forget about the outburst. The trust is gone.

In the end, no one wins.

You decide!

Young gorgeous lady chatting on her smart phone while relaxing in cafe after walking during summer weekend

Some hurtful posts force users to choose sides. There ‘the hurtful remark’ side, the bashed person’s side, the understanding side (agree with both sides), and the ‘neither/whatever’ side.

If the post gains a majority on your side, does that mean you win? What is the prize? Regardless, the problem is still unresolved. The same goes for the other party. Social media don’t substitute or replace the courtroom. A vast majority read the post and side with a person out of emotion, not comprehension.

The bashed person may feel like responding on social media to defend him or herself. The original poster responds back, and the bashed victim responds. As the responses continue, this turns into a back-and-forth argument. This helps no one gain the upper hand. It makes everyone appear foolish. Responding is pointless; let karma do it for you.

Posting remorse

Close Up Portrait Of Beautiful Frustrated Or Stressed Woman Having Headache While Working On Laptop Computer At Home

Similar to buyer’s remorse after a purchase, a posting remorse is a guilt after posting something. Yes, people have seen the post beforehand. No, the world’s not ending. Therefore, admit the mistake in a separate post. Mention how sorry you are about the post, apologize to everyone

Mention how sorry you are about the post, apologize to everyone involved and don’t make the same mistake again. A good apology comes from the heart and sounds sincere. If finding the right words is a struggle, search Google for apology examples. Use that as inspiration for an original apology post. Finally, remove the offensive post. If it’s possible to bury the hatchet, accept the olive branch.

If finding the right words is a struggle, search Google for apology examples. Use that as inspiration for an original apology post. Finally, remove the offensive post. If it’s possible to bury the hatchet, accept the olive branch.

In conclusion, posting on impulse is a selfish fix that helps no one resolve his or her differences. In most situations, airing dirty laundry on social media don’t end well. Exposing secrets on social media hurts both people. Sadly, whether the post is true is irrelevant. Users don’t care how it started or participate in the blame game. Users only care about the verbal smack down and

Sadly, whether the post is true is irrelevant. Users don’t care how it started or participate in the blame game. Users only care about the verbal smack down and speading gossip about their version of events. Never respond to a spiteful, hate-filled, discrediting post. Talk is cheap, and actions speak louder than words. Remain above the fray and resolve the issue offline.

Do you feel remorse about a social media post? Don’t keep us in the dark. Share your story with like-minded people in the comments below. Help someone avoid the mistakes you made. Think before you post. Additionally, share this post on your social media accounts. This article contains juicy and rich information that will save you from humiliation and embarrassment on both sides.

How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft – Youqueen

Are you doing things (or not doing things) that could be putting yourself at risk of having your identity stolen? Do you know what to do to limit someone else’s access to your personal information?

Identity theft is an all too common occurrence. And, just when we start to see the scams that these thieves are pulling and find ways to overcome them, they come up with something new that lures in victims that unknowingly turn over information that is used to clear out their bank accounts, run up their credit card debt and do some major financial damage.

When your identity is stolen, it can cost you several hundreds of hours and dollars to try to straighten it out.

That’s not to mention the mental stress and torture you go through in the process as you have to close your current accounts and open new ones, and go through all of the legal red tape to try to prove that you are who you say you are and that you didn’t do the things that it appears that you did.

While it’s almost impossible to protect yourself 100% unless you stay off the internet completely and perform all of your financial transactions with cash, there are things you can do to make yourself less of a target with the thieves that are looking to steal your identity and enjoy life on your dime.

They include:

Shred your junk mail

You know all of those credit card applications that you get in the mail? Do you even bother to tear them up or shred them prior to putting them in the garbage, where they belong? If not, then you may be opening your door to someone looking to make an easy buck.

Remember that thieves don’t think like you and I. They will do whatever it takes to get any amount of money that they can and leave you with the bill. That means that dumpster diving is not out of the question for them.

Anytime you get junk mail offering you financial advantages, shred it. In fact, you should shred anything that you’re throwing away that has any of your personal and identifying information.

Even if it is nothing more than your address, that’s all it takes for some identity thieves to find out more than enough about you to actually become you.

Password protect your information

typed password

While it can be a pain to have all of your information on your computer password protected, at least you’ll make it harder for a thief to get to it. After all, if your house is broken into and your computer is stolen, how hard will it be for them to pull up the document that has all of your financial information on it?

This is the same for your cell phone. Lock the screen so that no one with unauthorized access can get into it. Yes, you’ll have to unlock it every time you want to use it, but then you won’t have to worry that someone else can get into your accounts if your phone is ever lost or stolen.

Change your passwords often

Don’t forget to change your passwords at regular intervals too to keep hackers at bay. And, use passwords that they would never guess. For instance, you could use the first letters of your favorite phrase along with the year of your most precious memory.

Make it something that you will remember but that the average person couldn’t figure out about you.

Try to stay away from your name or numbers in sequence (1, 2, 3, 4) as those are some of the most common passwords for people to use. And, please, please, please do not just use the word “password”. If you’re going to do that, you might as well not use one at all.

Check your credit report regularly

woman verifies account balance on smartphone with mobile banking application

Even if you feel that you’re information is tighter than tight, it’s important to check regularly just to make sure nothing has slipped through the cracks.

After all, just because you’re not getting a credit card bill in the mail doesn’t mean that someone isn’t out there living the good life in your name with your financial information.

You should run your credit report every six months or year. Go through it and make sure that you are familiar with all of the accounts on it and that they reflect the balances that you believe they should. If there are any unauthorized accounts on there, you need to challenge them immediately.

The longer you leave problem areas, the harder it will be to settle them.

Never give out personal information via phone or email

Most of us get emails daily that request our personal information to either get us money we’ve “won” or to have paperwork completed as some rich relative that we never knew has passed on and left us a fortune (after we send them money and all of our financial information, of course).

Sometimes, you may even get what appears to be a legitimate email from a company that you do business with that asks for personal information. However, never, ever, ever give that type of information out online.

The same goes for phone calls. If you receive telephone contact from a company that says that they’re updating their records or that they’ve lost your information and need it again, don’t just blurt it out. Reputable companies do not request information like this via phone, so it’s likely a scam.

The best thing you can do if you’re approached by a business that you believe to be legitimate is to contact them yourself. Look up their phone number online and call them directly to see if they need the information.

Chances are good that you’ll find out that they don’t and someone was just trying to get your account information for their own purposes.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is

Look, we all want to win thousands or millions of dollars or get something for nothing, but the reality is that your chances of this are extremely unlikely – especially if it is a contest you didn’t enter or involves a relative in a country that isn’t even in your family tree.

So, here’s the thing to remember: If it sounds too good to be true, then it is.

Don’t get yourself so caught up in the visions of yourself with more money than you ever dreamt possible that you ruin yourself financially forever. Keep your wits about you so that no one else gets to live the good life while you’re left footing the bill.

Make yourself a hard target for these identity thieves and they’ll likely leave you alone. After all, they’re looking for someone that hands the information over willingly and without a fuss.

Don’t be that person and you’ll get to be the one that enjoys the money you’ve been able to save. That’s how it should be.

Netflix: More Harm Than Good When You Are Bored

Netflix and chill. Netflix and pizza. Netflix and cuddle. What happens when Netflix has controlled your free time and freethinking mind?

2016 has arrived and, by now, you’ve probably forgotten all about cable television. Honestly, you have a perfectly good reason to do so. Netflix has surpassed our expectations of movies and television with variety, enabling us to discover the hidden treasures we never knew existed.

From personal experience, I know I’ve spent many, many hours throughout the week or spent the day off relaxing and watching Netflix to pass the time. I’m sure you have practiced a similar ritual, whether with a friend, “friendlier” friend or relative.

The truth is, behind all of your time dedicated to the captivating media outlet, you could be weakening bonds with other people and eliminating opportunities to learn. You may unknowingly be using it as a distraction to prevent development of new relationships. This isn’t to say Netflix is slowly taking over and damaging human interconnection, but actually it is.

Watching television is like taking black spray paint to your third eye. ~ Bill Hicks

There is a reason your parents always told you not to watch too much television. Even if they had no idea why, there is a logical explanation. Besides dampening your relationships with other people, too much television and Netflix can replace time needed to learn new information and expand your mind. Unless you’re dedicated to watching documentaries, there isn’t much Netflix can offer you that other mediums can’t.

Reading, exercising, practicing art, discovering new music, trying out new recipes, writing and learning a new skill—these are all activities that help humans to grow and maintain a healthy, freethinking mind.

I say freethinking because without the assistance of literature and art, humans cannot form unique and refined opinions. How can you possibly develop this kind of mind when you spend six hours binge-watching episodes of Orange Is the New Black?

Recognizing Your Netflix Habits

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If you’re unsure if Netflix has this kind of effect on you, ask yourself these three simple questions:

Have I skipped out on weekends/evenings with friends or family to binge-watch Netflix?

Yes – Although once in a while is excusable, it is never acceptable to dump people who want to see you.

No – Good for you. You probably have strong relationships with others. At least, if you’re not busy watching Netflix that must mean you have enough free time to do more substantial activities.

(Remember when Netflix promoted warnings against binge-watching? I wonder why that ended.)

Do I constantly turn on Netflix when I have nothing better to do?

Yes – Try a new hobby. Your brain and body are in need of your attention. Netflix cannot supply that need.

No – Awesome. Maybe you don’t need to read these questions to yourself.

Do I find it difficult to find something new to watch on Netflix? (Probably because you’ve already seen everything that interests you.)

Yes – Give Netflix a break. You need something else to do. Again, meet up with a friend or do something new that can positively feed your brain.

No – You’re probably in the minority here, but that’s not a bad thing. You more than likely spend your valuable time doing important things, like being in nature or studying. Right?

Too Much Sitting

woman sitting and watching netflix

If you found yourself saying “Yes” to the majority of these questions, it may be possible you’re spending too much time on the couch. If you don’t believe Netflix can distract your mind or impair your relationships with others, then there’s always the problem with sitting down too much.

You just spent eight hours at work in a chair, and now you come home to sit down for several more hours. Sitting for too long can lead to a greater risk for diseases like obesity, cancer, depression, diabetes and more.

One last point I should mention is the impact Netflix can have on your romantic relationships. Coming home from work, reaching for the remote, hitting the Netflix button and watching your favorite new series together can be fun.

Netflix has made movie night so easy that you don’t have to leave your couch and you don’t have to watch just one movie or just one episode. You can view as many as you want. (So long RedBox.)

What happens though when people in relationships consistently turn to television, replacing a sensual evening filled with dinner or a date night somewhere besides the house? Think of the negative influence an unhealthy amount of Netflix may have on those kinds of relationships as well.

For now, you may not realize the affect it truly has on you, but your future self may really appreciate some time away from the TV. When you catch yourself texting, “Not feeling well. Next time?” so you can surf through options for the next drama or murder mystery to watch, remember how too much could affect your mental and physical health as well as your relationships with friends. Also, no one appreciates a flake.

16 Questions To Get To Know Someone Better

You meet someone, maybe you even know them, but do you really know them? Here are some ideas on what to ask in order to get to know someone better.

When out on dates, we often get self-conscious about what to say. We don’t want to ask the same old questions, so what should we ask? On the flip side of the coin, when we get to know someone better, be it friend or lover, we often forget to ask them anything at all. We assume that we know them, but do we?

People change, and to keep any relationship alive, we need to keep our curiosity alive.

1. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

people talking

Would they make the whole world feel loved, or would they want to be able to fly? You can actually learn quite a lot about people just by learning what their priorities are.

2. Have you ever considered moving somewhere else?

Do they have a secret dream of moving abroad or maybe just to another city? Or, are they the kind of person who wants to live in one place for the rest of their lives?

3. What’s one of your favorite childhood memories?

Our childhoods shape us. Often, we can learn a lot about people simply by looking at their childhood.

4. What can someone do to make you feel really cherished?

We need different things to feel loved and cherished. Some people prefer receiving gifts, others like being told that they are awesome. Some people think that random acts of kindness, like taking out the rubbish or bringing them a surprise coffee at work, is the best thing ever. It varies from person to person.

5. Do you believe in soul mates?

man and woman talking

This is quite an interesting question as it shows if someone thinks that life is random or if there are certain things that are pre-destined—or at the very least exist for us to be able to discover them.

There are those who think that soul mates don’t exist, plain and simple, but some have a theory that soul mates were once one soul that was then split.

Others think that we are all born with another half somewhere. Yet, others simply see soul mates as people who are an exceptionally good fit. There are also people who take the concept further and believe that we have soul families, twin flames and so forth. In other words, there are a lot of theories, and you might end up discussing a few of them!

6. What’s one thing you’ve done that you’d never do again?

Most of us have done something that, even if we have learnt a lot from it, we’d never want to do again. For some, that might be dating the wrong type of people; for others, it could simply be never traveling to a certain place again. Looking back, some things often appear quite funny, too, although they may not be so at the time….

7. Do you have some sort of spiritual practice?

Are they religious? Do they believe in meditating? What are their beliefs? This can open up interesting discussions about life, death and everything in between.

8. Do you believe in the paranormal/spirit world, or have you ever seen a ghost?

This ties into the previous question, but many people don’t have a spiritual practice per se and they’re still convinced they’ve seen ghosts. I’ve heard some rather astounding tales over the years, and if you start asking people you might, too, from the ones that can be easily explained to things you’d never dream could happen. Whether it did happen or they just have a vivid imagination is another thing entirely.

9. Have you ever had a recurring dream?

Here, you start digging into their subconscious, which they might or might not want to share. At any rate, analyzing dreams can get very interesting. Of course, you have to be willing to share yours, too…

10. If we could be anywhere, doing anything right now, where would we be and what would we do?

people talking

What is it they truly want in this moment? This can offer a lot of insight into a person’s true character and value.

11. If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?

Even people who seem to radiate happiness have things in their life that they want to change or achieve.

12. What is one thing you’ve done you’d never tell your parents about?

From what happened in Vegas to what happened in Rome, some things are better left untold—but, of course, you want to know all the juicy details!

13. What’s one dream you have that you feel you really need to realize in this lifetime?

Many people have a lot of different dreams, from buying the perfect house to moving to Atlanta, but people also often have that one dream that they feel they need to achieve. It can be something small or something really big, but they feel that it’s the key to the rest of their life.

14. Is there any one book or movie that changed your life?

You might get some interesting replies. Personally, Moulin Rouge changed my life, and I bet you’d never have guessed that. After all, it doesn’t seem like a life-changing movie, does it, but it led to that midnight train to Paris…

15. Do you believe in fate/destiny?

Do they believe in free will, is everything pre-determined or is it something in between?

16. What is a special place you’ve been to where you’d like to go again?

people talking

Maybe it’s that one tree they used to read under when they were children. Maybe it’s a town they haven’t visited since they were a child. Or, maybe they just had a wicked time in Tenerife and would love to go again….

It’s not just about the questions you ask, but how you ask them and what conversations they lead to. It appears that people fall in love faster if you speed up the getting to know them phase by introducing questions that gradually increases intimacy. Y

ou also have to look them in the eye a lot. Adrenaline kicks for that matter are also said to speed up the rate at which we fall for someone, which explains why people in adventure movies know that they’ve met the love of their life within a day or two.

Smart And Cute Quotes From Notebook – YouQueen

I see Notebook as filled with clichés and pathetic lines, but there are some that I can find decent enough to select as smart and/or cute.

You can’t live your life for other people. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts some people you love.

Sometimes what we do will hurt other people, but if we have no intentions to hurt, if we are just on our path, we need to stay on that road, and keep walking. It’s the ultimate test of our persistence.

When we think of Noah, he’s also been doing everything for his own happiness. But that’s what we want our loved ones to do. We want them to do things they enjoy.

I’ve learned that we’re all entitled to have our secrets.

It took me a long time to believe in this one. And yes, I finally can say that we don’t owe anyone the whole truth and nothing but the truth. There’s no such a thing as 100% honesty and openness. It’s silly to demand it from others or from ourselves. It’s silly to blame someone for keeping something just for himself, or keeping something away from us, or modifying the way he’s presented his reality. We’re doing it on a daily basis. It’s called life. Sometimes we can’t tell truth and fiction. Sometimes we believe things firmly but that doesn’t make them true. Sometimes things that are hard to believe are truth and nothing but the truth.

Here’s the example of some perfectly correct lying.

I was just going for a walk. I couldn’t sleep.

You were going to see Miss Allie. Now you know you’re not allowed. It’s against the rules. You go back to your room. And as for me, I’m going downstairs to get a cup of coffee and won’t be back for a while. Stay out of trouble.

[He walks over to Nurse Esther’s counter and sees a full cup of coffee].

A person can get used to anything if given enough time.

They say that people have the baseline of happiness, and they soon return to that after great tragedy or strike of luck. But people are also creatures of habit and adaptation. They can get used to new circumstances. And they do get used to it. This is valid for both good and bad. When it comes to bad, we end up tolerating it better. When it comes to good, we end up appreciating it less.

The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds

It’s the possibility that keeps me going, not the guarantee.

There are no guarantees in life. Death is the only certain thing (so far). You don’t need to be certain of something to pursue it. You need to know that it might or it might not happen, but you put an effort and try.

The scariest thing about distance is it’s that you don’t know whether they’ll miss you or forget you.

Slightly cheesy but true – distance can tell – are you easy to forget or Unforgettable, that’s what you are…

You’re looking for someone who will magically fill that void. But no one can do that but you.

You are the person responsible for yourself. There are external influences, and unless you are Buddhist about to achieve Nirvana, you’ll be influenced by outside forces. Still, no other person can heal you. No one can fill up your inner void. It can work only temporarily as a drug.

The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.

Love should be inspiring. At its best, it should help us be(come) our best. And, again (hopefully, just slightly) unrealistic image of love that brings you belly butterflies and peace of mind. It’s like oxymoron. But at moments I feel it happening. It’s just that those moments are fleeting.

Sometimes our future is dictated by what we are, as opposed to what we want.

This is mature talking. Sometimes we get what we think we deserve, sometimes we get less, or worse. We get all kinds of stuff in this life. One should not expect all his wants to be satisfied, at least not all the time.

Early on, he’d learned to enjoy simple things, things that couldn’t be bought, and he had a hard time understanding people who felt otherwise.

One may say that the best things in life are free. The other will argue that nothing’s free. Love may be a million times nobler than money, but love you can live without (even though not easily), and money you can’t live without, literally.

I could rest my case here, but I’ll add that I’m the consumer of experiences, not products so I do understand what Noah is saying in the line above.

So it is not gonna be easy-It is gonna be really hard

So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s gonna be really hard. We’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you.

This line introduces some effort. Finally, it admits that love is not just something that pops up or goes away magically. Although, I have to confess, at times (even to me) it seems that it works just like that.

Poetry, she thought, wasn’t written to be analyzed; it was meant to inspire without reason, to touch without understanding.

I could never understand when teacher wants us to dissect each and every verse. And it’s bizarre to imagine that we can tell what the poet was thinking and meaning with something. It’s the feeling, not the meaning when it comes to poetry. When it comes to love, it’s feeling too. But feelings are fickle, if we don’t add some meaning to them.

Summer romances begin for all kinds of reasons, but when all is said and done, they have one thing in common. They’re shooting stars, a spectacular moment of light in the heavens, fleeting glimpse of eternity, and in a flash they’re gone.

There are moments that are spectacular. If we cherish them we can turn our life into a spectacular ride.

Life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time.

We play many roles during our life. We visit many (mental) places. We can see days as separate lives. But at the end, there’s always some leitmotif that puts all those stories together.

No matter what happens to us in the future, everyday we are together is the greatest day of my life.

This may ring true. The future is uncertain but days spent together are time of his life. For now, they are.

Only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking.

Great talks and great laughs are to be had in a good company, but it’s true that people, if not very intimate, try to avoid silence. They would rather blabber and discuss the weather than say nothing. Silence is uncomfortable, unless you can just be next to each other and feel happy.

Holding her in my arms was more natural to me than my own heartbeat.

This is melodrama, but has a point. Sometimes you just feel at ease with someone. Things that happen between you two feel natural.

That’s my sweetheart in there. Wherever she is, that’s where my home is.

Yes, slightly pathetic, but forgivable. Sometimes we feel that our home is wherever the other person is.

But we should believe that’s the real love only if we know that the other person feels the same. If one is not chasing the other. There can’t be only the one accommodating the other. Both persons should take into account the other when making decisions and building home (figuratively speaking).

At times, with all the best intentions home is not where the love is.

And to save the best for last:

Young Allie: [after making love to Noah for the first time] You gotta be kiddin’ me. All this time, that’s what I’ve been missin’? Let’s do it again.

[after making love all day]

Young Noah: Hmmm. I want some… uh… pancakes… and some bacon… and chicken.

Cover photo: glloyd.com