Sailing on Water Is Now an Unforgettable Experience

Travelling has become one of the most sought after mode of relaxation for people with stressful jobs and a way to leave the humdrum behind. Travelling is also a hobby enjoyed by many, after all the thrill of visiting new places and experiencing new cultures can be very enriching. But traveling usually involves air, rail and road transport, which can be repetitive and even taxing, as one needs to plan the entire itinerary from reaching the destination to staying and touring the place etc. But what if all these can be done in a single go by just choosing a cruise and book the tickets.Cruise trips are adventurous and enthralling with many activities planned along with meals, sightseeing, and entertainment. Board the cruise and it is done, it is a hotel which moves from destination to destination all the while you can enjoy the water and great food.WHY TAKE A CRUISE TRIP?Passengers can be a bit bothered about a vacation on the water and staying on a cruise for a long time. But cruise holidays have some excitements too like:

One need to unpack only once, as the hotel is traveling with the traveler and there is no need to carry ones luggage from place to place.

Everything is planned beforehand and there will be no confusion regarding dining, relaxation, activities, sightseeing and even spa and games.

As the cruise sail from port to port, one can experience a different culture and places in a single trip.

Cruise ships go everywhere, whether small port cities or small islands spread across the ocean. Cruises travel through seas, lakes, rivers and the experiences that come with them are diverse and fun.

Food, accommodation, amenities etc are all consistent, though the quality may differ from cruise to cruise. Usually, food changes when cruise moves from one exotic port to another and everything is already paid for.

Passengers get to meet some new and interesting people, all the while traveling to different destinations.

And one of the best perks is that one gets to stay near water and enjoy the vast and ethereal beauty of open waters.

SOME SETBACKS OF A CRUISE VACATIONThough cruise vacations are always a great affair and one can enjoy it to the fullest. But there can be some things that can irk the passengers a bit like:

Accommodations can be a bit crampy and small; one should always check the square footage before booking.

Food and entertainment can get a bit boring at times; so find your own entertainment on board.

Daily safety drills can get repetitive, but it’s for safety so one can go with it.

Excursions can get expensive at times; so hire a taxi and explore on your own.

Some cruises can charge extra for many facilities; better to go through the details before booking.

These setbacks can be very insignificant when it comes to a great experience of a luxurious cruise vacation.THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND BEFORE PLANNING A CRUISE TRIPOne should always go through all the basics and details before planning a trip on the water. Things to pay attention to are:

Room and accommodation.

Itineraries.

Food and dining facilities.

Trip length.

The type of people who will be on board.

Guest to staff ratio.

On-board payments and extra charges.

Ports which will be visited.

From many cruise line options to choose from, one can select a cruise keeping in mind their needs, affordability, and places they want to visit.

My Top 10 – The Best Books I’ve Ever Read

How I define my top 10 will definitely differ from others’. When I try to recollect the best books I’ve ever read, I have this criterion. How much did that book force me to finish in one go? Whether I was able to finish it in a single go or not due to other compelling reasons. Secondly, how much was I able to connect earlier chapters while reading later chapters. At times it happens you are at the end of the book but are not able to connect well with the story and flow. Third and most important point is how much did it fade away from my memory over a period of time. There are so many books that are as fresh in my mind as at the time of reading them. And there are books that you forget about within a week of finishing them.This criterion of creating the top 10 best books would vary from each reader to reader. In fact, for me, it is always an evolving list. That means, it is always under formation and development. So I call it an inchoate list. These are not in any order. But all of these 10 books are evergreen and favorite.The first book that comes to my mind is Fish. Even reading it during my college days, it still keeps knocking my mind and conscious from time to time. This is, in fact, a thin book but a lot of value inside.The second book is Goal. Both these books are powerful transformers. They have the power to transform the lives of any person.Next is The Prophet. In fact, this book I can read any number of times. Every time I read it, it gives me a different meaning of life.This book is by a very young author. The book has a strong message that comes in its purest form. That is why I have not been able to forget its story despite reading it a long time back. I am talking about The Helpline.My next favorite book is Slow by Digonta Bordoloi. There is a high level of depth in this book. We are right now in the middle of my list.The sixth book that I would like to mention is Sudhi Kannan. This book has a simple story. But the story has all the elements of adventure, hope, drama, and action.Living with Merlin is a story of deep pain that comes with a sweet fragrance.The Tallion Tale is an interesting spy story having a great message.Borderline is a book that probably everyone needs to read. It is about the psychological disorder.The last book on my list is A Cupful of Aha!That completes my top 10 list. The best books I’ve ever read. But that doesn’t mean these are the bestselling. In fact, I plan to write my next post on the Top 100.

Book Review: 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell

John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership is one of my all-time favorites and considered to be one of the best leadership books ever written. In short, this bestseller packs a punch. The author, a leadership guru and pastor, has impacted thousands of leaders around the world. His message benefits anyone who has influence over others. This article discusses nine of the benefits.9 Benefits

Foundational

First and foremost, the 21 laws provide a solid foundation in leadership basics. The laws aren’t technical tongue twisters. Maxwell devised names you can pronounce and remember because they make sense.

Relevant

Second, the book is relevant. It appeals to leaders in different settings and levels. Parents, CEO’s, new supervisors, vice presidents, non-profit managers, school administrators, or anyone in a leadership role will gain invaluable wisdom.

Leadership Stories

Third, Maxwell presents interesting leadership stories to illustrate his points. They cover some well-known organizations as well as some that are not. Moreover, he uses stories from his life. Maxwell gained leadership experience as a pastor. He shares some of his early experiences along with lessons learned.

Applications

Fourth, readers can apply what they learn. Each chapter concludes with questions for self-reflection.

Evaluation Tool

Fifth, an evaluation tool is located at the end of the book. Examine your skills and uncover opportunities for growth.

Inspiration

Sixth, by reading this book you’ll either aspire to be a better leader or establish a new level of respect for leaders. This book inspires you to learn more about leadership. Maxwell begins each chapter with a quote and spreads anecdotes throughout.

Teachable

Seventh, the book provides instructional designers with material for a leadership training & development curriculum. The options for tailoring the information for different audiences are numerous. Create a PowerPoint presentation or online course for new supervisors. Hold roundtable discussions with senior leaders. There’s much to talk about.Regarding coaching and performance reviews, the questions at the end of chapters can be tweaked for professional development. Equally important, blend them into appropriate training modules as discussion questions. Lastly, 21 Irrefutable Leadership Laws should be required reading in college business courses. If you’re teaching a course on leadership without this book, your students are missing the boat.

Handy Reference

Eighth, the book serves as a handy reference tool. It’s like the leadership Bible. Anyone serious about succeeding as a leader should obtain a copy for his or her library.

User-friendly

Finally, the book is user-friendly. Each chapter highlights one of the laws. You can read them in-or-out of order. Furthermore, John Maxwell’s writing style is easy to follow, and it holds your attention.

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway – Book Review

Over the years I have read Susan Jeffers little book several times and recommended it to others. Recently I was working on a project and wanted to reference the book so my daughter sent me a “quick read” copy.I was surprised how good it was, all the essence of the book in a quick and easy to read format.The book first discusses fears and the various kinds we can be beset by. The biggest fear “I can’t handle it” is at the base of all our major fears. Possibly you were brought up by caring, well-meaning relatives who always told you to “be careful” or “Take care”, this could be ingrained in your thinking, actions and life.You have to learn whatever happens in your life “you can handle it”, and then there is nothing to worry about. Fear never really leaves us, even well-known actors and speakers are still fearful going on stage, but they have recognised the feelings as excitement and energy for the job in hand, and welcome it knowing they will give a better performance.The more often you do the things feared, the fear will lesson, until you try something new and have to become accustomed all over again. However with each new challenge you become stronger.What the author shows is how to use the fearful feeling to enrich our lives. We can learn to turn the pain into power. You can also learn about no-lose decisions and gain confidence as they are only steps until the next decision. Susan suggests saying yes to life and experiencing many new things and enriching your life.I first read the book when I was working with a young girl who was going through a rough-patch, it helped her enormously; that was 40 years ago.So are there things you would love to try or do, dreams you have almost forgotten. Take inspiration from Susan Jeffers and give it a go. Travel to distant places you have always wanted to visit. Make new friends, new choices, don’t let your fears delay you. Learn to paint or dance or sing; cultivate a garden or even start your own business, find a more fulfilling job or change careers. Anything is possible with the right mindset.A job for life is a thing of the past. Where will your new confidence take you? Make your life zing and every day a joy to be alive, learn to overcome the obstacles life brings like ill-health, or loss of a dear one, become strong again.You CAN handle it!Best Wishes for an exciting future.

Book Review of The Steel Queen

Endowed with the markings of an unforgettable debut read, Karen Azinger’s The Steel Queen, draws readers into Erdhe, a fantasy imbued realm ripe with intrigue, knights, bravery, swords, sorcery and pure evil. As the premier novel in her Silk and Steel Saga, this novel serves well as an introduction to the medieval type lands of the kingdoms of Erdhe, along with its various engaging inhabitants.Author Azinger provides a filling fantasy read built with a satisfying integration of action, intrigue and fantasy elements. The story engages instantly immersing the reader in a complexly woven storyline, which houses an abundance of varied and unique characters. The female characters bear particular appeal because of their determination and cunning in a world where their place is limited by male dominance.Foremost, the story, particularly follows the paths of several focal characters; Katherine/Kath, a young princess whose deepest desire is to lead and wield a sword. Blaine, son of a pig farmer who earns a seemingly impossible knighthood. Steffan, a dark character who seeks power at any cost and Liandra, queen of Lanverness who looks to preserve her wealthy kingdom. Meanwhile, events unfold, with the story told from their multiple perspectives with the narrative changing viewpoints frequently, as each moves toward their destiny. As well, furthering the character woven storyline, are brief appearances of additional engaging characters. Although, initially, it seems the characters are on separate paths, with their own goals to achieve, destiny dictates otherwise as a malevolent force at work threatens all of Erdhe.Consequently, what follows is an entertaining, adult themed, vibrant and at times quite violent, but well paced narrative, that artfully explores the sexual, bureaucratic, and religious landscape of a fantasy world facing the heart of darkness.Ultimately, I enjoyed The Steel Queen. With this work, Author Azinger has wrought the beginnings of an intriguing and thus far, fulfilling fantasy series. Furthermore, while there are a plethora of fantasy genre novels available, what separates this one from the some of the others is the quality and style of the writing and creativity. Author Karen Azinger wields a well honed knack for engaging and concise storytelling.Additionally, aside from the great story, I like the inclusion of the map of Erdhe and the Appendix explaining the background of various kingdoms. Overall, this was well worth the read and I look forward to the next in the series. This is a book I not only recommend for fantasy fans, but also fans of eloquently written, action packed adventures.

Book Review of Bollywood Invasion by Ricardo Alexanders

At once engaging and cleverly creative, Ricardo Alexanders’ Bollywood Invasion enrapts readers with a fun and fantastical coming of age story, set in a well posed merging of reality and fiction which surpasses the reaches of time and continents.Instantly the story draws you in, as initially, we meet John Palmieri living in modern times in Brooklyn; he’s a nerd and Beatles lover in high school and unsatisfied with his lower middle class existence. Things start with him in the throes of a dream, once again being bested by his arch-enemy Frank Castellano. He loathes Frank, who seems to have so much more than John; smarter mouth, bigger house, more friends, better stuff, including, the attention of the girl he secretly loves -Samantha.The real adventure begins when fate crashes into his life, via an accident, knocking John unconscious. When John awakes, he finds himself in a parallel existence, where he has been transported back in time to late 1950’s, India. He wakes up as eighteen year old Raj Scindia, a prince in the Indian royal family. Naturally, he’s initially confused by his sudden transportation to a completely foreign life and culture with many humorous moments ensuing as he tries to wrap his head around what has happened to him.Meanwhile, as John acclimates to his new life, he realizes he suddenly has the life he has always dreamed of, a life which now includes money, wealth, eager women and extensive privileges. However, as well as being rich and privileged, the prince whose life John has taken over, also includes several unexpected issues such as being engaged to a young lady through pre-arranged marriage, having the reputation of being a spoiled, adulterous scamp, as well as being a second year student in a mechanical engineering college. Ultimately, deciding to make the best of his new circumstances, John plays his privileged new life to the hilt; he fakes being psychic and parties not really taking his new life too seriously until he meets the best friend of his promised fiance, Ankita and falls instantly head over heels for her which within his new culture gives rise to many issues. While looking for ways to win her over, John forays into the world of music by joining a local band and uses his extensive knowledge of Beatles songs to propel his group “The Beetos” to “Beatles” status making him and his group rock stars, thusly creating a parallel universe with the Bollywood version of the Beatles. Consequently, their new found fame comes with unexpected repercussions, as the story progresses with scenarios that parallel events that really happened with the famed Beatles.Definitively, Bollywood Invasion proffers readers a compelling read that entertains the imagination with a unforgettable journey into adulthood. This was a winning combination with its twisted melding of Beatlemania, romance, drama, humor, fantasy elements, and intriguing characters, especially Raj/John who seems to a loosely posed reincarnation of John Lennon. This would make a worthwhile read for fans of fantasy or YA reads.