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Welcome to Yakutsk, the Coldest City in the World

There’s cold, there’s freezing, then there’s Yakutsk. Located in Eastern Siberia, Yakutsk is recorded as the coldest city on earth. In January, the average temperature is minus 40F (-40C), and negative 70F (-57C) is not unheard of. Yet, in this cold city lives 270,000 people going about their daily lives.

There is a method to surviving the extreme cold temperatures and it chiefly involves staying inside as much as you can. When outside for 5-10 minutes, the stinging on ones face begins to become intolerable and even the hardiest Yakutsk local wouldn’t stay outside for longer than 20 minutes.

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Some things I’ve learned: 

  • Try as hard as you can not to judge. Everyone is the way they are for a reason. You don’t know what happened in their past that made them that way.
  • It’s good to push yourself out of your comfort zone. It’s easy to get comfortable with your daily routine, but this is the surest way to kill your spirit. Even if you don’t feel like doing something, you never know what could happen if you do. “You won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain” -Jack Kerouac
  • Be kind. In the end, people will want to be around you if you make them feel good about themselves. Not only that, but it will make you feel good about yourself too. 
  • Travel. Travel as much as you can afford to, and then travel more. You won’t understand why until you do, but it’s important.
  • Keep an open mind. You don’t know everything and you’re not always right. Take everything in. 
  • Keep a dream journal. 
  • The past and future aren’t real. There is only now. 
  • Learn to be happy alone. Learn to be happy with people. 
  • Spend time outside every day. Go on walks or lay in the grass or eat on your patio. It’s easy to forget how important nature is, but I think it has a lot to do with happiness. 
  • Don’t forget to breathe. 
  • Take care of yourself because you only have one body. Anything that is naturally bright blue, green, purple or red is magic food. Eat lots of it. 
  • Reading good books makes you happier and smarter.
  • Do what you want. Take what other people have to say into account, but then make up your own mind. 
  • Love.
  • Be curious. Everything is fascinating when you look close enough.
  • Do good. Always be nice, but beyond that, find something you deeply care about, and fight for it. I promised myself when I was little that I would dedicate my life to fighting for animal’s rights. Don’t let your life be about feathering your own nest. “You haven’t lived until you’ve found something worth dying for.” -Paul Watson, Sea Shepherds 
  • Life is funny. Don’t take anything too seriously. If you’re sad about failing a test, just think about how many stars there are in the universe. More than every grain of sand on every beach in the world. Your test is nothing.
  • You are perfect. The only thing left to work on is realizing this. 
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