From the yearly archives:

2008

Living Versus Existing

by Alan Rider

I don’t generally make a habit of passing along  every online video someone sends my way.  But I think this video speaks to what XTRORD.com is really all about.  Watch it and then ask yourself: “Am I making the most out of this one  life I’ve been given by living it to the fullest, or am I merely existing?”  
Either way, I encourage you to start off this new year by making plans to do something you’ve always wanted to do.  If you need ideas or inspiration, check out the long list of extraordinary experiences here.     

Read More →

Amazing Race, Leisurely Pace

by Alan Rider

Maybe it’s just me, but the idea of being herded around Europe on one of those organized group tours seems unbearably tedious. Now, however, there’s a unique alternative that sounds like it’d be a heck of a lot more fun.
In place of the typical rigidly structured group tour itinerary, Competitours will fly you and a friend off on a European adventure that’s essentially a recreational version of The Amazing Race TV show.  Your initial destination won’t be revealed until just days before you board the plane, but you can expect to visit up to a half-dozen countries over the course of your 10-14 day trip. 
Along the way you’ll be competing [...]

Read More →

Food For Fliers

by Alan Rider

If you’re flying somwhere this holiday season (or trying to), first of all, my condolences.  I’ve been stuck in enough airports enough times to truly feel your pain.
In an effort to help you turn your lemons into lemonade, I thought I’d pass on a link to a great story from the New York Times Travel section.  It seems the writer actually managed to find a few airport eateries at major airline hubs—including Atlanta, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Miami, New York’s JFK and LaGuardia, and Los Angeles’ LAX—with food you might actually enjoy.  What a concept! 

Read More →

Eaten By Wolves!

by Alan Rider

 
Okay, I admit that was an overly sensationalist headline.  But when a wildlife park in China sends three men to live in a pen with 36 thoroughly wild wolves for 72 hours, well, it could happen, couldn’t it?
The three men were selected from more than 1,700 applicants for the job.  To earn their $725 paycheck (don’t tell the Chinese but there are lots of people who would pay them at least that much to have this extraordinary experience), they were expected to write diary entries, take photos, and shoot videos each day. 
Officials at Qinling Wildlife Park in Xi’an say the men will be safe in a tree house located 10 [...]

Read More →

Tiger Tale

by Alan Rider

I’ve been fortunate to have some pretty darn cool wildlife encounters over the years, including coming literally face-to-face with a group of endangered manatees off the Florida coast and getting close enough to see—and hear—an 800-pound Alaskan grizzly eating her lunch.  But nothing tops the interspecies encounter I saw on the TV news last night.
The so-called “Tiger Temple” in  Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province has become something of an orphanage for abandoned tiger cubs, many of whom have grown up to have cubs of their own here. There are now more than 30 of the rare beasts being cared for by the Buddhist monks who offer visitors a chance to get up-close-and-personal with [...]

Read More →

WAY Too Close For Comfort

by Alan Rider

Coming face-to-face with a great white shark (from the safety of a shark cage, of course) is something that’s been on my to-do list for some time.  Now I’m having second thoughts.
Why, you ask?  Well, when I mentioned the idea to my friend Jim McDonough (an avid northern California surfer who regularly braves shark-infested waters when he’s not doing his web development/marketing thing) he turned me onto this video.  Seems these two guys got a little more out of their shark-diving trip off the coast of Mexico’s Baja peninsula than they bargained for.  Talk about close encounters! 
Does this mean I’m crossing this off my list of future extraordinary experiences?  Nah.  But I [...]

Read More →

8 Great (Affordable) Gift Ideas

by Alan Rider

It’s time for XTRORD.com’s first-annual holiday gift guide.  And, if you’re a regular follower of this space, you probably already know how I feel about giving and getting more stuff that, let’s face it, none of us really needs.  But giving someone an extraordinary experience? Ah, well, that’s a different story altogether.
So with a nod to the dark clouds that seem to be hanging over the global economy in general and many folks personal finances in particular right now, I thought I’d focus on extraordinary experiences you can give that will blow the recipient’s socks off without breaking the bank (herein defined as under $200).
In no particular order then, here [...]

Read More →