From the monthly archives:

December 2009

CONTEST: What’s Your Most Extraordinary Experience?

by Alan Rider

When someone finds out what I do for a living, the next words out of their mouth are usually “So what’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?”
Take a quick look at my list of extraordinary experiences and you’ll begin to understand why answering that question is virtually impossible.  That said, there are definitely a few adventures that stand out, things I still have incredibly vivid memories of many years later.
Before I reveal what they are, let me take a minute for the audience participation portion of today’s program.  I’d like to know what’s the most unforgettable thing you’ve ever done. Tell me all about it, including what makes [...]

Read More →

All I Want For Christmas

by Alan Rider

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a hard person to buy gifts for (I can just see my wife rolling her eyes when she reads this).  You see, I’ve come to a point in my life where I don’t really want or need that much stuff.
Over the last decade or so I’ve come to understand what Henry David Thoreau meant when he said:
“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”
Oh sure, I get caught up in lusting for “the next big thing” same as everybody.  But when that happens, I try to step back and take a hard [...]

Read More →

5 Affordable Gifts You'll Never Have To Return

by Alan Rider

In my recent Black Friday Blues post, I suggested a few extraordinary experiences that I thought would make great gifts.  The kind of remarkable once-in-a-lifetime adventures that I know from personal experience will flat-out blow your giftee away.

After giving it some more thought, however, it occurred to me that some folks might be put off because they automaticaly assume that it must be too expensive.  Something that actually couldn’t be further from the truth.
To prove my point, I’ve put together a list of five extraordinary experiences with price tags under $100.  Add the fact that these gifts will be remembered long after every other present under the tree has been [...]

Read More →

The One Creature Every Animal Lover Must Meet

by Alan Rider

Everyone thinks of Florida as all warm and sunny, all the time.  And while that’s largely true, the nights around the sleepy coastal town of Crystal River can get downright nippy this time of year.  Which is exactly why the next few months are such a great time of year to visit, especially if you’re an animal lover.
You see, those chilly evenings make the many warm springs around King’s Bay a magnet for manatees.  Because sea cows can’t take the cold any better than I can, they return from their daily foraging to spend the night here in waters as clear as any swimming pool.
Which is where my friends at [...]

Read More →

Experience This!

by Alan Rider

Just read a great interview with one of my heroes, Blue Highways author William Least Heat Moon.  A man responsible for my long-held belief that it’s not the destination but the experience that really matters.  And the more extraordinary that experience the better.
While I’ve collected a fair number of extraordinary experiences both here and on the pages of XTRORD.com, I’m well aware there are lots more of these truly remarkable once-in-a-lifetime adventures out there waiting to be discovered.
Which is why I’ve been geeking out on a handful of new adventure travel books.  While all of them tend to focus on destinations rather than experiences to some degree, read between the [...]

Read More →