Danny Macaskill: The Ridge…and Breathe… [VIDEO]

The Cuillin Ridgeline on the Isle of Skye in Scotland is a range of craggy mountains stretching 30 rocky peaks over 12 km (7.5 miles). At their highest outcropping, they reach 992 metres (3,255 feet).

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They are a mountain climber’s paradise and some of the most challenging terrain to negotiate on foot…

But then there are those who do it differently.

Ascending these rugged peaks was the dream of Danny Macaskill, a climber of sorts: the kind on two wheels.

This professional bike rider and stunt BMX cyclist decided to push the limits of his incomparable skill by making good on his boyhood ambition: riding up and along the notoriously difficult and dangerous Cuillin Ridgeline and capturing the death-defying climb in his latest film The Ridge.

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“Growing up in Skye, the Cuillins for me had always been a very inaccessible place. There’s an incredible knife-edge ridge that runs right the way along the top and I’ve always wondered if it would be possible for me to ride my mountain bike up there.”

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Danny Macaskill

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Team

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The Summer Camp for Adults – Where No Technology is Allowed

Image from Camp Grounded

Image from Camp Grounded

Camp fires, friendship bracelets, sing-a-longs, hikes, s’mores  – these may sound like beautiful memories of your summer camp past, but lo and behold, this experience is being recreated for adults with a twist. Meet Camp Grounded, a place where grownups can be youngsters again, all in a technology-free zone. That means no computers, cell phones, or other gadgetry with a WIFI connection. In the spirit of digital detox – a move to disconnect from technology in order to connect to the world – Camp Grounded offers an oasis from the daily grind of adult life.
The sleep-away camp hosts a variety of activities from yoga and archery to candle making and the obligatory summer game of capture the flag. Summer 2014 registration is already under way, with four-day sessions of unbridled fun that have the potential to bring you to a carefree and joyful place, creating memories of a lifetime.

7 Steps to Planning Your Next Digital Detox

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Photo by Flickr user Silvia Sala

Digital detox: A period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.

Disconnect to connect. Unplug. Digital detox. These terms are all the rage at the moment, representing the act of stepping away from our adored electronics and reconnecting to the world around us. Even unlikely players like communications companies and app developers are getting on board. Here at Goodnet, we highly recommend taking a break – in whatever form works for you – and have broken the process down into seven easy steps for you to put into action. Good luck!

1. GET INSPIRED

Before you begin planning, get excited! A plethora of awesome publications across the web are getting down with the digital detox – from the this infographic guide to this detailed account of one man’s 25-day hiatus from the WWW. YouTube is also a good resource to scour for creative inspiration – check out this great clip for starters.

TIP: Rather than printing out articles you’d like to read later, use an e-reader such as Pocket or Readability to enjoy them when and where it’s convenient for you.

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Photo by Flickr user » Zitona «

2. SET YOUR TIMER

The first step towards a successful digital detox is choosing a feasible length of time – and sticking to it. Try to find the balance between being realistic and challenging yourself – for example, taking a month off email is unlikely to work if you need to hold down a job, while turning your phone off from midnight until 7am on the weekend probably won’t make much of a difference to your life.

TIP: If in doubt, try a weekend. It’s just long enough to really disconnect and unwind, but shouldn’t be too hard to execute.

Photo by Flickr user eflon

Photo by Flickr user eflon

3. IT’S ALL ABOUT BOUNDARIES

Take some time to think about your e-life, and what it will mean to turn it off. Do you plan to cut yourself off from all emails or just work emails? And what about television and social media?

TIP: For your first digital detox, we recommend cutting out anything that involves a glowing screen or the Internet. In other words: computer, iPad and smartphone – out; Kindle – in.

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Photo by Flickr user adactio

4. SCHEDULE SOME QUALITY TIME

One of the best things about taking a digital detox is that it gets your face away from the screen, and in front of the friendly faces of your friends and family. Schedule at least one meal with loved ones (here’s some quick, healthy meal ideas) and let everyone know that it’ll be an unplugged meal. You can even make a game out of it – stack everyone’s cell phones face down on the table. First person to check their phone takes everyone out for ice cream.

TIP: Think old school – pull out your board games from the back of the cupboard and get ready for some fun.

Photo by Flickr user WanderingtheWorld (www.LostManProject.com)

Photo by Flickr user WanderingtheWorld (www.LostManProject.com)

5. GET OUT

Spending some time outdoors – whether it’s a picnic, a jog or a day at the beach – is a non-negotiable part of your digital detox. Not only does sunshine stimulate the essential nutrient Vitamin D, getting down with nature will make you calmer, happier and more focused. Better still, plan a mini-break and get out of town.

TIP: If you need to research your outdoor adventure, make sure you do it before your detox starts to avoid contaminating your chill out time staring at a screen.

Photo by Flickr user marcp_dmoz

Photo by Flickr user marcp_dmoz

6. READ BETWEEN THE LINES

In his much-quoted 2008 article in The Atlantic, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, which he later expanded into a full-length book, American writer Nicholas Carr expounds a theory that the Internet has “chipped away” at our “capacity for concentration and contemplation.” Use your digital detox to read something long and involved – all in one go. It could be a book, a magazine article you haven’t had time to read, or even a short story.

TIP: For best results, get stuck in a good novel. Reading fiction has been found to make you more empathetic.

Photo by Flickr user by Janine

Photo by Flickr user by Janine

7. LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE

When your allotted digital detox time is up, take a moment to ponder – rather than running straight to your iPhone to catch up on everything you missed on Facebook. Ask yourself these three simple questions before diving back into the digital world:

1.  What have you learned from the experience?

2.  Having lived without it this long, is there any device/platform you think you can do without permanently?

3.  Would you consider setting a regular time (say, Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening every week) to repeat the experience?

TIP: Write down some notes as you go through the questions so you can refer back for next time.

Photo by Flickr user Walt Stoneburner

Photo by Flickr user Walt Stoneburner

5 Easy Steps to Planning Your Dream Vacation Online

Photo by Flickr user Stuck in Customs

Photo by Flickr user Stuck in Customs

Summer holidays are upon us – it’s time for vacation! Whether you’re into backpacking alone or traveling with the whole family, there are plenty of options out there to make this year’s trip special. Using this online guide, you can plan it all out in one sitting – no need to shop around at different travel agencies or tour information centers. Many of these online options also save you money, and help with environment by cutting down on the paperwork and extra energy. Just fire up your web browser and you’re good to go!

STEP 1: DECIDE WHERE TO GO

Your vacation destination is of crucial importance to getting what you want out of your time off – be it relaxation, exploration, adventure, or a mixture of all three.
OUR PICK: Our favorite site for scouring locations at the moment is Minube. With over a million holiday photos on file, the beautifully-designed site helps you browse destinations and attractions and find the perfect place for you and yours.
ADDED EXTRA: Download Minube’s iPad and iPhone apps for extra info once you’re on the road.

Screenshot: Minube

Screenshot: Minube

STEP 2: FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS

While there’s no such thing as a free lunch, there are some reasonable flight deals out there. Start planning as early as possible and shop around to get the best prices.
OUR PICK: Kayak is our pick for this category. The site enables users to compare hundreds of flights at once, and the display is easy to use and to understand. Once you find a flight, the site will send you to the booking page to complete your purchase.
ADDED EXTRA: It’s a good idea to cross check Kayak’s deals since prices change so often – have a look at Google Flights simultaneously. The handy tool features Google’s signature simplicity and autocomplete suggestions, along with a map of your origin and destination areas with prices at each location.

Screenshot: Kayak

Screenshot: Kayak

STEP 3: CHOOSE YOUR ACCOMMODATION

After your destination, where to stay is the most important choice that you’ll make when planning your holiday. Think about who you’re traveling with, how much time you plan to spend indoors, and what facilities you’ll need to make your time away comfortable and enjoyable.
OUR PICKS: If you’re looking for a hotel, our recommendation is Gogobot, a simple and appealing site which integrates accommodation information with traveler reviews. For that local feel, Airbnb is the way to go, to sublet a room or an apartment and even get to know someone new at your destination.
ADDED EXTRA: For the more adventurous, budget travelers, you can’t go past Couchsurfing, the site that connects a global community of travelers together. Or as the iconic site likes to call it – getting to know “friends you haven’t met yet.”

Screenshot: Gogobot

Screenshot: Gogobot

STEP 4: PLAN YOUR ACTIVITIES

While laying by the pool for a week straight often sounds like a good idea, somewhere around Day Three it tends to get a bit repetitive. Research local attractions so you have some ideas of what to do the day you decide to break the holiday routine.
OUR PICK: Check out community marketplace Vayable, for guided tours and experiences across the world for reasonable prices. From shopping to food, history to photography, music to art, there really is a tour for everyone on this site.
ADDED EXTRA: Fit in some volunteering while you’re away

Screenshot: Vayable

Screenshot: Vayable

STEP 5: SHARE YOUR WHEELS

The latest trend in collaborative consumption is car sharing, and what better time to try it out then when you won’t be using your wheels in any case? The services tend to be location-specific so search online to find one that’s right for you and your vehicle.
OUR PICK: Check out FlightCar, an easy new service that lets you drop off your vehicle at the airport and rent it out to fellow travelers. The service is now active in Boston and San Francisco.
ADDED EXTRA: Amazing benefits! FlightCar offers insurance up to $1 million, full screening of potential renters, a free car wash, and free parking even if your car isn’t rented out.

Screenshot: FlightCar

Screenshot: FlightCar

How to Bring Out Your Inner Eco-Farmer

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Global interest in sustainability and eco-friendly ways of living have been rising continuously in recent years, from food and recycling to vegetarianism and farming. Growing along with this trend is WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), an organization that links potential volunteers with organic farms and small holdings that need help.
While individual farms and volunteers vary widely, the deal is generally a four to six hour work day in return for food and accommodation, along with learning about living an eco-lifestyle. Tasks also vary – volunteers help out with anything from sowing seed, composting, gardening and planting to milking, feeding, wine making, cheese making and bread making.
The movement has grown gradually since its inception in England in the 1970s, and now includes national WWOOF organizations in 50 countries, and an international umbrella organization – The Federation of WWOOF Organizations (FOWO). The setup makes planning your WWOOF-ing (yes, it’s a verb!) adventure simple – just decide where you’d like to volunteer and follow the instructions on the new WWOOF site.