1. by Shane Solanki

    Following on from our last post on the frontline of couchsurfing, we’d like to put forward the theory that disappearing off on a plane-free adventure is much easier than we are led to believe.

    All over the world, dudes and dudettes are strapping their belongings to their back and choosing the path less travelled. Take Nancy Shepherd, who says, “I wanted to celebrate my fiftieth birthday with Something Big. I thought I would either ride my bike across the country or get a boob job. It was a tough decision.”

    What does it take to forgo the fast-food convenience of intercontinental flights? You’ve got to travel lightly, and slowly. You also get to engage with so many more places and people, rather than just flying over their heads whilst being forcefed airplane food and the latest Hollywood dream.
    British up-and-coming rapper Dizraeli recently received the offer of a gig in Cairo. One slight problem; he had vowed never to fly again. He decided to stick to his principles and go overland. Crossing borders and barriers, Dizraeli broadcasted his journey to the world at unplaned.com. He’s full of good advice as to how you can do the same and make an overland journey yourself.

    Artist and ex Talking Head David Byrne has explored cities around the world on his foldable bike, and documented his travels for your perusal.

    So activate your own inner Kerouac and hit the road, Jack. Tell your story through Facebook, Twitter and blogs, updating your peeps via your iPhone. Bikes and trains are much more romantic and reliable… feel free to tell us about how you’ve explored the road less travelled!

  2. By Andy Marks in Sydney

    It was all started by a valiant young chap in red budgie-smugglers. With sun burnt arms and a red V where his shirt normally opens, this intrepid mover single-handedly changed our view that the flash mob was dead. That first wiggle resurrected what had previously been butchered by a UK mobile phone company who staged a counterfeit flash mob in a London railway station, taking it out of the hands of the people and in to advertising la-la land.

    Last week on Bondi Beach, the flash in flash mob lived and was loved. Mr red budgie-smugglers looked innocent enough lying on a towel but when he pressed play on his boom box, he stood up and started giving it some very smooth moves, as Ben Lee’s Catch My Disease filled the sun drenched air. Several hundred people joined in, wearing a radiant spectrum of beach attire, and everyone else had grins from ear to ear.

    At VivaCity we can now love the idea of flash mobs again. After all they are anarchic but pose no real threat, they are planned but wonderfully spontaneous, and above all they are completely silly whilst demonstrating the power of crowds. 

    Watch and grin at the mob in action www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9rytUeq62k

  3. By Dagmar Hoogland

    Hello city slackers
    Look around, at the city, at the concrete buildings sticking out into the sky. They give us a feeling of grandness, of importance or perhaps a feeling of white office shirts sweating in small cubicles.

    But does it ever make your heart beat faster, your adrenalin rushing through your veins? We think not.

    Here’s something new. Amongst all us urban citizens, for some of us these concrete giants are the ultimate landscape. A physical challenge that they like to stand eye to eye with.

    They call themselves stair racers. What they do?

    Well… they race up and down stairs. Stairs of city buildings. Thousands of them do it, for fun.

    More than 80 major stair races or “towerthons” take place around the globe each year. One of the most famous international races is the Empire State Building Run-up, an annual stair-climbing race at the Manhattan landmark which has a lung busting 1860 steps.

    Thankfully for us without the stamina of a professional marathon runner, there is also a more humane version of this sport. Stair Climbing. The name explains the difference: stair climbing you can do at your own pace. On any stairs, at any time, alone or in a group.

    It’s fun, it’s free and it’s right there at your feet so what would stop you?
    Up up up you go!

    Have you found the perfect stair climbing place in your city or would you like to get a group of people together to climb or race with? Leave a comment below.