Play the Tribe Game: Who would you want on your post-apocalyptic team?

How useless would you or your friends be in a post-apocalyptic world? The Tribe Game is a great road trip/time-killer game that answers this question.

Are you an SEO expert? Does your résumé brag about things like “results-based management”? Do you excel at Excel? Do you have an in-depth knowledge of branding, social media or database management? If you answered yes to any of these questions, odds are you’re going to be pretty useless in the event of a nuclear, zombie or Mad Maxian-style apocalypse. Continue reading

Visit the museum of broken relationships: Zagreb, Croatia

Ah, love. The heady surge of endorphins. The joy. The companionship. The matching tattoos. The disgustingly sweet pet names that make your friends want to punch you in the throat.

But of course, love and break-ups go hand-in-hand. The pain. The binge eating. The binge drinking. The sweatpants. The Sarah McLaughlin purchases on iTunes. The mopey “poor me” demeanour that makes your friends want to punch you in the throat. Continue reading

[Blog] Fish Heads in the Far East: Remembering what’s important

By Josh Martin

Chiayi, Taiwan—My 90 cc scooter (which I fondly nicknamed, “Scoot Scoot Riot”) howled in protest as we made the steep ascent along the winding mountain roads in Taiwan. By noon Marty, Yanik (my two fellow ESL teachers) and I had reached our campsite for the weekend.

That evening, as the sun set over the mountains, and without an agenda to occupy our time, we strolled through the campgrounds. We passed a group of six Taiwanese men who invited us to join them for dinner and some Tsingtao Beer. Though strangers, in no time at all we were laughing and joking around the campfire like old friends (even if neither side spoke the other’s language well).

The parade of food was simple and delicious. They generously treated us to every type of local cuisine imaginable. At the end of the meal one of our new friends offered me a plate with a massive fish head on it, its beady eye staring up at me.

I have never been a fan of seafood to start with (especially the kind that can look you in the eye), so I politely declined. Upon doing so I was informed that to be offered a fish head was a show of great respect and friendship within Taiwanese culture.

The honour outweighed my distaste.

Reluctantly, I accepted and proceeded to eat the vile thing. To this day, however, I’m not entirely sure if it really was a gesture of friendship or if they just wanted to see if I would actually eat it.

Finally, when the food had all been eaten, the guitar came out and the singing began. In a country obsessed with Karaoke, our hosts showed no inhibitions. Before long, we were singing and dancing around the fire, the fish head sloshing around my belly full of cheap beer.

The simple, spontaneous, informal

Our mountaintop dance party taught me an important lesson in the value of simple gatherings. The simple, the spontaneous, the informal—these are the key ingredients to the best get-togethers. I’d much rather share a six-pack of cheap beer with friends around a campfire than attend a stuffy dinner party with hors d’oeuvres and fine china any day of the week.

Weddings are a good example. Tens of thousands of dollars are spent on these events. And so much work goes into the superficial elements of the gathering—the food, the décor, the ambiance—that the real reasons for celebrating are at risk of getting crushed into a corner.

When I think of the best weddings I’ve been to, I couldn’t tell you what the flowers were like, if the cake was any good or if I liked the bride’s dress. What I remember is laughing and dancing like an idiot with my friends.

Likewise, looking back at our mountaintop party, I don’t remember what I was wearing or if the food they served us was overcooked. I remember the good company and the experience of being guilted into eating a fish head.

In the end, experiences have a longer shelf life in our minds than material stuff.

For the full-length version of this story and more than fifty others, check out my book: Simple(ton) Living: Lessons in Balance from Life’s Absurd Moments.

Play the Blindfold Game

This week’s Backyard Badge goes to the Blindfold Game – one of the most disorienting and entertaining activities you’ll ever play. Thanks to the Van Osch family for submitting this week’s winner – your Backyard Badge of Awesome and free ebook are on their way!

I recently had the pleasure of joining the Van Osches in the Blindfold Game. Here’s how it works: Continue reading

Build a Human Foosball game

In recent years the “dude-that’s-awesome” factor at my extended family’s Thanksgiving get-togethers has increased 10-fold. Why? Two words: human foosball.

You may have seen this Backyard Badge recipient at a corporate event or summer festival. But as my Aunt Jackie and Uncle Art demonstrated, there’s nothing stopping you from bringing it to your own backyard. Continue reading