• Open a bottle of wine… with a shoe.

    Open a bottle of wine… with a shoe.

    What happens when you’ve got some wine but no corkscrew to open it? That’s usually not an issue with my family, considering how much of our vino comes out of a box, but for those of you fancy pants people out there, having a bottle with no corkscrew to open it can put a serious […]

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  • Bicycle around Angkor Wat: Cambodia

    Bicycle around Angkor Wat: Cambodia

    The world is full of awesome things to see. But oftentimes, how you see something matters just as much as what you see. This week’s Blue Marble Badge of Awesome goes to Jon Chilton, for sharing his bicycling experience around temples in Cambodia.

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  • Shoot Blow Darts in Japan

    Shoot Blow Darts in Japan

    As the Baby Boomer generation gets older, more and more attention is being paid to “senior-friendly” activities. Your mind may automatically go to things like Bridge, shuffleboard or knitting (or Guerrilla Knitting if you’re super cool). But a rather unconventional activity is picking up steam in Japan: blow darting.

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  • Go on a Retreat: Washington meets WiFi in Virginia, USA

    Go on a Retreat: Washington meets WiFi in Virginia, USA

    I think some people thought me strange to drive 9 hours to spend a week in Winchester, Virginia on a “writing retreat.” After all, I work from home. Couldn’t I get the same work done there? Maybe. But I feel there are many advantages to getting away from your daily routine and surroundings. Virginia proved […]

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  • Sandboard the Dunes: Peru, New Zealand, Namibia and more

    Sandboard the Dunes: Peru, New Zealand, Namibia and more

    Growing up in Canada, tobogganing factored big in my childhood. Each winter the hills around Port Albert, Ontario became the grounds for epic battles with my siblings and cousins. I often felt bad that people living in warmer climates were missing out on this awesome activity. But then Ashraf Dean submitted this photo of him […]

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  • Align your gearbox: the drinking game

    Align your gearbox: the drinking game

    Backpacking can introduce you to all sorts of fascinating customs and traditions. Hostels and guest houses serve as the hippie equivalent of the United Nations – a convergence of cultures, nationalities and ideas. This exchange of ideas can revolve around politics, music, religion, philosophies, worldviews and other big discussions. It also facilitates the spread another […]

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  • Work abroad

    Work abroad

    Working overseas has many advantages. It looks great on a résumé. It lets you really immerse yourself in the day-to-day life of another country and culture. It’s a great way to make overseas travel affordable. It gets you out of your comfort zone and helps you grow as a person. It broadens your perspective and […]

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  • Play Tri-Pong

    Play Tri-Pong

    Rainy days at cottages are the mothers of invention. This week’s Backyard Badge goes to Rob Shirkey for introducing me to the awesome game of Tri-Pong. A couple years ago, while visiting his cottage near Minden, Ontario, Rob taught us how to play this simple, yet exhausting version of ping pong.

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  • Take a soak in the Banff Hot Springs, Alberta, Canada

    Take a soak in the Banff Hot Springs, Alberta, Canada

    I’ve never had much of a fashion sense. Most of my clothes are unfit for a blind hobo. Despite this complete ineptitude and disinterest in anything to do with fashion, I knew the moment I laid eyes on that old fashioned bathing suit in the display case at the Canadian Rockies Hot Springs in Alberta, […]

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  • Go Geocaching

    Go Geocaching

    Ever wanted to be a pirate and search for buried treasure? Is your favourite part about Easter the egg hunt? Do you pride yourself in your ability to find lost car keys? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then geocaching just may be for you. I’ve wanted to go geocaching for years. […]

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  • Visit the Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand

    Visit the Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand

    Tina Coghlan submitted this photo into the “That’s Awesome” Photo Contest of the Moeraki Boulders in New Zealand. I thought they were so cool they deserved their own Badge of Awesome post.

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  • Play Spoons (with vigour)

    Play Spoons (with vigour)

    Spoons is a card game that was very popular in the Martin household growing up. I’ve played a few variations of it over the years but the general idea remains the same.

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  • Have a beer at Oktoberfest, Germany

    Have a beer at Oktoberfest, Germany

    Prost. Schnitzel. Lederhosen. Oompah. Ziggy zaggy ziggy zaggy, oy oy oy. If these words confuse you, odds are you’ve never been to Oktoberfest. As a resident of the Kitchener-Waterloo area in Ontario for many years, I’ve attended my fair share of Oktoberfest events. If you do go, prepare to have your fill of sausage, sauerkraut, […]

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  • Build a trebuchet (and launch flaming pumpkins)

    Build a trebuchet (and launch flaming pumpkins)

    I never took physics in high school. But friends of mine did and I remember them having to build miniature catapults (and other medieval instruments of destruction) as part of their coursework. I’m all for kids getting excited about education. But what happens when your students get too excited about physics, and decide to apply […]

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  • Chase some cheese: Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling, Gloucestershire England

    Chase some cheese: Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling, Gloucestershire England

    I spent a lot of time this past summer watching the London 2012 Olympics on TV. And while England put on a good show, there’s one sport I was disappointed didn’t get any coverage at all. A sport from their own backyard no less: Cheese-rolling.

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  • Attend a local festival

    Attend a local festival

    A recent visit to Cowapolooza (Woodstock, Ontario’s annual cow festival) got me thinking about all the cool events happening in our own backyard. You could spend an entire year hopping from one local festival to the next. It seems every community has one, even if some of them make you scratch your head.

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  • Pipe down the sun: Port Albert, Ontario

    Pipe down the sun: Port Albert, Ontario

    If you blink you could very well miss Port Albert. You’ll find this tiny speck on the map on the shores of Lake Huron in Southwestern Ontario. Home to such famous landmarks as the Port Albert General Store, the Inn at the Port and a fish ladder at the “old bridge,” you won’t find much […]

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  • Get Lost (I mean that in the nicest way, I swear): Random road trips

    Get Lost (I mean that in the nicest way, I swear): Random road trips

    This week’s Backyard Badge of Awesome comes to us via Kendra Barrick of Ottawa, Ontario. Sometimes having no destination in mind at all leads to the best journeys. Random road trips where the only goal is to have a fun time are awesome. Here’s Kendra with her version of “Get Lost”:

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  • Sleep in a cave: Cappadocia, Turkey

    Sleep in a cave: Cappadocia, Turkey

    I’ve slept in a lot of different places in my day. Couches, tents, floors, laundry rooms. At the foot of a volcano, in a village on stilts, on a beach, on a mountain, in a farmer’s field. Train stations, bus stations, airports. But I’ve never slept in a cave. And after seeing photos like this […]

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  • Play Crazy 8 Countdown… for spices

    Play Crazy 8 Countdown… for spices

    A sure way to add excitement to a game of cards is to add the element of consequence. And nothing screams consequence like the prospect of having to shovel a heaping spoonful of garlic, turmeric or curry powder into your mouth. This is Crazy 8 Countdown… for spices.

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  • Go tubing through the Elora Gorge, Ontario

    Go tubing through the Elora Gorge, Ontario

    Tubing through rapids at the Elora Gorge is awesome. Located within the Elora Gorge Conservation Area, about a half hour drive from Waterloo or Guelph, Ontario (an hour or so from Toronto), this activity offers visitors a chance to travel down the Grand River in a very cool way.

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  • Play Extreme Croquet

    Play Extreme Croquet

    Croquet: The Gentleman’s Game? Not where I come from. Growing up, my brothers and sisters used to play this backyard game in very un-gentlemanly ways. We’d send our opponents’ balls flying into the bush, down our long driveway and into the little creek that ran next to our house. Out-of-bounds was for sissies and sending […]

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  • Go “Glamping”: Long Point Eco-Adventures, Ontario, Canada

    Go “Glamping”: Long Point Eco-Adventures, Ontario, Canada

    Luxury camping, zip-lining, star-gazing, mountain-biking, hiking and more make Long Point Eco-Adventures a Mecca for outdoor awesomeness.

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  • [Blog] 20 awesome activities involving 1 item or less

    [Blog] 20 awesome activities involving 1 item or less

    Editor’s note: This post was originally published on my Josh Martin Ink blog. In an age of iPads, Xboxes and $200 shoes, our sources of entertainment and activity require increasingly sophisticated technology, equipment and infrastructure. But there’s something to be said for the simpler activities. Activities that nurture creativity, ingenuity and imagination. In 2005 the […]

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

    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 […]

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