at home in... w| Gerald Zhang-Schmidt

Look Closer, Learn More, #GetAtHome In This World

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#GetAtHome in China 8: A Profitable Gamble, Hiking Lion Rock Trail, Hong Kong

My plan in going to Hong Kong had been to seek out the route, more or less along Maclehose Trail, that the Fjällräven Classic’s expansion to Hong Kong will take.

I couldn’t even find out the exact route, though. So, I had already planned to only go on a part of Maclehose Trail, and to detour onto the Lion Rock trail.

Now, there was just one more day left until our flight back to Austria. Forecast for that day: Clearing skies.

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Feuerkogel_Panorama_2017_03_25

Up, from Traunsee Beach to Feuerkogel Peak

If you want a big expedition, this wouldn’t be for you.

Microadventures are finally gaining in popularity, though, and if you just want to see if you can make it up a mountain, as fast or leisurely as you wish, then this may be an ideal trail for you.

If you want or need to go extra-leisurely, there’s even a cable car going up there (or down from there, if the downhill would make your knees suffer too much).

Sure, it is almost too easy a trail to describe it.

Except for a few turns, especially at the very beginning, still in the town of Ebensee, this trail just goes up to the Feuerkogel in one pretty continuous climb.

Feuerkogel Trail

Feuerkogel Trail, as recorded by my Suunto Spartan Ultra (Screenshot from Movescount)

When you’ve reached the top of that mountain, where the cable car goes, you could still go on into (and even across) the Höllengebirge, but are more likely to just turn right back around. Perhaps after a little time in one of the huts up there offering food and drinks…

So, if this is your microadventure, it is very micro.

It is a very pretty little tour, or a nice mountain running session, all the same.
Perfect for me now, on my training path to the Stelvio Marathon.

It is also a trail with easier chances for rests and no problems turning around, with enough roots and rocks to demand attention but no serious climbs that present chances for bad falls.
Perfect for beginners and people you want to show around a bit, but don’t know the experience and fitness level of.

This is exactly why I went here once again last weekend, with a fan who’d taken me up on my offer to get in touch and see if we could do something together.

If you’re wondering why I’m calling this tour “From Traunsee Beach…”: Well, this is where we also went, before our train back came:

Between Traunsee Waters

Next month, I’ll be busy with other things, but you’re welcome to continue to follow along here, via the #GetAtHome Facebook Page, on Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram

ISPO 2017 Roundup, Part 1: Garmin, Casio, TomTom, AxSys,…

Once again, the ISPO Munich was on.

Finally, I went there not just a random blogger who sorta-kinda works with brands willing to set him up with product samples, but as someone turning into a pro blogger looking for serious cooperations.

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A Renaissance of a Run: The Firenze Marathon

Venice was already a city of classical art, if not one of even more historical commerce, to run in.

Florence is the peak of all that.

And where the Venice Marathon provides a good reason to visit that city, but starts quite far outside of it, the Florence Marathon (now in its 33rd edition) started right from the heart of it all, and winds its way back and forth from there in several loops…

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Icebug Acceleritas5 Side View, Slightly Used ;)

Accelerating in Icebug’s Acceleritas5 RB9X. Running Shoe Review

Shoes are at least as exciting for the runner as they are for the stereotypical shoe-obsessed woman – if they are exciting.

Icebug’s Acceleritas5 are.

Where the Nike LunarEpic have an obviously different design and near-extreme sole, and where Icebug’s own Mist have their extreme-mesh upper, the Acceleritas do not immediately look special.

Icebug Acceleritas5 Side View, Slightly Used ;)

Icebug Acceleritas5 Side View, Slightly Used ;)

Lift them up, however, and you’ll notice what makes them special at once:
They are extremely lightweight, but their sole has lugs like hardly any other.

Icebug Acceleritas5 Front Lugs

Icebug Acceleritas5 Front Lugs

Step in, and it becomes clear that they do not only feel lightweight, they are also made to be like racing flats.

Flexible and minimalist, the Acceleritas5 fit like a glove (to the point where they do not even have an insole) and work very much like a “barefoot running” shoe.

Icebug Acceleritas5 Inside

Icebug Acceleritas5 Inside

So, yes, for both better and worse, you will feel every rock and stone and root on the track you take.

Taking these shoes for the first part of the Traunsee mountain marathon, thus, was quite a gamble.

There are very many sharp stones there, the “run” is often more of a climb – except when it isn’t – and this was hard on my feet.

Icebug Acceleritas5 during the Bergmarathon

Icebug Acceleritas5 during the Bergmarathon

 

At the same time, the feel for the ground was tremendously good, and that combined with the low weight of the shoes also provided benefits, making me more mindful and nimble, and thus faster.

Fast is also the key word.

With the “tractor tread” lugs on the sole, all made in Icebug’s highly durable and grippy RB9X rubber, the racing flat profile/cut of the Acceleritas5 isn’t the only thing that accelerates, there is also the “safe grip, free mind” of the sole profile and material.

Sure, I stumbled a bit on the loose gravel we have, had to be careful to try not to hit any sharp stones too directly and powerfully, but I felt and indeed was safe and fast. And it was fun.

It’s definitely not the fun of rolling roughshod over anything on your path, the way “maximalist” shoes allow you to.
For working on speed and agility, conscious of technique, however, these are easily the most special and promising shoes I’ve yet had the fun to use.

For tracks and trails, off the roads, not necessarily going the longer distances but dancing nimbly through forest, across meadows and over mountains, the Acceleritas5 are shoes to try.

I have used them a lot this year, have to thank Icebug very much for having provided me with them to try and review, and can’t wait to speed along in the Alps in them again.

In fact, out to present the Ambit3 Peak’s new route altitude profile and GPS comparison tracks between Ambit3 Peak and Spartan Ultra, even though there was some snow already, I still used the Acceleritas5…

In Acceleritas5 in Snow Under the Grosser Sonnstein

In Acceleritas5 in Snow Under the Grosser Sonnstein

When the weather turns yet “worse”, I might finally get a chance to finish trying out and then reviewing the Acceleritas’ BuGrip-spikes-enabled brethren, the Anima3…

Sherpa social media-ized

Outdoors Bloggers, #OutDoorFN 2016

The attention economy, of blogs and (other) social media, of fast fashion and tech, thrives ever more on speed.

The Sped-Up World

Suunto having announced their new Spartan (Ultra and Sport) collection, thus, has everyone wanting to know everything about it already.

This, even though the devices are only coming on the market in August, will need weeks of testing to really get to an informed opinion, given all their focus on training progress over time – and then the Spartan Ultra is due to get major features, including for the same training progress display(s), only in September.

The OutDoor Friedrichshafen only just took place again, and it is one big celebration of novelty that drives attention that drives the market, with the spring/summer 2017 season already in company and trade sights.

Bloggers and (other) social media influencers, of course, are both driven by and driving these trends yet further.

The Not-So-Fed-Up World

Or so, forcing us all into ever-faster news cycles, it all felt while I was caught up in my own ardent desire to put the new Suunto Spartan Ultra through its paces, if only I could get it before I leave for China.

That is only one side of modern geeky and consumer life, however.

Taking a step back to remember that all those new things are there not just to drive sales, but also to help make life a bit more interesting and the outdoors more enjoyable, however, there were great talks to be had.
All the more so as the Friedrichshafen Fair had come around to seeing value in bloggers and worked with the (German) Outdoor Bloggers Network this year, actively bringing them – us – into the fold.

Sherpa social media-ized

Sherpa social media-ized

(Funnily, I still have the problem that my being based in Austria makes most companies’ PR people say that I’ll have to work with the Austrian PR teams – but since I blog and vlog in English, I tend to be of no interest to the PR people who are there to serve the Austrian, German-speaking, market…)

With talks not just with other bloggers but also with sales and PR people of outdoors companies, not just about the new things but also about their experiences and interests, it all got even more enjoyable. Even the new things…

My highlights:

Suunto

Suunto wasn’t really present at the fair, but there were some company representatives to be found, so I managed to wrangle a Spartan Ultra (still only a sales sample) from one of them and finally get it on my wrist.

Suunto Spartan Ultra display Suunto Kailash vs Spartan Ultra Suunto Kailash vs Spartan Ultra side

To me, compared with the Kailash, the fit is great and the display indeed looks promising. Let’s see how it holds up in actual use, whenever I can get to looking at that…

Arc’teryx

Arc’teryx continues to be near-impossible to work with for a small (and not only outdoors) blogger like me, but also to produce innovative and interesting gear, with an attention to detail and function that is very alluring.

Next up in that, an expansion of their footwear into mountain trail running with the Norvan VT shoe, and the return of a Bora backpack with a new “Rotoglide” hipbelt system that promises great things:

Those will be available in men’s and women’s and in standard or Gore-Tex, by the way.

Oh: Their updated everyday/commuter collection is not to be underestimated. Stretch jeans with stylish looks, but also reflector patches that can be folded out or tucked away and a cut and material made for bike commutes, a women’s blazer that closes without a zipper, yet enough to protect against wind and water, and opens to look like a modern take on a standard blazer. – Looks like some of the ideas and approaches of the Veilance line are starting to influence the everyday wear…

Arcteryx commuter clothing

Arcteryx commuter clothing. Yeah, not the official name of the line ;)

Salomon

Salomon will of course expand and update its collection of shoes yet further, e.g. adding an XA Enduro trail running shoe that is like a summer version of the XA Alpine (to be) introduced for winter. It, too, will feature an integrated gaiter, just in a lower and lighter form made for the summer.

For two 360 degree looks at the Salomon booth, check out the two photos on Facebook here and here

Montane

For trail runners, Montane’s VIA series running packs will add a 15 liter model; they still continue with their major models (which I find commendable) but are set to bring out another version of their Minimus jacket in stretch Pertex Shield. Fully waterproof, yet stretchy; I would like to see how well that works and fits…

Outdoor Research

With OR, the major news came in the form of a new jacket with electrospun yarn that is said to be more breathable, yet still waterproof, and with waterproof mid-volume backpacks. Not the worst idea, if rather specialized.

Here, too, I am most happy to see that it’s not all just about new things.

OR Helium II Jackets

OR Helium II Jackets

The Helium II jackets were still being celebrated (rightly so, I’d say), and attention was put on the Active Ice products some of which I have been using since last year and should finally review.

OR Active Ice

OR Active Ice

Strange only, especially in this context, that the Europe team of OR didn’t seem to know anything about a Polartec Delta shirt that is due to come out, which was mentioned in a press release about this new “cooling platform” from Polartec…
Then again, I asked about that material at the Polartec booth, and they knew about it but also didn’t have it with them.

Fjällräven

Not exactly what I typically focus on, given the “anti-travel” writing I sometimes publish, but what interested me most about Fjällräven’s news is that they will be bringing their Fjällräven Classic events to the USA and Hong Kong next.
Hong Kong is exhausting, but just about the most amazing place for hiking and trail running experiences that I know. (And in fact, the last few days of the upcoming trip to China will be spent in Hong Kong.)

Black Yak

After the introduction of Black Yak’s first European winter collection, now Europe also got a look at their first summer offering – and of course, they will continue in style and with what looks to be insanely good quality.

Black Yak booth

Black Yak booth

Black Yak clothing detail

Black Yak clothing detail

I’ll admit, I am also fascinated simply because this is one of the first forays of an Asian company onto the ‘Western’ market, which is very interesting in terms of marketing and access. That said, the looks and details are quite convincing, and I hope to put some of their products through their paces starting later this year.

The North Face

Even TNF is going maximal when it comes to running shoes, and I’m still not convinced by that. Still, more choices here aren’t a bad thing.
Main game in town: We got a sneak preview of the upcoming The North Face Summit Series collection. Nothing we would have been permitted to show, but let’s just say: They really want to relaunch the Summit Series as the top-end, as it was originally intended. And lots of concern are going into not letting this collection be watered down into too many items worn more by hip-hop stars than alpinists this time around.

And lots more…

I could easily go on like this for a while yet, but I’m on the jump to the airport for 3 weeks in China. So, let me just wish you a nice summer, leave you with the few more impressions from the OutDoor Friedrichshafen 2016 above, and promise there’s more to come ;)

Suunto Kailash Review: Adventure Timeline-d [Updated]

Suunto has, for a while already, been right in that area of the sports and outdoors technology market where actual usefulness and luxurious aspiration collide.

Outdoors Aspiration

Use a device like a t6, Quest or Ambit (to reach back into Suunto history a bit) well, and your training will glean better results – but of course, by wearing a Vector or Core or any of the aforementioned models, you also show that you’re an outdoors person, not one for a Rolex. (Although, those have quite some outdoors/explorer pedigree as well…)

With the Kailash, which I had previewed somewhat suspiciously as soon as I had received it from Suunto for reviewing, this sense and symbolizing of adventurousness has become the raison d’être of the watch.

Kailash 7R button

Here, with the introduction also of the 7R concept and the beginning of the “World Collection” (to which the earlier-released Suunto Essential line was added when its models with ceramic bezels came out), Suunto is truly in that lifestyle market where expensive devices with premium materials and with features of, perhaps questionable, usefulness in daily life reside.

I still haven’t gone quite as far and traveled quite as much as I think the Suunto Kailash should be taken, but the watch itself provides feedback on that which has turned me around on it.

Watch Adventure

It is and remains something that looks very much like a tool/toy for a business traveler who wants to feel adventurous by virtue of all the places he’s visited.

If it weren’t for the high price (or maybe even more because of it, if you want to show your success?), this would make it the perfect device for the digital nomads who make constant travel and work on the road their aim, self-advertisement, and lifestyle.

Having had a Kailash for a few months now, however, I find how it looks and what it does more and more interesting.

Suunto Kailash in Florence

So, enough of people and attitudes I find rather strange, and on to what the Kailash does and I have been finding fun and useful:

The 7R Adventure Log

The main feature of the Suunto Kailash, supported by its GPS, is its ability to provide a record of its user’s ‘adventures’.

Suunto Kailash 7R Log: Countries Visiited

Chief among them are travel statistics:

  • number of countries visited and
  • number of cities visited, as well as
  • travel days,
  • total distance traveled,
  • distance farthest from home, and
  • average daily steps.

These are all stored on the watch and visible on displays reached by pushing the 7R button.

The data also get synced to the 7R iOS app where they reside along the “adventure timeline”, a timeline- and map-based view of where you’ve been and when (see below).

What is counted as visited is related to step counts (which are also counted to calculate your “average daily steps” taken during a year): You have to have taken at least 1000 steps in a place for it to be counted as visited.

It must have been quite a discussion how to implement this; 1000 steps is still not many, but who knows if a business traveler taking taxis would necessarily always walk much more? Yet, any fewer would not make sense or any country you fly over or every airport stopover would then be counted for sure.

(And travel days? Like distance traveled, only trips leading farther than 75 km away from the home location are counted. While any distances longer than that count for the total of distance traveled, it must have been a full 24-hour day for it to count as a travel day as well.)

GPS Uses

Of course, something must tell the Kailash where you are or it could never know where you have been.

That something is, not very surprisingly, a GPS chip.

The way that the Suunto Kailash uses its GPS is a rather special one, though. Consequently, thinking of the Kailash as a GPS watch is not the way to go…

Your Urban Location

The lifestyle (rather than outdoors) connection of the Kailash is easily visible right on the first 7R screen.

Here, just as soon as you’ve pushed the (sapphire-glass) 7R button, the Suunto Kailash shows either how far away from the next city in its database you are (or were when it last had a GPS fix) or how long you’ve been in such a city.

So, on tour, there’s at least a bit of a pointer to where you are and pass(ed) by, as we already saw in the photo above, where it shows the stop-over of the train at Firenze S.M. railway station, i.e. Florence, and as you can see in my video taken while I went to Rome for the Rome Marathon:

Again, that data is also being transferred to and shown in the 7R iOS app, where one can scroll through the timeline to get an impression of the when and where of one’s travels.

A GPS fix is taken, or at least attempted, every 10 minutes; of course, the usual caveats surrounding GPS location fixes apply.

For example, they work best when the device is in an open location with a clear view of the sky.

Not exactly the conditions to be expected during each and every fix a Kailash tries, so fewer locations will actually end up being recorded… Some types of train and airplane also appear to be built in such a way that GPS signals are blocked.

This Way is Home

The GPS on the Kailash is, or can be, used as a pointer towards home, or a home away from home, as well.

Home is an important matter, not just as something to make oneself familiar in (need I remind you of the tagline of the site you’re reading? ;) ), but also for the use of the Suunto Kailash.

Travel days are logged in this device only when it can be assumed that they really were travel, and just as 1000 steps are required in a place to count it as having been visited, so a distance greater than 75 km from home must be surpassed, for at least a full 24 hours, for a day to count as a travel day.

(The total distance traveled, meanwhile, only requires getting out of one’s comfort, uhm home, zone of a 75 km radius.)

On the second main screen, the place a user has marked as home (using the watch or the app) is really being pointed to; this screen displays the distance from ‘home’ and the direction it lies.

Suunto Kailash Pointing Home

The way the Kailash is originally set up, this screen points to the actual (Mount) Kailash. Nice touch that.

However, the display here can also, and quickly, be set up to point to a home away from home: Set foot outside your hotel in a new city, go to that screen, push the 7R button, and the GPS goes looking for its location.

Once the GPS fix has been acquired, this location can be stored as a POI (the one POI, in fact, which the Kailash can store in addition to the location defined as home).

When a place has been set like this, the second screen has two views, one towards home and one that helps get back to the POI:

Route tracking this isn’t, but if you’ve ever been in a new city and wondered which way your hotel was again, you should know how this could come in handy.

(This second display can also show the compass, which is rendered as just a compass “needle”, if the Kailash is set up to show that.)

Flashlight Mode

Talking of finding one’s way: Should you find yourself in a hotel room in a blackout, or perhaps one that is nicely darkened and doesn’t easily let you find the light switch, you only have to hold the lower button longer for the Kailash to switch from ordinary backlight to the extra-bright ‘flashlight’ mode.

Suunto Kailash in Flashlight Mode

This function is shared between the Kailash and the Traverse, with that button switching the views of a display when pushed once, activating the backlight when held for around 2 seconds, and turning on the flashlight mode when held even longer.

GPS Power Use

Since an update at the end of 2015, a power mode has also been added to the GPS functions.

Activating this by long-pressing the 7R button sets the Kailash to record a GPS location every second for the first 15 minutes and then every minute (for a maximum of 8 hours or until stopped if battery level falls below 10%, if no GPS signal was received for 30 minutes, or when the user pushes the 7R button again).

It’s still not quite the route record one gets from an Ambit, but it could be used to e.g. make a record of a marathon’s route that is relatively exact, to “replay” in the 7R app.

7R App Screen, in Vatican City

One does get a bit of a travel record anyways… Here, from my visit to the Vatican City while in Rome

(I thought about using the Kailash like that for recording the Rome Marathon, but then still went the more sensible route of using my Ambit3 for that instead.)

The 7R iOS App

All the location data recorded by the Kailash also ends up in the app that accompanies it (on iOS only), which is organized all around the idea of an adventure timeline, continuing the look-feel of the watch (more on which in a sec).

The app mainly shows a map and the timeline at the bottom, automatically starting at the current time and location (though sometimes, when a new sync is ongoing, it seems to go into the future instead of stating that when and where you are now, “Your adventure starts here. What lies ahead”).

7R App What lies ahead

Or maybe, the 7R app just questions “What lies ahead”

You can scroll back from there and see where you’ve been, with the map automatically zooming out/in if you’ve traveled farther during that time or stayed in one place for longer.

For longer durations, you can swipe up on the left side of the app to get to the “days” rather than “hours” display, where you can again scroll left/right through the timeline and see where you’ve been over longer times.

Swipe up again and you get into the summary view, which lists how many countries and cities you’ve been to, how many kilometers (or miles) you’ve traveled on how many travel days, and how far from home has been your farthest distance from it.

7R App Summary View

This latter is basically the same information also given in the 7R logbook on the watch, except that a map is added in the background (which seems to show only the most recent places you’ve been or the ones where you’ve been the longest, unfortunately, not all of them, and is also rather difficult to tap to zoom in – trying to pinch to zoom in/out often ends up just changing the display to the “days” one).

Watch it all in action here:

Your average daily steps are on the watch only, not in the app.

Also, there seems to be no way of seeing exactly which countries/cities you have been to. The map doesn’t show all of them in the summary view, and no list is available.

So, I guess you’re still back to (virtually or actually) putting pins in a map (or sharing the zoomed-in views of the “days” or “hours” display – unless you only care about the numbers, which is what seems to be the case for many a world-traveling adventurer, anyways…

Form and Function

Adventure, the way it is interpreted in the Suunto Kailash, is a rather urban pursuit ranging through space and along time, with the Suunto Kailash as the record keeper.

The notion of a timeline forms the red thread through all that, not just in the app but even on the watch:

Like the hands of a clock on an ordinary watch, so the “timeline” in the midst of the Kailash’s display moves forward with time.

When a notification is received, the time when it was received is marked on that timeline and this marker moves left as its time moves to the past.

Set an alarm, and it is set on the timeline, from where that scrolls back to the current time. As the alarm time approaches, the alarm marker becomes visible again until it becomes the present time and goes off, then moves into the past.

Go into a different time zone, and the watch automatically adjusts for the time zone you are in, then also scrolls from home time to local time (or reverse), as required.

Suunto Kailash Time Zone Update

Set up and look at a “world time”, i.e. the time in another city, and the same scrolling between your current time and that time applies.

Final Thoughts

The Adventure Timeline™ behaviors are all playful things for the watch to do, but also consistent with its concept and somehow delightful a touch.

Add in the functionalities you get, of ‘adventure’ data and a little helpful GPS use, combined with the premium materials and looks, and you have a fascinating lifestyle product for the person who is into traveling – and not in a position where they have to skimp money…

One thing I have found it necessary to be aware of is the battery life.

In ordinary use, the Kailash runs relatively long on a single charge; I’ve typically got something like 5 days out of one charge – but when it needs to be recharged, you better have the cable and a USB plug/charger ready, or you might end up with a watch that only shows a blank screen as the last 10% of charge drop rather quickly.

The cable, coming with its own roll-up box, is nicely enough made (if a bit chunky in look); all of it fitting together into the Kailash transport tin is even nicer – and if you don’t want to bring any of these things, you can actually use an Ambit charging cable all the same.

While on that point: The watch band starts looking slightly worn rather quickly, but it’s far from problematic; the titanium bezel seems nearly indestructible even when it comes to its coloring. I’ve regularly, carelessly, struck the watch bezel against a wall and there’s only the slightest of discoloration/color loss at the very edge of the bezel.

Suunto Kailash Bezel

The Kailash is still not a sports watch for training or even just an outdoors watch to take on hikes (and get the usual sports-watch statistics); don’t fool yourself into thinking that just because it uses GPS.

It is, however, a good-looking piece for a digital watch.

If you travel enough, preferably in a business suit and internationally, and yet don’t want the normal watch everyone has, but rather a timepiece with special looks and special use, there you are…

Update [August 2016]

Not only have I had a Kailash for a while longer now, I have finally been traveling by air to, and around, China with it. So, there is quite a bit more in the statistics.

Thanks to a new firmware update, released August 2016, there is also something new to point to, feature-wise: Since that update, the Suunto Kailash can not only display the number of cities and countries its wearer has visited, but it can also show the lists of those cities and countries:

Now, I find it even more interesting a travel tool/toy – for the well-heeled, still, given its price and feature set. The newly released Suunto Spartan Ultra has a comparative price, though…

Availability

The Suunto Kailash is available only directly from Suunto or in select stores.

Buzzard

The Adventure Race of Reality

Tough Mudder, The Spartan, and so many more – adventure/obstacle course races have been gaining in popularity and become a great market.

Even trail and ultra running often seem not to be enough by and of themselves any longer. No, it must be done everywhere, jetting around the world to experience more exciting places, participate in better-known races – and producing the  side-effects of the everyday ruinous lifestyle.

At the start in Umag

Start of the 100 Miles of Istria – which was at least somewhat local and of reduced impact…

Running alone has apparently become boring, and it goes the way of so many activities in recent times: towards ever greater action and ever more adrenaline.

People keep falling for such highly-regarded races. Such great challenges, so many world-class runners, all the fun obstacles, the stamina it takes to finish – the very real stupidity behind them is quickly overlooked in all the quick excitement.

“Civilized life has altogether grown too tame, and, if it is to be stable, it must provide harmless outlets for the impulses which our remote ancestors satisfied in hunting.” Bertrand Russell

Of course, it is mean to say so. Why not let people have fun the way they want to?
But that constant permissiveness is part and parcel of the attitude we increasingly follow, the attitude that we’ll just do whatever we can, because we can, ever-faster chasing after ever-more of the same, ever-more-exciting and ever-more-promising but ultimately dissatisfying experiences.
Because they are dissatisfying, we just try to increase the dose, like rats in the cage, pushing the lever that gives them stimulation, faster and faster, more and more.

Even as we can hear more and more on how happiness is in the mind, how our attitudes supposedly determine everything, how we just need to stay positive to “attract” whatever we want in our lives, we don’t work on the only thing that can really give happiness: a better handle on our lives in this world, understanding how things are, living well and truly, with engagement and the excitement – and calm – it brings.

No, we create more and mightier fake obstacles to pile excitement onto something that would give us  all we could want from it, if only we learned to experience it as it is.

Being in this world, moving through it with our bodies and observing it with our minds, seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, touching, comparing over time… – it all would give quite enough, if only we learned to be fully here and now rather than let ourselves get drawn into the constant whirring of the machinery that produces ever more fake excitement for senses that are ever-more dulled by this very same machinery.

Buzzard

Having a buzzard fake-attack you, running through ever changing landscapes… Adventure enough, if only it’s seen.

But, it’s a business, it makes money, it spins out great marketing, so it must be just as great as it says, right?

Are you ready for the ultimate challenge? The greatest adventure?

No, if you fall for the constant spin, you clearly are not. Because the ultimate adventure is life itself, purposefully lived and skillfully ‘performed’, without all the fakery.

If you want more excitement/adventure in your life, quit buying into the fake excitements, the virtual adventures, so that you make room again for the real adventure all around you!

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