Pirate crew looking for work on a ship to South America

Are you planning to sail to South America, Cape Verde or the Caribbees and could you use a crew to help you out? Don’t search any longer, your pirate crew is found!

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These are Dani & Ivan, now in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, searching for a boat to cross the Atlantic. These two good friends are bringing the most positive vibe to the hostel they are in right now, so actually we don’t want to see them leave. But surely they want to. The want to go to Colombia. I’ve asked them why Colombia. “Well, we’ve never been there, so that’s reason enough to go there.” Right on, guys!

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Dani’s low voice (like Tom Waits woke up after a night of cigars and whiskey) and singing skills will scare away the sharks while Ivan’s active mentality and positive energy will keep the wind in the sails.

So do you know somebody searching for crew, sailing the Atlantic and in need op help or just going a short piece of that way? Or are you planning to cross the Atlantic in the very near future? Hit me up and contact me through my Facebook page. You’ll be happy to have the animated duo as part of your crew!

Please share this post anywhere you like; on your facebook page, on Reddit, through an email chain or call your uncle and tell him. It’s good to talk to your uncle again. Especially when he is a pirate planning to cross the Atlantic!

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Cowboy Beans; the perfect one-pot-adventure-dish.

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Food is always a bit of a thing while being on the road. Should you carry dried fruits or a jar of beans? Pre-packed adventure meals or do you make your own little brew? I mosty make my own brew. While cycling trough the mountainous desert of Gran Canaria I made a cheap and hearty meal I’d like to call: “Cowboy Beans”.

Cowboy Beans just has a couple of ingredients;

– Beans (of course)
– A can of sardines
– A piece of red onion
– Two cloves of garlic
– One tomato
– One stock cube
– One chili

First of all, don’t wash your hands; you don’t want to single out all that sweet taste that your hands gathered during the day. Now cut the cloves and piece of red onion in little pieces, as well as the chili. Bake them with the oil from the sardines. A couple of minutes into baking, throw the chili in. With or without seeds, to make it spicey or cowboyspicey. When the onions are almost glassy, throw the sardines in and stir it up. Add water, just a little splash is enough. Now add the beans and the stock cube and let it simmer for some minutes. While simmering, cut the tomato in small pieces and throw this in, in the end. Now your cowboy meal is ready! Don’t forget the meal needs some sand to scrub your stomach. Best is desertsand, but sand from socks also works.

After this meal you will feel warm and there might be a slight tingle in your stomach. That’s your inner cowboy trying to come out!

How a digital detox is the perfect excuse for any adventure

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I feel a change coming; time to live without time. During this week I would be handed down to the sun and the moon. First thing my brain said was: NOOO!! You need to know the time man, in case of closing stores or the sun going down. But do I really need to know what time it is to see the golden hour of sunset? And the shops; if they are closed, they are closed. I have no clue where the shops are and what their opening times are. My brain just needs to get accustomed to this way of living. I switched off my phone, changed the time on my Ipod and changed the situation in my brain. Time for an eight day digital detox.

Eight days without phone, clock and GPS. A paper map, sun, stars and Sarah Conor; my new bought bike with just 6 gears. The round and volcanic island of Gran Canaria is not a new place for me, still it’s a place with beautiful mountains waiting to be explored. By 6-gear-citybike in this case. The perfect combination to get away from the digital highway, paved through our lives where we spend to much time during traffic jams.

A digital detox comes best with intense physical movement. Sweating and releasing all those digital toxins, dripping down while cycling up a pass in first gear. The sun was hot this 5th day, like it was every previous day. After a long day of cycling up hills I decided to sleep on Tasartico Beach; a little beach with black sand, found only after going down a small road. The road might have been small, but it was a steep decent. With 40 km/h I went down to the beach and after a noisey, clear night breakfast hit me right in the face. Sunrise brought the heat of the day upon the black, sandy beach and with this the realisation of “just cycling back where I came from”. 10 kilometers of ascent to get where I was 12 hours earlier. After an hour cycling upwards I got into the zone; my mind was flowing like drops of sweat rolling from my back. This was the 6th day without knowing the time and being offline, together withintense fysical action this brought me a clear mind. Stripped from all the digital clutter by not knowing and caring about the digital world.

My evening routines became more personal. Normally I would check facebook or be social trough whatsapp. Now when I came to my hide-out for the night I would just sit and see the blanket of darkness falling over the world, waiting for the first starts to come out. I made dinner in fresh darkness and after my simple, one pot meal, I would take some nightly picutres, read and go to sleep. I needed to get used to this routine. By being social (on a digital or fysical way) I direct my energy outwards. But by doing these things in darkness all by myself, things get a different direction; inwards. Like a sponge my mind gathers the enviroment; thewind blowing trough the tree tops, a shooting star or an airplaine going by, sounds of crickets, birds or a lizard running trough the loose sand. While cycling all the gathered quiet moments come out, the bicycle transforming these moments into ideas and solutions.

Living without a clock for eight days was a relief. No such things as dinnertime, bedtime or setting an alarmclock. Shops wouldn’t close before nightfall and by that time I would already be in my evening routine. I did miss being social on digital platforms while cycling. It can be nice to be in contact with friends or family and share experiences. Once in a while I was wondering if I would have messages from certain people, it was good to be back online and see messages people sent me. The obsessive checking of messages is something I didn’t miss. Now I broke this habit, it’s easier to not start with it again.

In the end I just wanted to have a little adventure and explore Gran Canaria. Sleeping under a blanket of stars, cycling up steep roads, cooking Cowboy Beans and not knowing where I would end up in the evening. Eight days of continuous cycling did some good for my mind and body and I think I made some nice pictures as well. A digital detox is good every now and then. Leave the traffic jam of the digital highway behind and find your own highway. Hit the road, trail or river; turn off the phone and really get out there. And of course a digital detox is a great excuse to jump into an adventure!

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Tired of a constant stream of digital media? Some tips for a digital detox!

I see lots of people walking around with their smartphone in their hands. Ready to take that call, or to answer that whatsapp message. I know people who would drive 20 minutes back home if they would forget that little machine. I’m glad I’m not one of those people, but I do react on every message I get within 10 minutes and spend more time on Facebook then I would actually like to. Sounds familiar?

After waking up, the first thing I do is turn on my laptop, check my mail and Facebook. While doing this I turn on my phone and see if there are any messages. If so I react on them and the first 15 minutes of the morning I do some Facebook stuff. Whatever that may be. Actually I don’t really like this. I think it’s way nicer to start the day with an article, or reading a good story.

During the day I check my Facebook multiple times as well as my whatsapp. And when I really need to message somebody on Facebook for something important I forget to do that because I’m constantly scrolling my timeline; my concentration span starts to break. I notice it when I watch a film. During the film I check my Facebook or phone. It’s not that the movie is boring, I just feel the urge to check this all of a sudden. I see it with my roommates and other friends as well. Many people obsessively check their phones, this is not the way how a human should act, almost like slaves to our electronics. This might sound quite harsh, but I’ve heard phones whistling to their owners to pick them up. So lets break away from this nasty habit and take our concentration back!

While writing this I’m on my way to Gran Canaria to spend the winter working in a hostel and organizing workshops there. The first day on the island I will get a bicycle and cycle the island for a whole week, in search of the most beautiful places there. I will bring my phone in case of emergency, but I will not use it. I will not check my Facebook, whatsapp or even the time. I’ll have it turned off for the whole week. It’s just for a week, but during this week I will try to get my concentration span back. Next to this, I wonder how more calm I would get. No emails that needs to answered, no phone calls, no group whatsapps with funny pictures. Will I get more creative or will I search more contact with the locals? Normally I share my experiences with my Facebook, blog and whatsapp friends.

I create a place and time for myself to have a digital detox. It might be harder when you’re working or so let me give you some tips ’n tricks for your own digital detox, no matter how long it might be.

– Time: take some time off. It might be a weekend, or just a day. It could also be a week. Write down in your agenda you’re going to have a digital detox. This week(end) or day you’re not digitally available. So plan Skype conversations a couple of days earlier or later. People can come round, in stead of calling you.

– Space: You need a place to go. Find a campsite, bothy, wooden shack or cabin in the woods. even just camping for a night will do the trick. The sounds of birds and the nature will help you to be more calm and relaxed

– Surrounding: Tell your surrounding you’re going to leave and will not be available trough electronic contacts. It’s easy to make an automated email reply. This way the people who contact you, know you’re not there.

– Move: Get on the move! Hike, bike or catch a pike! Go somewhere challenging; climb a small mountain, walk a trail, go fishing or get a canoe and paddle a river. Being in motion is the best way to cure everything. As well as to digital-declutter.

– Go! This is the best part; you’ve set the date, told everybody, got something to do. Take your pack and leave for some time, but don’t forget to turn your phone off!

Cycling trough the mountains of Gran Canaria might just be a bit of fun, but maybe it changes something in me. Maybe I will find back a way I used to live, before I got Facebook and a smartphone. Maybe not. At least it’s a start of a positive road to go.

You can follow me during my digital detox journey on my Facebook page, here.

Just kidding, you can’t 😛