Black Friday – Cyber Monday and your well being

End of a year means festive season, celebration and… buying presents.

Shops are opened 7 days a week and nowadays it is possible to browse 24/7, thanks to technology at our fingertips.

Black Friday has become a hectic time for shoppers, retailers and delivery drivers. It is like a craze to get that something special everyone is after and once back home no one is really satisfied with their newly bought items. It is a bit like a compulsive buying day, which creates more stress and tension between people who are ready to physically fight to get their hands on a particular product.

A Christmas present doesn’t need to be huge and expensive. We are not going to explain the “less is more” again!

People are way too materialistic. It is as if getting a parcel to open was mandatory. But who said so?

For the time being and despite the availability of e-vouchers – which can be a safe buy – family members seem to be obsessed by rushing to High Street stores in order to bring back something from a well known brand! After all it is just a name on a product, but it doesn’t mean to be better than a generic and non-branded gift.

No need to mention, that the price tag won’t be attached to the box.

At a radio programme, it was even reported than Kindle owners are now leaving their devices to go back to real books, as they are missing that unique contact with the paper, which brings a sense of ownership.

Now, 30th November 2015 it is all about Cyber Monday and everything can stop!

Cyber Monday Keyboard

Shop til you drop? Why and what for? We mustn’t forget the mighty Boxing Day where people will queue outside shops from 5am to get THAT bargain. It is as if there must be an opulence of gifts and food… as well as waste. Because who can eat and drink that much?!

One day or another, people may realize that all this marketing machine made them purchase things they didn’t really need or want but it was so cheap!

My neighbour recalls the following situation:

“A few years back I spent hours looking for a present for my niece. Eventually, I found a book all in Japanese – as this is what she was studying/learning. It looked very unique and special. But, when my sister decided to reveal her daughter’s present, that book what worth nothing… a new laptop was unwrapped and my poor book was never looked at again…”

It is maybe important and essential to go back to real values and enjoy basic things in life.

A few years back students wanted to take a year off to travel the world but mainly to explore and discover Thailand and Australia. What about their own country? More affordable, not that far and still so many things to discover!

Holidays can be close from home and nevertheless a real adventure. What we need as the song said: “the sky, the sun and the sea“.

Of course, there is also the fashion factor; it is maybe not perceived as trendy and cool to go to a nearby holiday park?! But without a doubt staycations are the thing of the 21st century. A real change of directions and the demand is growing!

“…The number of foreign trips Britons take is 16pc lower than it was before the recession, according to data from Visit England, the country’s national tourist board, while holidays in England jumped by 12pc between 2008 and 2013.

Short trips are the fastest growing area of domestic vacations, with 29.6m one- to three-day holidays taken in England in 2013, a 17pc increase on 2008…” – Source

What counts is not what others are doing but what you want to do. Life can be simple – don’t make it difficult.

Life simple and complicated

In a world of tech – here is @SlowAdventureCo

We can almost say that majority of us are connected 24/7/365.

Technology has changed our lives.

Tablet and Smartphone daily usage infographic

Tablet and Smartphone daily usage infographic

In the past, having a computer was something special and very rare. Now, if you don’t have a desktop/laptop you are the odd one.

Same goes with a mobile device whether smartphone or tablet. It is as if, all those products are indispensable accessories, such as an umbrella or our house keys. It is always there in our bags/pockets.

Thankfully, sometimes there are no signal and this is like the end of the world for some because connected with others and sharing each move from what they have purchased to who they are going to meet and where.

Social media has clearly taken over our social lives.

A few years back, people would go on holiday – abroad for some – on a high adrenaline trail such as coasteering, rafting, climbing and bungee jumping. Having instagram, facebook or twitter was totally not the priority of their daily routines.

The word adventure is something which sounds powerful. It also means escape and thrill – away from our stressful jobs.

However, not everyone is after jumping from a bridge or cliff to get that high excitement which will make them face their fears and go over their limits.

There are alternative ways to have fun and enjoy the outdoors. Just imagine a few hours or a couple of days in the wild with a survival kit and mainly…. no digital devices.

Enjoying and embracing nature seems to have been forgotten. Maybe bird watchers and other walkers are the only ones still connected with nature?

Children have completely lost interest for a day out in the woods or on the Moors. THIS is real adventure! Forget online gaming. A bit of fresh air… is what we all need sometimes.

Thankfully, some couples have decided to go away with children and family pet(s). Having a dog even in a city is on the rise. Read full article HERE.

In Cornwall, there is a dog friendly hotel where “muddy four-legged guests” get a free shower after their walks.

Having one or many pets is a choice and a lifestyle as well.

Our lives are fast… too fast. People are struggling to complete various tasks despite having automated equipment such as microwave ovens, dishwashers or washing machines.

Slow food stalls, markets and pop-ups are getting more popular – buyers are ready to wait patiently, which is rare, to get something freshly crafted for them.

Adventure can also take a slower path – Slow Adventure Company is all about this.

Slow Adventure Company

Slow Adventure Company

Society: when past items become present

There is this popular saying “what goes around, comes around“.

When things go too modern and high tech, people like to reverse to something slightly old fashioned.

As an example, iPhones in general, will have vintage looking cases; either made of used/recycled leather or will feature an image of an old SLR and even a cassette tape on the back of it. The latter is not in used anymore and most teenagers have actually never had one in their hands. It is almost a paradox as they love to have things they never touched or owned.

This kind of attraction works in several categories.

During a recent stay in Devon, it appeared that a lot of things are actually happening “underground“.

By using this term, it means that some events are almost secret unless you know some people who know some people. It is almost like a treasure hunt where you can be right in the middle of an exquisite community, you never thought it could exist. And it is not in the deep countryside but right in the middle of the city!

You may have to forget all your connected devices to step back in time for a day (or a few hours).

Velo Vintage is a popular meetup where people dress up – usually wearing tweed and other vintage clothing and accessories. But what is essential is to have a bicycle, ideally from the 1940s – 1950s! This is what happened in Exeter just over a week ago on 26th September 2015.

Velo Vintage Exeter with Seb Cope - By Andrew Butler

Velo Vintage Exeter with Seb Cope – By Andrew Butler

This was the 9th Velo Vintage Occasion and Ride.

The coincidence was that on the same day TLB Revival took place. In this particular case, it was the second edition of it.

Vintage classic car at TLB Revival Exeter - By Andrew Butler

Vintage classic car at TLB Revival Exeter – By Andrew Butler

TLB Revival could almost be the brother of Velo Vintage. The only difference being that one is all about cycles and the other is related to petrol heads – as the organiser defines this classic cars and motorbikes revival gathering.

Velo Vintage and TLB Revival Exeter - Facebook gallery

Velo Vintage and TLB Revival Exeter – Facebook gallery

There was a bit of entertainment too with music (selected to match the mood of this rather unique day out) as well as local traders offering quality food, drinks and coffee.

Barnfield Crescent is a private property but visitors were welcome to have a look and maybe discover something from the past. It is simply by browsing online that the “what’s on” section of The Exeter Daily caught our attention.

However, despite of being a lifestyle to like what is from the past, something futuristic was spotted by the photographer.

Vintage and technology in Barnfield Crescent Exeter - By Andrew Butler

Vintage and technology in Barnfield Crescent Exeter – By Andrew Butler