Unconventional ideas cover of a sign saying "I tried to be normal once. Worst two minutes of my life."

Try These at Home (…Maybe)

The following unconventional ideas and extraordinary things aren’t for everyone. If they were, they’d no longer be unconventional.

But maybe one or two might work for you.

You never know until you try….

More to Come!

Stimulate your curiosity with a new unconventional idea and extraordinary thing every month from the Unconventional Monthly.

Unconventional Ideas

Kim and Chris together peeing in an outhouse in northern Canada.
Take a seat guys and join the ladies. Pee sitting down.

Put an End to the Toilet Seat Debate for Good

The secret to ending the toilet seat up versus down debate is simple: never put the toilet seat up in the first place.

And, guys, we don’t mean you should take the risk of peeing all over the seat.

We mean that men should pee sitting down at home.

It took me 30 years to become a sitter, and now, for many reasons, I’m not turning back.

Flags of the Esperanto language, one of the unconventional ideas we've suggested in our Unconventional Monthly.
Should we all learn the language behind this flag? [Photo credit: Ziko, CC BY-SA 3.0via Wikimedia Commons]

Become “Good at Languages” By Starting with the Gateway Language

Learn Esperanto.

Studies find that students who studied Esperanto before taking on another “real” language learned that “real” language 25-to-50% faster than their counterparts who studied the “real” language from the start.

And the fact that likely less than a million people speak it, and only a couple hundred as their mother tongue, has its benefits. Learning Esperanto gains you entry into a tight-knit global community of like-minded people.

For more, listen to Freakonomics’ “Why Learn Esperanto?” (31 min) or 99 Invisible’s “A Designed Language” (6 min).

Close up of Austin tasting aguardiente with disgusted Caroline in background
Are you sure you know your true preferences or have marketers and society brainwashed you?

Un-Brainwash Yourself (and Have Fun With Friends)

Organize blind taste test parties.

You can blind taste test anything. We’ve taste-tested croissants, Bolognese sauce, California roll sushi, pizza, gelatoColombian cheese, coffee, rum, aguardiente, coffee, and various types of beer and wine.

We always make surprising discoveries about our taste preferences that change what we buy at the supermarket or order at restaurants from then on.

Plus, it’s a great way to be social. People are always extra excited to attend taste tests and they create easy and fun conversation.

Alexander Technique review cover image of Chris lying on the ground as instructed by his teacher.
Chris doing his intense Alexander Technique homework.

Meditate for Your Body

Try the Alexander Technique.

Like mindfulness does for your mind, the Alexander Technique reduces stress, clears up pain, and improves effectiveness for your body. It’s body-fulness!

The Alexander Technique is popular among actors, dancers, and musicians—even megastars like Paul McCartney and Hugh Jackman have used it—but there’s no reason us non-performers can’t use it to improve our performance.

Maybe it has the potential to go mainstream, just like mindfulness has.

Check out our newly-published Alexander Technique review, where Chris shares his experience from ten private sessions, to judge for yourself.

Chris and Kim living the high life at a Cape Town winery

Find the Perfect Engagement Ring (and Save Some Money)

Do you truly an engagement ring? Does the guy need a ring too?

Does it have to have a diamond?

How much money do we have to waste ahem, spend, on the thing? 

When Kim and I got engaged, we brainstormed, debated, questioned, researched, and compromised until coming up with an unconventional bottom-up approach to picking the perfect engagement ring

And we’re pretty happy with the results. It even has a “blind taste test”! 

Here’s the story, the 6 steps we took, and the solution we came up with: Rethinking How to Find the Perfect Engagement Ring.

Extraordinary Things

One of the 36 questions that can create a bond between you and anybody in no time.

36 Questions, 45 Minutes, 1 New Intimate Friend

Go through these 36 questions with somebody.

According to The Power of Moments, strangers who’ve gone through these scientifically-devised and increasingly-intense questions rate their level of intimacy as high as that of best friends or family members.

Kim and I went through them on a date night and… we had to split it into two nights because it sparked so much conversation. 

Extension cord plugged into computer
Thanks to my extension cord, I can plug my electronics in anywhere, like at this rooftop BBQ stand-up desk in Medellin.

The Packing List Item that Keeps You Plugged In

Sometimes instead of fancy new inventions, the best discoveries are basic things put to better use. Learning it’s better to peel a banana like a monkey, for instance.

Or, making your travels just that much better by packing something you probably have lying around at home already:

An extension cord.

It always ends up coming in handy:

  • At airports and Airbnbs with inconveniently-located plugs
  • In countries with different types of plugs because it turns one outlet into three
  • Even as a rope or clothes hanger when push comes to shove.

There’s not much of a better investment than the $6 spent on a 12-footer from your nearest hardware store or Amazon.

(For more packing tips, see Chris’ go-to, ever-evolving 57-item list)

Google Maps Saved Places cover image of a funny guy having a great time on his phone
We just told this guy on the bus how to unleash Google Maps Saved Places.

A Google Maps Functionality that Nobody Uses to its Full Potential

Unleash Google Maps Saved Places.

If you use Google Maps and you aren’t a heavy user of the Saved Places functionality, you’re missing out. 

Seriously. Every time we show our friends how we use it to keep track of locations worth remembering, they say, “Cool. I didn’t know you could do that.”

That’s partly because Google Maps just released a key new feature a couple of weeks ago—the ability to add detailed notes to each saved place. 

To start using Google Maps to its full potential, see our easy guide to How to Unleash Google Maps Saved Places.

Live Outside the Box

We at the Unconventional Route believe that to live an extraordinary life you have to question the status quo, be curious, and be authentic.

If none of the above unconventional ideas interest you, that’s fine. But we hope something nudged you towards coming up with your own and living outside the box.

And there’s more to come!

Stimulate your curiosity with a new unconventional idea and extraordinary thing every month by signing up for our Unconventional Monthly:

Live Outside the Box

Get inspired to live outside the box and spark your curiosity by signing up for one unconventional idea a month in The Unconventional Monthly.


Disclosure: Whenever possible, we use special links that earn us a cut if you pay for stuff we'd recommend anyway. It costs you nothing, so we’d be crazy not to.

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