Forget Segways, Electric Skateboards Are The New Way To Explore

Too cool for a Segway tour? No need to worry, battery-powered skateboards will soon be on the market thanks to a new company called Boosted Boards.

Less bulky than bikes, these boards have the potential to change the way people explore cities. They can be carried anywhere – including on airplanes – allowing people to stop and go as they please (and easily hop off to bypass obstacles like stairs). A handheld remote control allows the rider to control the speed and brakes, so all the rider has to do is worry about balancing and avoiding barriers.

The battery lasts for about six miles, and when its time to recharge, the board just needs to be plugged into a normal wall outlet for 15 minutes (at that rate, it means about a dollar of electricity can power one of these skateboards for more than 600 miles). And if you’re worried about oomph, consider this: the boards have so much gusto they can climb up the hills of San Francisco at 20 mph.

More than 1,100 people got behind the boards on Kickstarter, where inventors reeled in more than four times the money they needed to launch. Boosted Boards is now accepting pre-orders for the new mode of transport, which the company plans to deliver in winter 2013.

[via Mashable and TED talks]

VIDEO: TEDx Talk On Travel Writing And Global Change

“Travel writers are obligated to meet people, to ask questions, to pay attention,” writer, editor and Gadling contributor Lavinia Spalding told the audience at TEDxParkCity earlier this year. “With that comes a heightened sense of awareness and observation, and some great rewards. On top of a great story, you gain a much richer experience.”

Her talk, titled “Travel Writing and Global Change,” explored the use of travel writing as a tool for sharing stories and inspiring action. And you don’t necessarily need to be a travel writer by trade to take part, she says. “It’s never been easier to write down our stories and find people to read them,” Spalding says. “I strongly believe that everyone here can write a story that makes someone care.”

Spalding issued a challenge to the audience, which we now issue to you. The next time you go somewhere, bring a journal, write a story about someone you meet and share it, whether it’s in an email to friends, in a contest at your local newspaper or even just on Facebook. Who knows? It might just spark a movement.

“There are seven billion people in the world and each one has a story,” Spalding concluded her talk. “I hope that the next time you travel you’ll listen to one, and then I hope you’ll tell it.”

Video of the day: How to achieve your one travel dream

“What is your one travel dream above all other travel dreams?”

This is the opening question from Gadling friend Andrew Evans, who was recently invited to the TEDxDanubia conference in Budapest to present a talk on pursuing your travel dreams. Andrew’s one travel dream was to see Antarctica and he details how he managed to get there by planning less, trusting more, and always traveling with a sense of wonder.

If you are in need of a push to go after your travel goals, spend 15 minutes listening to Andrew’s incredibly inspirational talk. I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.

What its like to survive a plane crash – 3 things one passenger learned about life

Have you ever wondered what its like to be in a crashing airplane? The thoughts that would go through your head? While many of us have no doubt experienced troubling turbulence, sitting in your seat as the engines fail and the aircraft careens towards the earth is probably every traveler’s worst nightmare.

In 2009, Us Airways flight 1549 experienced loss of both engines due to a collision with a flock of Canada geese. The crew had to make an emergency landing on the Hudson river. The story was covered extensively, and the heroics and decision making of the crew saved every life on board. Captain Sullenberger and the crew even received the keys to New York City.

This video from TED shows one passenger’s account of the horrifying ordeal that took place in 2009. Narrator Ric Elias was seated in the first row of the flight. In this video, he candidly shares his thought process during the crash and how this moment of terror actually transformed into a gift. He talks about the three things he learned and what it is like to confront death in a plummeting airplane.Link to TED