Introducing the deluxe, full-senses virtual vacation
By Victoria Leo
It’s summer! Time to travel! Are you planning to travel this summer? I am. I have been traveling in complete comfort and safety for the last two and a half years, and I plan to continue this peripatetic life all summer. In the past two months, I have been all over Eastern Europe, I have climbed in the Alps, I have snorkeled and sunned all over the South Pacific, from one sun-kissed island to another. And cost? Nary a cent. How can I be so sure that, even though I am at extreme risk if I catch COVID-19, I will be completely safe as I continue this joyous lifestyle?
Introducing the deluxe, full-senses virtual vacation (VV)!
Done right, a VV can leave you as relaxed and renewed as an in-person vacation, without delays, cancellations, or security checks! This matters for inner peace. For all the value of breathwork and the mobilization of existing inner resources through meditation, mindfulness, and prayer, there is also powerful value in creating a huge influx of joyous energy. When we can perform a “deep cleanse” of the residue of worries and concerns through a joyful vacation, what a boost to our inner peace! So let’s go!
- Decide whether you are going to do an immersive one-day or weekend vacation or whether you will allocate two hours/day for a week or more. You need a significant block of non-interrruptable time in order to get the benefit. Ten-minute chunks are fun and helpful, but are not a VV. Commit to time blocks. If you are afraid of a week, try a two-day, two-hours-per-day commitment.
- Match your goal to the time plan. New Zealand is enormous and spectacular (don’t rush!), so scale it into areas. Greenland can be done in two hours.
- The more you surround yourself with the sights, sounds, food, smells, etc., the deeper the vacation will sink into your subconscious mind. When we went to Lanai and Molokai, I put on plumeria perfume, we wore beach attire, we ate Hawaiian-inspired dinners, we spoke our four words of Hawaiian, wore plastic leis, etc. For two hours a day for a week.
- Start with printed tour books if you possibly can, or get an e-book from the library (jcls.org). Read the plans they propose for three-day to 10-day trips. That gives you search terms when you go to create your VV! It also eases you into the mind-space of the place you are going to visit. The Lonely Planet site has some of my faves.
- You can plan in detail. Make lists of all the places you want to visit. Or wing it with a shorter list or no list at all. (Take notes of ideas as you start traveling ….)
Ready? OK. Go to YouTube and look for overview videos of your destination: from commercial operators, tourism bureaus, or individuals with a rep for good jobs. Starting with an overview helps to ground you in the big picture. There are also videos listed as “Virtual Vacation.”
Take notes during the overview so that you have search terms for getting into details. Explore individual videos on YouTube. Stop a vid if you’re not liking the way they present: Some 20-somethings do nothing but eat and extreme sports or use language that you don’t like or put too many “awesomes” in one sentence. Move on. There’s plenty more!
Victoria Leo started a new science fiction series in 2020 and will provide you with five free chapters of the first book in the series if you email her at Victoria.firstname.lastname@example.org. She spends part of every week having fantastic vacation experiences.
Send 600- to 700-word articles on all aspects of inner peace to Richard Carey (email@example.com).