Learning To See Again
As a long-time traveler, the early days of quarantine and social parameters changing gave me something I did not expect.
Many of us have experienced the social change in the world, dreaming of the day when we can once again emerge from our cocoons, see other people, and for some of us, travel the world again.
Briefly, there have been moments of that for some. For others, like myself, that day did not come so much as we hoped for. Something else happened. Something that helped me see things with a different perspective – to learn to see again.
For myself and others, health, either physical, mental, or both were affected greatly by this.
The weeks and months that developed into things like lethargy, negligence in health, loss of drive, anxiety, depression, isolation as a whole had created new ailments that many of us were unprepared for. Then, that “something else” that I mentioned occurred most strangely.
I had been experiencing great fatigue and anxiety among other things. A yearly check-up with my primary physician opened up a dialogue to some of these experiences. My doctor had asked me after a laundry list of other suggestions if I had ever heard of virtual walking videos.
I had not.
So he proceeded to show me via YouTube how even he had taken to virtual jogging in the morning as gyms and meeting up with others for health and outdoor enjoyment had shifted.
He explained that after a couple of months of ritual that involved watching and virtually joining in with the walking or jogging tours, he not only experienced traveling the world visually but gained a euphoric sense of wonder and calm as well.
Exploring the World for Health and Healing
There have been various YouTube channels over the years where you could join someone walking through an amusement park or along a beach somewhere.
I had seen such things in passing but never paid any mind. Now there are hundreds if not thousands of people that have created these channels where one could practically do and go anywhere virtually if they are not physically able to or for pure virtual enjoyment.
I found myself stepping away from the scrolling hours of social media, taking a few weeks to have an indoor jog or walk around the backyard while I enjoyed being taken to a national park in New Zealand, or a botanical garden in Kyoto Japan, or visiting the city center of a country I have never or may never go to.
My anxiety and isolation was being transformed a few moments a day by the most unexpected experience. I not only was exercising more again but also find a sense of calm and wonder as well.
First Stop… British Columbia Canada
One of my first virtual experiences involved an exploration into the beauty of the west coast of Canada. When the weather was too bad to bike or be outside, I found myself virtually jogging or hiking in the comfort of my home with a laptop emitting the sounds of footsteps and nature as if I were actually there. It was initially an exploration into expanding my health but became far more curious and relaxing.
Return To Places Past
Another time I found my morning routine taking me to a beautiful walk through a rainy autumn day in Central Park New York. It is something I had done before but not like this. The calm, the sounds, the cool air seemed just as real as if I were there again. A solitary stroll became a medatative reflection to the past and ended up appreciating the memory even more.
Finding Calm in Far Away Places
Recently I have found time away from the stresses of life, isolation, anxiety, and found inspiration, hope, and a great sense of calm by taking time away from television and social media to instead visit a breathtaking garden walk in Kyoto Japan.
This particular journey to different locations around Japan has become a personal favorite when I need to find balance, escape a bit of anxiety and just focus on myself as I virtually venture into unknown places.
Where Would You Like to Be In This Moment?
I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day, put some headphones on or sit in a quiet place and venture out to explore the entire world. Many of us may find difficulty in social or travel anxiety or may no longer be physically or emotionally in a place to do many things we may once have done or wished to do.
Being able to utilize other forms of exploration so we may find a sense of calm or call to our sense of adventure or even revisit the past pre-pandemic are all very crucial and revitalizing needs for us all.
This doesn’t have to stop the exploration. The world is opening up to so many alternatives to give people hope and happiness in these ever-changing times.
So let’s try a little something different. Take a lens into the world you have only seen in movies or imagined and experience it yourself.
Check out some more favorite virtual exploration and meditative resources below. Enjoy!