Alternative Travel!

Part 1

Traveling while sitting on your sofa!

As the challenging coronavirus spreads throughout the world, we hunker down, sheltering-in-place. Very few things bring out our joy, and a positive spirit, as does traveling. There is a time now we can’t travel, and it’s depressing. There may be such times again—for dozens of reasons, normal to catastrophic. Maybe we need to work. Or a country closes its borders. Or a favorite forest, or cathedral burns down. Or, tragically, we experience illness or war.

But, because of the coronavirus, we’ve learned techniques for coping, and we’ll always have those techniques in our psychological arsenal. We may have coped in different ways—connecting more with family and friends, working on new projects, testing priorities, mining for healthy recipes. It’s difficult, nor perfect, but we can develop new and positive attitudes. Through the fire of crisis, we burn off less important things we’ve been doing in our lives, and come through as more focused people. I believe this.

I also believe we can still travel!

Anywhere we want.

For free!

In days past, we could travel by reading a book, watching a movie, using our imagination as we poured over old pictures—our own, or from magazines.

Today, the options are so broad, and so available because of the Internet. Here is part one of a list of ideas for traveling from your sofa!

Mental Escape Pictures–Fractals?!?

All of us could probably find our own ‘escape’ photos, but they may make us think more about ourselves. That might be okay, but could  bring about other unwelcome thoughts. Better to enjoy. I’ve found this article in CNBC’s Global Travelerhighly enlightening and fun. I believe it offers calming photographs, as well as be mindfulness meditations. But I learned, too, about fractals. Cool stuff. The author writes: “The type of images we look at matters. Fractals — a mathematical term for never-ending patterns — have a particularly strong calming effect on the parasympathetic system. Studies indicate that looking at fractals increases alpha brain waves, as well as blood flow, to the para-hippocampus and other areas of the brain that regulate emotions.Fractals are common in nature and can be seen in everything from leaves and snowflakes to lightning bolts, clouds, ferns, cacti and snail shells.” Check it out.

My Favorite State…

My favorite American state might be… Oregon. At least it is today 🙂 as I think of my family sheltering-in-place there. I attended college and graduate school in this beautiful place. I skied (awkwardly), hiked through aspen and pine, watched birds, rafted raging rivers, and became a serious amateur fly-fisherman. (I loved it when I wasn’t catching the leaves of trees behind me.) On two different summers, decades apart, I lived on fire lookout towers in the Eastern Oregon mountains. Seeing a virtual spring-break photographic collection from oregonlive.com really made me happy. The article link is here: Oregon in Spring. Check out these beautiful pictures.

Go with Scott to Tam Ky, Vietnam

Video of personal exploration, Tam Ky, Vietnam, click here.

Modern technology, such as your smart phone or Facebook, self-creates elegant videos of your photographs. I understand you can make them on your own! But, sometimes, what comes through technology can bring pleasure. Click the link in the caption to see a photographic journey to a picturesque artist village in Central Vietnam.

5 Ways To Virtually Explore New Places

My research for this blog came up with another blog similar to mine that I enjoyed—particularly since I was researching my home “town,” Sanibel Island, and this blog popped up. Check out this blog by Katherine Parker-Magyar in Forbes Magazine to see links to Sanibel, Canada, Australia, the Canary Islands, and New Orleans To see my blog about my favorite beach on Sanibel check this out:  Blind Pass Beach.) 

Two Recommended Documentaries

Finally,  I want to encourage you to watch two video documentary series: Planet Earthand Our Planet. Our Planet is the newest series, released in 2019. Both explore this earth and show its magnificence in form and in life. What a beautiful planet God has gifted us! We are so blessed, no matter our current condition. There is hope. A God who created such a planet is worthy. And he gave us a responsibility: he put this earth in our hands. That means a responsibility for today; but it’s also a command that his creation, our home, remains in reality—not only in films—for our children and grandchildren. 

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Scott Douglas Martell is a writer, teacher and coach. His most recent novel is The Hyena Man, an African romantic suspense. His blogs often focus on Ethiopia and Vietnam, world traveling, and counseling for a more joyful life, with topics such as brain health and spiritual awareness.

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Listening Ear, Encourager and Joy Coach

I’ll begin coaching in 2020, however please feel free to contact me anytime by email. We may Skype if you choose. The plan for coaching will be short-term, solution-focused. We’ll work together to reduce stress, depression, anxiety as well as concentrate on goals and changing habits. The goal: a more productive and joyous future!