Traveling is a hobby of mine. Before kids, my husband and I traveled the world at any time. Now we have to wait for school vacations to take off on a new journey, which limits our winter getaways. That’s when I implemented virtual vacations.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ~ St. Augustine
I’ve always felt the need to fill the gap between vacations. Since my family loves foods from around the globe, we immerse ourselves into the culture of a country weekly by eating their foods and listening to their music. For the length of a meal, we can travel to places like Greece, Thailand or Egypt. If we don’t have the music from a previous vacation, we head over to the Princeton Public Library for a CD, or in a pinch use Pandora radio.
Last winter I thought of adding another element to our virtual vacations – video. Thanks to YouTube, we could have a dining experience with a view of anywhere in the world. This winter we started ‘Island Day’ themed lunches or dinners. Sometimes for the entire weekend we’re in a tropical frame of mind. All meals, music, videos, and activities virtually take us to the South Pacific, Hawaii or the Caribbean. We even started wearing resort wear. I’ll also have our Sound Soother set to ‘ocean’ (purchased from the Sharper Image way back) to set the mood for the day. I’ve noticed that Bed Bath & Beyond carries an updated version in case we need to replace ours.
On our previous virtual vacation I prepared coconut risotto made with coconut milk (it was divine), seared sea scallops with a fresh mango relish on top, a side salad, and vanilla ice cream with coconut syrup. This past weekend I made a modified version of fish with Mojo Isleño sauce, yellow rice, plantain chips, and salad for a Latin-Caribbean meal. I only wish I had thought of making flan for dessert.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain
Let your imagination run wild if you decide to take a virtual vacation. Play a foreign film (in the background), add sand to a sandbox indoors with beach chairs by it and sink your feet into the sand, or buy tropical flowers for the scent and scenery. Go to an indoor pool and read a book in their tropical climate, then go for a swim. The best parts are, there’s no traffic to the airport, no security lines, and no delayed or canceled flights!
Our kids love our virtual vacations, and I have to say, it’s really fun and relaxing to have a monthly escape. I highly recommend it, whether it’s in between vacations, or all your budget can afford. We indulge once a month, and switch countries and cuisine every time. Next month we’ll journey off to Jamaica for escovitch fish or jerk chicken, and maybe we’ll visit Tahiti after that. Let me know if you plan a virtual vacation, and where your imagination has led you to.