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First, I would like to introduce you to the concept of the Mind Palace. Not to be mistaken by Sherlock Holme’s Memory Palace. A memory palace is something anyone can develop and use as a memory recall strategy. It is not, however, in reality as intricate as portrayed by Mr. Holme’s, yet, with some practice, some people can become experts using this strategy. I have developed a concept called the Mind Palace for travel. I say I developed it, because I’ve not read about it anywhere else. So if this takes off, you heard it here first!
Our current times call for creativity. As we are in the midst of a global pandemic with multiple travel restrictions and countries borders closed to foreigners, we need to redefine how we travel. This being a site mostly dedicated to travel, I, too, have to become creative. Some day in our near future, we will be back to life as we knew it, planning parties and vacations. But, until then, let’s do something uniquely different. The best part about Mind Palace travel, is it’s FREE! The worst part is, if you lack any sense of humor, having an open mind or being creative, you will most likely fail miserably at this. Without further ado, let’s walk through how to get started.
Pick your place
Choose anywhere in the world you want to go. Perhaps it’s a place you’ve been before, or a place on your bucket list. To start, I’m going to choose Venice. I was there several years ago and it was amazingly beautiful! Some day I would love to return and stay even longer and be immersed in their culture. We all have places we’ve either already been or would love to go. Now is the time to make that decision.
Details, details, details
Before you can start visualizing yourself on a vacation of a lifetime in your Mind Palace, you need to think about as many details as possible. When I think of Venice, I think of the slender sidewalks and close contacts of the people. No social isolation even possible on those walkways. I think back to the beautiful stores selling jewelry, masks, Venetian cultural wears, beautiful clothing and restaurants every so many feet. One of the days we were there it was raining, and using umbrellas on those tiny sidewalks was certainly a challenge for a newbie. I remember as we were lost trying to find St. Mark’s Square, we passed the same eatery called “Marco Polo” at least 3 times. Each time we passed, we couldn’t help but laugh. Because you know…Marco! Polo!
Sites, sounds, smells
As you collect as many details as possible in your mind, don’t only be visual, but listen. Is there traffic? Are you on a beach with the ocean waves lapping onto the shore? Can you feel the ocean breeze and smell the ocean air? Is it a little fishy today? As you walk along the coastline, can you feel the cool water splash over your feet as you slightly sink into the saturated sand? OUCH! I just stepped on a broken sea shell. Hate when that happens. I need to replay that scene, this time, no rocks or shells directly under my feet. Do you lay a blanket on shore and watch the sun set in front of you? For me, our Airbnb in Venice was in the middle of a busy market area. We could look out our window below to people watch and listen to the local music. As you are piecing together your details, don’t be afraid to make some up too! It’s your Mind Palace, by the way!
If you’re about to do some Mind Palace travel of a place you’ve been before, you need to re-familiarize yourself with your past trip first. Pull out the old pictures – or pull them up on your phone – and really absorb the details of the events. Look at who you were with, what you were wearing, what time of the year it was, time of the day. Remember what you ate that day, who you spoke with and things you saw. Really work your memory so you can piece it together again. This time, there will be no hiccups (if any existed prior) and you can even embellish whatever you wanted to include. If you want to explore a place you’ve never been, learn about it first. Decide on the excursions you want to take, places you want to eat and actually decide on an itinerary (loosely).
Open the door to your Mind
Time to work on your meditation skills. If you want to take a Mind Palace trip, it’s time to sit or lay down in a relaxed position. Begin with deep breathing and relaxation methods. As you work on relaxing your body and freeing your mind, picture yourself packing for your trip. Choose outfits in your mind as if you were really getting ready to go. But in this case, all the laundry is done, and all your items fit easily in your suitcase! Also, they fit YOU! Nothing is too tight and you look amazing in your outfits! Imagine yourself driving or flying to your destination. Enjoy the countryside scenery or the view from the clouds.
Now that you arrived to your “destination”, check into your lodging and set your itinerary in motion. See how far you get and allow yourself to be immersed in your Mind Palace travel experience. I hope you can tap into your inner thoughts and allow your mind to be free. If Mind Palace travel is not for you, then refer to my post about virtual travel experiences here. If you are itching to break free from COVID 19 quarantine, let’s start planning ahead now. Feel free to refer to my post about the Top 5 travel sites to help you get started.
Was this post for real?
I don’t know, maybe? At least it got you thinking, didn’t it? Maybe you stopped reading after the first 5 seconds. I think the idea of Mind Palace travel is kind of quirky, but hey, who says someone out there won’t master it? Some people have lots of time on their hands these days, so, have at it! In the meantime, here’s some deals to consider when you get back into travel for real. Save money with airport parking by paying ahead. Make your airport reservations using the app here.
Are you still reading? Internet stories have been so depressing lately, I hope if you read all this, you were able to take your mind off the real world problems for at least a minute. Feel free to leave me a comment even if it’s just to say hi! Stay healthy, and stay sane!
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