Wash your hands? Check. Don’t touch your face? Check. I did thee things and I still somehow contracted Covid-19 in March, where I spent several weeks in the hospital with pneumonia fighting for my life and lost almost 20 lbs. How did I survive? Hope, faith and of course, by God’s grace.
As a world traveler, what really helped me mentally get through the horrid experience of being in the hospital in isolation, with no fresh air, no loved ones by my side, being in a foreign country, no way to exercise and being cooped up in a hospital bed was through VIRTUAL TRAVEL.
The concept of knowing that I was on the other side of the world; yet, was no longer a world apart somehow gave me a sense of peace and awakening. Where did I go on my virtual journey you may ask? Let me tell you:
1. First stop, DISNEYLAND!
I began my world exploration with my first stop at none other than what has been known to be the “happiest place on earth” – Disneyland.
I explored various rides, walked through popular parks and felt the vicarious thrill of a rollercoaster, all while in isolation.
To experience the 360-degree magic yourself and discover that it really is ‘a small world after all’ – click here: Disney Magic Moments – #DisneyMagicMoments | Disney News
2. A Night in a Museum
Although the hospital I was at was located only minutes away from the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, I explored the Louvre in Paris as it had an Egypt Exhibit I would’ve loved to see in-person and was fortunate to experience it virtually here: Online Tours | Louvre Museum | Paris
3. Eat. Pray. Love.
Since all I did in the hospital was eat, pray and send love and receive love via text messages and Zoom calls from those dear to me while watching the news all day showing Italy on the television screens – it inspired me to travel to Italy. What mostly made me want to revisit Italy virtually, was how empowering many of the citizens have been during this pandemic by sharing their musical talents on their balconies. It truly brought tears to my eyes and added more meaning when viewing Florence’s Ufizzi Galleries: Explore the Uffizi Galleries — Google Arts & Culture and Vatican Museums: Virtual tours
4. A Virtual Safari
Since I wasn’t allowed to have any fresh air in weeks, I really felt the urge to go on an adventure. Although I didn’t get my hands or feet dirty doing it, it definitely helped alleviate my need to be out in the wild and free with a virtual safari tour: Safari at Home | Asilia Africa
After watching the popular show, “Tiger King” I used Google 3D and interacted with a tiger here: https://www.google.com/search?q=Tiger
For a FULL list of creatures to interact with using Google 3D, click HERE.
5. Hike the Great Wall of China
Yeah, the virus originated in Wuhan, China; however, that’s no reason to dislike the country. As someone who used to live in China in 2007, I fell in love with it. Believe it or not, I never did have the chance to hike the Great Wall of China during my entire time I lived there as I spent most of my time in Shanghai. Since I wasn’t able to go on walks or hit any gym being chained to my hospital room — I went on a virtual tour and checked off my virtual bucket list of hiking the wall:
6. The Holy Land
As I said earlier, I prayed a lot in the hospital! In fact, if anything – the experience brought me so much closer to God. Although God is only a prayer away, I ended up visiting the Holy Land virtually as it’s a place of comfort for me. My last visit to Israel, I took a helicopter and explored for several hours and it truly changed my life, being so close to such a spiritual environment that has so much meaning to me. You can view parts of it here: 1 day in Jerusalem – 360° Virtual Tour
7. Happy Feet
After many weeks, when I received the news that I tested negative for the first time, and needed just one more negative result to be discharged from the hospital, I celebrated like all the penguins in one of my favorite cartoon movies, “Happy Feet” and virtually toured this link here: Aquarium of the Pacific | Aquarium Webcams | Webcam: Penguin Habitat Above Water while listening to “Land of a 1000 Dances” by Wilson Pickett.
8. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
That is the exact word I sang in my best opera voice I could as I received the news that I tested positive a second time and could leave the hospital later that day. To celebrate, I watched the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series.
If you don’t want to wait to watch it, OperaVision offers FREE recorded performances from all over the world, including Madama Butterfly from the Royal Swedish Opera and Tosca at the Polish National Opera.
I hope this article inspires you to journey the world too from your own living room, bed or the hospital as I did too.
I’d like to conclude this article with a reminder that the quality of your life is not necessarily based on the quality of your circumstances; it’s based on your mental and emotional filters that determine your perception of the outside world and which lens you choose to look at your life from.
Many individuals live a life based on a reactive or adaptive approach, but it is essential to also have a proactive state-of-mind that will reframe your life experiences by asking more questions and setting an intention each and every day, whether you are in a state of health or a pandemic.⠀⠀⠀
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🔹 What is it, that even if it gives you nothing in this lifetime, you are still willing to work for it and fight for it, in order to serve the reason and purpose for your existence?
🔹 If you could genuinely impact and influence a particular part of the population, who would it be and why would you want to?
🔹 If your life was designed to answer one question, what would it be? ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
🔹 When it comes to representing who you are everyday to others, where do you hold back in speaking your truth or using your position to benefit others and create a greater impact? How can you use your voice to speak up for those who are being silenced?⠀⠀⠀⠀
Sending healthy vibes to all my readers of this blog and to the entire world. 🙏🏽