Heli-skiing in BC, Kite surfing in Hawaii. Can you imagine that?

OK, I get it: I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. So as an inveterate adventure traveller facing a months-long adventure deficit, I decided in mid-March that I had to get resourceful. So in the past three weeks, I’ve been kite surfing in Hawaii, heli-skiing in British Columbia, kayaking in Baja California and mountain biking in the Arizona desert. And I’ve done it all without leaving my neighbourhood.

I’m not talking about virtual travel videos or Oculus Rift or recreational drugs, each of which I’m sure has its virtues. Instead, I’m traveling using only the power of my consciousness, a technique I learned four years ago when a sports injury forced me to cancel a long-awaited adventure trip and my physical therapist, Annie Johnstone, offered this wisdom:

“You can still go. Just go there in your mind. Immerse in it. Feel it and be grateful for it.”

I did as she said, and although I wasn’t delighted about staying home, I found calming sanctuary in the chambers of my brain where travel memories reside. I sat on my couch, took a few meditative breaths, cast out the demons of FOMO and came pretty close to re-experiencing the feeling of carving down a wave face while steering an airborne kite, a tropical sun baking sea salt into my back. And while I couldn’t share the celebratory beers I knew my friends were enjoying, I could, with some neurological effort, almost taste those too.

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