(not my photos, but they all link back to where they came from, and all these places are very pleasant and well worth a browse around)

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Lots of walking up and down,

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looking at this sort of thing,

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and observing this sort of local fauna in action,

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and ending the day like any other tourist, in open-mouthed vacant gazing.

Cripes, people pay good money to assorted West Coast pro gurus to achieve that kind of mindfulness / meditative emptiness / centring the heart / etc. etc. etc. et sim. ad inf.

Folks: it’s a lot easier.

1. Turn off all electronic devices and leave them at home/holiday base except utilitarian basics (silent phone, compass, emergency flares, water); leave watch and other time-monitoring devices behind too.
2. Go forth.
3. Walk along a very long beach.
4. Heck, push the boat out and run a little from time to time, with intermissions for the occasional hop-skip-and-jump. With lots of exhilarated inhaling of great air.
5. Look around you.
6. From time to time, stop for a longer look.
7. Rinse (feet in water, yes even if it’s cold).
8. Repeat.
9. Continue until hungry; at that point, go find food, then return to steps 2-8 above.
10. At end of day, watch sun setting.

Just do that every day. Yes, maybe vary the walk a little. Add in some more flora and fauna, changes of landscape. But: no historical, cultural, educational activities (that’s for a different kind of vacation). No TV. And no internet. Cut yourself free from the web for a bit. Yes, I cheated, but I have work obligations which mean that even after training colleagues meticulously, I still need to at least check email every 2-3 days to ensure all is well. Even doing so, people seem to be quite good at comprehending the etiquette of vacation “away” messages. So actually my email checks resulted in composing and sending 0 replies, doing no work stuff all week, and spending a total of maybe 5 minutes all week on work email.

Ensure you have at least a day between return and resumption of everyday life/work. During that day, do laundry and go out for a walk. A mini-version of the vacation.

After which, integrate that daily walk, and as many moments of vacant gazing as possible, into the regular day. If that proves impossible where you live, then move. I admit, this was one reason for moving to Vancouver and working where I do. I was lucky; and I continue to be thankful, every day, for being very very very fortunate to be here. And let’s not forget Fortune’s relevance to and role in the Praise of Folly, either…

So, ladies and gents. Here’s a simple way to improve your life. It’s very eco-friendly and costs nothing. Leave all gadgets that tether you to the (work and networked) World behind. Just for an hour. Approximately. And go forth and walk.

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