Flying over Germany, 2018 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

Entire industries have devoted themselves to selling you an escape.

But what are we escaping from? What is it that we are desperately seeking somewhere else, in a distant, far off land, that we can’t get right where we are now? What exists out along the wild frontier?

The classic episodes of Jeopardy, when Alex Trebek would turn the mic over to Johnny Gilbert to announce the “great prizes” for the 2nd place contestant, and it would usually consist of a trip to Cancun for the whole family, or an exotic cruise around the Mediterranean. The getaway we all longed for.

The idea that a holiday could consist of an escape from your own reality was the stuff of science fiction, with movies like Total Recall and the very underrated Strange Days, the 1995 cult classic about an ex cop who sells other people’s life memories that you can experience in a virtual-reality-like way. The latter explores our darkest desires like voyeurism, addiction, violence, and sexual perversion.

What will our escape be like in the real future? Maybe implanted memories, vs long haul flights. You can be the serial killer or the hero cop, it’s your choice and you can have it for 3 easy payments. Or maybe it’s interplanetary travel?

Imagine the feeling of escape without the need for illicit drugs, or expensive flights, or implanted memories. Imagine an escape within. A re-connection with self.

On the surface our scenery may change but, like in Total Recall, there is always once thing that remains the same. “There is always the same old you”. Or, to quote Author Jon Kabat-Zinn, “Wherever you go, there you are”.

“If we hope to go anywhere or develop ourselves in any way, we can only step from where we are standing. If we don’t really know where we are standing… We may only go in circles…”

– Jon Kabat-Zinn

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