Virtual travel: How technology may change how we go on holiday

Sep 07, 2019
Is virtual travel the way of the future? Source: Pixabay

I was reading recently that on any given day, more than 70 per cent of Australian seniors over 60 years of age spend some time on the internet. I do too, for work and pleasure, and social contact with friends. The internet is our window to the world. But have you tried internet travel, as in virtual tours? I loved a dream trip to Tahiti.

It is morning on the first day of my trip to Tahiti. The sun is rising in a blaze of light. I am being rowed in a canoe by a handsome local inhabitant to my grass hut with a thatched roof, over the water to a tropical island. My hut, home for the next week, is situated in an aquamarine lagoon.

Here there are welcoming smiles. I can afford a holiday, so I wear a flowered long frock, to hide errant bulges, with a garland of flowers in my hair, and a lei of more bright flowers round my neck. The locals have prepared my breakfast on a sun deck. The table is set with a cloth adorned with hibiscus and frangipani.

As the soft breeze wafts the briny air, ruffling my hair, the sun kisses my skin, as I repast on fresh tropical fruits, newly squeezed mango juice, hot freshly baked rolls with pats of butter and a carafe of coffee. Ah, then I can check the hut, with its ceiling fans and shutters, for a nap after lunch in the giant soft bed, comfort, more hibiscus.

Now I head off to walk on the shore, across white sands, picking up shells to hear the song of the sea, as the gentle waves wash my feet, lapping the island. The wind is still mild, as palm trees sigh softly behind me. I set fishing lines, always hopeful. Time for a swim, the weather is perfect, not a cloud in the sky.

The lagoon is crystal clear, I can float and snorkel, surrounded by little jewels of tropical fish. Beyond the coral reef, there is the deep blue ocean, with sharks and maybe dolphins, but here all is protected and serene. An energetic young man is windsurfing, gracefully swooping and gliding. So hyperactive.

I head back to shore, time for lunch. I rest in the shade, swaying in a hammock, sipping on a pineapple daiquiri served in a coconut shell, with a tiny umbrella and swizzle stick. A couple of drinks later, my meal is ready. It is tropical fish, wrapped in pandanus leaves and roasted in the coals of a small camp fire. Accompaniments are lemon slices, a delicious salad, hot potatoes, more drinks, if not rum tropicanas, and a coconut cream pie. Heavenly holiday.

This is only day one. Here there is no ex, left him behind in Australia. There is no work to do, no newspaper, negative radio or television with all the bad news. There are no deadlines, no rat race, no health conditions. Here it is never too hot or too cold. Each day more perfect that the last. I must relax, that is why there are vacations. Relax, refresh. This is a dream trip to Tahiti.

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