Mongolia Ember relaxing on a wooden raft at Lola's Resort.

As I have continued to explore Second Life, I have visited several places on interest. I wanted to see what kind of holiday spots and getaways exist in Second Life. To my surprise there was an abundance of locations where my avatar could relax, meditate, sunbathe, and even let loose with some watersports.

Mongolia Ember doing a sun-salutation, better known as a yoga movement, at the Jaguar Temple.

At The Gardenview Community Tiny MegaPlex I discovered a residential neighborhood that was built on the premise of total relaxation. I was a getaway right at home, complete with a petting park of safari animals, wishing well, fish pond, and various other amenities.

Mongolia Ember relaxing in the ponds at the SL Botanical Gardens.

I also found a retreat at Lola’s Retreat. As soon as I teleported to the area, my ears were soothed with the sound of trickling water and ethereal music. My eyes were also treated to a beautiful sight as my avatar explored the area. It was set on a waterfront and was lined with lit trees, wind chimes, bungalows, fountains, and resting chairs and pillows. There were also several romantic amenities for couples which included an area for kissing and for a slow dance.

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At the Oceanview Cottage in Japan Resort I found what resembled a real-world resort location. It was set on the beach, as well, and had a similar design to Lola’s Retreat, but this resort featured a jet-ski that members could use.

vaca2.jpgHowever, I began to wonder why these locations were so numerous and popular. A vacation at a resort or exotic locale is usually something done so that a person can physically relax and remove herself from daily grind of their work and personal lives. In the real world, people go to these places to escape the demands and interruptions of their bosses, friends, families, and technology, but statistics reveal that more than half of American workers fail to take all of their vacation days, and 20% take only a few days of vacation instead of a week or two (Conlin).

So I got to thinking and began to wonder if some people use Second Life to take the vacations that they never got around to enjoying in the real world. I have to admit that even though I don’t think that a real vacation can be personally enjoyed through SL, I did find myself a little relaxed by the sights and sounds of the places that I visited. So perhaps for some people, the enjoyment that computer graphics and sounds at simulated resorts and exotic locales is better than taking not vacation at all.

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I am a big proponent of the real-experience which can only come from physically being in a location and actually performing an action. Saying that a SL vacation does not compare to the benefits and enjoyment of a real-world vacation, would be a true, but not a completely fair, statement. While I would not recommend taking a SL vacation for two weeks, I do think that it might be beneficial for a short break perhaps during the workday or for a few hours on the weekend. SL might also be a more realistic and attainable way to take a vacation for some because it is virtually cost and hassle-free. There are no expensive plane tickets, room, or board costs, or the hassles of international air travel.

Works Cited:
Conlin, Michelle. "Do Us A Favor, Take a Vacation." Business Week.


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