So, I'm excited because in about a week, I will be taking a New Year's vacation to the Bahamas for a nice wee bit of relaxation. What's doubly awesome about this trip is that this one small Cay in the Exumas, where we are going, is one of my favorite mental journey's. It is actually the exact journey I used to set the USA record for speed numbers last March. I plan on using it again next March to raise the record even further. It's always intrigued me as to why this particular journey has always been my favorite and the one that usually comes out flawless. What I mean by favorite, is that when I use it to memorize something, I get a sense of comfort and smoothness as I go through the anchor points of my journey. It feels the most comfortable. There are other journeys (like the one that goes around the University of Miami) which I sometimes struggle with and they kind of feel like I'm wading through sludge as I move from one anchor point to the next. It's all mental of course, and it isn't that I don't know one journey better than the other, it's just that certain ones have a better feel than others. I guess you can compare it to wearing you're comfy worn-in shoes over your stiff new leather boots (although that's a bad analogy because I've used all my journey's the same amount, so none is more "worn" than the other).
The point is, is the mind is weird. I've created these mental getaways for myself which I use for memorizing and they each have their own feel to them. I've always believed that sunlight is something that makes me memorize better. When I sit by a window and the sun hits just right, I feel like I can memorize anything and go at any speed....and I do. When it's night time or cloudy, I always have a bit harder of a time successfully memorizing things. Same with my journey's, they inherently have a preset weather condition and time of day (I guess depending on how I remembered the place when I first constructed the journey). The University of Miami journey is kinda neutral, later in the day, kinda cloudy. The journey from my old pizza delivery job is set just before night time but is mostly indoors, so lighting is different throughout. And then there is the Bahamas, which has this bright sun over head at every anchor point. I guess the fact that it is a relaxing place with a lot of sunlight, makes it a relaxing journey for me to use when I memorize. Since stress is known to inhibit memory, maybe that's why it feels better. Interesting.
Anyways, I love the journeys I have. For some, it is an escape. For others, it is a way to, in a sense, time travel back to the times that I miss. And for others it is a way to preserve the places I've lived and been to (for example, a new journey I created a month ago is the house I lived in in the early 90s, in Paris. I actually had forgotten most of the house. But after watching some recently found home videos of the place, I was able to reconstruct it in my head and now it is imprinted there forever, BECAUSE of this mental journey I've stored. Pretty cool, I think). That's the great thing about the journey method. Not only is it an extremely powerful memory technique, it can be a fun place to visit when you are alone with your thoughts. It's a great way to relax, and I often float through these journey's when I'm bored or am about to go to sleep.
On that note, Happy Holidays everyone!