New Horizons

Chillaxia Pasport

A couple of weeks ago, I moved to an island.

I got to name the island, so I decided to call it Chillaxia.

I arrived at Chillaxia airport, located on the South coast, in a flying boat piloted by a dodo called Wilbur. I thanked him and made my way inland, where I met a Racoon called Tom Nook.

Tom Nook welcomed me, handed me a tent, and slightly bizarrely (… err, because all of this was completely everyday and mundane thus far!), a mobile phone.

So began my new life; at first surviving, then starting to thrive, making new friends amongst animals settling on Chillaxia, welcoming old friends visiting from their new island homes.

Chillaxia now boasts houses, shops, an orchard, a museum, dry stone walls and a newly created open air arena. Preparations for the islands first free festival are well under way!

I should mention I haven’t moved to Chillaxia full time. It’s just an arrangement I’ve made for a few hours per week. Most of the rest of the time, apart from when I’m in other places, I’ll be back in what I like to call ‘Real Life’ (or RL for short) – which is probably where I’ve met you if I’ve met you before. Otherwise it will have been in one of those other places – you know, like ‘online’.

All these places overlap sometimes, so there’s a possibility that we could meet/have met ‘in RL online’, or ‘online in Chillaxia’ for example.

The crazy thing about that is that it would be possible for it to happen anywhere along a continuum from it happening without either of us being aware that it’s each other we’re meeting, to both of us being fully aware and even also standing next to each other in RL all at once!

So anyway, back to Chillaxia…

In RL I’m currently working from home, like most people during this terrible pandemic crisis. I was the first member of my family to be afforded full sanction of this, so for the first few days I found myself alone in the house, and the silence was deafening!

I needed some background sounds to keep me focused. Naturally I turned to music, but what choice of music? I wanted something that would keep me chilled with no lyrics to entwine with my thoughts (often a very useful phenomenon, but not always) …

I remembered how simultaneously chilled, productive and focused I’d been on Chillaxia, and I remembered the soft music that played in the background there all the while. A quick RL online search on YouTube for this same music and I was in business!

It didn’t just stop there either. I jotted down a list (I like lists!) of transferable skills I’d been honing, and am continuing to hone, on Chillaxia. It continues to grow. So far it includes:

Time management
Resource management
Strategic planning
Focused prioritisation
Meditative repetition
Balance of individual and collective activity
Puzzle solving
Interior design
Garden design/landscaping

I think It’s quite possible that the next time I find myself facing a big, maybe even seemingly overwhelming challenge in RL, or in fact in any place, having first established what it is I want to achieve in overcoming this challenge, I just might pause and ask myself, “what skills have I developed on Chillaxia, or in any other place, that I can use?”

‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ is available now for Nintendo Switch in RL and online stores.

RL is available everywhere, at all times. In fact, it’s almost unavoidable. Almost, that is, but fortunately for all our skills development, not entirely!

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