Category Archives: SL Exploration

Blog Posts with pictures and descriptions of my travels through a variety of diverse Second Life SIMS, from futuristic, fantasy worlds to Ancient Civilizations and then to Recreations of natures beauty in SL.

Happy 3rd Blogday


Raza_3rd_Blogday

Raza Blogs about his 3rd Blogday

Apparently today is the 3rd birthday of this blog. I had no idea and only realised when I logged in to grab the blog url for a comment I was posting on another blog.

How time flies. 3 years ago, when I started this blog, I had great ambitions for it, and for my Second Life adventures and life.

There have been many highs, and some lows, but the general theme, certainly for the last year, has been my lack of time spent adventuring, exploring, building and connecting in SL.

I have lost many connections with good friends, due to lack of time inworld. I had to give up the large plot of land I had so eagerly purchased and begun building my own little paradise home on. Even my attempts at finding a partner, to share my Second Life adventures and experiences with, have amounted to nothing.

Yet, rather than give up on the idea of ever being able to live a fulfilling Second Life, something always brings me back here. Not to this blog, although I love blogging about SL as much as adventuring in it, but to the vast, diverse and imagination enriching place that SL is.

Every time I do manage to log inworld I have such a great time I decide to plunge straight back into the grid and re-kindle my wayward adventure amongst the pixelated beaches and mesh dinosaur jungles that stimulate my imagination so passionately.

I will devote more of my RL time to logging in and wandering round SL. Taking photographs, exploring, learning to build, sorting our my avatar’s height, buying soem decent clothes and tyrign to connect with more fascinating and inspiring people.

I did have a couple of really fun experiences over the last few days.

I went to the Chat Salon at the Basilique Club in SL for a chat on “Turn ons and turn offs of SL Sex” on October 22nd. It was very informative, in terms of what the sophisticated ladies and gents of SL are turned on by and turned off by in SL. An empty profile and highly aggressive, domineering in an arrogant, elitist manner traits are big turn offs. The turn on’s varied quite a bit, though avatars that looked as though an effort had been made with them was definitely one. I found it fascinating, and the people in the chat were all really open, honest, interesting and full of useful insights, not just about SL Sex, but SL in general. I hope I can make it to some more of these weekly chat salons.

Basilique Chat Salon

Basilique Chat Salon

The second fun experience I had was helping out a fellow SL explorer and traveller in her quest to raise funds for what sounds like a fascinating adventure. She plans to buy a yacht in SL and sail aroudn the mainland, writing about her travels in her blog. Check out the link and how I played my part in helping her turn the idea into a reality. It was much more fun than running a marathon whilst growing a fancy moustache, as per real life fund-raising. Speaking of which, I’m not sure if they do Movember in SL, but that would be an interesting proposition.

Oh and I can’t believe I almost forgot to mention the always fun and rocking Exodus Rock Club in SL. I did manage to visit their new Halloween themed build for the club and I loved it. Ghoulish rock’s ability to entertain should never be underestimated. I also managed to make a last minute cameo appearance at their Cartoon Themed night, dressed as a Duff Beer swilling Homer Simpson. I can’t find the snapshot of me as the Yellow Bellied D’ohmeister but I will keep looking.

Halloween at Exodus Rock Club SL

Halloween at Exodus Rock Club SL

Anyway, on the 3rd anniversary of this Blog’s conception I feel good about my recent forays back into the ever intriguing world of Second Life, and I hope I can keep logging in and dipping my toes into the creative waters that flow from so many imaginative people who make it such an amazing place to immerse myself in.

Links:

Basilique Club and Salons Blog

Second Life Adventures Blog

Exodus Rock Club SL Facebook Page

Winter Wonderland Two Moon Paradise Pics


So I finally managed to make good on my self-promise to do more SL exploring. I managed to visit the magical Winter Wonderland build on the Two Moon Paradise SIM. I highly recommend it, if you fancy ice skating or some romantic dancing in snow (although I went there, unromantically, by myself!). As you can see, they have Hot Chocolate too!

Link to my Flickr pics from the trip

Link to my costume – Graves Black & White Male Catsuit

Winter Wonderland Two Moon Paradise

Winter Wonderland Two Moon Paradise

Snapshot_005 Snapshot_013 Snapshot_014

SL Exploration List January 2014


List of places I want to visit in Second Life (garnered from various sources such as cool Flickr pics!)

SL Burn 2 2013


I always feel much better about RL when I have spent a lot of time in SL.

When you step back it seems strange that wandering around lots of imaginatively meshed together pixels using the up arrow key on your keyboard can have such a real and meaningful connection with you in RL but it can.

Whenever I visit a SIM that transports me fully to another world away from the stuffy confines of my claustrophobic study or connect with another very real person in SL I feel alive. I have always had an overactive imagination and as much as I have tried to suppress it, in order to conform to standards for a lifestyle I was supposed to follow according to those who brought me up, I never quite could. Letting my imagination get taken in a myriad of diverse directions by the wondrous creations SL has to offer fires me up. It makes me feel truly alive. Very few things in RL make me feel this way, and the more limited my RL options seems to get, the more open ended possibilities SL seems to offer.

SL is not perfect and I always worry about it ending like the best of my dreams always do, but as long as it is still going and being pushed further by creative and magical people I will always have somewhere to go and fill my cup of imagination hope.

That said, I have been visiting the Burn 2 2013 SIM this week and have so far managed to learn how to Dance whilst gyrating with a flaming Hula Hoop around my waist and I nearly got eaten by a large Luminescent Jelly Fish.

I highly recommend taking the Hot Air Balloon Tour in the SIM as there are so many wonderful things to see, it’s almost overwhelming. With the Tour you get a quick glimpse of things you can go and immerse yourself in later.

I’m planning to go back to day and check out the large Snake Temple and get myself some SL snakes to add to my flaming hula hoop.

Happy exploring!

Link to Burn 2 official website.

My Burn 2 visit Flickr Pics.

Official Burn 2 Flickr Page

Flying in my Flaming Hula Hoop at the Burn 2 2013 Greeter Gate

Flying in my Flaming Hula Hoop at the Burn 2 2013 Greeter Gate

View from the entrance to the Burn 2 2013 Temple

View from the entrance to the Burn 2 2013 Temple

The Jellyfish that wanted to eat me

The Jellyfish that wanted to eat me

Reconnecting with Myself using Second Life


At the start of the new year I promised myself, and this blog, that I would make more of an effort to visit Second Life and explore new SIMs that were on my ever growing list. I love Second Life and always enjoy my time immersed in the metaverse but as with many things I enjoy I seem unable to devote much time them. I resolved to remedy this by focussing more on my needs this month and have managed to log inworld most days.

Below (at the end of this post) are some pictures of a few of the wonderful places I have visited.

The more time I spent  inworld the more I felt connected to my true self (corny as it sounds and comes out when i type it!), so I thought I would share a few thoughts about that.

One of the many reasons I love Second Life, and keep coming back to it since I joined (an age ago) in March 2007, is that it helps me understand myself.

I have always loved creating and exploring places and things, ever since I was a child. I am curious and inquisitive by nature and a little bit quirky. Seeing all the mind blowing creations sprung from the diverse imaginations contributing to Second Life never ceases to inspire me and fires my own, often stifled, imagination. When I see a magical SIM with glowing mushrooms on top of a Jungle Tree floating in the sky I think wow, I never would have thought of that, but it looks great. It makes me feel that life is full of endless possibilities and other ways of doing things and living. It helps open my eyes, and keep them open. We should not be confined by rigid rules and a lack of imagination, as much as those who try to suppress any form of creative spirit try to confine us. Why does this matter to me? Why does it strike a chord in me?

Well for the most part of my life I have always been suffocated and held back by a cultural background, family and peers who have a narrow and limited view of the world and all it’s possibilities. This is basically down to their own unresolved insecurities and fragility, though I didn’t understand this until now.

When my naturally open minded and curious young self tried to push boundaries I came up against this rock hard iron wall of resistance to the preconceived norm. A sort of solid cage that claustrophobically moved ever closer to me as the insecure people who built this cage did everything they could to crush my independent spirit. They were scared I would take them down with me. Or that I would end up like them, and they hated themselves. So they forced me to conform to their ways of living and doing things, because their way was the right way and the only way to live. People who loved me and whose job it was to build up my own self confidence and faith in life merely ended up crushing my faith in myself and humanity. My imagination was a curse, a blot on myself, my family, my community, all society. It was a hindrance, liek an infectious virus that needed to be caught and killed early on.

Whatever I truly felt deep inside me, or however differently I saw the world and all it’s possibilities didn’t matter. I was wrong. I was always wrong. They were right, always, and I had to obey them and give up my true self and all it’s dangerous ideas and conform to their uniformity or else be made to.

The more they pushed me to change myself to what they wanted me to be, the more i pushed back. But they were stronger. they were my parents, my family, my peers, my community, my ethnic background, people of my inherited faith, my society. Be it my ideas or questions on anything from religion to economics to politics to art to careers or even food, any desires i had that they didn’t like were always knocked out of me.

When you are a child your parents are like Gods to you. I only really understand this know, and how powerful it is, having become a father myself 5 years ago and also going through years of psychological therapy. I always thought that as much as i ended up having my true self, confidence and hope stripped away from me, I still had a lot of independence inside me. It seems I was mistaken.

It turns out that many of the decisions i ended up making, even in my 20’s and early 30’s were basically what my parents or society wanted me to do. I never really wanted to do these things myself. Examples include my career choices. My parents wanted me to become a doctor and do Medicine at University. I never really wanted to, but I still went for it. Then they wanted me to become an accountant. Me, a wildly creative and imaginative lover of films, art, fiction and all things eclectic and eccentric, become a staid, rule following, dull accountant (no offense to any accountants out there!). I caved. I gave up dreams of being a musician, a film maker, a fiction writer, an astronaut, a historian, whatever else i really was or wanted to be. I am naturally a bit left wing and liberal, a fan of charities and change, not corporations and tradition. Yet I “chose” to live and become part of a world that was nevr right for the true me, one of rigidity, material obsession, greedy tax avoiding corporations and insecure traditionalists”.

Even when I thought I was outgrowing and overcoming all the years of brainwashing and being pushed around, i was still really living other peoples lives. I had forgotten who i really was. I bought a house and took on loads of debt when i didn’t want to, realizing it was too big a commitment. If I bought this house then I would have to work in high pressured, highly demanding, corporate, soulless jobs forever, and I never once thought I had a choice to say no. I went to work for a large global multinational corporate giant, a psychopathic entity that was even more corrupt and wrong for the world than i had ever thought possible, deep in the hidden recesses of my forgotten true self. The list goes on.

I essentially got in so deep  into this world that others wanted me to live in that i forgot who i really was and wanted to be. I became a walking pod, on automatic pilot, a pale shadow of my natural, youthful, imaginative self.

However, through a combination of good fortune and perseverance i have managed to get to the stage where i no longer accept that I can’t make choices that are my own and that I have to live the life that others want me to live. No matter how powerful a pull they have on me, i am determined to overcome their brainwashing and holding me back and I am doing all i can to reconnect with my true self. The calm, patient, warm, tolerant, accepting, passive yet strong, creative, open minded, film loving weirdo that i am. I am not the ruthless, aggressive, permanently angry money grabbing, greedy capitalist the modern world, my parents, peers and many in wider society want me to be.

Happiness is a complex difficult thing to understand, let alone attain, but it does not come from material wealth or power. It certainly does not come from living the life other’s want you to live, at the expense of the life you feel you truly want to live. The more you try to deny your true self, the unhappier you become. That much i have learnt so far. It seems to hold true for me at least. And that is the point. What matters is what seems true and relevant to me, What makes sense to me. What fires me and my imagination, not my parents or others around me.

That is where Second Life comes in. Trying to reconnect with a self that has been battered and pushed deep down and who in many ways i am still deeply suspicious off, is a very hard task. It is a painful journey of self discovery. Yet deep down I always knew who i really was and what i really wanted from life. It is just about reconnecting with that again. Second Life helps me do this.

When i see a SIM or an Avie that makes me tingle with excitement or when i hear virtual water flowing over virtual rocks in a Zen garden and i feel taken to another place that chimes with me, these are all examples of little ways in which i am reconnecting with the real me. In my real life i was always limited by the insecurities and anxieties of others. Those who held sway over me. In my imagination the possibilities seem endless and hopeful. In Second Life I can see the boundaries of what is possible to create being challenged, and limit’s being pushed. Our creativity and imagination should be the only limits to what we can do.

We all need tools to help us in life, and as a tech lover I’m happy to still have Second Life to help me on my journey.  Seeing other people build worlds, people and places they want to see come to life, unhindered by preconceptions or outdated “norms” is refreshing and empowering to my own quest to challenge the norms holding me back.

The only problem is that the more i delve back into the world of wonder and creativity the more time i want to spend there, and time is a luxury i don’t have.

Anyway, enough of my psycho-babble and internal musings. Here are some pictures of a few great SIMs that took my breath away and fired my imagination:

Dryland SIM

SLURL

My Flickr Pics

(More pictures to come in further posts)

Raza in Dryland 1Raza in Dryland 2

Basilique Private Members Club Island SIM

(More pictures to come in further posts)

SLURL

My Flickr Pics

Raza in Basilique Private Members Island 1Raza in Basilique Private Members Island 2

Pacifique SIM

Visit this SIM quickly as it will be moving on February 2nd 2013!
(More pictures to come in further posts)

Official SL Page

My Flickr Pics

Raza in Pacifique 1Raza in Pacifique 2

Japanese Raza at Matsumoto Castle


Here is a snapshot of me wearing the Japanese Mens Kimono 16 by Asalt Eames from the Grasp Store in front of the Entrance to The Wonderful Matsumoto Japanese Edo castle in the Hosoi Ichiba SIM. I became aware of this wonderful SIM and the beautifully detailed buildings in it after reading this blog post by Yordie Sands. I highly recommend visiting it.

Here is a link to more pictures from my 1st visit to the Castle on my Flickr account.

And here is a link to the official Hosoi Ichiba Flickr group with some really great Second Life snaphots.

Raza Lane at Matsumoto Castle Second Life

Ancient Alexandria, Egypt SIM 1st Visit


Here are a few pics from my first, and unfortunately very brief visit to the wonderfully created Ancient Alexandria SIM in Second Life. I love history and have visited Egypt and the Pyramids in real life, though I didn’t make it to Alexandria. One of my favourite things to do in Second Life is visit SIMs that recreate actual historical places and time periods, as I find this creatively inspiring and it shows how diverse cultures and art has been over the centuries and across borders.

In addition to th epics below here are more pics at my Flickr page.

Enjoy:

Ancient Alexandria, Egypt SIM Second Life Temple

Places to Visit in Second Life List 1


This may not be the best use of my blog but I’m going to list some places I really want to visit in Second Life, as I keep forgetting to note down their names or SLURL’s! Also, if anyone has any more suggestions of cool, exotic and Photogenic places to visit in Second Life please let me know!

Second Life Website Photogenic SIM Spots Destination Guide Link

Fotoscope

A paradise for SL shutterbugs, Fotoscope contains a variety of photo-friendly backdrops featuring individual, couple, and group poseballs so Residents can capture that perfect image for posterity in any situation.

Destination Guide Link | Map Link |

Thematic

Thematic is a fantasy island filled with romance, secret gardens, a cemetery of ships and other exciting mysteries.

Destination Guide Link | Map Link |

United Kingdom of the Netherlands

Travel back in time to the year 1815 when King William I and Queen Wilhelmina ruled the Netherlands. The United Kingdom of the Netherlands offers historical role-play, En Garde tournaments and a complete wedding service fit for a King and Queen. There’s even a Cardinal to perform weddings, vow renewals or christenings.

Destination Guide Link | Map Link |

Angelwood Savage Garden Medieval Castle

Explore this medieval castle and its endless hidden rooms, underground caves, dungeons and waterfalls. Relax, cuddle, dance or mediate in these endless themed forest gardens. More info at http://angelwoodsavagegarden.blogspot.com.

Destination Guide Link | Map Link |

Relaxation Virtual Style


I always find it very strange and surreal that I can often feel more relaxed visiting a nature SIM in Second Life than from anything around me in real life. Sometimes when I just want to get away form it all and unwind, or clear my head from all the confusing and contradictory voices in it, I can find no better solace than strolling through a virtually created metapark full of vibrant, soothing flowers and the sounds of water flowing over virtual rocks. I love Japanese Zens gardens and I get that same feeling from some really well built SIMs in second life, like the Noweeta Grasslands Sim that I visited the other week (picture below).

I love technology and computing and even though I often get frustrated by too much time with a keyboard and monitor, I find it more refreshing to log into Second Life an d stroll around an SL nature SIM, rather than wander into my Real Life back garden, with it’s overgrown lawn that desperately needs mowing, and leaking garage roof and broken wooden shed! In SL there are no sheds for me to fix, just sunshine at the click of a button!

Raza Lane Relaxing in Noweeta Grassland Second Life SIM

 

 

SL Places to Visit


List of places in Second Life that I want to visit:

Click here for link to list of places I recommend that I have already visited in Second Life

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