What if the future of space travel and colonization is VR? Participants could spend most of their time in fully immersive VR that provides any pleasant environment they wish - complete with earth like conditions such as water, plants and earth gravity. The care of the participants bodies might also be simplified with life support systems.
Participants would be free to leave the simulation when they liked or to remote control robots from within the simulation. Changes to the physical environment could be rare and carefully planned. A substantial preference for living in the simulation could enable very simple physical structures that could be easy to build, shield, and maintain.
This could make very long term space flights more bearable and be more desirable than cryonic suspension.