As you know, travel is essentially canceled until further notice and especially international travel. That has made it very difficult to write about travel, especially when all of my trips of 2020 are canceled – and it was going to be a big one!
Let’s say my mourning days are over and it is time to embrace the possibilities for new adventures. Since the start of quarantine, I began saving my favorite virtual travel experiences to share with all of you.
I love the endless possibilities of the internet and how connected we can be despite the distance between. There are virtual events, live music, and pub quizzes. Last week, I attended a virtual gallery put on by Traverse. We submitted photos taken during our time home, and then we shared and chatted about them.
Connecting to the things and people we love can be a great comfort during uncertain times. There is no reason travel and adventures can’t come to us!
Soon we will go back outside and wander the streets, taste new treats, and see new sights, but for now, please stay home and stay safe and healthy. We got this, together.
Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
There are endless things you can do with Google Earth and Maps, some of which you will find on this list. One of those things is to view 30 different UNESCO sites around the world. From here you can view street view of various sites, moving around, seeing it from various angles and wander the globe from site to site.
Note: Sometimes the link doesn’t work but if you search for “Google Earth UNESCO” you will find it.
See world-famous works of art
Need your museum fix? Wanting to learn about another culture? Head over to Google’s Arts and Culture where you can virtually visit hundreds of museums all over the world. Start your morning in France at the Palace of Versailles browsing works of art found there then stroll over to Berlin to the Pergamonmuseum to see one of my favorite exhibits of all time.
For the hardcore art fans, you can browse by artist, period, or even medium.
Learn about other cultures
Google Arts and Culture has a lot more than just museums. You have no need to ever buy another guidebook or maybe even leave your house. If you click the top menu you can browse by Theme which will bring up a range of cultural and travel topics. You can see Roman structures, learn about Spanish cuisine, or wander the streets of Portugal.
Tour National Parks
Yeah, I know Google was featured in the first three points, but what can I say? They are at the forefront of technology and travel. This feature feels like a modern Encyclopedia Britannica. It is an incredible emersion experience with videos, 360-degree photos, and a guide.
- Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii)
- Kenai Fjords National Park (Alaska)
- Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida)
Listen to the radio anywhere in the world!
I think this one is a lot of fun. Radio Garden works through the website – no apps to install, you simply move the pointer around the map to focus on a location to hear their available radio stations.
Watch Animals live!
Live cams are great and also the best way to observe animals without disturbing them. Lucky for us there are a lot of places to view live cams. Here are a few of my personal favorites:
- Explore: watch all types of animals and the northern lights!
- Houston and San Diego Zoo have live cams every day
- Monterey Bay Aquarium has penguins, otters, and even sharks
- Whale watching in Oregon
Listen to Harry Potter in different languages.
This is not traveling but travel related. I firmly believe that learning languages unlocks new worlds and adventures. Perfect for you because Audible has launched free content in English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, French, and German. Listen to classics like Harry Potter in your target language to help improve listening and pronunciation.
Attend Happy Hour in NYC
Every day at 6:30 pm (ET) you can join the NYS craft beer community via Facebook for daily happy hours. Meet brewers, ask questions about your favorite drink, and meet new people!
Travel with Virtual Reality!
If you have a VR device there are endless possibilities! Some of these require more advanced equipment but others can be experienced with cardboard goggles and a smartphone.
- Hike Mount Everest
- Drive on Mars
- Dive to rescue whales
- Explore UNESCO sites
- Visit Japan’s most famous sites
See a Metropolitan Opera
Transform your evening to a date night in NYC. Put on your nicest – or coziest – outfit, enjoy a nice meal, and settle down for a free opera performance from the best of the best! Each night the Metropolitan Opera is releasing a past performance for free. It is then available for the next 23 hours. You can view the performances on their website or also with Amazon or Apple.
Get lost and then find yourself!
A huge shoutout to Nell from Adventures with Nell for writing an article sharing some ideas for things to do at home. One of those was about a game called GeoGuessr. I got hooked and within 24 hours I purchased a premium account. You can choose from a range of maps with different topics. You will be “dropped” in at a random location with only Google Street View to help you!
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