In this time of social distancing, we might get nostalgic and start reminiscing about past travels and adventures. We are by nature social, creative and curious creatures. The urge to dream, discover, connect with others and explore runs in our blood.
Since travel has not been feasible for most of us lately, I want to remind you, and myself, that we still can find a way for exploration, fun and imagination.
Online libraries are full of great books, Instagram provides the best access to the most beautiful, visual stories from all over the world, as well as helps us stay connected. Websites like BBC Earth and National Geographics take us to the most remote and remarkable places. Yes… Virtual travel will never replace the real thing, but it can help us learn something new, make future plans and stay inspired!
Google Pegman is a little yellow man icon at the bottom of the page of Google Maps. By dragging him to any destination you wish to see on the world map, you will be given a virtual look in 360 degrees. Simply navigate around the unknown place or places you miss. By the way, he was first introduced in 2008, a year after Street View was launched. He’s helpful not only for entertaining you, but also if you are looking for a hotel or an Airbnb and don’t know the area. Worth playing with.
Another resource I discovered is CityPedia YouTube Chanel – you can pick a city and take a virtual walking tour. They are helpful for planning a trip or to provide you with an idea of what a destination is like. What you see is what you get here.
I also love to read reviews of places on TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor is an American online travel company that operates a website and mobile app with user-generated content. This is a great way to get the real skinny on a location, because it’s not their tourism board providing it; it’s from the real-life experiences of travelers.
National Geographic (formerly the National Geographic Magazine and branded also as NAT GEO) is the official magazine of the National Geographic Society. It has been published continuously since its first issue in 1888, nine months after the Society itself was founded. I love their mission statement!
National Geographic Traveler is the world's most widely read travel magazine. It championed sustainable travel before it was cool and, eight times annually, celebrates journeys that are about place, experience, culture, authenticity, living like the locals, and great photography. …enough said!
If you are looking for rare places, amazing visual storytelling and cinematography, check out Earth’s Natural Wonders on BBC Earth. This series celebrates Earth’s greatest wonders and reveals the dramatic and extraordinary lives of the people and creatures that inhabit them. The websites states:
Earth is full of beautiful sights and each continent has its own impressive locations. Yet across the world, a handful of places are in a completely different league. Some are famous, some are not; many are remote. We call them natural wonders and they are the greatest landscapes on our planet. Everest, the Grand Canyon, Victoria Falls, they seem to have little in common other than – literally – taking your breath away. But they share one other thing – these remarkable wonders were sculpted, etched or molded by unimaginably powerful energies, unleashed by the earth.
Yes! Virtual travel will never replace the real thing; however, it can help us learn something new, make future plans and stay inspired!
Photo Credits Unsplash.Com: Sylwia Bartyzel, Anete Lūsiņa, Max Ducourneau