For anyone feeling that travel itch (that’s everyone then!)
Photo / Duet PandG / Shutterstock
Were you looking forward to traveling the world, before life went sideways? If you had to cancel your plans, it probably left you dejected and feeling hopeless. Me too. We can’t go anywhere, and it’s hard to take.
Many of us used to plan trips months ahead, and then we had something to look forward to. It was a motivator—the light at the end of the drudgery tunnel.
“This job might suck, and it’s just Netflix tonight. But we’re going to see Mexico next month!”
“I saved money over a year for this. I finally get to see Melbourne, Australia!”
I worked with 4 electricians in a maintenance department once. They planned an overseas fishing trip in detail for over a year. All four of them figured out the details together over their lunch breaks. Where they were going to stay, how to get the fishing gear, what guides to hire.
It was their secret mission away from their normal reality. Knowing that they were going to travel kept them feeling alive.
Why Do We Miss Travel So Much?
Travel breaks us out of the day-to-day. The monotony of life doesn’t vary much for most of us. We get up, work, eat, cook, clean, sleep, repeat.
Being restricted by the pandemic increased the pressure. A ton of us work from home now; we don’t even break up the day with a commute. We’ve never needed a shake-up this bad before.
But we just can’t get that the old-fashioned way right now. We can’t leave our lives behind for a week or two and lie on an exotic beach. There’s no jaunting off to foreign sights. We feel like travel has been stolen from us, and it’s not fair.
Get Out Of Your House Virtually
There’s no point in wallowing. Someday we’ll travel again, just not now. In the meantime, we can still see some sights and break our world view up. The internet gives us plenty of ways to look at faraway lands.
Not gonna lie. It isn’t the same as going there in person. Whadya want, a miracle? But it still gives your brain a little break.
Lift that chin, smile, and click on one of these links. Go somewhere for a few minutes. We can get back on that plane next year. I’ll meet you at Mazatlán for a margarita!
1. Virtual Beach Trips
You can look at buildings any day. You’re probably in one right now. When was the last time you were on a beach?
For best results, you need to get in the mood. Don’t just sit there like a lump on a log in your office chair. Put a tiny bit of effort into it! Get some casual wear and an appropriate drink ready.
Image by Pexels from Pixabay
- Rio De Janeiro, BRAZIL — IPANEMA Beach, Walking Tour in RIO
- 4K Virtual Walk along Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii — 2 Hours video
- Virtual Beach 3D 360 VR — Relaxing Immersive Experience
- Florida Beach Finder with street-view tours
- Tulum Beach Virtual Run — Beautiful Walking & Running Treadmill Scenery
- Wailea Beach Path #3, Maui, Hawaii — 53 minutes walk
2. Virtual Museum Tours
Maybe you’re looking for a bit of culture. Do you like museums? There are quite a few that let you look around virtually for free.
The best part about these trips? Open 24 hours a day—no lineups or crowds. You can stop and use the washroom at your convenience. And you can bring your pets on these tours if you want. My cat came with me to the Louvre.
- The British Museum of the World — Artifacts from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania
- Guggenheim Museum, New York — spiral staircase tour of the artwork
- Musée d’Orsay, Paris — Streetview tour
- The Louvre — virtual tours
- National Museum of the United States Air Force — virtual tour
- Natural History Museum (New Dinosaur Exhibit) Walking Tour in 4K -- Washington, D.C.
Photo of Video / Travel with Camera / YouTube
Other Interesting Tours
Beaches and museums are great. But why not visit the International Space Station, the Grand Canyon, or the canals at Venice, Italy?
- National Aquarium, Baltimore — interactive virtual tour
- NASA at Home — Virtual Tours and Apps
- U.S. National Park virtual tours
- Berlin City, Germany — Night Walk
- Winchester Mystery House — Immersive 360 Degree Tour — This one costs $8.99
- Venice, Italy Canal Tour - Beautiful Scenery
Image by Ruth Archer from Pixabay
WindowSwap — Open a New Window
Sick of the view? Try looking out someone else’s window for a change.
Normal people around the world have put a video of their view on this site. It’s interesting to see what’s in their backyard: farms, cityscapes, parks, factories, and back alleys. You never know what you might see out their window.
Quite often, you can hear them making tea in the background or some such for added ambiance. Give WindowSwap a try.
I just watched a hummingbird land at a feeder outside a window in Sandiego, CA. Sure beats looking at the snowbanks outside my own window right now.
Virtual Driving Tours
Check out these bird’s -eye-view trips through the streets of other countries. This morning I took a drive through Paris, then Moscow. And I didn’t even need to fill up the gas tank.
- Virtual Vacation — Driving Tour
- Drive and Listen — Go for a tour in the car while listening to a local radio channel.
- Cycling Through The Streets of Amsterdam
End Thoughts — Get Out of Your Bubble!
If you feel that traveling itch but there’s no escaping today, then do the next best thing. Find a way to imagine you’re somewhere else for a few minutes.
We just scratched the surface here. There are a ton of ways to explore the world virtually. All it takes is the right attitude, some WiFi, and a little bit of time. Put on your explorer’s hat and find something new.
It might be a big boost to your mental and emotional state. I know it really helps me out. I pop open a WindowSwap every morning, and sometimes I go for a virtual drive while I eat lunch. It makes a difference. Try it!