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Virtual Travel Experiences From Your Couch!

Hey all!

If you've come across this blog, odds are you have while researching future destinations you'd like to visit, or you're active within the travel community. When travel and exploration is your passion, it's not an easy swallow to just hang up the towel for the foreseeable future until we get the green light to get moving again. In addition to all the ongoing uncertainty that comes with Covid-19 and a global pandemic, we are forced to put on hold the very thing that keeps us excited and looking forward to the days ahead.

Personally, I consider myself an escape artist. When I'm not researching my next destination, picking out which creative cuisines to indulge in, planning itineraries or booking flights, I still find ways to get lost, even in my own figurative backyard. I'll go for a drive in the countryside with no road map or end point in mind, trying to find a nice spot to post up and catch the sunset. I am getting lost in a basement thrift shop - the less organized and more chaotic, the better. I find myself engulfed in series after series of true crime documentaries and podcasts, trying to piece together clues to solve the case, or I submerge myself into a piece of writing.

Originally, my art of the escape was conceived from a rather traumatic place - living in an abusive situation and battling with my own discord of anxiety and depression, escapism was my way of evading those uncomfortable feelings. It was my way of displacing myself out of the external afflictions, keeping busy with the unfamiliar and the thrilling. Ironically, getting lost was the only place I felt safe and found.

This in turn resulted in my love of travel, and like some of you, I long for the days when I can finally head back and discover new countries, bond with hospitable locals, create friendships with other travelers from around the world, and just fall blissfully into new experiences and moments in time.

Just because we cannot physically travel right now, does not mean we still can't plan, or even get a real glimpse into what we'll visit next! Sites have been springing up that are offering you the ability to travel to some of the most beautiful and renowned destinations in the world, without even leaving your couch! We can all do our part to maintain social distancing while still feeding that little travel bug that lives inside us.

The New York Times has released a video series called The Daily 360 where you can go on a virtual trip through the new Seven Wonders of the World! Take a walk through once-in-a-lifetime sites like the Great Wall of China, Petra, and Machu Picchu.

Museums are also opening their doors (virtually) to the public for guided tours and interactive experiences. Art lovers can delight with online tours of the Louvre, while history buffs can participate in self guided trips through various exhibits and rooms at the Smithsonian National Museum.

Looking for something more outdoorsy, or your home gym set up is just getting a little... yawn? Go for a "hike" through national parks and witness stunning views from the heights of Yosemite, or take it 750 ft underground and explore the ancient mysteries of Carlsbad Caverns.

If you are big into Broadway and theatrical productions, BroadwayHD is a streaming service that has a collection of 300+ productions you can binge for only $8.99/month, and your first week is free!

Divers and animal lovers, I haven't forgotten about you! Have you ever wanted to take a dip through the Great Barrier Reef? Enjoy an interactive journey with historian David Attenborough through 5 key locations along Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Many Zoo's such as the San Diego Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo, and Houston Zoo to name a few have added Live Cam features to their sites, which is a great option for families and offers some great educational opportunities for kids!

Ah, and what better way to end your super adventurous day of trekking the Inca trail, pondering Dali's greatest works, and having a virtual tea with the Queen in Buckingham Palace than a relaxing spa treatment! The Doja Upstate is offering sound meditation broadcasts for the ultimate engagement of the senses. Elevate your environment with an eye mask and quality headphones to set the full sensory, 3D sound experience.

We may be confined to our homes for now, but that doesn't mean we have to pack our wanderlust away. Never lose that knack to explore and build a deeper understanding for our world - travel is just as much sensory as it is physical.

Everyone - be well, keep healthy, stay home, and stay curious.



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