As social distancing measures and quarantine policies continue to restrict any sort of travel from occurring around the world, many are growing restless with how to spend this indefinite amount of time at home. Lucky for us, we live in a virtual age where practically everything can be seen/done online.
Many tourist destinations throughout the world have opened their digital doors to the public, offering a multitude of virtual tour/interactive online experiences so that many of us can still embark on fun travel journeys around the world, all from the comfort of our living room. Here are a few examples of some of the hundreds of virtual experience options you and your loved ones can go on while in quarantine:
Natural Habitat Adventures and the World Wildlife Fund have collaborated on a project they’re calling “Your Daily Dose of Nature.” The companies enlisted the help of over 150 guides from all over the world to share reports from their fieldwork, give updates on conservation efforts, show off fascinating wildlife and natural landscapes, while also offering courses in things like nature photography. The “daily doses” are updated everyday at 1 p.m. mountain time, meaning you’ll have something new and educational to look forward to everyday.
Rowe Bird Sanctuary in Nebraska has provided a virtual crane cam on their website to give the public access to the second largest animal migration in the world. The crane cam will follow the Sandhill Cranes on their journey upriver. According to the website, most of the cranes leave the river during the day to go feed, so the best time to see them will likely be sunrise and sunset; but the stream is 24/7.
The National Aquarium in Baltimore is live-streaming some of their most popular attractions as well. These streams include shots from their Blacktip Reef, named for the blacktip shark population, Jellies Invasion exhibit, and Pacific Coral Reef exhibit, all which also have an overall goal of spreading the word about aquatic conservation.
Beyond just animal exhibits, there are a ton of virtual sightseeing options available for free to the public. For example, Albuquerque is offering a 360-degree tour of the entire city. Starting from the top of the Sandia Peak Tramway, online visitors can travel through some of Albuquerque’s most picturesque views, while also stopping at the local restaurants to peek in the windows and get a glimpse at local life.
Bermuda’s historic dockyard is also live-streaming a 24/7 HD quality video of what waterfront life is like. While a dockyard may not sound like the most exciting experience, it’s in Bermuda, so it’s basically like taking a virtual vacation.
The Alley Theater in Houston is also offering digital performances and streams for their past performances. Right now George Orwell’s 1984 is the only option to watch, however, the Alley isn’t the only cultural institution offering a virtual experience for past patrons.
In fact, Google’s Arts and Culture department has recently teamed up with hundreds of museums and historical venues to create an endless amount of virtual tours, activities, and educational experiences for those to endure while stuck at home during quarantine.
Regardless of where you go, what you do, and what you see, it’s clear that while we may not be able to physically be in these places, we have access to the next best thing. It’s important to remember that one day, we will be able to actually hop on a plane and go to these places, but for now, we’ll have to get used to going to Europe from our computers.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.