Last year looked a whole lot different than any year in human history. Because of a new virus that cannot be contained, countries closed, people were ordered to stay at home, and travel slowly became a thing of the past.
Just a few months passed by and the tourism industry was hitting a downward trend. Even the biggest airlines and tourist companies in the world filed for bankruptcy while small businesses including street vendors and tour guides, all lost their source of livelihood.
But people love to explore new places, most especially those who derive happiness from traveling. At home, they were getting itchy feet. Many of them were asking what the future of travel is, and this year we might have just gotten our answer. With massive rollouts of vaccinations against COVID-19, the world has begun to open up. The old passport is still needed and a new passport has come into existence. Most countries require travelers to be fully vaccinated. Add to this a negative PCR test and days in hotel quarantine before getting to explore foreign terrain.
But if you can’t be troubled with all these logistics, you can still travel while at home anyway. Last year opened the market to different virtual platforms, and they are here to stay.
No lockdown restrictions can suck out someone’s desire to travel and as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Tourism is not back entirely yet but as we have already tried to establish, it doesn’t mean we can’t travel while waiting for this pandemic to end if it will ever do. Here are some ways where you can satisfy your travel bug even while you’re just chilling at home.
1. Make use of Google Earth’s cool features.
Head on to Google Earth and look for the country or get specific and type the particular travel destination you want to visit. Zoom in your screen to 100%, use Street mode, and voila! You would already feel as if you’re shopping in Paris or walking in the vineyards of Tuscany.
2. Download and play Geoguessr.
Geoguessr is an online geography game that will transport you to a specific destination in the world map, a place that you need to identify to win the game. The strategy is to look for clues around the area you were thrown to. This app makes use of Google Maps and Streetview, so use this to your advantage and search for street signs or language instructions that might give a clue where the game took you.
3. Go on virtual tours.
This is the perfect time to finally check out a virtual tour. There are many tours of popular tourist destinations available online. These include outdoor destinations such as the Stonehenge in England or the Great Wall of China and indoor locations such as the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, or Musée d'Orsay in Paris. You may even go inside the world’s most visited museums with Google Arts and Culture’s Museum Explorer feature. Go on now, head to Google, and explore virtual tours that are complete with music and trivia bits for a great travel experience.
4. Tap into food, music, and language of other countries.
While at home you may feel as if you’re in another country by cooking international dishes, learning a new language, and listening to foreign music. Immersing oneself in another culture is what’s great about traveling. So make use of your time at home to go beyond the surface by really getting deep into knowing and understanding another nation’s food, arts, and culture.
5. Join online groups and make friends.
The best way to see a new country is through a native’s eyes. In this digital age, getting to know people from other countries is not impossible. You could meet fellow travelers and exchange stories about your countries, all while being at home. Take for instance the app Slowly that glorifies snail mail and allows one to “snail mail” digital letters to people living across the globe. There are also language learning apps such as HelloTalk that may connect a native speaker to someone who wants to learn their language. Community apps such as Discord, Reddit, Facebook have groups anyone can join free to make virtual friends.
6. Binge-watch travel films, series, and documentaries.
It’s not difficult anymore to look for a good travel film or documentary online or on a streaming platform. Through a film or series, you may travel to some of the world’s most romantic spots and make you feel as if you were exploring colorful worlds. Some series will motivate you to travel and give you new travel goals.
And for a completely fun travel experience at home, make sure your station sets the mood and won’t ruin the thrill of traveling through your screen. The FlexiSpot Standing Desk Converters M7 series can easily upgrade your regular desk and give you an elevation that you need to enjoy using your laptop or desktop without any physical pain.
For an even wider screen, the Dual Monitor Mount F7D is ideal. It’s easy to install; the height is fully adjustable, and; it can hide cords in its cable management system.
If you want to sweat it out while traveling to your destination, imagine biking through Amsterdam streets or Dutch tulip fields by using a desk bike as you navigate through your virtual tour. Flexispot’s V9 Pro Home Office Height Adjustable Cycle Desk Bike will help you burn calories even while you’re cycling in place. The resistance levels are adjustable based on your personal preference and goals. The bike also comes with a desktop where you may place your bike. You may also even go around the room using the bike’s gravity casters. After your biking trip, you may check your calories burned and speed through the bike’s integrated digital display.
As a kiss to your travel escapades put a corkboard in your station and pin a world scratch map to it. Have fun by scratching the places you’ve been to virtually. We’ll see if it’s true that one could travel the world in less than 365 days!