I'm writing this now because many people are stuck at home due to COVID-19. Many of us had to cancel travel plans and can't even be tourists in our own cities. You don't have to worry though, there are still ways to get your travel fix at home. Here are 7 perfect ways to incorporate travel into your life at home:
1. Watch Travel Videos
Of course there are travel shows you can watch at home, like Rick Steves' Europe (full episodes can be found on his website), Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father (Netflix), Street food (Netflix), or The Amazing Race (Hulu). You can also watch travel vloggers on Youtube, like The Bucket List Family, Brad & Hailey Devine, Happy to Wander, and Iv Dae.
2. Plan (or 1/2 plan a trip)
Decide where you want to go next and do some research! Figure out when you should go, where you should stay, things to do, etc. Don't book anything until you know that you can for sure go on the trip. For now, just write it down in your notes with tentative dates. Download the app Hopper, search flights for your tentative dates/locations, and use the "Watch This Trip" feature to get notifications when the prices for those dates/locations drop.
Don't forget to read travel blogs to learn about different places and get travel tips!
Y'all... Google Arts & Culture is so awesome!! You can tour famous museums, like The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Musée d'Orsay in Paris, British Museum in London (British Museum's website also has a fun, interactive page that shows artifacts they have [dating back all the way to 2,000,000 BC!] and information about each artifact), Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC (virtual tours also available on their website), The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston Museum of Natural Science, and so many more! You can also do street views of famous landmarks, like Taj Mahal, Palace of Versailles, Great Pyramid of Giza, and the Colosseum.
There are so many different places and things to explore on this site that don't even have to do with museums or famous landmarks. There's a page that explores street art in New York and another that explores the International Space Station!
4. Other Virtual Tours & Live Video
Yes, Google Arts & Culture offers what seems like an endless amount of virtual tours. There are a few things that you can't find on that website though. One museum that isn't on Google Arts & Culture is the Musée du Louvre! Virtual tours of the Louvre can be found on their website.
Houston Zoo offers live video of some of their animals and I have to say, it is the cutest thing! You can watch giraffes, gorillas, elephants, leafcutter ants, rhinos, and chimps. San Diego Zoo also has live video of some of their animals, including baboons, penguins, pandas, and koalas!
For more destination related live videos, go to https://www.earthcam.com. You can see live footage from different places around the world, like Times Square in NYC, Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, and Pattaya Beach in Thailand.
If you want to explore places on your own, just use Street View on Google Maps or use Google Earth!
5. Cook It Up
Explore different cultures through their cuisines! Try making schnitzel, crepes, enchiladas, or hummus. If you'd rather do a culinary tour of the USA, make peach cobbler, buttermilk biscuits, New York-style pizza, or jambalaya. Here are some of my favorite recipes:
Croissants (I made these and they were very delicious, but I think I will use less butter next time 😅)
Peach Cobbler (Ingredients: 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, pinch salt, heaping tsp of baking powder, 3/4 cup of milk, 1 stick of butter, 2 1/2 cans of peaches; Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt butter in oven in rectangular pan. Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and milk. Pour batter over the butter in the pan, then pour the peaches over the batter. Do not mix. 2. Bake for roughly 30 minutes or until the batter is golden brown; Note: if using fresh peaches, you can peel, core, and slice 5 peaches and put them in a saucepan with about 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir to combine, cook on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and it's juicy. Remove from the heat and set aside while you prepare the batter.)
If you have a delicious recipe (or multiple recipes) that you'd like to share, please send it/them my way!!
6. Jam Out
You can also explore other cultures through music! There are playlists on YouTube and Pandora with all types of music. I'm more familiar with Spotify, which has loads of international playlists. I also made my own international playlist, which you can find here!
7. Learn a Language
With all the technology we have today, learning a language is so easy!! If you're willing to pay (I believe it's worth it if you're really dedicated to learning a specific language), Rosetta Stone is a great tool for learning a new language. I currently use DuoLingo to learn German and French. There's a free version, but you can pay to upgrade. I already know some Spanish, so when I first started Spanish lessons, I took a quiz and DuoLingo created lessons based on the knowledge I already had. DuoLingo is pretty neat because you can use the app on your phone or you can go to the website on your computer. You can also turn on notifications and the app/website will remind you to do lessons and reach your daily personal goal.
Even though you're stuck at home, there are still so many ways to get your travel fix! Let me know how you're staying occupied and/or "traveling" from the comfort of your own home!!