Travelling without leaving home

COVID-19 has disrupted many travel plans. Fortunately, thanks to technology, and with a little imagination, you’re able to live out your dream and escape from the comfort of your home..

9 ideas for virtual travelling from home

AirPano offers a vast image and video gallery captured at 360 degrees which allows you to discover several tourist attractions of a country or region. The quality of the photos and footage is exceptional, and it’s enough to have make all travel enthusiasts dream as they are unable to get away.  

On the AirPano website, simply select “360° Photo” or “360° Video” and search to choose what you would like to view or browse the galleries that are available to you. 

Texts and folk tales accompany each of the featured destinations, which makes the virtual visits even more interesting. 

Cooking getaways

Culinary experiences are an essential part in experiencing the pleasure of travel.

Why not try to recreate the regional dishes at home that you loved during a previous stay abroad? Relive your family’s last great adventure. Also take the opportunity to share your recipes and your stories about this destination with your friends on social networks, or during videoconference meetings with your loved ones.

You might also want to learn about the culinary traditions of a destination that has piqued your curiosity in the past, but that you never had the opportunity to visit. A gastronomic challenge that promises to be entertaining if your taste buds have never tasted these flavors!

Visit an online museum

Visiting a museum virtually is a fulfilling way to travel without leaving the comforts of home. The Arts & Culture application from Google, among others, allows you to visit several museums around the world from your computer or mobile device. Whether you are interested in art, culture or history, you will certainly find a museum that will pique your interest. Here are some suggestions:

 The Virtual Museum of Canada also offers several free virtual exhibits on the history and heritage of the country.

Travelling through reading

Seeing the country through reading is a great way to get away from it all without moving a muscle. Books have the power to transport us anywhere in the universe. Here are some suggestions that will make you feel like you are somewhere else, even during lockdown:

  • Kim by Rudyard Kipling
  • The Killer Koala by Kenneth Cook
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Vernee
  • The Consolations of the Forest: Alone in a Cabin on the Siberian Taiga by Sylvain Tesson
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Travelling from home thanks to movies

This is probably the most convenient way to learn more about new cultures while staying at home. Here are some suggestions, among my favorite films, that will make you want to travel:

  • The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) by Walter Salles
  • Seven years in Tibet (1997) by Jean-Jacques Annaud
  • Wild (2014) by Jean-Marc Vallée
  • The Spanish Apartment (2002) by Cédric Klapisch
  • The Darjeeling Limited (2007) by Wes Anderson

Take language lessons though an app

Whether it is to plan a trip or keep current on acquired knowledge, learning a language is a simple way to travel despite being locked down. In fact, what better way to immerse yourself in a new culture than to challenge yourself to learn a foreign language?

Depending on your goals, you will find a multitude of educational apps to practice your pronunciation, memorize your verb tenses or enrich your vocabulary. Babbel, MosaLingua and Duolingo are some examples of recognized apps.

Some language schools around the world are also offering online courses during this time of crisis. A golden opportunity to learn a language that is not taught in schools in your area!

Explore national parks online

Outdoor enthusiasts will be happy to know that exploring certain national parks of Canada and the United States without leaving the house is possible.

A partnership between Parks Canada and Google now allows Internet users to virtually visit certain parks in the various Canadian provinces. The panoramic images are accessible after a simple search of the national park on Google Maps. Then select “360° view” to start exploring.

The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks , on the Google Arts & Culture platform, allows you to follow a ranger for a visit through certain parks. The guide shows us places that are difficult to see from regular trails thanks to aerial images captured by drones. You can visit parks in Alaska, Hawaii and New Mexico, among others, and the videos are completely stunning.

The platform is simple to use, and it’s easy to find the park of your choice.

Travelling from home with music

Music is another feature of a destination that can easily be enjoyed from home. I particularly like listening to traditional music from a country to remind myself of adventures, but also to get away from my everyday life.

Spotify and YouTube are good sources for finding the greatest songs of the country of your choice, and you should be able to find something that will make you want to travel there.

If you don’t want to discover a particular region of the world, and you prefer making musical discoveries from around the world, AccuRadio World Music offers lists such as “World Party,” “World Beat,” or “One World” which are full of rhythms from different countries.

Chat with friends around the world

Video conferencing platforms like Skype, Zoom Meetings or FaceTime , make exchanges with our loved ones much easier when physical distancing is required, and they also allow us to keep in touch with people we meet during a trip.

Several forums and Facebook groups also allow you to get in touch with other travellers and ask questions about an upcoming destination.

With so many solutions available to us, it’s easier to feel close to people when social distancing and border closures prevent us from getting together. It’s also a great way to continue learning a language and thus feel like you are travelling while staying at home.

These suggestions for travelling from home are easily accessible, require little preparation, are inexpensive and, above all, allow us to keep dreaming of our next getaways!