Explore Distant Places From The Comfort Of Your Couch

Explore Distant Places From The Comfort Of Your Couch
Sophie Winter

While COVID-19 has put a halt on domestic and overseas travel in most countries around the world, innovative ways to explore distant places from the comfort of your couch have been emerging left, right and centre.

If your travel plans were cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s no doubt you’d be feeling pretty down right now. There’s also no way virtual experiences can replace seeing, smelling, hearing and breathing in the atmosphere of a never-before-seen destination. However, we are lucky to live in an era where technology is available to help us stay socially connected, while remaining physically distant. Businesses across the globe have made powerful and fast adaptations, proving how the digital world can be used as a facilitator of change.

So whip up a warm cup of tea, get comfy on the sofa and enjoy the cheapest travel of your life with the links below.

Google Earth & Street View Virtual Roadtrips

Wander through the jungle of Gombe National Park in Tanzania; the temple ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia; or through glorious, powdery snow at Everest Base Camp in Nepal… all through your computer screen. Google has upped its street view game by making clear-as-day, 360 degree panoramic views of the most incredible sites in the world easily accessible for those stuck at home. They’ve created a one-stop page showcasing global tourist attractions, some of which many people may never be able to afford to see in person. With their high res satellite captures, you can climb the eiffel tower, dive underwater in the Great Barrier Reef and, my favourite of all, see what our amazing Earth looks like from the International Space Station. There’s also opportunities to learn about each place you (virtually) visit, with a plethora of local guides sharing their knowledge and stories.

If you’ve got a bit of time up your sleeve and some stores/images to share, you can become a local guide yourself here.

Explore.Org’s Animal & Nature Live Streams

From the wilds of African Jungle to the polar ice in Canada, Explore Org has live cams set up in some of the most beautiful destinations across the globe. Experience the Aurora Borealis lighting up the night sky in Churchill, Manitobal; watch pandas munch down bamboo in China’s Wolong Valley Nature Reserve or take a dive with manatees via their underwater camera in Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park, Florida. You can also hop over to their Education Portal to learn about global conservation programs and how you can help key threatened species.

SoCal Attractions & Universal Studios Adventure Rides

This is one for any little kids or big kids craving adventure during isolation. SoCal Attractions work with Universal Studios to record and publish high quality videos of all things thrill seeking! From wild rides at amusement parks to crazy long ziplines – even Elmo’s Sesame Street Coaster gets a look in. All filmed from a chest-strapped camera, so you get the same gooey belly feeling as though you were riding it yourself. Hook your computer or phone up to the loungeroom TV so whole family can enjoy!

Have I missed something?

I’m sure there are plenty more where these came from, so if you’ve spotted something online worth sharing, post in the comments below and I’ll add them to this article.

Once this all blows over and we return to somewhat of a normal state once again, I encourage you to continue to look for new ways of experiencing. Whether that’s simply walking to the shops instead of driving so you can soak in the beauty around you, or staying connected with the friends you reconnected with during isolation. In the meantime, stay healthy, safe & inside.

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