Tips for Traveling the World from the Comfort of a Couch
Following my previous column titled, “5 Free Activities You Can Do at Home During COVID-19 Hibernation,” I thought it would be fun to share some more free things you can do from home. The more I look into this topic, the more material I find. Following is a short list I’ve created of ways to travel the world from the safety of your couch.
Visit the zoo or an aquarium anywhere in the world
Take a virtual tour of a zoo or aquarium. Many zoos and aquariums offer virtual tours with activities that kids can do at home. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden hosts a daily Facebook live video featuring a different animal that lives in the zoo. Learn about Moe the two-toed sloth and many other animals. Viewers can ask zookeepers questions about the animals too.
Recently, when Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium was closed, keepers released the zoo’s penguins into the visitor areas to let them say hello to the other animals. They captured the entire thing on video. It was adorable.
Those who don’t feel well enough to get around a zoo due to fatigue, walking, and balance issues, overwhelm, and other challenges, can participate at home. A bonus is that these videos can keep the kids entertained while they’re off school too.
Take a virtual museum or gallery tour
Museums and galleries around the world host virtual tours on their websites. Pop over to Paris and take in a tour of the Louvre. Fly to Washington, D.C., for a visit to the Smithsonian or take a trip to London to wander around the Tate Modern. You can even turn up in your sweatpants with no fear of judgment.
Experience the tranquility of a museum or gallery while learning about art and history. Relapses have never been so productive.
Experience the thrill of a theme park ride
Do you want to do something fun and magical, but don’t have the energy, dollars, or weather to go to a theme park?
You can now go on virtual rides around Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. How cool is that?
The YouTube channel, Virtual Disney World, has videos of walks around the park and rides. It is awesome. Test out the new “Frozen” ride or the classic Tower of Terror. Be prepared for feelings of nausea particularly if you are taking a medication to treat fatigue.
The best parts about going on a virtual theme park tour: no overpriced drinks, no waiting in line, and it’s more or less free — except for the cost of your broadband.
I took a cup of tea on the Slinky Dog Dash ride and had a trip on Splash Mountain without getting soaked.
Live through the experiences of others
I follow some food vloggers on YouTube who travel around the world trying local cuisine, particularly street food. In real life, trying out unfamiliar dishes would cause me crazy anxiety. I am super anxious around germs, new places, and exotic foods.
I follow a vlog by a guy called Mark Wiens who travels the world exploring food cultures and trying local dishes. It’s safe to say I wouldn’t have the confidence to try a lot of the things he eats. I’m glad that he tries out those foods for his audience — it makes me feel like I’m not missing out on anything.
These virtual tours are great especially if you live with anxiety as I do. If you’d like to find out more about how I manage my anxiety to live each day successfully, check out this column.
What other virtual tours have you found? Have you done any of the above? Share your experience in the comments below.
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