How to Travel When You’re Stuck at Home
For one strange moment in time, we are all required to stay home. This means no work, no socializing, and especially no travel. For those who yearn for adventure in exotic locales, this can be a bit of a problem. It was for me anyway, until I discovered Google’s Art and Culture website (not being paid to say this, I just love the site). Now I’m traveling again without even leaving my home.
Admittedly, virtual travel is not quite like the real thing, but it can be pretty amazing. With this site, I can sit on the couch in my pajamas and visit India or tour Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum. I can stroll through Queen Victoria’s Durbar Room, or learn about the art of making a Kimono. I can even watch the bones of a Sea Dragon – or Rhomelosaures – come to life and swim away from its display in the Natural history Museum of London. (More links at the end of this post.) All this from the comfort – and hopefully virus-free setting of my own front room.
Viking Museum – Oslo Norway
How is This Possible?
Simply go to Google’s Art and Culture website where you’ll find an astounding collection of artwork, museum tours, rare collectibles, and cultural experiences. I was amazed by all the options. You could literally spend weeks clicking through this information.
My favorites are the videos. Shot in 360-degree mode, you can scroll around the screen to get the big picture of backgrounds and surroundings. You can even pause the narrative and search a particular scene in more detail before resuming the video.
How to Play
Start with the home page – if you land here and never leave you’ll find lots of ways to while away the hours, but there’s so much more! Go to the guide – the three black bars on the top left of the screen. When you click on this you’ll find a drop-down list that helps locate the kind of experience you’re looking for.
The first heading is “Explore”. Here you’ll find the best of the best – the topics which have proved most popular with visitors. From 360 degree videos and street views of famous cultural sites and landmarks, to photo tours (also 360 ) of things like Great Libraries of the World (Library Lady Favorite). Did you know the five-tier George Peabody Library in Baltimore is so beautiful that weddings are held in its Neo Greco Atrium?
Maybe you’d rather visit one of Kenya’s national parks? Did you know the Ol Pejeta conservancy is home to the world’s last two surviving White Rhinos?
Fun Technical Stuff
Have you ever been to the Louvre Museum only to find it was too crowded to see the Mona Lisa? For those who are a little more tech-savvy than I am, you can project a famous work of art onto the wall of your room. If you download the app there are all kinds of special effects available.
There are even activities to do at home with the kiddos, i.e. Which Kenyan Superhero are You? This is an interactive quiz where kids answer questions that match them to the painting of a Kenyan hero most like them. Then there’s the ever-popular video – How to go to the bathroom in Space. This site is a gold mine for home school parents.
Visitors can search by artists, collections, themes, etc. or look for a museum near their own home. Once you get the hang of all this you can create a profile with a gallery of personal favorites.
All in all, I can’t say enough about this unique website. I’ve just dipped my toe into the ocean of possibilities here and look forward to spending many happy lock-down hours traveling from home.
If you go let me know! And I’d love to hear about other great boredom-busting sites you’ve been to, be they travel or otherwise.
Links to Google’s Art and Culture sites:
How to go to the bathroom in Space (Scroll Down)