I was already thinking of when and where to go next while still on vacation last December. My being undecided became a good thing because of the sudden lockdown and, obviously, flight cancelations. Nothing for me to worry over, thankfully. Now, I just wonder when we can travel again. I’m sure things will be different after this.
Anyway, nothing we can do with the lockdown, but that’s not going to stop us from “traveling.” I mean, virtual traveling from the comforts of our home, room, or bed. 😛 The following websites offer free high definition and interactive exploration of museums, heritage sites, and cities, to name a few.
- Google Arts & Culture has thousands of virtual museums, online exhibits, and 360-views of heritage sites, among others that are available for free. Its 360 and street views are my favorite features. One could spend days or the entire duration of the lockdown or quarantine exploring the website, and it still wouldn’t be enough. I saw high-resolution paintings also downloadable for free. Google Arts & Culture has Android and iOS apps.
- 360CITIES offers 360 goodness I haven’t seen in the previously mentioned site, such as the “Underwater Diving with tiger sharks and hammerhead.” The website offers VR too, which I think truly defines virtual traveling. 🙂 However, I couldn’t check if it’s freely accessible.
- Smithsonian Open Access has millions of digital items from Smithsonian’s museums, research centers, archives, libraries, and the National Zoo. It even includes datasets of scientific research. Information overload!
- Zoos Victoria offers live streams of their animals! I haven’t had any luck seeing the animals though hahaha
I wouldn’t have known about these sites if it weren’t for the quarantine.
Even if you’re not into traveling, continuously enriching ourselves with culture, art, history, and the like is good for our mental health as well. I’m all about taking care of our mental health as, personally, can’t help but feel some hopelessness on some days.
I’ll update the list when I find more (working) sites. Here are other special mentions:
- The Sistine Chapel is an oldie but still a goodie. I might have been in the first year of college when I first saw it.
- The NASA International Space Station live feed is a different kind of travel 😛
- Taj Mahal: A Tour from the Top. Taj Mahal is one of my favorite places I’ve visited. It’s beautiful… And romantic. 😛
Featured photo is the USA Library of Congress.