Summer is getting closer and COVID-19 projections and precautions have erased many of our typical summer plans. This is usually the time of year when spring fever eases, but this year it’s reaching new and unprecedented heights as the world buckles in for months and even years of recovery.
As someone who finds large crowds exhausting, I’m not usually a big event-goer. I won’t really miss things like music festivals and amusement parks (though I do enjoy some local events like concerts in the park). Instead, what I’m struggling with most is the inability to travel.
Most of my family lives in Minnesota about a 5-hour drive from Eau Claire, and it’s tough not knowing when I’ll be able to visit. I also just really enjoy going on vacations in the summer, whether it’s a relaxed day trip to a nearby destination, an epic road trip, or a long-distance journey requiring air travel.
At this time, the CDC, the U.S. Department of State, and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services all advise against any nonessential travel outside of your local community. This makes sense to me. I understand how travelers can inadvertently bring the disease with them to their destination or carry it back when they return home. I think avoiding travel is sensible advice. That doesn’t make staying home any easier.
To curb our collective wanderlust, many destinations around the world have made virtual tours accessible online (and quite a few were already available). From home, you can explore famous museums, zoos, landmarks, and national parks.
Here’s a list of a few of my personal favorites:
- National Geographic’s journey through Hang Son Doong, the world’s largest cave.
- The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
- NASA’s Glenn Research Center (this tour includes tons of cool videos, too)
- The Palace of Versailles in France
- Live cams at the San Diego Zoo
- Zhāngjiājiè national forest park in China
Have you discovered any amazing virtual tours? Share them with us in the comments. Until we can travel safely: stay home, fellow wanderers, and stay safe.