Is your wanderlust consuming you, but you can’t jet off right now? Whether it is due to the global pandemic, lack of funds or other constraints, fret not as you can travel virtually and bring the world to your doorstep. With a bit of imagination and compromise, here are eight sneaky ways to cure your wanderlust, without leaving the comfort of your home.
1.Take virtual museum or gallery tours
Craving for a dose of culture to break up with Netflix binges and frequent trips to the fridge? Lose yourself in an augmented-reality walk around an iconic museum or gallery that you’ve always wanted to visit around the world. You can explore a number of them virtually from your couch while wearing your pyjamas. Here are some renowned museums or galleries that offer free virtual tours: Guggenheim Museum in New York, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. and Musée du Louvre in Paris.
2.Ride for free at Disney World
Great news for Disney fans! Now you can experience the thrill of popular rides at Disney World parks with your beloved family. For instance, one can immerse in an ‘interactive 360º video environment’ anytime and everywhere for free through Virtual Disney World’s YouTube channel. Hop in and virtually ride on Star War’s Galaxy Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studio, Na’vi River Journey at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. For immersive experience, watch it with a VR headset or simply use Google Cardboard if you are a smartphone user!
3.Wander round the globe with Google Street View
Explore the world from a new perspective. Is there a destination that you yearn to visit? Google Street View can teleport you around the globe with no check-in queues or travel passes needed. Go anywhere. Stroll along the streets of Tokyo, Hollywood Boulevard or Champs-Élysées, explore major cities, and if you are tired of that vibes, take a peek of rural outposts or your favourite childhood ‘kampung’.
4.Watch travel-inspired movies or TV shows
Your travel itinerary may be thwarted for the time being, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t stream some wanderlust in your life. For all travel bugs, here are a few travel inspired movies and TV shows to binge while you can’t travel: Into the Wild, Crazy Rich Asian, Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2, The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals, Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road Adventure and Joanna Lumley’s Japan. Or, if you’re like me who loves to travel with my stomach, StreetFood: Asia, Ugly Delicious and Chef’s Table (all on Netflix) might inspire you to plan for your next trip.
5.Tickle your palate
Travel the world through your taste buds. Cook a foreign dish, inhale the aromas and imagine yourself in a far-flung country. It sounds simple, but foods allow us to recreate the experience of different cultures. If your soul cries for Japan, it’s time to make a bowl of nourishing Japanese ramen. Longing to visit Italy? Cook silky Italian pasta. Procure online recipes and learn about different cuisines around the globe, including its sweet treats such as Churros from Mexico, Halva from Turkey, Lucuma form Peru, Mocci from Japan, Spaghettieis from Germany … and the list goes on!
6.Learn foreign languages
Knowing a foreign language will be handy when travelling as it opens the door to other cultures of your up-coming destination. It will assist you to manoeuvre tricky situations, able to converse with the locals and heighten travelling experience. With booming language apps at finger tips, you can start a new tongue in a jiffy. Duolingo, for instance, will make it a breeze for newbies to learn foreign languages by ratcheting up your basic vocabulary and every day phrases according to your own pace.
7.Home-travel with travel Vlogs or Instagram
Watching others’ travel on YouTube or Instagram is a great way to be inspired for your future trips. Normally, travel Vloggers or Instagrammers will share tips and insights about travel destinations in order to make your adventure more meaningful. Here is a list that will keep your wanderlust going: Mark Abroad, Uncut Travel, Yes Theory (YouTube); @alexpreview, @takemyhearteverywhere, @muradosmann, @fikri_zamri and @iamnazirul (Instagram).
8.Dream your next adventure
If you’re unable to travel for whatever reason, this is the perfect time to dream and write your travel bucket list. Now it’s time to shine! Spin the globe, plot your next adventure, research new destinations through your readings. Use Canva to create a virtual vision board, collage photos of your soon-to-be-destination and its details to inspire you. You may even want to start saving too to hit your bucket list.
Undeniably, of course, nothing beats the real things as none of these virtual travelling can compete with real-life adventures – not even in VR mode. But for now, just for now, it’s all we have to satiate our wanderlust soul. So, what will you do first?
Safra Liyana Sukiman is a language teacher with the Department of English Language and Linguistic Centre for Language Studies at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM).