Being stuck at home over the past year has been rough. Not being able to travel has hampered a lot of my plans, and I’m sure many of you are in the same boat. That said, I have found a few ways you can “explore” the world without ever leaving your house.
1. Take a Virtual Tour
Not being able to go to the local science museum has been rough for my family and me. Museum tours helped break up the monotony of the day and gave us something to do on the weekends. Fortunately, there are plenty of museums, both of the science and art variety, that offer virtual tours for those who miss museums.
Take the United States’ Smithsonian, for example, which is now hosting virtual tours of some of their exhibits. While not comparable to the in-person experience, it’s still nice to be able to see these exhibits from home.
2. Dive into Books and Podcasts
With the Internet being widespread, anyone can make their voice heard, and nowhere is this better exemplified than the world of podcasts. From podcasts showcasing true crime to laid-back discussions on music, there’s virtually no limit on the types of podcasts you can listen to, and this includes travel.
While you may not be able to explore the world yourself, you can travel vicariously through others. Or you can listen to podcasts focused on talking about how much the hosts love traveling!
If podcasts aren’t your speed, there’s always the option of reading. Immersing yourself in a book for a few hours is a good way to imagine yourself traveling elsewhere. You can even travel to fictional worlds if you like, though I prefer staying grounded in reality!
3. Stream Travel TV Shows, Documentaries and Movies
If virtual tours aren’t your thing, and you find yourself struggling to stay interested in books and podcasts (like me), there’s always Netflix. It might sound strange, but one of the best ways to explore the world without actually traveling is through TV.
From documentaries showcasing the various cultures found worldwide to fictional shows that just so happen to take place in real locations, there’s no shortage of ways to immerse yourself elsewhere for 40 minutes to an hour.
Unfortunately, shows and movies you may want to watch could be limited to certain countries, meaning you don’t have access to them. If you run into this situation, however, all you’ll need to do is connect to a VPN server location. More specifically, connect to a location in the country the content can be viewed in.
4. Order Foreign Food Box Deliveries
One of the best ways to experience new cultures and new countries is through food. But because we can’t travel, it’s been hard to try new foods that aren’t available for quick delivery! I did manage to find one solution, however: boxed deliveries.
There are countless subscription services out there that are dedicated to sending people a bunch of foods, drinks, condiments, and vice versa, from other countries. One of the more popular examples is Universal Yums, which sends you various candies usually set to a theme (Mediterranean food, for example).
I recommend shopping around for a subscription box you would like. A lot of them are candy-based, but there are other types of boxes.
5. Take Cooking Classes and Eat the World (at Home)
But what if you don’t want to wait a month for a package of food you might eat in a week or two? You could subscribe to multiple boxes, but that would drain your bank account faster than cooking the meals yourself.
The pandemic gave me ample opportunity to learn how to cook new dishes—ones I never tried before. And I’ve also found that learning to cook these new dishes is a great way to get a taste of other countries.
Fortunately, there are a plethora of cooking classes online focused on foreign foods. Whether you want a classic Italian dish, a tasty Mediterranean dish, or a fancy Indonesian meal, there’s no shortage of classes you can take.
Just because we’re locked in our homes still doesn’t mean we can’t explore the world; we just can’t do it physically. But with virtual tours, podcasts, and even food deliveries, you don’t need to leave the comfort of your home to see everything the world has to offer!