• Whitney Cross Simon

Level Up: Armchair Travel

Heading into week eight of quarantine in Chicago, and I’ve officially mastered the art of traveling from my couch. Maybe I’ve gone crazy, or maybe these virtual tours and live broadcasts are as good as they seem. Today, I’m sharing some tips on how to level up your armchair traveling abilities.

A Night at the Museum

I’ll admit it: I’m not a museum person, but there is something to be said about seeing some of the most famous works of art from the comfort of your own couch with a generously sized glass of wine. Google Arts & Culture partnered with more than 2,500 museums and galleries to create virtual tours and online exhibits making it easier than ever to gain a little bit of historical, artistic and scientific knowledge during this time of self-isolation. Some of my favorites have been the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.


What is it about watching animals that brings such joy? I’ve loved transporting myself back on safari with this daily livestream from South Africa, where a guide takes you through a game drive mirroring those they offer when guests are there. Although, I am beginning to notice alarming similarities between the jungle cat in my living room and her 500lb counterparts in Kruger National Park. Another favorite is the live footage Monterey Bay Aquarium streams from 7am-7pm PST every day, especially the jelly cam and the coral reef cam.

Parks and Rec

Missing the great outdoors, but have hit your max on baby animal footage? National parks from the US and all over the world are offering free virtual tours. If you’re looking to be inspired state-side, I’ve been exploring Yellowstone’s grand canyon and Mammoth Hot Springs; glaciers and icebergs in Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska; and the breathtaking red rocks of Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah.

Those envisioning themselves on a beach might enjoy Saint Lucia’s social media mini-series, with new episodes released twice a week covering everything from ocean-side yoga to Saint Lucian cooking classes.

Finally, the Faroe Islands are offering multiple opportunities each day to join their live, guided tours of the islands, offering control over which direction they head to the participants.

Let us know how you’re satisfying your wanderlust during this time of physical distancing in the comments below!

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