If the last several weeks have taught us anything, it’s that travel is one of life’s greatest pleasures. While we wait to get back out there, we’ve found plenty of ways to explore the planet from where we are: photography, space travel, virtual tours, video games, augmented reality, cookbooks and much more. Let your wanderlust go wild with the links below.
Travel the World Without Leaving Home
On Thursday, March 26, we asked enRoute photographers to show us a moment from their current reality, wherever they may be in the world (we did it again, with another group of contributors, on April 26). The responses give us the chance to take a trip across the globe through their eyes, and a lesson: The beauty in what we are collectively living through right now lies in rediscovering the power of personal connections. This collaborative photo essay is our community’s effort to bring us all a little bit closer.
From the sunniest of daffodils to the most elegant of orchids, scientists have confirmed what early gardeners had already surmised more than 5,000 years ago when they first began cultivating posies for pleasure – flowers are natural mood enhancers. Visit some of the world’s brightest blooms without worrying about crowds (or pollen allergies!) with 10 of our favourite virtual garden tours from around the planet. You might even find yourself inspired, whether you have an entire plot or just a modest pot or two, to grow a garden of your own.
While you may not be able to travel to a hammam in Turkey or a luxury spa in Switzerland at the moment, you can still create a blissful, DIY wellness retreat at home. From plush robes and soothing teas to face masks and massage rollers, we’ve got you covered.
Travel habits have changed in this stay‑at‑home moment – and so have listening habits. In fact, listening is very much on trend these days, making it the perfect time to plug into podcasts that can help you travel from where you are. Here are a few that are taking us to places we’d rather be and inspiring hope for future travels.
How does a street photographer practice street photography when the streets are off limits? Like many of us, Cambridge‑based photographer Craig Whitehead, aka Sixstreetunder, is stuck at home with an abundance of spare time, but has found a novel way to practice his craft — inside the video game world of Red Dead Redemption 2. The game, set in the American Old West at the turn of the 20th century, allows players to roam around a believable and vast world on foot or horseback, navigating through mountains, deserts, prairies, wetlands and bustling urban centres. Whitehead shares how he uses the in‑game camera mode to capture and create stunning images that almost look like they were taken in the real world.
Something interesting happens when a human being gains enough distance from the Earth and looks back: it’s called “the overview effect,” and it’s characterized by a shift in perspective and understanding. Seeing the planet from high above can induce empathy, awe and a sense of our shared responsibility for the place where we live. These are the things that Benjamin Grant hopes to instill in followers of his Instagram account, Daily Overview. We sat down with the founder of this hugely successful Instagram account to learn more about his mission to share this fresh perspective of the planet online.
The founders of Sovrappensiero, a Milan‑based design studio, have invented a Star Trek‑style transporter of sorts (something we could all use right now). Find out how they came up with the idea below. But first, here’s how to build one for yourself.
We asked our favourite travel writers to woo us with romantic tales of finding love in far‑flung places – and they delivered. From discovering soulmates and best‑friends‑for‑life to making more surprising connections, their stories are a testament to the deep, lasting relationships that travel can lead to.
If you wish you could take an epic journey somewhere at the moment, you’re not alone. These long, slow videos of journeys in trains, planes, boats and hot‑air‑balloons (and one space station) are a soothing way to mimic that experience of leaving home for a while.
If, like us, you’ve had enough of being housebound, our Day Tripping series will take you right to where you want to go in an instant, no passport required. This week, immerse yourself in the streets of Paris, beginning with a little online shopping excursion and ending with a romantic dîner pour deux.
Canadian astronaut David Saint‑Jacques spent nearly seven months aboard the International Space Station. We spoke with him before he blasted off in 2018, but figured now would be a good time for a catch up. From his home in Houston, where he’s practicing social distancing with his family, we chatted about his isolation tips, travelling in your imagination and how he views the world now that he’s back on it. It made us feel a lot better.
Sure, staring at your television screen isn’t quite the same as experiencing a place IRL – watching Lost in Translation will always be a different experience from actually wandering the streets of Tokyo. But film does have the power to transport us (it also has Bill Murray sometimes – so there’s that). We’ve rounded up a watchlist of binge‑worthy travel movies to help satisfy your wanderlust until you can get back out into the world.
Jacqui Kenny does most of her travelling near the equator, drawn by the light, the colours, the architecture. She seeks out remote destinations with extreme temperatures and austere landscapes, always preferring to explore roads less taken. And the photos she returns with are every bit as unconventional as the way that she travels. Kenny uses Google Street View to see the world. The platform has become her personal archeological site, a place where she unearths images culled from the past and posts them for the world to see. Her Instagram feed is like a museum of magical moments from around the globe, captured by the camera that juts from the roof of the Google Street View car.
The kids have transformed the house into a pillow fort, pulled every book from the shelves and brought every toy into the living room and it’s only 11 a.m. Here’s the perfect travel‑inspired remedy: seven virtual field trips, from watching the animals at the San Diego Zoo to exploring outer space with NASA. Send them on these far‑flung explorations around the planet, all from the comfort of the couch.