Stir Crazy? Explore the World Through Virtual Travel

Remember when we thought the pandemic might only last a few months? Well, one can hardly blame you if, eight months on – facing a second wave and the prospect of a long Ottawa winter – you feel like the walls are closing in on you.

That may be especially true if you’re a senior who enjoyed to travel. After all, this was not how you envisioned your retirement years: stuck at home.

But hold on a minute. Although international travel remains pretty much off the table for the foreseeable future, you can still visit some fascinating destinations across the world. Think virtual travel.

Explore places normally beyond your reach


This isn’t just looking at a bunch of photos on your computer. That can be pretty lame. No, this is a little more sophisticated than that.

Some venues use 360-degree video cameras to give you the sense that you’re actually there. Click the arrows on your screen and it’s just like moving your head to take in your surroundings.

Better yet, you can go places you might never have a chance to get to under normal circumstances. Mount Everest, for instance. Or climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. No mountain climbing experience required.

These are just some of the experiences highlighted in The Guardian’s “10 of the Best Virtual Tours of the World’s Natural Wonders.”

Travel the globe or stay local

Another compilation of virtual tours is Forbes’s “Ranked: The World’s 15 Best Virtual Tours To Take During Coronavirus” where you’ll find links to the Great Wall of China (without the crowds) and views of Paris from atop the Eiffel Tower.

Google Arts & Culture shares their “Top 10 virtual Journeys of Museums Around the World.” But if you’re in the mood for a museum, why not stay local and virtually visit the National Gallery of Canada?

Finding travel companions

Of course, one thing missing from virtual travel is the social experience. Sure, you don’t have to deal with annoying crowds, but you don’t have travel companions to share things with either.

The trick is to find someone to take the trip with. Even if you’re not in the same room seeing things at the same time, talking with someone afterwards somehow makes the experience more real. It also helps to combat social isolation.

If the pandemic has left you feeling lonely, you may be looking for a community of like-minded travellers to belong to. It’s worthwhile to note that many retirement homes have armchair (virtual) travel groups. If you’re considering a move to a retirement home in the Ottawa area, Tea & Toast’s senior living advisors can help you find the right retirement community for you.

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