It’s officially summer 2020, at least in the northern hemisphere. And with it being summer, it’s also traditionally the time when we start thinking about taking our annual vacation trips, planning all those far-flung destinations we could visit, and the brand new things we could see and experience.
It’s true that travel broadens the mind, but as we become more and more aware of the environmental harm inflicted by our ever-increasing carbon footprint, taking those long-haul flights to a destination on the other side of the world becomes a lot harder to justify. Choosing to vacation in your own country or city is a sustainable choice, and thanks to some digital wizardry you can make it even better. Right now there are all sorts of virtual experiences you can enjoy online, from taking a tour of a famous museum to even walking the corridors of The White House.
So, if you’re choosing to spend your vacation time in a destination closer to home this summer, or if you’re just looking for something exciting to do while you’re bored at home, here are five of the best online experiences you can enjoy:
Vist the world’s most haunted house
Built by the mysterious Sarah Winchester, the Winchester Mansion has a notorious reputation for being one of the world’s most haunted places. Luckily, taking a virtual tour here means you won’t run the risk of bumping into any ghosts or ghouls. After all, spirits can’t possess a laptop. Or can they?
If you’re brave enough to find out, the virtual tour will take you through this impressive mansion’s 200 rooms. See how many of the 10,000 windows you can spot along the way, as well as those quirky spy holes and trap doors.
Compete in a gaming tournament
As all Millennials know, gaming is a big deal. We live in an era where professional computer gaming is a thing, and millions of players from all across the globe come together virtually to compete for world titles and eye-watering cash prizes. There are even some players out there who are on a par with elite athletes and sports players when it comes to the lifestyles that they are able to lead, but you don’t have to be a pro gamer to get involved with a gaming tournament.
Not long ago, Facebook launched Facebook Gaming for amateur eSports players who want to connect with other international players in games like FIFA and Call of Duty: Warzone. For “hardcore” gamers who are hoping to break into the world of pro gaming, there’s also the Battlefy Amateur Esports League (AEL), which hosts regular tournaments for games like PUBG and Call of Duty.
If eSports tournaments aren’t your bag, then maybe a virtual poker tournament will be more up your street. Platforms like PokerStars offer play money tournaments in a range of different formats that are ideal for beginners, while sit & go’s and fast-fold competitions are available for more experienced players
Find your Zen in Hiroshima
You can check out of your daily life anytime you like and immerse yourself in the blissful surroundings of the historic Shukkeien Garden in Hiroshima. This four hundred year old cherry blossom garden is always a favorite with tourists, and now you can wander this intricately and exquisitely designed masterpiece without having to leave the house. Meander down the winding paths, stop for a moment on the famous Koko-kyo Bridge, and take some time to meditate next to the gently bubbling koi ponds and picturesque bonsai trees. You can even visit the Seifukan Tea House and enjoy its spectacular floor to ceiling views.
Get lost in the Paris Catacombs
Paris’ infamous catacombs have been the inspiration for plenty of horror fiction and movies over the decades, and it doesn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to see why. And see why is exactly what you can do with its brand new virtual tour. It’s not for the faint-hearted, much like an in-person trip wouldn’t be, but with the magic of the Internet, you can explore these atmospheric subterranean tunnels at your own pace. Dating back to the 18th century, the catacombs are reportedly the final resting place of over 6 million Parisians… Bone chilling!
Check out some world famous art Right now, some of the world’s most iconic museums have opened the virtual doors to their exclusive collections. Take your pick from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the museum of Vatican City, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, Musée d’Orsay, and even the Louvre.