New Options to Explore the World Virtually

For many people, especially older adults and those with chronic health conditions, travel is off the table for the foreseeable future.  But there are more opportunities than ever to experience the world virtually.  Museums and galleries are offering guided online tours and recently Amazon launched Explore; a virtual platform that provides travel, learning, and shopping experiences from around the globe. 

Ranging in price from around $10 to $119, participants can immerse themselves in a far-off culture and learn about the history, cuisine, art, and geography of regions across North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.   Participants can discover Argentinian Malbecs with a virtual wine tasting or learn to make authentic Montreal-style bagels in addition to many more experiences.  

Hosts from around the world will stream live, allowing participants to ask questions, take pictures and watch and hear the event as it happens.  Hosts are English-speaking tour guides, professionals, personal shoppers, and other specialists. Each session can be customized to suit individual interests. 

Have something unique to share with the world?  Amazon is also looking for hosts to share what they know and love with the world with live streaming remote virtual experiences.  Small businesses could, for example, offer a virtual knitting lesson with opportunities to purchase hand-made goods.  

This fall, as cooler weather keeps more people indoors, why not take a Tango lesson straight from Buenos Aires or learn how to snap better photos with your smartphone?  Maybe a virtual tour of Prague or excursion to get close to wild animals in Costa Rica will help fill days in isolation and provide a much-needed escape from the 24-hour news cycle. 

There are also many free virtual experiences available online through museums, national parks, and non-profit organizations.  Visit Cy Ark, founded in 2003 to digitally record, archive. and share significant cultural heritage from around the world, to learn more.

And check out Forbes Top 15 Virtual World Tours here