In March 2020, COVID-19 took the world by storm. By the end of the month, there were over 140,000 confirmed cases in the United States alone. Lockdowns, travel bans, and curfews were put in place worldwide to try to contain the rapid spread of the disease, and life as we knew it changed indefinitely.
Fast-forward more than a year later, and life is beginning to regain a sense of normalcy in some countries where newly-developed vaccination against the virus has been implemented. However, the pandemic continues to rage on in other countries, leaving travel restrictions and bans still widely enforced.
If you’ve been bitten by the travel bug while waiting for the pandemic to come to an end, you’re not alone. When you’re not even allowed to be physically close to your closest friends and family, let alone venture out into the unknown, months can feel like years. To help you pass the time and satiate your thirst for adventure, check out the list of the best virtual expeditions of 2021 below.
Prepare for Your Virtual Expeditions
Before you go galavanting to the far reaches of cyberspace on your virtual expeditions, there are a couple of things you should do to stay safe and make the most of your experiences.
Get a VR Headset
One thing that can really optimize your virtual expedition experiences is a VR headset. While they used to be a tricky thing of the future for most people, they’re more commonplace these days than one might think. Virtual reality is even becoming a crucial component for learning in the education sector. Hop on Google and search for an affordable, easy-to-use headset that you can use for your virtual adventures – it’s the closest you’ll get to actually being there.
Download a VPN
You wouldn’t travel across the world without keeping your most valuable items by your side and taking precautions to safeguard the rest of your things, so why would you even consider traveling across cyberspace without protecting your PC and other internet-connected devices? Before you check out any of the virtual expeditions below, download a VPN(Virtual Private Network). With a VPN, you can rest assured that the data on your device will remain safe from hackers and viruses. A VPN will also mask your IP address so you can gain access to online content outside of your region.
The Best Virtual Expeditions of 2021
Now that you’re set and ready to go, check out the best virtual expeditions of 2021 below.
Go on a Virtual Tour
Some of the most famous museums, art galleries, and cultural spaces in the world offer interactive 3-D virtual tours that anyone can take from anywhere in the world. Whether you’re thirsting to explore art, history, science, or technology exhibits, there’s a tour out there for you to enjoy. Take the kids and make it a fun learning experience for the whole family.
Swim with the Sharks
Have you ever thought of going deep-sea diving or swimming with the sharks? Now you can do it without having to get wet or fear for your life. There are some pretty incredible deep-sea virtual exploration experiences out there this year. National Geographic and AirPano are offering some fantastic 360-degree videos, and there are a host of other underwater expeditions to check out as well.
Take in the View from Someone Else’s Window
If you’re the type of traveler who likes to get a local perspective on your journeys, check out Window Swap. Window Swap is a pretty exciting app that lets you see the view from someone else’s window. With the click of a button, you’re transported to a random person’s window somewhere in the world. From farms to cities and everything in-between, this app can keep you busy for days.
See the Seven Wonders of the World
Seeing the seven wonders of the world is a bucket list item that most of us would be more than lucky to experience in a lifetime – pandemic or not. Thanks to technology and travel restrictions, Google Earth has set up a virtual guide to the world’s seven wonders. Other sites even provide seven wonders of the world scavenger hunts to make the experience even more engaging.
Ride Your Favorite Roller Coasters
Riding a roller coaster is one of those virtual experiences where a VR headset will make all the difference, although it’s fun no matter how you view it. Adrenaline junkies all over the world are missing their favorite roller coasters and theme parks. To provide a much-needed adrenaline fix, some of the most exciting rides in the world are available virtually – and you don’t even have to wait in line.
Take a Hike
If you’re a nature lover who is longing to escape into the great outdoors, grab a cup of tea and get ready to see some of the most beautiful sights that Mother Nature has to offer without even leaving your living room. From cherry blossoms to the Northern Lights, from the islands to the countryside, the most beautiful sights in the world are just a click away in 2021. Just hop on Google to hike famous spots like the Appalachian Trails, Bryce Canyon National Park, the Natural Tunnel State Park, Lake Ingalls Trail, Havasu Falls, Wailea Beach Path, and much more.
Go Above and Beyond
If you’re looking for a virtual adventure that’s a little more out-of-this-world, NASA has a range of virtual tours and apps on offer that can help you explore the solar system and beyond. Get the family together and explore NASA’s facilities, laboratories, and operations control centers. When you’re done seeing how NASA operates, take a tour of the international space station, Mars, or even the moon, courtesy of the rovers and orbiters that NASA has in outer space.
If you’re looking for some excitement and a new adventure to keep you busy this year, go through the expeditions above and satiate your wanderlust.