My Chronic Adventures 7 Amazing Ways To Virtually Travel
Chronic Illness Put A Damper On My Travel Adventures
Travel is often synonymous with adventure. In my past life, I loved to travel. Nothing was more exciting than jumping in the car for a spur of the moment road trip. There is just no comparison to the lure of an unrounded corner, an unending horizon and the other end of the rainbow.
My husband and I are lovers of spontaneity and we both posses a great deal of wanderlust. It was always thrilling to throw caution to the wind and hit the open road. Having no real immediate plans or place to go, just journeying out into the wild blue horizon was freeing and so addictive. I look back with great fondness on the spontaneity of our early twenties, before I began to get sick.
When chronic fatigue, pain and other health problems began to squash my love of traveling into the wild unknown, I felt like a piece of me was dying. A very important piece of my heart was set aside and placed in a distant corner when I realized that home was the best place for me to be. While I love home, I do miss the joyous uninhibitedness of my life before chronic illness.
A New Way To Travel
When chronic illness slowly impeded my ability for spontaneous travel, I had to come up with different ways of scratching my travel itch. But, where there is a will there is a way, and I was determined to find it! There is always more than one way to live a dream.
Armchair travel is nothing new. It has been around forever! But, in the modern age, it is ever so much more fun than anyone in the past could have dreamed possible. In the words of the lovely Audrey Hepburn, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible.
Travel and severe chronic illness do not meld well together, but with the help of technology my armchair knows no boundaries. I wanted to share with you all how I have managed to keep my sense of adventure while recuperating here at home. Find your rainbow and live your adventure. Enjoy the journey and Bon Voyage!
This is one of my very favorite ways to virtually travel. This site was originally started by a homeschool family for a geography project but, has quickly become a large-scale interactive project for both students and collectors. My son has enjoyed learning about the fifty United States and has a photo album full of beautiful postcards.
It has allowed me to visit places I have only dreamed of seeing, like the Grand Canyon, the golden cornfields of Iowa and glamorous New York City. Places that remain on my bucket list to visit on that distant someday when I might feel better, can be added to our fast growing postcard collection like bright talismans of hope.
Exchanging postcards through the mail is exciting and rewarding. You get the chance to interact with families and postcard collectors from all over the United States and even some worldwide! To join in the fun, simply go to the following link and ask to add your name and mailing address to the list and start mailing out those postcards. The more you send, the more you get in return.
The more you send, the more you get in return. Chelle, the wonderful lady who helps organize the exchange updates the list weekly to insure maximum response and participation.
You do not have to live in the United States to participate in this exchange. You can live anywhere! That is what makes this such a wonderful site.
It is no secret how much I love Google Earth. When I feel like I just have to get away, I can fly via satellite to the Eiffel Tower or anywhere on Earth. You can view outer space, oceans and even far away 3-D buildings. Isn’t technology fabulous! If you have never tried it out, go for it! You really can travel the world from your living room. The world really is right at your fingertips.
Travel Shows on Netflix
If you do not have Netflix, it is worth every penny just because of the travel shows! I will be the first one to admit that the movie selection provided by this online streaming company is less than stellar at times, but the travel documentaries are wonderful!
I thought I would list a few of my current favorites. I am really enjoying Ray Mears Wild France and Wild Australia. The scenery is breathtaking and it makes you feel like you are truly there!
Rock the Park is a truly wonderful show that follows two friends as they travel through the national parks. This show is not just limited to the Grand Canyon, but to other wonders of nature that can only be found in the magnificent national parks of North America.
I’m not a fan of the irreverent, but Anthony Bordain‘s two travel series that are now on Netflix are nothing short of fantastic. He travels to some of the most remote and beautiful places in the world and gives the viewer a front row seat to his adventures, not to mention the fabulous food! I love it!
Chef’s Table is another show that I really enjoy. It highlights chefs from around the globe and gives you a glimpse into their world. The scenery alone is worth it!
Street Food Around The World is another colorful foodie travel show that takes me to far away places and quite often makes me drool on the couch pillows. All of the food looks so yummy.
There are many, many more travel documentaries on Netflix, these are just a few of my recent favorites.
Movies, Hollywood Helps Me Feel Like A World Traveler
Movies are an obvious choice when it comes to armchair travel. Sometimes, I just love to watch a movie for the view alone! Some of my favorites are oldies but goodies.
Stealing Beauty is my all time favorite movie. I love the artsyness of it all to coin a phrase. The setting of this story line is just simply breathtaking. Jeremy Irons and Liv Tyler are at their best as they form an unlikely friendship. Set in Tuscany, this movie is my happy place when I get a bad case of wanderlust.
A Good Year is a close second to Stealing Beauty when it comes to my favorite destination movies. Set in Provence it really showcases the beauty of France. It plays out just like a dream and makes me long for a glass of wine and music by the sea. The misty vineyards are just fantastic, the stuff of fairy tales. Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard are simply magical together.
Under The Tuscan Sun is one long picture book of Tuscany. It is lovely from start to finish. I would watch it just for the Italian countryside alone. It is simply beautiful. Diane Lane is a fantastic actress. Of course it helps that I also happen to love the book, even though the two are as different as night and day.
It’s Complicated is like one big bright dose of California sunshine. Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin are the biggest dose of happy all wrapped up into one. I love a movie that makes me laugh, because laughter is the best medicine. This one is super funny and I am a die-hard Nancy Myers fan, I adore every single one of her movies.
Travel Memoirs, Reading is the Gateway to the World
While it has been ages since I have felt like actually holding a real book and reading. I have recently found a new favorite friend. Two words here, My Kindle.
My sweet husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas and it has been a life saver. I love the blue shade feature on my Kindle. It is the perfect solution to migraine pain and screen glare. If my head pressure is bothering me I simply click on the blue shade and voila, the glare is transformed into a soft orangey hue. No glare from the screen equals a happy me.
It has restored my ability to hold a book, as I do not have to hold my Kindle. I can literally use its cover/case as a stand and it does all the work for me. This is the perfect solution for someone who suffers from chronic fatigue. Not to mention there is a vast library at my fingertips without ever leaving the house. Goodbye library card!
Some of my favorite books are travel memoirs. A few of my top picks are Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Paris in Love by Eloisa James, Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard, A Cottage in Portugal by Richard Hewitt and Julia Child’s My Life in France.
Virtual Online Tours, You Can Visit Mount Vernon!
I am a homeschooling mother. With that said field trips are a fun part of school. But, since becoming chronically ill, it has become increasingly difficult for me to travel with my children. This is where virtual tours have been a life saver, not only that but I love them! It is a way to travel without walking a single agonizing step.
One of the top virtual tours that my son and I have enjoyed this year is Mount Vernon the home of the first president of the United States. I do not have the stamina to travel all the way to Virginia, but I can visit virtually thanks to the miracle of the internet.
Visit http://www.mountvernon.org/ and click on virtual tour to visit this magnificent landmark. You can travel all throughout the house and estate, clicking on artifacts and learning all about the life of the first president. It is so well done! I was truly impressed with the quality of this virtual tour.
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is another wonderful virtual tour available online. Visit https://www.monticello.org/ to view Jefferson’s beautiful home. Enjoy a piece of living history without ever leaving the house.
Another amazing online tour is of Colonial Williamsburg, visit Tour The Town to find an interactive map of Williamsburg complete with clickable landmarks. This one is so much fun!
The Gettysburg battlefield virtual tour is also very impressive! Click here Virtual Gettysburg to visit and see panoramic views of where one of the greatest battles in United States history was played out.
There are so many other wonderful virtual tours online but here are a few more to note:
Travel Blogs the Perfect Way to Go!
Since I began blogging many moons ago, I fell in love with travel blogs. These talented bloggers do the hard work, and I get to enjoy their lovely photographs and descriptions of beautiful places around the world. There are so many travel bloggers out there, these are just a few that I have truly enjoyed. It seems with each passing year, I find a new one to love. So keep calm, read a travel journal and enjoy a trip around the world without leaving your chair.
There are so many wonderful ways to virtually travel.
I hope this little list helps you to see that the sky is the limit, even if you can only view it from the comfort of your living room couch. Like the familiar saying by Nelson Mandela goes, “It always seems impossible, till it’s done.” Dare to dream a little, you might just come away from this adventure with hope in your heart and a smile on your face.
Until next time, happy traveling.