How to survive the lockdown: VR for the stuck-at-home traveler

Hi guys! How is everyone doing? A lot of us travelers are still stuck at home, still not able to travel. As for myself, our current lockdown continues until at least January 19. All stores are closed, as well as the schools and borders. We can travel in our own country, though maybe it’s not the best idea given the current covid numbers. Also, it’s not a lot of fun if you can’t have dinner somewhere, can’t shop or go to the bathroom anywhere. Daytrips are just no fun right now.

So, time to find other ways to satisfy our wanderlust. I don’t know about you, but my craving to see other worlds is just as strong, maybe even stronger, now that it becomes impossible to do so. Luckily, there are other ways to transport us to new places. In this category, the stuck-at-home traveler, I have shared my tips for books, movies, games, online museums and podcasts. Today I want to add to that category by a post about VR.

Two weeks ago we celebrated Christmas (can you believe it’s already been two weeks?). I was lucky enough to be able to visit my family, though on separate visits, because we’re not allowed to have more than two people over at a time. For my extended family, however, we decided to do things differently. We celebrated Christmas via Zoom, which was actually a lot of fun. We had sent each other boxes with gifts beforehand, and on the day we put the laptop in the kitchen and then all of us cooked the same meal, whilst chatting away. It was so much fun and actually, the first time the entire family was together. For even the uncle from Florida could stream in.

Anyways, between courses, we unwrapped the gifts that we had sent each other. My mother-in-law had sent us a gigantic box filled with presents, and one of those was a present for me (well actually, a lot of them were for me, but I want to focus on one in particular) with a card attached to it. The card told me she knew how difficult the last year had been, and she understood my need for travel. She hoped that the gift she got me would help.

Inside were VR glasses. The card told me to look up “360 video” on youtube, click one of the hits, slide my phone into the glasses and put them on. And then, immediately, I was there. The first video I watched was of the Maldives and suddenly, I was in the Maldives. I sat on the beach, and I could see and hear the waves, I was on a boat and then I was in the water. It was absolutely amazing. I turned it off, because I had to (we were still celebrating Christmas) but after all presents had been unwrapped, all the food eaten, and we had said goodbye, I got myself some playtime.

And it was amazing. I swam with dolphins, I took a balloon ride, then a journey to the edge of space. I’ve seen waterfalls and rode in amusement park rides. I saw the great barrier reef, sat inside a Panda enclosure (okay I did this a couple of times, actually), visited a cat café, saw the Northern Lights, took a stroll through Petra and went skydiving. It was absolutely wonderful and it felt as if I was really there.

There are many, many, many more videos to watch and I would love to view all of them. It really is a beautiful way to explore, within the comfort of your own home (though I did bump into tables a couple of times).

A little sidenote, there are VR glasses that cost 600 euros, that are used for gaming most of the time. You don’t need those. They are super awesome if you’re a gamer, but if you wanna watch 3d videos like you’re actually in them, you can get with by a model like mine, which uses your phone and doesn’t have an onboard computer. The effect is still amazing and breathtaking 🙂

Photo Gallery: Rome without tourists

When months passed and it didn’t seem like the corona virus would be over soon, it became more and more clear that we had to postpone our trip to Iceland. Instead, we booked a trip to Italy. I had never been to Rome and now seemed the perfect time, for we knew not a lot of tourists would be able to visit the city. Only travelers from inside the EU were allowed to visit Italy and we knew that a lot of those people weren’t ready to travel yet. So we booked our trip and as it turned out: we were right. Rome was empty.

It was wonderful to have the place to ourselves and we know that not a lot of people will see Rome the way we saw it. I feel extremely lucky to be able to travel right now and to see one of the most busy cities in Europe like this. Time for a picture gallery of the most famous tourist attractions that Rome has to offer, without the tourists!

Continue reading “Photo Gallery: Rome without tourists”

Vatican Museums and the sistine chapel

Ciao! So far, Rome had been wonderful already. We had seen the Trevi fountain, Colosseum and the Foro Romano, ate the best pasta and lots of gelato. On our third day, we would cross off another two highlights, namely the Vatican museums with the Sistine Chapel and the Pantheon.

Continue reading “Vatican Museums and the sistine chapel”