How To Travel Without Actually Leaving Home

The Movement Control Order (MCO) went into effect on March 18 in Malaysia (Photo by Tim Mossholder via Unsplash)

Dreaming of your white sand holidays at this time of social distancing, self-quarantine, and limited mobility? For the avid wanderluster, a few hours into the current coronavirus precautions may already develop into cabin fever symptoms. But instead of risking non-essential travels just to scratch an itch, be a willing participant to the government-imposed restrictions by indulging in a little keyboard travelling.

As more companies are beginning to provide more resources for couchsurfing, literally, here’s a list of things to do from the safety and comfort of home.

Catch up on the travel documentaries you had in your queue (Photo by Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash)

Couch Travel With A Documentary

While some may already be groaning at this, there is so much quality content that is available to viewers at this time. Sure, it won’t be the same as experiencing the sights, and sounds, and smells of actually travelling but a quick search on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and probably a dozen more sites can turn up remarkable documentaries for your couchsurfing pleasure.

If anything, think of it as research for when the time comes for you to jump on a plane to do some exploring on your own. Not sure where to start? Here are some to get you started should you be interested in bingeing on something other than the usual television favourites.

Apps and websites make it easy to experience the song and dance right from your own couch (Photo by Jordhan Madec via Unsplash)

Get Your Broadway On

Beyond bingeing the regular TV shows, documentaries, and movies, shake things up with a good ol’ broadway show. Stream your favourites or search out new shows through Amazon, iTunes, YouTube and other streaming services. Broadway buffs should check out BroadwayHD, a special streaming service that offers over 700 musicals for USD8.99 a month. Unsure if song and dance is truly your thing? Worry not, as there’s a 7-day free trial available now.

Indulge In Some Opera

Looking for a treat on the eyes as much as for the ears? You’ll be glad to know that with suspended services due to lockdowns that some of the best in the world are offering their services for free.

Indulge in the opera and archived musical performances by some of the world’s biggest names (Photo by Manuel Nägeli via Unsplash)
The Teatro Regio

In a movement they have dubbed #OperaOnTheSofa, the prominent Turin opera house has set up a Youtube channel, making available past productions from the historic theatre. While only 7 videos on the page so far, it makes a good jumping-off point for anyone looking for a little opera in their lives.

Bavarian State Opera

The Munich opera house may have had to cancels their orchestral concert this past Monday, but hardly anyone can feel they were hard done by especially since they live-streamed to an empty auditorium a chamber music programme. The concert can be watched on-demand here and the opera house has also made available other multimedia takes and recordings until the end of the month.

Vienna State Opera

If you can’t be in Vienna, you can at least treat yourself to full streams of Vienna State Opera’s best performances. With a different archive offering available daily, it’s a mouthwatering array of classical musical theatre.

Metropolitan Opera: New York City

If appointment viewings are more of your thing, the Met is putting on nightly opera streams. But you better not be late, as productions will be available from 7.30PM EDT for 20 hours only.

Get virtually up close to all the sculptures and portraits of your dreams (Photo by Brett Jordan via Unsplash)

Visit A Museum

While nothing can replicate that quiet murmur of long, wide halls as you wander along its corridors with walls paved with art, there are countless museums that you can now visit from the comforts of home. Having teamed up with thousands of museums and galleries around the world, Google Arts & Culture allow you to travel the world for the best museums and art galleries with its virtual tours and online exhibits.

We’ve listed some fan favourites here for those hankering to soak in a little art and culture during this time of quarantine and movement control.

Explore Hidden Historical & Cultural Gems

History buffs will be glad to know that Google is also providing another way to explore lesser-known and endangered historical and cultural gems from around the world with Google’s Open Heritage series. The up-close look offers incredibly detailed visuals and historical accounts of sites that are difficult to access even during a non-pandemic time.

If you’re missing out on your trips to Asia due the virus, read up on Tu Duc’s tomb at the Hué Monuments and the Bagan Temples in Myanmar. Or, if you’re hankering for something a little more out of reach, explore the Native American cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde and the Peruvian ceremonial site Chavín de Huántar.

See all the monuments on your bucket list in the meantime (Photo by Yves Alarie via Unsplash)

Spend A Day In At The Zoo

Instead of spending the day outside getting sweaty and exposed to the scents of fauna in rather unforgiving climates (and possibly aiding in the spread of COVID-19) here are a few zoos that allow you to cosy up with some of nature’s more magnificent beasts. Whether you’re looking for something to play in the background while you work from home or just to entertain the little ones who are getting a little antsy, here are a few great options for viewing.

The San Diego Zoo

Instead of playing the usual on Netflix, check in on your favourite animals with San Diego Zoo. With live and archived footage available, the California Zoo allows you to swing by and check out koalas, apes, pandas, penguins, and other creatures for endless hours of entertainment and fascination.

The Georgia Aquarium: Atlanta

More of a wet and wild type of animal lover? Well, the Georgia Aquarium has live streams too. And you can pick what animal you want to watch as well, ranging from sea lions, piranhas, jellyfish, sea otters, penguins, and more.

Zoos have begun providing education videos as well as live and archived footage of animals in their enclosures at this time (Photo by Dušan Smetana via Unsplash)
The Shedd Aquarium: Chicago, Illinois

For those looking for more active and educational viewing, you’ll want to check out this Chicago based aquarium’s Facebook page to look into all kinds of behind-the-scenes videos and fun virtual experiences.

Get inspired to plan your own next adventure with on-demand travel films. (Photo by Zach Betten on Unsplash)

BONUS! Get Inspired For The Next Grand Adventure

With satellite TV provider Astro allowing all subscribers to watch movie channels for free following the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in Malaysia, it’s as good a time as any to grab the popcorn and catch up on some essential movie experiences. While the Jumanji movies and other adventure-packed titles available on Astro might do in a pinch, those looking for serious travel inspo can also check out movies like Ibiza, Wine Country, and Into The Wild on Netflix.

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Sue May
Whiskey drinker. Whimsy finder. Word writer. Sue May is a fan of big words and arcane definitions. Fascinated with stories, this honorary Geordie enjoys stumbling down well-trodden paths, roads less travelled by, and meeting new people. (Sometimes she writes about them.)

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