During this crisis, the ability to travel has been taken away from us. Strike that. The ability to PHYSICALLY travel has been taken away from us. Some of us are locked down in our homes and only allowed to go out for food/medicine. Some of us are under Stay at Home orders by our states. Some of us are anxious and won’t go out for any reason, relying on delivery services and then sanitizing the goods from the outside world. It’s a scary time, but it is not going to be this way forever.
We keep hearing that things will get better and I believe that with all of my heart! Something that I am doing to help myself deal with my anxiety is to virtually travel. A simple trip via a Google Maps search and you are anywhere in the world! I recently “visited” my favorite European city, Florence, Italy. I fell in love with Florence in 2018 when I visited in person for the first time. All of my life, I had dreamed of seeing Michaelangelo’s David with my own eyes. So, in honor of a milestone birthday, I made the trip. I did a lot of research online, including exploring the places on Google Maps that I wanted to visit. It helped me get the lay of the land ahead of my trip. Of course, when I got off the train at Santa Maria Novella Train station, I proceeded to get lost while twisting and turning my way toward my hotel. I wasn’t worried…I’d “been” there before. It was magical in person.
What is cool about using Google Maps during this world-wide crisis, is that there are people in the pictures. This is a form of connection! You can SEE the people and catch a glimpse of how they are feeling about the place you are visiting. Are they looking up at a building? Going into a store to shop? Eating? Can you tell how they feel?! Maybe. It’s part of the fun!
We need to connect with people and places now more than ever. Take the time now to research and explore the places that you will visit when we are free to travel again. You will probably see more doing your research than you will actually see with your own eyes when you get there. And, that is OK. The time that you spend planning and dreaming will feed your wandering soul until you can get where you want to go. So, go ahead and explore from the comfort of your own home. I dare you.