Are you ready for an epic roadtrip – windows down, music up, driving to the next kitschy sight while basking in blue skies and sunshine?
Or are you the international type – ready to fly halfway around the world to feast on authentic cuisine and immerse yourself in traditional customs?
Or are you the quintessential beach bum – ready to dive in and ride waves way back to the sandy shore where you’ll hang out for the next few hours forgetting to reapply sunscreen?
‘Tis the season for the quintessential summer vacation. While I’m sure many would love to embark on a cross-country roadtrip, international adventure, or lazy week at the beach, a summer getaway is not in the cards for everyone. Blame family obligations or financial difficulties, but nothing should stop you or me from fulfilling our need for exploration, adventure, and relaxation.
Luckily, Google recently released the World Wonders Project – a virtual vacation to 132 historic and cultural sites from 18 countries around the globe. Using its notable street view technology, Google team members traveled the world by camera-carrying cars and tricycles to capture panoramic views of monuments, temples, museums, natural phenomena, and their surroundings. You can explore the grounds of the Kamigamo Shrine, a classic Shinto shrine older than it neighboring city of Kyoto. You can gaze up at the beautiful rock formations of Yosemite. You can stand in the middle of and spin around Stonehenge.
Just like any good tour guide, Google teamed up with UNESCO, the World Monuments Fund, Getty Images, and Ourplace to provide users with more than just a walk through the neighborhood. The World Wonders Project provides viewers with interesting information, 3D models, as well as breathtaking photos and videos of each site. (Check out the behind the scenes footage here.)
Nothing can substitute experience. My friends and family will tell you that I’m a strong advocate of finding adventure any and everywhere you go. While this virtual vacation is not the adventurous experience I’m normally a fan of, I’m impressed and inspired to start planning my next getaway.