20 Virtual Excursions to Satisfy Your Hunger for Adventure

We’re creatures of habit when it comes to comfort and relaxation. For many (right now, at least), entertainment primarily consists of watching Netflix, checking Facebook and Instagram, looking up recipes on Tasty and playing World of Warcraft. But if we’re honest, by this point we’re longing for new adventures. So, how do we do that from home? 

Out of necessity, the world is “virtualizing” itself, which means there are new things to do on the internet. From your computers, you can attend book readings, watch Shakespeare productions, catch a Broadway show or watch the sunset off the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

Here are some ways you can stay put and go somewhere:

For Those in Search of a Change in Scenery and Perspective

These exhibit halls are open 24/7, even on Mondays.

  • Travel underneath the famous glass pyramid and explore the Louvre in Paris, France, without having to brave the crowds. No need to elbow fellow art patrons to get your 15-second glimpse of Mona Lisa.
  • Browse the collections of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. While you’re there, check out their timely exhibit, “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World,” that examines eight historic outbreaks, from SARS to Ebola.
  • The Met in New York City has a collection of exhibit videos set to music, through which you can explore some of their most epic rooms, such as the Egyptian Temple of Dendur.
  • The current state of the world can feel surreal at times. Almost as strange as the Surrealist art of Salvador Dalí, best known for his melting clocks painting. Perhaps it’s a good time to explore The Dali Museum, in St. Petersburg, FL, and look for a piece of art that best expresses how you feel.
  • Don’t have your own Medieval courtyard to wander around in for some quarantine relief? The Picasso Museum in Barcelona, Spain, invites you to come wander around the open-air sections of the 14th-century palaces in which the art collection resides.

For Those in Pursuit of Intellectual Dialogue and Big Ideas

Talks, readings and classes are sure to enrich your quarantine life.

  • Listen to what New York Times columnist David Brooks, internationally recognized artist Mako Fujimora and Harvard economics professor Arthur Brooks have to say about COVID-19 and what it means for our society, our economy and our art in these three panels hosted by The Veritas Forum.
  • The Harvard Bookstore is continuing their author interviews and book readings Ask best-selling authors your pressing questions about their creative process and learn about new books to add to your reading list. Guests include writers like Emily St. Mandel and Michael Arceneaux.
  • For those with a little more time on their hands, Ivy League colleges are now offering a selection of free online classes. Take “Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator” at Yale or “Introduction to German Opera” at Dartmouth.
  • 92nd Street Y, the 145-year-old cultural center in New York City, has opened its archive of talks to the public. You can learn about how “Mozart Freestyled His Way into the Emperor’s Good Graces” or why Malcolm Gladwell believes that “children of alcoholics are so good at detecting lies.”

For Those Dreaming of Road Trips and International Travel

You don’t need to spend a day on an airplane to reach these world sights.

  • You can get your virtual steps in on the Great Wall of China without killing your calves (or moving at all, for that matter).
  • Ever wondered if it is truly worth the 25 euros to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower? Well, now you can rate the view yourself for free.
  • Need a good setting for your at-home date night? How about the Cliffs of Moher at sunset?
  • The new seven wonders of the world have never been so accessible. Spend a morning taking in the Taj Mahal in India. Then after lunch, you can explore the Colosseum in Rome.
  • Time to put the kettle on and dust off that fine tea set that you never use. You wouldn’t want to be sipping your English breakfast tea in anything less whilst you virtually tour Windsor Castle.

For Those in Need of a Sing-a-Long and a Stage

For these performances, intermission happens whenever you like.

  • Every performer knows that regardless of catastrophe, the show must go on. Musical composer Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber agrees. That’s why he and Universal Studios will be making one of his full-length musicals available for 48 hours every Friday at 7 p.m.
  • There’s no stage like your home-stage. If you’re missing Gordon’s cozy black box theater and players with familiar faces, the Department of Theatre Arts posted their production of “Pulled Under: A Physical Retelling of the 1916 Shark Attacks in New Jersey”.
  • You now don’t need to travel to Lincoln Center in New York City to figure out if opera is your thing. The Met Opera is giving you the chance to hear their world-class productions every night.
  • If you’re more of a theater person, the National Theatre in London is opening its digital doors every week for you to enjoy one of their productions. According to the playbill, Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller is on next.
  • Pull together an audience of family members for your own house concert featuring big names in Christian music, such as Casting Crowns, for KING & COUNTRY, Matt Maher and more.
  • No theater list would be complete without Shakespeare. And the Globe Theatre is making sure that as you have access to old favorites.

    Article by Veronica Andreades ’20, English language and literature