Summertime family vacations always were some of the best memories growing up. The best vacation my siblings and I ever went on was to Disney World. Our family of five drove all the way from Michigan, complete with trailer in tow. Looking back now as an adult, it really is a wonderful and magical place!
Several months ago, as we looked ahead to the spring and summer months, none of us anticipated how much our daily lives would radically change. Many of us have had to deal with the disappointing loss of canceled weddings, family vacations, graduations, and much more.
Perhaps you feel disappointed that your summer travel plans will not look as you imagine. That is okay. But what if we trusted God and believed that even here (right in your own living room!) we could still experience beauty, goodness, and culture?
Well guess what? You can!
Places You Can (Virtually) Visit This Summer
I am truly amazed at all the incredible places we have access to virtually visit (including many historic religious sites!) this summer.
Here is a sampling of some of my personal favorites I will be visiting these summer months along with honorable mentions.
Italy was the first country I ever visited in Europe so it holds a special place in my heart. The Colosseum is full of beauty and history about ancient Rome. Or is a walking tour through St. Peter’s Basilica more up your alley?
If Church History is your thing, consider a visit to the Priscilla catacombs where early Christians worshipped and are buried.
Before leaving Rome, a must see is a trip through the Vatican Museums.
Over the last two years, I have fallen head over heels in love with The Great British Baking Show…though I still have a way to go when it comes to my “soggy bottoms” in terms of pie baking. Visiting London almost two years ago quickly won my heart in regards to all things British.
Take a jaunt across the pond to the United Kingdom for a day of sightseeing!
A breezy afternoon at Stonehenge might be fun, as long as the rain holds off. Go to Buckingham Palace where you can tour the Throne Room. One of the most beautiful places I visited in London was Westminster Abbey. Interestingly enough, did you know the Abbey used to be a house of Catholic worship and monastery?
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While I have never had the chance to visit France, it is high on my travel bucket list.
Looking for something a bit more unusual? The Catacombs of Paris might be the thing for you. It is an intense labyrinth of underground tunnels that house the remains of millions of Parians overflowing cemeteries from the late 18th century.
France is also home to many beautiful religious shrines, as well as the apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes. Learn about the history and beauty of the famous Sacre-Coeur Baslica with their virtual guided tour.
And of course no trip to Paris would be complete without a view from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Get a birds-eye view of Rio de Janeiro. And be sure to spend some significant time at the Sanctuary of Christ the Redeemer (the giant Jesus statue on a mountain!). It is 100% worth the trolley ride to the top of the statue. Seeing that beautiful statue of Jesus was one of my favorite experiences of World Youth Day 2013 in Rio.
And the Honorable Mentions go to…
A cozy night in watching the Aurora Borealis (aka the Northern Lights!) // The Aurora Borealis occurs when Earth’s magnetic field interacts with charged particles from the sun. When these particles interact with Earth’s oxygen and nitrogen…Boom! Wham! A beautiful show of gorgeous colors dancing across the sky.
The Great Wall of China // Just think, you won’t need to worry about getting blisters on your feet from all the hiking.
Musical performances from the Sydney Opera House // The Sydney Opera House has launched their new virtual programming treating viewers to the best in arts, culture, music, and talks. I would recommend starting with the performance of Handel’s Messiah or the orchestra performance of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.
Different Doesn’t Mean Bad
This summer may look very different for all of us and our families. But friends, take heart. Technology offers us all these incredible ways to “travel” and experience beauty and goodness without ever having to leave the comfort and safety of our homes.
Where are you most excited to virtually travel to this summer? What is on the top of your travel bucket list?
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