Thursday, January 28, 2021

A Stroll in Paris - @MagdalenaScott

Photo by Diogo Fagundes on Unsplash

Pandemic fatigue much? 

I'm fortunate to have access to a community walking trail, and most days I take a daily walk in fresh air. Sometimes I happen upon folks I know and visit with them at an appropriate distance. 

But…not on rainy days.

Or icy mornings.

Or that one day when the snow blew horizontally.

Not my scene, to be honest. But since I'm determined to stay healthy, I don't want to skip my walks. 

The nifty thing is, I can walk on meh-weather days--all over the world!

I have a small, inexpensive elliptical stepper in my living room. I switch my TV to YouTube and search for wherever I want to visit. I get a good, brisk walk, while being transported to a different place--and if I want, also a different time.* 

Most of the walking videos I've followed do not have narration. The videographers simply walk along, recording what's happening in front of them. They pause occasionally to capture a particularly beautiful scene along the way. Some have optional information about sites along the way, if you turn on Closed Captions. 

I've strolled in downtown Paris and around the base of the Eiffel Tower. I've heard the lap of water against the dock of an Italian fishing village drenched in summer sunshine. I've also joined socially distanced holiday shoppers in downtown London. Those videos were made in 2020, and they were wonderful.

Photo by Luke Stackpoole on Unsplash

*Then I looked for older walking videos. You know, pre-pandemic, old enough that the people I "met" along the way were not wearing masks. They were cheerfully bunched up in restaurants and shopping venues. A couple of my favorites were made at Christmas time, in 2018 or 2019: the snowy streets of Quebec City; the interior of a sparkling, crowded London department store. As a bonus, in the background of the Christmas in Quebec City video I recognized "O Holy Night" sung in French.

A quote from the website of traveler extraordinaire Rick Steves: "Travel changes people. It broadens perspectives and teaches new ways to measure quality of life."

I can hope to reap a bit of that with my virtual travel. 

You know what? I'm feeling energetic. I might try the Great Wall of China today.

Photo by Victoriano Izquierdo on Unsplash

Do you have any virtual travel favorites to share?