How do we travel when we can’t travel ? I love watching You Tube travel vlogs – there are fewer of them nowadays for obvious reasons, and trips to Dubai or Zanzibar quickly get boring – as well as reading travel blogs and following Instagram accounts of various modern nomads. Recently I discovered https://www.virtualtrips.io/ where we can watch professional tour guides streaming tours live, using their smartphones. It’s a genius idea and the number of trips, or even experiences such as cooking lessons, grows every day. It is free to join, and we have an opportunity to reward the guides with tips, giving them a chance to earn money again for the first time in a year. There is something for everyone, from big cities like Paris or New York, to more quirky European gems e.g. Ljubljana, to archeological sites not even that popular among the locals, not to mention tourists.
Does it replace tours in real life ? Well, these are real enough, not pre-recorded and edited and we experience technical problems along the way as well, rare as they are. Some places still have poor mobile internet and the tour guides rely on it completely and can’t help it when it’s weak or patchy. It’s worth ignoring the glitches though. Simply refresh the website and keep watching.
I have only been to a few tours yet, three of them in the UK (London, Edinburgh and Guernsey). Yesterday I ventured into Colombia, precisely the city of Cartagena. I had to check it on Google Maps, because I associated it with the ancient Phoenicians, rather than with the South America. Silly me, I confused it with Carthage in Tunisia! Anyway, I wasn’t sure what to expect but it turned out to be a very vibrant and colourful neighbourhood, appreciated by backpackers and celebrities alike. Mick Jagger is said to have a house there. And I thought Colombia was all about Narcos, Medellin and not much else 😉
Virtual Trips even allow us to take postcards. I took some nice pics of Cartagena’s amazing street art, with some locals and occasional tourists in the background. The smiling man with the wings is the guide himself, Senor Jorge Mondol:
I am very pleased with this website and I hope it will grow fast and become bigger. One day, who knows, I might even become a guide myself and what could be better then showing beautiful sites and sharing great stories with the entire world, live 🙂