On a tight budget? Afraid of planes? No worries, you can see the world with Google Maps!
I’ve looked at some European lands already, including the Nordic lands of Denmark and Sweden. Due to a dream about traveling through what was (supposed to be) Mexico, I went to Google Maps, and I pulled up the state of Chihuahua (and there were no dogs running around! LOL)
Since I was traveling through the desert in the dream, I thought it was more appropriate to showcase such in this blog post today rather than an urban scene. From what I remember from the dream (remember, dream details, as usual, tend to fade quickly), the desert had commerce in certain pockets, with one chain restaurant, I picked a random rural road, and got as close to the dream as you can get.
Any other ideas for a virtual trip, be it foreign or domestic? Just type it in Google Maps.
I must advise you, however, that this method is no substitute for going there. You’ll see the region, but won’t experience it. No social interaction, no cuisine, no folk dances, etc. Overall, no cultural encounter. And not only are some roads and streets not represented, some entire lands, particularly North Korea, are off-limits. (I wonder if Cuba is, now that we’re getting more friendly with them.)
A perfect analogy, being a college student as well as an overall lifelong learner: taking a college course on a subject give more “meat” to it than simply reading a textbook on such, sans the instructor (one thing I struggled with for quite a few years, until I figured it out and came to terms with its imperfection). A textbook will present the facts, and perhaps explain them quite well (depending on the title, as well as the existing knowledge base and intelligence of the person reading them). But you will not have a lecture or homework, and in the case of science subjects, a lab. Moreover, without the professor, you may not get the exact information that the text is trying to convey, and of course, none of his/her additional factoids. But, sometimes a text alone is enough when you want to read it “just for fun” rather than by assignment, despite the inevitable trade-off. (By the way, now that I have settled down on Biology as a major, most of my other textbook pleasure readings, at least for now, deal with other subjects outside the curriculum. But after graduation, there may be other texts, read for fun, that may lie in the domain of biology (namely, subjects not offered or taken), as well as outside.
The trade-off is the same with Google Maps. Of course, in keeping with that analogy, for business travel, Google Maps is not an option. But, for pleasure, it’s up to you if you want a more superficial “travel” through Google Maps or a real trip to the actual destination. And if you can’t do it, so be it, just like my own academic dabblings outside my intended major of Biology. Since in either case, I’m “dabbling,” I’m content.
Don’t be a stranger!