With quarantine having lasted over a year now, a lot of us have stayed cooped up at home, mainly going out for grocery runs or neighborhood walks. And with spring break behind us and summer vacation a few months out of reach, traveling is something many people want to do. But it isn’t all too safe to be going far and wide, so I thought I would share a few amazing places in the world that you can’t really go to now.
Starting strong, we have Fiordland National Park, New Zealand. The national park, named after its fiords (passages of sea between mountain slopes and cliffs) that were carved out from glacier erosion, boasts its beautiful landscapes comprised of massive mountains reaching several thousand feet tall, serene lakes, and lush and overgrown forests decorated with mosses and ferns. It also has some of the tallest waterfalls and cascades in the world; one of which, the Sutherland Falls, makes an appearance in the first The Hobbit movie in a scene where gigantic eagles swoop in to save the day. Although Fiordland might not have these enormous birds, it does house some rare, endangered, and flightless ones, like the tawaki crested penguin, or the kākāpō, a yellow-green parrot.
Maybe you aren’t a mountain and forest type of person. Maybe Hawaii or the Bahamas suits you better. Well, this next place isn’t either of those, it’s Bora Bora, French Polynesia. The water in it’s aquamarine lagoon is so unbelievably crystal clear that just that alone could make you never want to visit the Santa Monica pier and its attractions and litter ever again. The island’s resorts have cute villas and bungalows that hang above the water, and it has activities that are typical of a beach, like snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and sailing. You could even meet some manta rays, barracudas, and marlins around Bora Bora’s gorgeous coral reef.
Those first two places were more nature-oriented. But everyone can appreciate a fantastic urban metropolis that is the likes of Singapore. The city-state, located in Southeast Asia, features incredible modern high-rises and lights married with breathtaking flora and seascape. Singapore’s Marina Bay gathers many tourists with its huge array of attractions, each of them as stunning as the next. One of them, Gardens by the Bay, entices sightseers with its Supertree Grove, an area with towering man-made “supertrees” that light up at night, and the Flower Dome, a massive greenhouse teeming with plantlife-- a canvas with rainbow petal paint. There’s also the Singapore Flyer, a 541-foot Ferris wheel that grants passengers a spectacular view of the city. And the Singapore Zoo is a home for many animals, especially different species of monkeys, so if you’re a big fan of monkeys, then you could meet some at exhibits or on tours and safaris. These are just a few of the wonders that can be found in Singapore. There is still their Chinatown, Little India, Orchard Road which is a street full of shops and restaurants and malls, and so many more parks and museums and art galleries. And if all there is to do over there isn’t impressive enough, know that Singapore is known for its cleanliness.
These three extraordinary places are just my favorite picks from my Internet surfing. If you ever get tired of your comfy yet stale home setting, and you know that there is nothing too interesting outside, then I encourage you to take some virtual field trips and browse through some phenomenal vacation destinations. European cities like Prague and Budapest are must-sees, and closer places like Yosemite National Park and San Francisco are worth viewing even if you’ve seen them before. While we can’t exactly travel to anywhere special nowadays, at least we have the liberty to explore archives of photographs that give us some new environment.