Virtual Travel: Is There More to it Than ‘Staring at Our Own Roofs’?

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  12.05.08 | 3:39 PM ET

In the Independent, Clare Rudebeck takes a look at how far “virtual travel” options have come since we all first used Google Earth to check out our own homes a few years back—and ponders their limitations, too.

“In the last two months, technology titans from Google to IBM have put in a concerted effort to convince us that there is more to virtual travel than staring at our own roofs. And they’re spending a lot of money in the attempt,” she writes. “...but can exploring the virtual world really give us the same sense of wonder, fulfilment and utter exasperation that real tourism delivers? What is travel without lost baggage, stomach bugs and hours spent trying to work out how to use your camera?”

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

1 Comment for Virtual Travel: Is There More to it Than ‘Staring at Our Own Roofs’?

John M. Edwards 12.11.08 | 10:47 AM ET

Hi Eva:

I think Virtual Travel might be dangerous to the cult of backpacking. Rather than seeing the sights or shooting the breeze, travelers are parked silently at glowing computer terminals in Internet cafes, perhaps getting brainwashed a bit. “Yes, master!” Surely real experience is better than electric dreams?

John M. Edwards

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