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Fall 2020

Sight Sitting

The surge of COVID-19 has, without a doubt, thrown a wrench into nearly everyone’s travel plans this year. Many of us have hardly traveled outside our hometowns since March, which is hard to believe when we live in such a connected world. Even though we may be physically bound to the walls of our own home (or let’s be honest, to our couch), there are still many opportunities to experience more of the world.

Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes have exploded during the last 20 years, with offerings from makeup to books, plants, and even razors! Fortunately for those of us at home, there are subscription boxes that bring new foods from across the globe right to your front door.

Try the World is an excellent way to experience some exotic food and drinks—including new ingredients that you can add to recipes you already love! Some of the reviewers’ favorite foods include pistachio cream from Italy, dari couscous from Morocco, and roasted chana from India. Another excellent (and family-friendly) option is the Universal Yums subscription box that allows you to choose between two countries each month. Included in the box, along with delicious snacks, is a pamphlet with trivia and games for you and your kids to learn more about the country. Some of the countries that have been featured in 2020 are Egypt, Thailand, France, and Poland! 

Free Virtual Museum Tours

Sadly, many museums have had to close their doors due to public health concerns. Fortunately, most of these museums have made their galleries around the world accessible online. Here are a few to get started: The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, United States, had barely opened its Degas at the Opéra exhibit before being forced to close its doors. In response, the Gallery created a virtual tour, allowing visitors to explore this one-of-a-kind exhibit featuring artist Edgar Degas’s love of the Opéra. You can navigate by clicking your computer screen or by moving your keyboard arrows. Throughout the tour, there are informational circles by the artwork that provide additional resources related to the artwork presented. 

Now, let’s hop across the pond with a simple click to the British Museum in London, where curators have digitized the Victorian Walk exhibit. A provided scavenger hunt helps viewers find specific scenes and artifacts, making it a fun learning experience for kids. Guiding questions also help you learn more about life in London 200 years ago. The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, has a virtual tour for its Gallery of Honour, which houses some of the world’s most famous paintings, including Woman Writing a Letter by Vermeer and The Jewish Bride by Rembrandt. Many of the pieces have additional information about the artist and what is depicted. The audio tour has also been integrated into the virtual tour as well, providing an even more immersive experience.  Even though the pandemic has canceled travel plans, you can still experience food and culture from around the world in the comfort and safety of your own home with these and many other options available online. 

—Natalie Jones