9 Social Handles to Follow for a Digital Vacation

Patrik Kern/Getty Images

Virtual tours of some of the most stunning destinations on earth may be the new vacation, for now.

Travelers may be currently confined to their homes, but other worlds are just a click away. On a recent morning, I found myself not in my New York City apartment, but on a sheep farm in Ireland watching a tiny sheepdog named Inca (@wsheepdog) go about her daily duties. Something about the pastoral scenes, newborn puppies, and springtime flowers served as a balm during these strange days.

Here are a few ways to connect with other corners of the world—through Twitter, Instagram, and elsewhere on the Internet—while we stay at home.

Twitter

A reshuffle on Twitter may help travelers to connect with uplifting content while muting others. In my feed, I recently traded some politics and breaking news for additional nature and humor.

Worlds Smallest Sheepdog (@WSheepDog), who works on a black sheep farm in Ireland, inspired the change, and soon I found myself scanning through her feed to encounter images of puppies at play, comical black lambs with white feet being chased by a dog a quarter of their size, and newborn lambs being bottle-fed in a sunny field.

https://twitter.com/WSheepdog/status/1234505877882916865

While it is (mostly) business as usual for Inca the sheepdog, other accounts are showcasing what can happen when daily routines are broken. Shedd Aquarium (@SheddAquarium) in Chicago may be temporarily closed, but staff took this change as an opportunity for animals to go on “field trips” throughout the aquarium. Flick through their feed to see penguins wandering through the aquarium, seemingly mesmerized by encountering an Amazon exhibit and more.

https://twitter.com/shedd_aquarium/status/1239661654629023747

Baby elephants play, scratch, and explore on the feed of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SheldrickTrust) in Kenya. This organization is devoted to the rehabilitation of orphaned baby elephants and creates some heartwarming videos during the process (baby elephants can be adopted and supported through their website).

Instagram

While Twitter brought the humor of baby animals and the calming effect of nature, I turned to Instagram to spark my wanderlust.

Italy has been hard hit by COVID-19, leaving many travelers looking forward to a time when travel becomes possible again and tourism may help the country get back on their feet. To dream about sunny balconies with lake views and secluded coves for lazy days of swimming and sunbathing, follow along with Italy Segreta (@italysegreta), an Italian sharing all of her favorite secret places.

For a glimpse into the sun-dappled countryside of France, follow Curious Provence (@curiousprovence), chronicling the adventures of a Canadian living in Provence. This dreamy feed is full of food markets, picnic spreads, spring flowers, and bundles of lavender that will leave you longing for an escape to the South of France.

A different kind of zen is captured in the photographs of The Retreat at Blue Lagoon (@retreat.bluelagoon) in Iceland. Soft snowfall, ice-blue geothermal water, and the rugged landscape of the Icelandic countryside are featured alongside healthy spa meals, sunrise snaps, and guests floating in the lagoon surrounded by steam. If a feed has the potential to lower blood pressure, this one is it.

Unexpectedly confined to home, some people may be experiencing a renewed interest in plants. A Brooklyn plant shop (DirtQueenNYC) not only provides peaceful images of a variety of plant life, but is also taking appointments via FaceTime to help people nearby shop for plants.

Elsewhere Online

Concerts may be canceled and theaters closed, but some cultural institutions are moving their content online.

Spend an evening at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City with their new, free streaming service. Each night brings a different streaming experience, including performances recorded over the last 14 years featuring the biggest names in opera. Check out the schedule and kick back on your couch to watch La Boheme, Carmen, La Traviata, and more.

To travel via sound, check out Radio Garden, a website that offers the chance to listen to almost any radio station in the world. Spin the globe on your computer screen to launch music from anywhere on the map. I recently got a burst of energy during the workday by flicking through the radio stations from Buenos Aires, Argentina before switching to the sounds of Morocco while cooking dinner.