You know what's the best? Vacations! You get a well-deserved reprieve from the daily grind; you have a week or so to indulge in ways you normally don't (and not feel guilty about it); and everyone you encounter is in an awesome mood -- because they're on vacation! See? Best! But some years don't lend themselves to vacays. Sometimes, money's tight or you just moved or you just had a baby and you can't get away. And it sucks. But, hey, guess what? You can use your computer. For real. Here are five ways you can take a virtual vacation when you can do the real thing.
Use the new and improved Google Street View. Google recently has added a ton of new locations to their street view. You can now "visit" places like Antarctica, the Amazon, the ancient pyramids of Mexico, and little-traveled roads in Phuket and Bangkok. The views are truly unbelievable, and it's a hell of a lot cheaper than the real thing.
Use Stereomood.com. Honestly? This website was a game-changer for me. Take a leisurely, vacation-like stroll on over there and you'll see what I'm talking about. You can play music according to your mood -- and if "Beach Party" happens to be your mood, well, you're in luck.
Leave your smartphone at home. One of the greatest things about getting away is being incommunicado. The stress of feeling like you have to answer your phone and reply to text messages is absent, and it’s a good feeling. Go out to a nice, long dinner and leave yo' phone at home. You might feel “naked” at first, but once that passes, it’s glorious. You feel like a human again!
Download an app like Fotopedia. Wanted to make it to the City of Light this summer, but circumstances wouldn’t allow? Try the next best thing (sort of) -- Fotopedia. The free app allows you to browse through hundreds of gorgeous, up-close and personal photos from the most romantic city in the world -- or whatever city you want to visit.
Get off of your computer! I know it’s hard to do, but even if it’s just for a weekend, unplug. Get back to your roots, yo. Break the norm. Cook a big meal, listen to music, whip up a batch of sangria and drink it in your backyard, anything! Just don’t check your email/Facebook/Twitter while doing so. I mean, seriously, are you on your computer that much when you’re on a real vacation?
Are you going away this summer? Where? I want to live through you vicariously.
Image via Nicole Fabian-Weber