Independence Day: Enjoy Freedom Once more by way of Touring From Iceland to New York, Nearly

India’s 74th Independence Day sees us stuck at home, longing to be free and to experience life as we knew it. While the lockdown has been opening up in phases in most cities in India, it still remains highly risky to do anything that we’d usually consider exciting. This year is all about settling, but that shouldn’t keep you away from some amazing experiences you can still have. We bring to you a few virtual experiences so interesting, you’d forget, if only for a few minutes, that they’re virtual. The best part? You can do all these from the comfort and safety of your home!

1. WindowSwap

At a time when travelling has been handicapped, WindowSwap transports you to someone else’s window with just a click. From Florence, to London, to Chennai, this mesmerising website gives you a peak into someone else’s everyday views. The windows are accompanied by soothing sounds like the rustling of leaves, traffic passing by, or, if you’re lucky and come across this window, the happy panting of a dog walking in a garden. Window Swap is super convenient to minimise and work alongside, too.

We’d recommend checking this out on your desktop but if you’re using your phone, do switch to landscape view. There are currently around 60 windows submitted from across the world, and you can submit yours as well.

2. Drive & Listen

drivelisten drive

For those of us stuck in cities where even going for a drive is risky, here’s a fun site that lets you do just that – drive around the city and listen to some music. Through Drive & Listen, you can drive around not just your city, but any of the 40 cities available on the site — from Barcelona, to Los Angeles, to Istanbul, to even Mumbai, if you’re feeling nostalgic for some traffic.

The coolest thing is that you can listen to the local radio while on the ‘drive’, switch channels, and even control the speed of the car. You can also choose to turn the street sounds on and off. If you like this road-trip and cultural-tour experience, you can download the app too.

3. Looks like you need Iceland

iceland scream iceland_scream

Of all the absurd but cool things to have been born this pandemic, lookslikeyouneediceland.com might be the most fascinating. All you have to do for this virtual experience is hold a button and let out a scream, the recording of which will be played in Iceland’s vast, open spaces. You can even opt to receive a recording of your scream being released in Iceland. As the website points out, we’ve been through a lot this year, and need a perfect place to let out our frustrations.

Looks like we need Iceland. We’d recommend closing the site once you’re done with it – it’s one thing to hear yourself screaming into the void, listening to strangers do the same can be a tad bit frightening.

4. The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks

Google Arts & Culture is letting you take a scroll through some of the finest national parks in the USA, where you will be accompanied with guides explaining the beautiful sights that come packed with history. The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks offers you not one, but five different awe-gaping experiences – the Kenai Fjords in Alaska, Hawai’i Volcanoes in Hawaii, Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, Bryce Canyon in Utah, and Dry Tortugas in Florida.

Desktop will probably give you an amazing experience, but we personally thoroughly enjoyed using our phone as a gateway remote to the world. From outstanding designs of caves, to stars, to melting glaciers, this is perhaps the most breathtaking website on our list. Do use your earphones for an enhanced experience.


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