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#MicroblogMondays 5: Armchair Traveler

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.


Gizmodo had an article about an Occulus-Rift-like contraption created by Marriott that turned virtuality into a 4D experience.  It’s not just seeing images in front of you: you’re inside a teleporter-like device that pipes in smells, wind, vibrations, etc.  The one-minute trip currently takes you to a beach and then London.

Of course I love to go to actual, physical spaces and explore them on my own, but there are many places that I know I will never get to in this lifetime, mostly due to physical limitations, fear, or fantasy: top of Everest, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, Antarctica, Hogwarts, the Shire.  A machine like this would be perfect to simulate being there without actually having to go there or when you can’t actually go there.

Can you imagine a library-like space in the future where you could go and strap a machine on your head and order up any place you wish?  I’d go to places I’ve never been to and revisit places I’ve been.  It would be like being inside Google street view.  But anywhere.  And feel as if you’re there.

Where would you want to virtually go?



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1. Kate 23. Loribeth 45. Mali (A Separate Life)
2. Persnickety 24. Mrs T 46. A.
3. Jen (Days of Grace) 25. Relaxed No More 47. Elizabeth
4. Corinne@ Everyday Gyaan 26. Baby, Are You Coming? 48. Dubliner in Deutschland
5. lostintranslation 27. Missing Noah 49. Suzanna Catherine
6. Turia 28. Jamie @ Sticky Feet 2 50. Conceptionally Challenged
7. Lori Lavender Luz 29. Amber 51. Laurel Regan @ Alphabet Salad
8. D 30. Obsessivemom 52. Leigh
9. Middle Girl 31. Bio Girl 53. Rachel
10. Inconceivable! 32. Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles 54. Climbing the Pomegranate Tree
11. Mina 33. sharah 55. Daryl
12. Heather 34. S 56. Petunia
13. JB 35. Rain 57. Kimberly
14. Karen (River Run Dry) 36. My New Normal 58. Miss Conception
15. LAM 37. Cindy 59. Queenie
16. Lisa 38. dennasus 60. Stacie
17. Geochick 39. Non Sequitur Chica 61. Nabanita Dhar @ Random Thoughts Naba
18. Brooke 40. Just Heather 62. Nidhi
19. earthandink 41. Tara 63. the lewis note
20. Isabelle 42. Mali (No Kidding) 64. Ke Anne
21. Sarah 43. Running Nekkid 65. Kasey
22. queenjohnsonclan 44. Katie


1 Kate { 09.29.14 at 5:24 am }

That would be fabulous! A beach vacation without the sunburn!

2 Persnickety { 09.29.14 at 5:38 am }

Somewhere I can’t go- Everest, or inside the pyramids. I still hold out hope I will travel to Antartica though.
And it would be amazing to see fictional spaces, or historic recreations of spaces now lost.

3 Jen { 09.29.14 at 5:40 am }

Time travel! Recreating moments of history – I would love to go to a Frost Fair in the days the Thames froze. Or the town I grew up in… as it was when I was little. You could certainly use it to make history lessons more exciting.

4 lostintranslation { 09.29.14 at 6:41 am }

The top of the Mont Blanc. It’s so near, but still so out of reach.

5 Turia { 09.29.14 at 7:11 am }

Oh I would vote for time travel too.

But if that’s not an option, I would love to see the depths of the Amazon. Or the pyramids. Or Everest.

6 D { 09.29.14 at 7:45 am }

Wow this is a hard one, but something I think about all the time. I guess since I (hopefully) have quite a few years ahead of my to travel places, I would also chose to travel back in time so that I could see my Dad. I would spend more time with him than I did.

7 Katherine A { 09.29.14 at 8:09 am }

I would love to go to St. Petersburg and Moscow. Tour the Winter Palace. See St. Basil’s Cathedral.

But if it could be made to tour fictional places. Oh, heavens. So many places, so little time. I’m going to Rivendell or Lorien or Minas Tirith. Then Hogwarts.

8 Middle Girl { 09.29.14 at 8:09 am }

Yes, of course I want to visit the tops of mountains and the depths of seas. But, I also am intrigued by going back. Back to when my parents were young to experience the world through their eyes and experiences. I’ve often wondered how they survived legal segregation and discrimation .

9 Mina { 09.29.14 at 8:23 am }

Hogwarts, definitely Hogwarts.

10 Katie { 09.29.14 at 8:25 am }

I love what a couple of others suggested about traveling in time. I’m such a history fanatic — I can’t even begin to describe how much of the past I would want to see. But if I had to pick place, I would choose Antarctica or the North Pole. Places that I will obviously never be able to travel to and where I’d prefer to NOT experience the cold weather. πŸ™‚

11 Karen (River Run Dry) { 09.29.14 at 9:58 am }

I want to go to the inside of books!

What did Darcy’s manor look like in Pride and Prejudice? Or Caleb Carr’s NYC (which, I expect, would be a historical NYC)? Hogwarts, the Shire for sure. The Everest the day of the blizzard in “Into Thin Air.”

12 L.A. { 09.29.14 at 10:03 am }

Oh wow… There are at least 100 places that come to mind. (And YES to everyone mentioning time travel!!) I’d love to explore outer-space since that is definitely one destination I will never get to in my lifetime. I’d love to see Mars, Jupiter, and it would be incredible to look at Earth from the moon.

13 Heather { 09.29.14 at 10:25 am }

Jupiter and then to the Pyramids, when they were being built maybe mid-way.
There are so many places…

14 earthandink { 09.29.14 at 10:51 am }

I find myself drawn mostly to fictional worlds. Have to be careful with that!

For those wishing to travel in time to study history, Connie Willis wrote a book called The Doomsday Book which is about historians who use time travel to study history.

15 queenjohnsonclan { 09.29.14 at 11:26 am }

I would probably go virtually and invisibly “watch” someone I find fascinating. That probably sounds like I’m a weird stalker type chick but I would love it. I would want to watch them in action…Stephen Hawking in the lab, Beyonce in the studio, Stephen King working through a book idea, or Emeril trying out a recipe. That would be greatness.

16 Mrs T (missohkay) { 09.29.14 at 11:40 am }

I’m interested… especially having a fear of flying. BUT this also sounds like the gateway to a lot of apocalyptic novels/movies I’ve seen where people give up reality for virtual life πŸ˜‰

17 Ann Z { 09.29.14 at 11:45 am }

I’ve always wanted to visit Antarctica as well (have gone so far as to research how to work there for a season). It’s always held my imagination, but I also want it to stay mostly untouched by humans. There’s probably a lot of places like that that i don’t even know about, where having a lot of tourists would lead to environmental degradation, but I’d love to see them. Ooooh, or some deep-sea exploration. Also Mars.

18 a { 09.29.14 at 12:55 pm }

MrsT hit on the head – I would never leave! I’d be all over the place, seeing everything they had in their catalog. Well, if it were extremely realistic. If it were clearly simulation and inadequately immersive, then I’d get bored pretty quick.

19 Sharon { 09.29.14 at 1:11 pm }

There are so many places I would go if “traveling” there involved a commitment no bigger than going to my local library. Australia comes to mind first, simply because I find the length of the trip from where I live prohibitively daunting.

20 Amber { 09.29.14 at 1:46 pm }

Reminds me of the ride Soaring at DisneyLand/DisneyWorld. That’s one of our favorites.

21 Sarah { 09.29.14 at 1:48 pm }

Maybe Alaska.. I really want to go there , but was never sure if I wanted to have an entire vacation with that weather. This might be the perfect solution πŸ™‚

22 Vidya Sury { 09.29.14 at 1:55 pm }

πŸ™‚ I’d make a map of all my friends, Mel – and go visiting each one of them. Blogging has brought such wonderful people into my life and my favorite fantasy is to meet all of them! β™₯

23 Keiko { 09.29.14 at 2:00 pm }

The Oculus Rift is going to blow the roof off of entertainment, gaming, rehabilitative healthcare and more. Having strapped one to my head – it’s unbelievable how quickly you become immersed. For me, I’d want to explore space with the help of VR. All the fun of space camp without leaving my living room. I’m more interested in the possibilities of shared experiences with VR, to be honest: me and two friends plug in and explore space together. We can all pretend to be our own little version of Doctor Who, where the TARDIS is played by the Rift. I’m interested to see what Totem and Sony’s Morpheus bring to the table, too.

24 Keiko { 09.29.14 at 2:02 pm }

Forgot to add: even with just the Rift, you don’t even need a 4D experience. The demo I walked through was a seasideTuscan villa. With only sound to enhance the experience (through computer speakers, not even headphone) – I genuinely thought I could feel the wind and sun and smell the brine in the air. It’s *that* immersive.

25 Cynthia Samuels { 09.29.14 at 2:19 pm }

Wow. You’re right about Hogwarts. I’d also love to go Cafe Flore in the 20’s, a spin or two around the earth maybe… and somewhere way in on the Amazon w/out mosquitos!

26 JustHeather { 09.29.14 at 3:02 pm }

I’d love to go back to places I vaguely remember from Hawaii when I was little.

27 celeste { 09.29.14 at 4:19 pm }

I would travel pretty much everywhere. I would do time travel for sure. I would dive into the ocean. Knowing that I was safe, I’d find FAR more bravery than I really have. I would relish the adventure! Also, I would climb things. Really high things. I’d scale mountains and jump off, wearing one of those flying squirrel suits.

Oh so many possibilities! OMG want one now. πŸ˜€

28 Dublin Gal { 09.29.14 at 5:12 pm }

It’s a tough one, but I think somewhere where I wouldn’t be able to go in real life like Everest or kilimanjaro

29 Leigh { 09.29.14 at 8:30 pm }

Found you through Earth and Ink. Look like fun. Thanks for hosting this.

30 Mali { 09.29.14 at 9:52 pm }

You can go to the Shire you know? My niece has been! They kept the sets after The Hobbit was filmed, and there’s even a Green Dragon Inn. So come on down!

Like you, I want to go to the top of Everest, and to Antarctica. Snorkelling on the Barrier Reef was fantastic, but diving would be cool too. Most other places are still on my real, I-genuinely-hope-to-visit list.

31 SuzannaCatherine { 09.29.14 at 9:55 pm }

What an interesting question. Time travel is most interesting to me. I’m drawn to the Middle Ages, the Roman Empire at its peak, and England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. That would be the best way to go – all the wonderful sights of those long ago times and none of the danger or diseases. Truly the best of both worlds.

32 Lori Lavender Luz { 09.29.14 at 10:47 pm }

Dive the Great Barrier Reef.

I failed at scuba diving years ago. I always wanted to do it but was freaked out by actually doing it.

Wait! Time travel, too? Oh, my, this opens up everything, everyone….I fear I would never actually live my life again if such a gizmo were available.

33 ADSchill { 09.29.14 at 11:31 pm }

This is a fabulous idea. I would go to all the places you listed. Especially fantasy places that I could never really go in real life.

34 Queenie { 09.29.14 at 11:36 pm }

I have a terrible scuba diving story. Remind me to tell you if we ever manage to have coffee. πŸ™‚

I don’t think I could do it to do things I haven’t tried or visit places I haven’t been to. I think it might compromise the actual experience of visiting a place, and you just never know when you’ll find yourself there! I’ll read a lot about a place before I visit, but I don’t want to see lots of photos or videos. It ruins the magic, almost. Maybe it would be good to revisit places I’ve loved, though.

35 staciet { 09.30.14 at 12:13 am }

I love this idea. I have no idea where I’d end up, but I love thinking of the possibilities. πŸ™‚

36 Nidhi { 09.30.14 at 3:11 am }

I love this initiative of MicroblogMondays! Hoping I will continue to be part of it every monday πŸ™‚
I would love to explore a time machine or even the idea, but I am afraid what time in past or future could open up, some secret which is as of now not known to me! But thinking of secrets I would love to explore them!

37 Aura Of Thoughts { 10.01.14 at 3:55 am }

Would like to take part from next week

38 Justine { 10.01.14 at 9:21 am }

Y’all can come visit me at work, and it’ll be just like Hogwarts. πŸ˜‰ That said: there are so many places I’d like to go, but I think I actually want to go to Cuba from my father’s early years in the Marist brotherhood. I realized last night (at an event I may or may not blog about) that so much is related to that hole in my history. That said: I think I’d want to stay for a while. A minute wouldn’t be enough. πŸ˜‰

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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