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If there’s one thing this year has taught us it’s that innovation, technology and creativity are forces to be reckoned with.  

A night out with the greats!

This past Sunday night, I sat on my sofa with Sir Kenneth Branagh, Dame Judy Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Sir Dereck Jacobi and Sir Ian McKellen for a chat about their lengthy and extraordinary careers. Well, me and 6,665 other guests – a crowded living room to say the least. My daughter sat next to me, and her friend tuned in via zoom to listen in on the conversation.

Such an insightful and inspiring evening!

Quite phenomenal when you think about it, isn’t it?

We have been able to dive into experiences that borders, plane tickets and leave days might normally have restricted. We’ve been able to watch concerts, ballets, take virtual tours of the world’s most spectacular museums – all things that many of us likely would not have had the opportunity to do.

A cure for the travel bug

I’ve mentioned before that Travel is one of my great loves in life. Planning a trip with my best friends, looking forward to the merriment and joy after months of hard work is my absolute best. Dreaming about where to go, what to do, see… the possibilities and excitement are endless. Easter was coming and I had a But, throw in Covid and the annual elation is doused by lockdowns and travel bans, and my friends and I are stuck on opposite sides of the world.

In the midst of our first Lockdown, we watched Andrea Bocelli sing live in Milan. A spectacular performance – could you expect anything less? – and some much needed joy in a particularly trying time. I felt that same holiday planning feeling as I felt want for a long walk in the streets of Italy… I realised, then, as I kept hearing about virtual this-and-that, I might be able to piece together a different version of my travels – at home. The creativity blooming around the world would be a cure for my travel bug.

“Darling, can you come help me stream, or whatever, please?”

Of course, my arch nemesis, technology, has played a fairly significant role in my travel plans. I still am – and most likely will always be – disdainful of having to navigate any form of technology, despite having built my business around it. But this year has allowed me to experience the benefits of streaming, virtual, etc. With a little help from my resident millennial, I’ve had the most wonderful time finding all sorts of things to keep myself entertained and seeing more beauty in the word than I would have found, had I simply booked a flight to a favoured destination.

In fact, I’m not the only one in my circle to have discovered the wonderful world of the internet. Two of my dearest friends have discovered, and fallen in love with YouTube; spending hours down the rabbit hole of content. I can say what I want about technology, but it certainly has made this year more bearable!

Travel the world – all you need is a good internet connection!

These are some of the most incredible virtual tours, concerts and experiences that are still available for you to enjoy over the holiday season (Some are free, some are paid). I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. And who knows – maybe I’ll see you at the Rijksmuseum this weekend!

The NYC Nutcracker: Buy your tickets here

The top 8 World Heritage Sites: View here

The Crown & The Queen’s Gambit Costume Exhibit: Dive in here (this has been one my favourites)

The Uffizi Museum, Florence, Italy: Explore to your heart’s content!

The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands: See the beauty from the greats

Happy exploring!, Liz Grantham signature, functional movement, physical freedom