– This post was written by Liam McGarry –
The virus-that-shall-not-be-named has sabotaged travel plans around the world. Exotic honeymoons have been curtailed, find-yourself backpacking trips cancelled, and silent yoga retreats in the hills of Nepal postponed.
Perhaps you’re not ready to get back on the wanderlust wagon just yet. The world is opening back up, but maybe it’s too soon for daydreams of far-off lands. For those for whom the pull of planet Earth is too strong; for those intrepid travelers who need their daily fix of second-hand exoticism, blazing sunsets and gritty cityscapes: fear not — you can still get a taste of it from home.
Every continent on this spinning rock we call home is accounted for in this collection of amazing travel photos. Ogle at the hills of Romania, dream of magnificent museums, and drool over some of the world’s hidden gems.
Alone in the wilderness
Romania is rarely at the top of people’s bucket lists. It’s hard to fathom why. This sprawling sunset scene was taken deep in the Ciucaş Mountains, but it could just as well be an aerial shot from one of the Lord of the Rings movies.
Pack your trunk
It’s bath time for these playful Asian elephants in Galle, Sri Lanka. You tell them from their African cousins by the smaller size of their ears. If you’re having a glum day in self-isolation, then the picture of these two happily frolicking by the water is bound to perk you up.
Isolation on the Faroe Islands
Isolation is an inescapable theme on the Faroe Islands, but that’s what makes this lonely outpost in the North Atlantic so appealing. Walk for miles, and it’s just you, the sheep, and the icy winds of the Faroese fjordland.
No, the world hasn’t been taken over by giant spiders just yet. This is the scene outside the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Maman (translation: mother) by the French-American artist Louise Borgeouis symbolizes the maternal instincts. Visitors have even been known to exclaim “whoa, momma!” when seeing it for the first time.
When we said every continent, some of you immediately thought: “I bet they forget Antarctica”. How could we? The name Elephant Island is a tad misleading, though. There are plenty of penguins, but unfortunately no elephants.
Alpaca m’ bags!
Okay, it’s a llama, but we couldn’t think of anything as good. The llamas of Peru are the oldest domesticated animals on Earth, and are camel-like to the point they will spit at you if they feel threatened. Be nice!
You would be forgiven for thinking this was a tiny woman inside a grandfather clock. Alas, this isn’t a still from a live-action version of The Borrowers. This is the famous clock at the North-East corner of Paris’s Musee d’Orsay which looks out over the city.
Gateway to the Pacific
The remnants of this old pier along the Pacific Coast Highway were just made for drone photography. Davenport Pier in California has become a popular hangout for photographers and Instagrammers looking to create travel inspo. It’s not hard to see why!
Meanwhale, in London…
No, it’s not Hogwarts, but this view inside London’s Natural History Museum is just as magical. That 25-meter-long blue whale skeleton is almost 130 years old, and took months to prepare for its headline gig in the entrance hall of the museum.
At first glance you might think this misty sunset scene is from London or New York. In fact, those twin skyscrapers are the giveaway here. Malaysia‘s Petronas Towers are one of the most popular tourist sights in the city, as is KL Tower, from where this photo was taken.
The salt flats of Salar de Uyuni remain unticked on bucket lists the world over – it’s not every day you can venture into the deserts of Bolivia. The flags pictured were planted by intrepid explorers from around the world. Maybe one day you’ll add yours. If your home country is already taken, we challenge you to make one up and see if anyone notices.
The best thing about this photo of a herd of zebras in Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, is that they don’t seem the slightest bit perturbed by the enormous red and yellow balloon hovering overhead.
Just another day in the life of a clown. From behind, this spreader of jokes and japery looks a little miserable, but they’re probably just exhausted from all the fun they’ve given out at Sydney’s Luna Park in Australia.
Imagine waking up every day to this? This vibrant seaside paradise is Valparaiso, Chile. A favorite with European settlers back in the day, this hilly city is known for its funiculars and steep staircases, as well as a bohemian, laid-back approach to life. How’s that for travel inspo?
Too late for sun cream?
Splish splash, macaques taking a bath. These forest-dwelling monkeys love nothing more than a good soak in the onsens of Japan’s Jigokudani Monkey Park. No other primate (apart from us) lives in as cold a climate, so they need to keep warm somehow!
Nothing screams wanderlust like the Northern Lights. These dancing displays in the magnetosphere are a photographer’s dream, chased down all over the northern hemisphere by intrepid travelers looking for that signature green glow. Iceland, where this incredible photo was shot, seems to have become Lord Borealis in recent years.
Lost in Space
What a way to make you feel small. You’re just a tiny spec of microbes in this great unknown we call the universe. Luckily, our massive brains allow us to enjoy all the tastes, smells, and epic wanderlust photos to a much higher level than other species (that we know of right now). This incredible Milky Way edit, shot on the northeastern shore of Utah’s Great Salt Lake, seems the perfect way to end this blog. Where will you go next?
If all that travel inspo has you yearning for more, check out these 22 virtual museum tours you can enjoy from your couch and enjoy some of the most iconic exhibitions and artworks from around the world.