While we’re still unable to travel to some of the most beautiful spots in the world right now, we thought we’d revisit one of our favourite articles from April 2020 to inspire our next travelling experience, virtually. 

Is anyone else really missing travelling right about now? And, yet the word seems to have some kind of stigma attached to it. Even though travel is one of our core values at The Handbook, we’ve steered clear from the subject almost entirely since the pandemic started, and while we’re obviously not endorsing traveling right now, we’re here to let you know that you can still experience its awe and wonder from the comfort of your living room.

We’re welcoming a new age of travel and it’s quite literally through your laptop screen. Yup, you can explore the world in all of its glory from your sofa through Google Maps and Google Earth! Which is why today we’re headed around the globe, exploring the seven wonders of the world. Let’s get exploring…

Petra, Jordan 

Dubbed the ‘rose-red city’, Petra in Jordan is breathtaking in more ways than one. This beautifully carved city has become the backdrop for many iconic film scenes, ranging from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade through to The Mummy Returns, and of course, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s An Idiot Abroad. 

The city and its carvings date back over 2,000 years, and these were originally created by the Nabataeans. For those who have never visited before, you’ll most likely recognise The Treasury that’s famously captured in the photographs that we’ve seen multiple times over, but the online trail lets you explore the city to its fullest, walking with the Nabataeans across the desert and away from the pesky sun (you won’t be needing your suncream virtually thank goodness!) 

Measuring over 100 miles, the city was once home to 250,000 people, and includes 800 carved tombs and 8,000 theatre seats.

Great Wall Of China, China

There’s no denying that the Great Wall of China is impressive. Of course if you didn’t know already, the Great Wall of China is the longest wall in the world, stretching over 3,460km, or 2,150 miles, which is approximately three times the length of Britain alone! 

Originally built to help protect China from its invaders from the North, the wall can now be accessed for pleasure, allowing locals and tourists to explore its bricks and surrounding beauty. The further west you travel, the more ‘untouched’ and less tourist-filled you’ll find it, but as you’re exploring virtually none of that really matters… Virtually climb up the brick laden steps and gaze out over China’s impressive rolling, green hills.

Chichén Itzá, Mexico

Next stop, Mexico! Located on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, Chichén Itzá is made up of Mayan ruins and it’s been said it was the centre of Mayan civilisation for over 1,000 years. The famous pyramid that centres the site is called El Castillo and it is known for being the Temple of Kukulkan, and funnily, sits on top of another older temple.

Located on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, Chichén Itzá is made up of Mayan ruins and it’s been said it was the centre of Mayan civilisation for over 1,000 years.

Thanks to its huge popularity the site is usually swarming with individuals but right now, explore this man-made wonder from the comfort of you sofa.

Built to symbolise Brazilian christianity, Christ the Redeemer is a relatively new ‘wonder of the world’ if we’re looking at the timeline, with construction starting in 1922. Since its creation, the statue has become a symbol and cultural icon in its own right. 

While it certainly is grandeur in many ways, it’s the view at the top of this peak that’s the real reason to visit this wonder. Expect it to be crowded but if you can cast your mind away from the hoards of people, the view is really worth the gander. Obviously you’ll be watching this one virtually but behold the best views over Rio and the Tijuca National Park. Just wow. It’s a real pinch me moment.

The Colosseum, Italy

While we can’t visit this beautiful architectural landmark in person right now, we can visit it virtually instead. It’s said that this impressive Roman building housed up to 80,000 during spectacles, such as re-enactment of famous battles, gladiator games and even executions back in the day. Nowadays it’s become a beloved architectural figure that’s inspired famed architects and similar styled buildings.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Probably our favourite one to visit purely down to its breathtakingly beautiful views jetting over Peru and the ‘Lost City of the Incas’. On this virtual guide, you’ll be able to journey along the Inca Trail (which would normally take you around four days to complete!) and watch the mysteries of this scenic trail unravel and come to life.

The words ‘Machu Picchu’ actually translate to ‘Old Mountain’, and it sums it up rather perfectly as the site dates back to as early as 1450. The city sadly didn’t survive the downfall of the Inca and was abandoned, but you can explore the expanse in all of its glory with a few simple clicks (or in person when we’re allowed to explore the world’s wonderful offerings once again).

Taj Mahal, India

Let’s face it. The Taj Mahal is rather breathtaking, isn’t it? Whether you’ve been lucky enough to visit the landmark in person or not, watch the architectural masterpiece come to life on your screen as you virtually tour its white marbled and delicately designed walls.

Having been first built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in honour of his favourite wife who passed away, the Taj Mahal has since become loved for its wildly wonderful optical illusions that can be seen by all in almost every angle and its symbol of eternal love. Now’s your chance to see its postcard worthy design come to life.

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