Sheltered Diaries: Worldwide Field Trips, No Passport Needed

While nothing will replace actually visiting the important places of the world, one small positive to come from being home and a bit more unstructured when it comes to learning is the opportunity to whet young appetites for travel, new experiences, and cultural exchanges.

One way to do that – a way that Tiny saw first on my laptop and then demanded I bookmark it on his – is through Google Voyager.

We’ve looked up our own neighborhood, for instance, which led to a whole discussion about satellites that led to a discussion of how satellites work, which will probably lead to a whole other opportunity for us to look up more information.

“I’m not sure it’s great a satellite can see into our backyard,” Tiny said. “But this is cool.”

Tiny, by the way, recommends starting at your own address on Google Voyager, then choosing a new place to go so you can watch yourself travel from Dallas to, say, the train platform Harry Potter took to get to Hogwarts.

You can also take a tour of various real-life places in children’s literature, or see the places that Anne of Green Gables saw. (Note, if your family is using and abusing your wifi bandwidth like ours, it may take a minute for everything to load for the tour.)

And this is definitely not just for kids. If the Palace of Versailles is your happy place, you can asseyez-vous et relaxez with a tour through the palace. We’ve spent time in Monaco, St. Petersburg, and Rome, too.

Want to add more education to your virtual globetrotting? There is even a section for that.

Want to be competitive about it? There is also an entire section for games.

So do some traveling, and let us know where you go. Just a programming note – since most schools are off for Good Friday tomorrow, we will be back Monday with new tips and suggestions.


For nearly 40 years, People Newspapers has worked tirelessly to tell the stories—good, bad, and sublime—of our neighbors in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow. To support our efforts, please contact [email protected] for advertising opportunities. Please also consider sharing this story with your friends and social media followers.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at [email protected].

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