With the threats of Covid, the increasing difficulties with travel, the awareness of the implications of carbon-intensive air travel, and with all manner of worries about going to a foreign country, what if there were a way to create the travel experience, and the travel memories that go with it, without actually traveling? There is. It is called Discover Live, and if you are looking for some holiday travel experiences with your friends and family, this is the ticket.
- This is zero carbon travel
- You create astonishing memories just like you were actually there
- Professional, vetted guides who walk with you
- Go with your family and friends even if they are in another location
- Clever people are now doing Discover Live with groups, notably their university alumni associations.
- This is a GREAT gift. Really.
Travel Without the Stress
For a fraction of what a physical trip costs, I can go in complete safety, on my own private, supremely guided tour of any one of dozens of fabulous locations around the world. I will travel guilt-free — no carbon impacting the earth from burning tons of jet fuel. I will have no worries about catching a deadly disease, no hassles at immigration and, this is the big one, I create memories as if I was actually there with my travel friends.
We are curious beings; we want to learn about new places, to see and understand other peoples, to enlarge our view of the world. This will not change, but the way we do it will. Will we keep going to faraway places to see and experience other cultures? Yes, but far less frequently than in the past. Now with the advent of virtual travel, we can explore without the downsides of cost, time, and dangers. Zoom Airlines, the safest, fastest way to fly!
Real-Time, Fully Interactive Trip
Last week I was in Los Angeles, and from our comfy chairs, my wife and I were teleported to Luxor, Egypt. Wooosh and in a heartbeat, we are there. It is an extraordinary experience to have recently just woken up in one time zone, then be whisked across the globe, arriving in the glorious twilight of Luxor, Egypt. This is a real-time, fully interactive trip with a live guide on the ground in the Luxor Temple, an experience like I have never had other than with Discover Live.
I had been in Luxor twenty years ago and, although it was fantastic, I learned so much more from my guide on the Discover Live trip. It is an experience that is difficult to describe. Although virtual, I perceive that I am really there. I am hearing the sounds of the evening calls to prayer from the nearby mosque. I am seeing the three-thousand-year-old temple and walking with the guide, asking him questions as we meander through the recently restored site. Maybe it is the lack of jet lag, maybe it is not having to worry about the usual tourist’s dangers, but the effect is that a large part of my brain that would normally be occupied by coping with the locality is now free to ask questions and take in the incredible place we are wandering about.
This temple has been in continuous use for over three thousand years. Seeing the huge pink and grey sixty-feet-tall granite statues that have been greeting visitors for millennia is something that makes one ponder one’s own sense of time and space. We understand from George, our wonderful Egyptologist guide, that this gigantic complex was built in the relatively short time of a couple of hundred years. It boggles the mind that statues of this size and weight were carved far south of there and then placed into boats on the Nile and brought to the temple site. How did they do that?
There was so much to learn. My biggest discovery was that the engineers and designers of this time in Egypt were women! It was women who designed the temple and the pyramids. Our guide shows us a huge relief carving of Seshat, the Egyptian Goddess of Engineering. Who knew?
A Personal Touch
Our guide George, who was tremendous, went on to explain that the house he grew up in was on top of the Avenue of Sphinxes and that it, along with a number of other houses, had to be removed in order for this incredible procession of hundreds of statues to be exposed. Imagine growing up on top of something so incredible, and then being asked to leave your ancestral home so that the antiquities underneath can be revealed. This was one of the many incredible stories our guide, who grew up right here, was able to tell us.
George recommended twilight as being a wonderfully sublime time of day to visit the temple, and he was correct. To see daylight fall and then the installed uplights on the columns take over is drama on an epical scale. This is another wonderful benefit of the Discover Live experience: one can set it up to be in a place at exactly the right time, without the stress of having to manage that locally. In fact, there is no stress at all, no need for passports, no vaccines, no intrusive vendors to deal with. It is just us, the temple, and our guide.
Virtual Travel Bucket List
- Florence, Italy with a couple of my old college friends.
- Venice, Italy with my wife. Romantic getaway while not leaving the house.
- Paris, France with my mom.
- London, England with the entire AGEIST team, for an on-the-street inspiration trip.
- Milan, Italy with my wife who has been so many times, but I don’t know it at all.
- Vietnam with Jack, my CTO, who left Vietnam as a baby.
- Lima, Peru, a place I have always wanted to go, but have never made it to.
- Lisbon, Portugal to catch up on what the latest is in that vibrant city.
- Kilkenny, Ireland with my dear friend Andrea who is considering moving there.
The time commitment is only an hour, not days and weeks, but the shared memories created feel exactly like we had been there. These trips will make great holiday gifts for everyone. If you have someone who is difficult to find the perfect gift for, how about inviting them to go on an exotic Discover Live experience with you?
Discover Live is introducing a brand new 2-hour tour during which the first hour is for Tuscan wine education, immediately followed by another hour of live Florence tour. Could be perfect for your next team-building event.