Have you always wanted to go on an Eat Pray Love experience? In Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoir—and the movie adaptation starring Julia Roberts—the author goes on an epic soul-searching adventure to find herself in 3 countries, each starting with the letter “I.” (A little on-the-nose!) Such a trip is normally out of reach for the vast majority of us, but now you can with these virtual tours. So of course, I couldn’t resist going on my own Eat Pray Love journey. Here are all of the ups and downs of the virtual tours I had along the way. Join me as we embark on an adventure that is book-worthy.
Italy is one of the countries on my bucket list and one I have been trying get to for a long time. What better way to cross it off than to discover all of the virtual tours that are available. The first stop: Rome.
For this virtual tour, there was major food envy. The walking tour passed along many cafes, but never stopped at one. It also felt like I was walking in a few, touristy parts of town—not quite so authentic as I might have hoped. The best thing about this tour was that I felt like I was there, which is no small thing in these claustrophobic, late-pandemic times. Overall, it was two hours well spent.
I opted for another walking tour on this adventure to Milan. There is nothing like feeling that you are in the middle of it all. Milan is a luxurious and bustling city that I would love to visit again. One of the historical aspects of the trip is the Leonardo da Vinci statue and Duomo Cathedral. Through this trip, I was able to get the vibe of the city and a glimpse of what it all had to offer.
If you have seen my last travel post, you will know that I have technically virtually travelled to India before. Seeing the Taj Mahal, one of its most celebrated monuments, was breathtaking. Instead of visiting that area again, however, I wanted to look for other experiences. While focusing on the “pray” aspect of the book and movie, I searched for sites that would offer peace and tranquility to my senses. After searching, I found a few of the best calming virtual tours available: The Sun Temple and the Monkey Palace in Jiapur.
The Sun Temple and Wind Palace
The Sun Temple is beautiful when it is not under construction. Unfortunately for me, it was and the tour reflected that. On a positive note, there are many other places to explore in the city on the Wind Temple page. It also shows just how bustling of a city Jaipur is. I can imagine the sounds of the people and how lively it is to be there in person.
The Wind Palace virtual tour lands right at the top of the temple, where a breathtaking view of the city is shown. It makes you feel like you actually at the top of the mountain, surrounded by the vastness of it all. It is one of my favorite spots in Jaipur, with the exception of the next location.
This tour had lots of places where I could visit. It starts off outside surrounded by mountains and hills. There are little red dots scattered throughout the screen that transports you to other places within the palace. One of my favorite spots is inside the pavilion where there are ancient pictures decorating the walls. The otherwise plain ceiling has hand-brushed flowers of brown, blue, green, and gold. There are also a few monkeys and people in the palace, making it feel as if you are not alone.
One of the cons of this palace is in the virtual site itself. There is no way to create a full-sized screen. As a result, it takes away from the immersive experience. Another huge con is the music. For this adventure, I already had a playlist of my own. Imagine my surprise when the music they provided blasted in my ears. It is off-putting and honestly should be taken off the site.
Viewing these temples was almost like walking into a place of peace. A calm washed over me from my computer screen. It was one of the most calming atmospheres I had visited so far.
I had never gone to Bali, but after going to different virtual tours, it sure feels like I’ve been on a trip! It is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and I would love to visit in person someday. Until then, the tours that I visit make a great substitute. With the site that I used, it was more of a holistic experience rather than a detailed one. While I wasn’t able to look at the details of each location separately, the tour gave me the overall feel of Bali.
The tour of this temple is set during the sunset hours of the day. The temple is huge with a beautiful bridge and monkeys perched on the side columns. The bridge overlooks the sea and the sea. This sea temple is the perfect place to go for views of both the mountain and the water.
This palace is one of my favorite places in Bali! The name literally means “Water from the Ganges,” with bathing pools and statues all throughout. It was one of the most peaceful places I had visited among all the three countries.
The major con of this tour was that it felt rushed and as if I didn’t get the local experience. I could feel as well as see that most of the locations were tourist spots. While there are some locations that are bound to be crowded, it made me crave the full Bail experience.
Now that we have travelled to three countries, I have decided that while there is no replacement for being physically on vacation, these virtual tours are a close second. With the pandemic and being unable to travel, I’m thankful that these tours are available online for anyone to view. Until I am able to experience the real thing, I will revisit these places consistently. It wasn’t the same experience as in the books and the movie, but it was well worth it.
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