Travel is a very important part of my life. Exploring new cultures, meeting people who live very differently from how I do, trying local foods, and experiencing the joy of discovery are things that I’m missing in a very big way. I’m finally ready to feed my travel hunger again, and armchair and virtual travel experiences have made me smile a little more every day.
I love this new virtual program, and it’s taking me somewhere I’ve never been before. I love that. I hope to bring you more of these soon. I’m ready to travel, somehow, again.
Virtual travel experts Virtually Visiting have created the world’s first four-day holiday that you can experience from home. I click on the link from my computer or phone, and I’m exploring Swedish Lapland. It’s really cool. And each day of the four-day vacation is brought to you one day at a time. Given the vagaries of my schedule nowadays, I’m grateful, too, that I can watch each day whenever I want, as the links will stay online.
The first holiday started today, but you can watch today’s event tomorrow, tonight, at 2 in the morning, or whenever it suits your “I don’t know what day it is – I don’t know what time it is” schedule of the moment. And this vacation isn’t costing me anything – it’s free. You have to love that!
You’ll go on a wintry tour of the Arctic region of Swedish Lapland, no passport required, with real-life, local guides who know the locations inside and out. Just click here to begin your journey. Or, if you don’t feel like traveling yet, here’s a teaser of what it will be like: video .
First you travel 144km north of the Arctic Circle to Kiruna just in time to see ICEHOTEL 30 before it melts back into the river. I’ve always wanted to go to the ICEHOTEL after braving the frigid temperatures to attend the Ice Festival in Rovaniemi, Finland many years ago. I visited ice rooms and enjoyed an ice cocktail in an ice bar, but I didn’t have the chance to stay in an ice hotel. Here’s my chance to see what it’s like, firsthand sort of. Really cool.
On the first day, Saturday April 18, ICEHOTEL guide Matilda takes you on a personal tour through four of the jaw-dropping, individually designed and carved ice rooms and explains how the ICEHOTEL all comes together, from the frozen water in the river flowing beside the hotel to the transformation of the ice into these beautiful masterpieces you see before you. It’s like a museum of ice. Gorgeous.
On the second day, Sunday April 19, the tour goes south 250km to Lassbyn to meet local guide and founder of the Aurora Safari Camp, Fredrik Broman. Fredrik will be leading us on one of my favorite things, a snowmobile adventure, this time through the stunning Swedish wilderness visiting two frozen lakes and learning about local wildlife and landmarks on the way. Although I’ve never done this in Sweden, I’ve been snowmobiling in Finland and in Vermont, and I love the thrill of it.
Monday April 20 is more leisurely and we go to one of the places that has been on my bucket list for a long time, the famous Treehotel. Today, we take a personal tour inside four of the seven amazing treetop hotel rooms. Each room has its own theme, which is showcased in the design of the exterior and interior.
The final day of the itinerary, Tuesday April 21, goes east 90km to the wilderness around Kroktask where we do something that’s truly exhilarating, dogsledding. In Finland, I dogsledded both in a sledge and standing up on skis with those gorgeous, gorgeous dogs. This lets me relive that experience. Erik Hordijk from Yellow Snow Husky tours teaches us how to harness a team of huskies in preparation for the journey across the frozen landscape.
Each day a new virtual experience and additional information will be released so you can virtually travel through the region and get a sense of the people and places that you’ll encounter hopefully IRL in the not too distant future. One of the other places to come through these virtual tours is the Arctic Bath, a really exciting project with a floating spa set in the middle of the river that floats in summer and stays frozen in winter. I would love to be there right now.
Join me on this free four-day Virtual Arctic adventure from Saturday April 18-Tuesday April 21 and don’t worry, if you miss one of the days, the video can be accessed online at the same link).
Photos: Courtesy of Virtually Visiting