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Exploring the World One Webcam at a Time

Something all of us travel lovers are struggling with at the moment is the fact that we just can’t go anywhere. From feeling like the world is our playground to searching for joy in our permitted journeys from home and back, our lives have changed in ways quite unimaginable. Many of us are taking this time to learn new skills, to be more present, to reminisce, maybe to reassess our life goals. Some of us are just trying to stay sane and smile.

I wanted to share something that has sparked a little joy for me over this period. Credit goes to the lovely Val, someone I do shopping for each week as she has to self-isolate, for introducing me to Skyline Webcams. This website streams live footage from webcams around the world; from the Colosseum to Copacabana, from the western wall in Jerusalem to Mount Olympus in Greece.

My personal favourite is the watering hole in Tsavo East National Park in Kenya – throughout the day elephants, zebras, buffalo and birds come to refresh and play. The audio means you can hear the sounds of the savannah too. Of course, nothing will ever match up to real life when all your senses are part of the experience, but watching a group of elephants trundle into view and splash around in the water is pretty special.

It also got me thinking that although I’m lucky enough to have seen and been enriched by so much of the world in person, many haven’t and won’t ever be in the same position. While your senses may be limited in an online experience, does that mean there is no takeaway value from it? It seems to me that it’s how you reflect that really counts.

Just from my time connecting to this website and watching places like the watering hole it’s given me a lot to reflect upon… Being reminded that whatever has paused in our lives, the cycle of life and the beauty of nature continues. To see at this time, many locations so empty of people yet still so alive in what makes them unique, whether that be naturally, culturally or architecturally, is humbling. It’s a reminder of how privileged we are to explore our planet earth and perhaps to reflect on our impact and responsibility as a tourist…

Okay I’m getting deep, so I shall wrap up briefly by saying that I’ve been inspired and uplifted by exploring the world via its many webcams. And I may now have a slight obsession with checking up on the elephants in Kenya.

I'm normally too involved to document but I did take this on my phone to send to my family WhatsApp group to persuade them to check it out!


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