I’m a fan of ‘armchair travel.’ You know, sit in a comfortable chair and read a book about another country and its delights, like In a sunburned country, a book about Australia by Bill Bryson. These days travel web sites are an alternative, often a more visually appealing alternative. Here’s a travel web site that made Dailytekk’s “100 Best, Most Interesting Websites 2017:”Culture Trip. Last December Forbes included this site on its list of “Five Fast-Growing British Businesses To Watch In 2017.”
The web site says it aims “to tell the story of everywhere, with thousands of articles and videos published every month across our site, social media and apps.” The home page offers some enticing suggestions, like “A Guide to Brooklyn’s Weird and Wonderful Art Locales,” but you can search for a location (continent, country, city, etc.) that interests you as well. Then you are presented with many options in categories such as things to see and do, food and drink, places to stay, guides and tips, art, history, books, and more.
When I tried to challenge it by searching for Antarctica, I was offered eleven results in various categories. Once you select a category, in addition to reading that article you are offered additional things you might also like to explore. You could keep going for days, or weeks, or months! For example, I clicked on the “Art” offering (“First ‘Floating’ Biennale To Take Place In Antarctica“) and learned about the Antarctic Biennale that took place in March 2017. Apparently a 1959 treaty kept Antarctica free from being claimed by any state, and “the uninhabited land should be used entirely for creative purposes and scientific research, making it the ideal setting for artists of all nationalities to come together and showcase their work.” Two ships carrying artists made several stops at which debates, performances, and art installations were conducted. Intrigued (or skeptical), I searched for a an official Antarctic Biennale web site, where I found a link to images of this trip on Instagram and a quote by Nic Iljine, Advisor to the General Director of the State Hermitage Museum of art and culture in in Saint Petersburg, Russia:
The Antarctic Biennale is not just another art event. It is a utopian effort to get artists, architects, writers & philosophers to think about the last pure continent on this planet.
Back on the Culture Trip article on the Biennale, there were art options for other locations, including “The History of Flamenco Dance,” “The 10 Most Important Italian Artists You Should Know,” “The National Galley of Singapore in 5 Artworks,” and more. Or I could return to the Antarctic page and select other categories, e.g., “The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning” in the Books category, or “10 Weird Rules for Traveling in Antarctica” in Guides and Tips.