Meta Travel: Bye-bye Airplanes

24 Apr 2022

Five years ago, my wife and I took a trip to New York. On day 3, I was very excited to see the Starry Night painting by Van Gogh which was displayed at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art). My wife, having hit 15K steps by 3pm already, funnily suggested to skip MoMA and to “just google the image and look at it all you want”. I was shocked at her comment at the time, but this doesn’t seem that ridiculous in this metaverse era.

Starry Night painting by Van Gogh

In the metaverse world, I could decide to visit MoMA, the Louvre or any other museum whenever I would feel like it by simply buying a virtual ticket and going around the galleries on my own time. In the virtual museum, I would be able to see the Starry Night painting and also have the option to view the 3D painting interpretation of it.

What would a typical plan look like?
If you can’t afford going on that euro trip that you’ve always wanted to do, put on your headset, open your travel app and create your own itinerary!
Let’s plan out a small, short and sweet itinerary for someone wanting to visit Paris for the first time:

  • You start off in the Eiffel Tower, where your avatar can take pictures and can even fly to the top. Obviously, in the metaverse, skipping the lines is a default option.
  • Next, buy a digital ticket to the Louvre Museum, spend an hour walking around and make sure not to miss the Mona Lisa (you will get a front row seat and not worry about overcrowdig).
  • Next stop, transport your avatar to the Arc de Triomphe - no walking needed or necessary.
  • Feeling hungry? Your meta app will pop-up a few restaurants / cafes to try out. Order food from their digital menu while doing some “people watching” and get your french food order delivered right to your doorstep (the food would be prepared in one of the cloud kitchens in your area).
  • Post lunch may be the right time to catch some breathtaking views at Montmartre. Look around and let that view sync in.

View from Montmartre, Paris

  • For some evening entertainment, get yourself a ticket to watch the Moulin Rouge, the meta edition. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

Why Meta Travel?

  1. Affordability: Many people can’t afford to travel frequently or at all. meta travel can help to fulfil a need and encourage people to visit new places from the comfort of their homes. Also, no more currency conversion headaches - pay everything with your meta-credits at fraction of the cost.
  2. Aerophobia: Have a fear of flying? No worries! You now have an alternative.
  3. Accessibility: Many people with special needs avoid travelling altogether as it can be a real hassle… meta travel can be an amazing practical alternative to see the world without the chaos that comes with traveling.
  4. Optionality: Have you ever felt the need for a vacation, right after coming back from your vacation? We often crave a break post holidays to recover from an action-packed itinerary. Most people traveling on limited time may now pick and choose the experiences they want to do physically and those which they can cover off in the metaverse at a later point.

No airplane or hotel bookings needed, no more getting screwed by foreign currency exchange rates and no more waiting 2–4 weeks to obtain a tourist visa … All you need is your headset and a comfortable spot at home.

Teleporting from one dimension to another
Don’t just travel to an existing destination, travel anywhere anytime. Even better, don’t just travel to a destination, travel back in time or to space. Go on a discovery of a totally new or fictional place like Atlantis, Ancient Rome, Babylon, or even Hogwarts!

In the metaverse, education can take a whole new dimension with a more effective method of experiential learning which could be applied even to non-scientific fields and topics. Just imagine taking a History class covering Ancient Egypt and being able to attend the class while discovering the corridor of the Pyramids. What about an Astronomy class actually conducted in space? Sign me up!

Travel will still be king…but
Nothing will replace actually visiting destinations, physically interacting with locals, snapping pictures next to landmarks and discovering on foot all the hidden gems that new places have to offer.
At some point in time, we may start asking people whether they have actually/physically visited a place or just been there in the metaverse — “Did you actually go there, or did you just go?”

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