Can’t afford a trip to Canada? A new craze called Virtual Travel could be just what you need
It’s been a strange year for those of us who enjoy traveling, as many borders have been closed for a variety of reasons. Want to get from A to B? You may now need to visit destination C in-between the two. And for longer journeys… well let’s just say we hope you know your alphabet!
Joking aside, for many of us travel just isn’t a realistic option right now so what is the next best thing? One obvious contender is Virtual Reality (VR) technology, which has finally reached photorealistic levels of immersion. Visiting other places in VR is now possible in a convincing manner, allowing you to experience visiting other towns, cities – even countries – without ever leaving your own home.
Virtual Travel Hardware
There are currently three virtual reality headsets dominating the marketplace. In order of visual fidelity, these are:
- HTC Vive. Starts at $499, but the pro version offers a far better display resolution and refreshes rate. Note, Vive pricing does not include essential peripherals such as controllers and tracking stations. HTC offers several free Canada-based experiences such as Canada: The Story of US 360, alumni UBC, Sesqui VR: Meridian, and CBC VR. You can also use the Vive as a sort of Casino Hacks Canada, joining live dealer games taking place in Canadian casinos alongside real patrons. Canada has a lot of casinos over the country. Some examples are Casino Niagara, Seneca Niagara just next to Niagara Falls, and Fallsview Casino Resort, one of the most beautiful casinos in Canada. Thanks to the advantage of technologies that made possible the virtual travel experience, now is easier than ever to enjoy the live casino experience.
2. Oculus Rift S / Quest. The rift is designed to be connected to your PC and costs $299 including all essential peripherals. The Quest (Starts at $299) on the other hand is an all-in-one VR solution that, whilst it can be connected to your PC in the same way as the Rift, was designed from the ground up for standalone VR entertainment. Because of this, the unit has internal storage. The base model has 64GB of onboard memory whereas the flagship unit contains 256GB. Oculus also offers an “elite” strap and carrying case at $49 each. Both support the Realities and Uncharted Canada software, fantastic for visiting Canada virtually. Note that those software packages are also compatible with the HTC Vive
3. Playstation VR. Currently selling for $200, but is often bundled with several games and a VR camera for mixed-reality entertainment. Mixed reality is much like augmented reality(AR) refers to the process of overlaying real 3D objects rather than just simple flat items and text as with AR. The PS VR is only compatible with PlayStation and travel experiences are few and far between compared to the previous two products
Other Ways to Enjoy Canada From Home
Whilst VR Travel is undoubtedly the best way to see places you are yet to explore in today’s world, older forms of entertainment can also do a good job of helping you enjoy the beauty of Canada. Some require a little more imagination than others, but all have potential.
- Books – Lucy Laud Montgomer’s classic series Anne of Green Gables is an amazing way to see the stunning countryside of Prince Edward Island, and the fact is all presented from the viewpoint of an eleven-year-old girl adds much to the experience.
- Movies – if you just want to get a good idea of the properties of the Canadian landscape, Hollywood has produced a host of films throughout Canada. Examples would be the smash-hit Brokeback Mountain, Mean Girls, and The Incredible Hulk. Interestingly, some scenes from the movie Titanic were filmed in Canada too. TV shows such as the Stargate franchise were also filmed exclusively in Canada, too.
Food has been a live-saver for many homesick people over the years, and the same technique can also enable you to enjoy just a little slice of Canada from your own home. You might imagine that the majority of Canada’s food is very similar to that found in the United States, but one look at the obesity statistics will soon change your mind on that one!
Nova Scotia is famous for its Lobster Rolls, and you’ll find items such as Butter Tarts, Saskatoon Berry Pie, and Peameal Bacon available everywhere throughout the country, Canada’s favorite snack is Poutine, a French-Canadian dish made with French Fries, fresh cheese curds and all topped with gravy. It’s an amazing snack that is not only delicious but also quick to whip up at home. It’s a little more effort than visiting one of the hundreds of street food stalls that sell it in Canada, but it is well worth it