As an intrepid traveler who’s visited greater than 70 nations and has been touring full-time for the previous decade, I’ve needed to get inventive throughout lockdown to satiate my wanderlust. Thank goodness I discovered Heygo.com!
Heygo’s free virtual tours are stay, by no means recorded, and led by enthusiastic English-speaking native guides who have interaction in real-time with individuals from all through the world. Members are inspired to ask questions and make feedback by a chat function that pops up on guides’ digicam screens, permitting for real-time conversations between the digital vacationers and the guides.
I lately took a Mary, Queen of Scots tour of Edinburgh with Paul, a previously homeless man educated as a information by a non-profit group referred to as Invisible Cities. Paul was greater than educated: He’s an entertaining storyteller with a terrific intuition for making historical past each related and irreverent. His tour is a mash-up of anecdotes, folklore, tradition, geology, present occasions, journey ideas, and fable debunking.
Professional Tip: Heygo excursions are typically 45 minutes, however typically guides pop on early or keep late to talk. That’s the perfect time to construct a rapport with a information in a vacation spot you’ll be visiting. Leaving critiques is one other nice rapport-builder, because the guides typically learn every assessment.
Throughout one other expertise, I “joined” Meteja, knowledgeable tour supervisor with 30 years of expertise within the journey business, as she navigated Ljubljana’s farmers market. I realized about Slovenian culinary tradition, picked up some journey ideas, and tried to be taught just a few Slovenian phrases.
Professional Tip: Whereas excursions are free, ideas are inspired. The guides work arduous, maintaining a clipped tempo to cowl numerous floor. Moreover, ideas assist help the positioning, as there isn’t any membership value to affix Heygo. I like supporting native entrepreneurial guides, particularly following the pandemic after they had been hit arduous.
Excursions occur across the clock 24/7, so at any random time, it’s doable to choose from half a dozen or so excursions. Whereas checking the positioning for a future tour, I used to be intrigued by an providing referred to as Funerals in Ghana: The Fantasy Coffin Crave and joined on the spot. It was a go searching a workshop the place coffins are carved into all the things from vehicles to bugs to books — something that displays the deceased’s hobbies and pursuits. Bought me reflecting: I feel I’d wish to be buried in a large wood passport!
Professional Tip: Heygo caps the variety of digital vacationers on a selected tour to maintain the expertise extra interactive and private, so it’s greatest to guide a tour beforehand on the positioning’s calendar.
In lower than a 12 months, Heygo has grown to supply hundreds of free digital excursions in tons of of nations. Right here’s how I plan to make use of Heygo to encourage my future non-virtual journeys: