What happened this week in travel? Here’s a wrap of news and travel tidbits that caught our attention.
Google has made it possible to get up close and personal with Australia’s iconic Uluru (otherwise known as Ayers Rock), via the magic of Google street view. It’s not quite the same as visiting the revered indigenous site in person, but it’s better than nothing. Other places you can visit on Google street view include, and have for some time: the Colosseum, the Palace of Versailles, Everest Base Camp and the Great Barrier Reef. Explore the world from your couch and then, you know, actually go out and explore the world.
Researchers in New Zealand believe they have rediscovered the long-lost eighth natural wonder of the world. The striking pink and white terraces of Lake Rotomahana (which look similar to Turkey’s alien-like Pumakkale pools) were thought to have been destroyed back in 1886, 131 years ago. But researchers now believe the terraces were buried, not destroyed, and remain preserved some 10-15 meters below the surface.
Condé Nast Traveler spoke to a few experts and decided that you can, in fact, be addicted to travel (although nobody’s quite sure what causes it yet). Whether or not that means you can get your doctor to write you a sick note to help you take more time off is unclear, but we don’t see any harm in trying.
Skift reported a 5% increase in the amount of time the average American spent traveling in 2016 vs. 2014, with the average vacation length up to 16.8 days from 16 across the two-year period (and this is despite having some of the least paid vacation time in the world). That said, 662 million days of vacation were still left untaken in the US in 2016, with Idaho topping the table as the state with the highest percentage of unused leave days at a wanderlust-crushing 78%.
Artists are no strangers to using their mediums to spread a message, and this week we highlighted a handful doing just that. From giant hands to underwater statues, meet the creative souls using their art to help keep the climate change conversation front of mind.
In weird: There’s a Game of Thrones-themed pop-up bar opening in Washington, DC.; Sweden has opened a Museum of Failure, showcasing flops such as Harley Davidson perfume and Lego Fiber Optics; and there is an island full of puppies (and yes, you can stay on it)
Oh, and in case you were wondering: the rarest passport in the world? That of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.