Computers are your window to the world – you can travel anywhere without leaving home

RomeHave you ever wanted to go to Paris, Rome, Nebraska and just did not have the money, ability or the time?

If you have a computer, smartphone or tablet with Internet access, you are almost there. Pick a place like Rome and “Google” it. (Open your Internet Browser and type in city you want to explore into Google.com)You will be amazed at the resources and video that is available to you. For example, you can click on Wikipedia and read all about Rome. Wikipedia is the new World Book Encyclopedia of the Internet. Next you can click on the videos under “Rome – Video Results.” and you can see movies, short and long descriptions (narratives) and tours of Rome, right from your home.

For the example, I clicked on the first Video link, and it took me to a 46 minute Discovery Channel documentary on Seven Wonders of Ancient Rome. On the right side of the screen, you will find more videos from 4 minutes to 55 minutes each. With today’s technology and YouTube, you can learn anything. Someone has put out a video on any subject you can imagine, all you need to do is to have the imagination to look for it.

Another resource is Google Earth. You will need to install it if you do not already have it. To do this go to www.Google.com/earth. You do not need the Pro version, so just click on the Google Earth box in the middle of the screen. You will now need to select Desktop, Web or Mobile then click on the Download Google Earth button and install it.

Now you have a program on your computer that can take you anywhere. For example, back in the 70s’ My wife and I lived in Kingsport Tn. In a house on top of a mountain. I can Google Earth the address, and it will zoom straight in, and I can see what the house and area look like today. All you need to do is type in the address in the search box at the top left of the screen and click search, and you are there. Click on the image and it will zoom in. Click and hold on your mouse and slide around and the image will move with it. I can see the backyard of the house where my first two children played. Double click and you can drive down the street. Maybe you would like to know more about a location you are about to visit. Just go to Google Earth, and you are there.

A few resources you may want if you are going somewhere are listed belowParis

Another fun site to visit would be the Rand McNally site (www.randmcnally.com) There you can enter your starting and ending points and get mileage and driving instructions – on a real map, for us old timers.

The Alabama DOT website is another informative site (www.dot.state.al.us) You can get information on bridge replacements, construction, and my favorite, road conditions.

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