Armchair Travel: Inspiration and Memories

by Denise 

Last month, I shared my thoughts on travel guides. But what if you don’t know where you want to go? Or can’t easily travel? The library can still help. We have materials that let you travel without leaving your couch.


Photos are a traditional media for armchair travel. Postcards, vacation slideshows, travel photo albums, Facebook posts, Instagram shares, Snapchat snaps– technologies change, but the transporting power of photographs remains. One of the newest ways to take photos is by drones. These small, lightweight quadcopters offer aerial views once limited to birds and planes. Quadcopter photography enthusiasts share their art on the website Dronestagram. You, however, don’t need to be a quadcopter enthusiast to get a birds’ eye view of the world. Just check out this groundbreaking book.

National Geographic


If you’ve ever cracked open a National Geographic publication, you probably agree with Director of Photography Dan Westergren’s description of their photographers as “experience collectors” who “find the true essence of a place.” Add their writers’ travel expertise and you get some top-quality armchair travel. Destinations of a Lifetime takes you to 225 of the world’s most amazing places. What is your ideal travel destination? Wild nature, human-made wonders, seashores, mountains, or towns that mix cultural offerings with beautiful scenery? Whatever your preference, you’ll find plenty of travel inspiration inside!



Not up for arduous travel to remote locales on the off chance you might see something truly remarkable? Luckily for you, National Geographic photographers have done all the hard work. Super storms, two-headed frogs, 138 skydivers holding hands, microscopic insects, out-of-this-world trees, and hidden gems of indescribable beauty. It’s all here. A delight for the curious armchair traveler.




Want more National Geographic? We have guidebooks, magazines, DVDs and a whole database of National Geographic insight.

…and Memory Recollection

As a librarian for older adults, one of the things I like about National Geographic is the fact that older adults often remember it from their younger days. The iconic yellow-framed magazine (once wrapped in brown paper) has been bringing the world to curious readers since 1897. Then president Alexander Graham Bell demanded that the magazine appeal to a wide range of readers, not just scientists.

(Check out this photo of The National Geographic Magazine from February 1921. We found this gem during a bookmobile stop at a retirement community.)

When older adults recognize things from their younger days, it might help with dementia care. Books with colorful photographs, especially photographs of familiar places and things, could stimulate and engage customers with dementia.

One in three older adults dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. More than 15 million Americans provide uncompensated care for those with dementia. For these people, armchair travel can be more than fun. It can be therapy.

What inspires you to travel? Have you ever used books to connect to the older adults in your life? What engaged them?

Tags: ,


Leave a reply (comments are moderated before posting)