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    Wow, I Actually Have Plans This Weekend Thanks To Amazon Explore

    "I'll be in Italy this weekend. Virtually. But I'll still be in Italy." —me, texting my friends from the couch that I haven't left in 365 days.

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    Quite frankly, I'm bored. I've watched every Netflix docu-series, Zoom happy hours feel like work, and I don't leave my apartment save for the occasional dog walk and Target run. I also officially take back the expletives that came out of my mouth with every flight delay. This apology comes from the gut: I am so sorry.

    The WB

    Alas, my empty weekend now has hope thanks to Amazon Explore — an accessible, affordable way to uplift communities *and* travel. Virtually. Without having to renew a passport or book a flight.

    the Venice canal
    Amazon

    The possibility of having structure and plans this weekend fills me with...such an embarrassing amount of joy.

    Sign up for the above Venice trip here.

    Amazon Explore lets you trot around the known globe alongside seasoned hosts, spanning experiences that range from cooking courses and wine tastings to history lessons given out of Berlin, Prague, Kyoto, and more.

    a screenshot of the experiences by region
    Amazon Explore

    These experiences start at $10 and are super interactive — the host will speak directly to you, you can ask any questions that come to mind, and everything is streamed live which makes it the perfect "date night" idea.

    A lot of experiences also highlight locally-made products, which means you can shop for clothing, accessories, artwork, etc. and support communities that were hit pretty darn hard this past year. The host will then ship the items directly to your doorstep!

    Aaaand if you're taking a cooking or cocktail class, you'll be sent a full list for everything you'll need to make the experience top-notch.

    Plus, if you're interested, you can even apply to host your own virtual experience!

    Here are just a few morsels of travel goodness that Amazon Explore currently offers:

    Mysteries, Monsters, and Magic is a spooky tour of Edinburgh's creepiest street corners and haunted tales, perfect for folks who want to celebrate Halloween in spring (*raises hand*).

    the Edinburg cemetery
    Amazon Explore

    Check out the below review for the "Mysteries, monsters and magic: explore Edinburgh's unusual tales":

    Promising review: "I lived for the better part of a decade in the UK and took any opportunity I could to visit Scotland. It's been some years since my last visit to Edinburgh and this was a wonderful way to reacquaint myself with a city I love. And I didn't even have to put on real clothes too do it! Even better: I earned a bunch of bonus points with my girlfriend for accidentally coming up with a great brunch date idea. Angus was our guide and he was simply superb. His enthusiasm for showing off his hometown really elevated the whole experience. Though 60 minutes with him wasn't nearly enough time it never felt rushed and his anecdotes, stories, and cultural allusions filled the time we did have perfectly. Don't expect a whirlwind tour of the entire city; this is a fairly relaxed stroll that barely scratches Edinburgh's total geography, but with centuries of history embedded in virtually every brick and cobblestone you won't feel cheated." —foundgum

    Sign up for this 60-minute session for $10.

    Put down that $7 vino and give something else a chance via Peruvian Pisco: namely, a boozy drink that's also bougie (there are egg whites and ginger beer involved). This cocktail class is perfect for the aspiring mixologist.

    host making a Pisco sour
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Augusta was incredible. We visited Peru three or four years ago and missed it dearly. He was funny, insightful and taught us a lot about Pisco. I can’t say enough that you should give his class a try. We didn’t have a ton of expectations, but it blew us away. What a world we live in. Bravo to Amazon for creating these experiences. Turns out we now can finally make Pisco Sours like the locals!" —Jamey L. Hardesty

    Sign up for this 60-minute sessions for $10.

    Schedule a virtual tour of Toucan Rescue Ranch and come face-to-screen with sloths, toucans, spider monkeys (Twilight), and more — all while knowing your tour is helping fund the preservation of Costa Rica's vibrant wildlife.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "The Toucan Rescue Ranch is a fantastic experience for any armchair adventurer or animal enthusiast; you'll feel instantly transported to Costa Rica as you get up close and personal with Sloths both adult and baby, six different kinds of toucans, monkeys, parrots, and much more. The host of the experience, Andrea, is enthusiastic and personable; she immediately wants to know your interest so she can personalize a tour of the ranch just for you." —Taylor Gall

    Sign up for this 50-minute session for $27.99.

    Anywho, I know what I'll be doing this weekend — scheduling an Amazon Explore session to make me feel like my trip to Tokyo wasn't actually cancelled earlier this year. IT FEELS SO GOOD TO BE BUSY.

    CBC

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