A crash course in changing the world.
There are so many places to visit - how great would Machu Pichu be? Nepal? I'd love to take the kids around Europe, Japan ...but oh the jet fuel, oh the carbon, oh the cost.
Could this be an answer? Virtual tourism? Not only could we be entering a day of high res and even 3d experiences of place online (I "walked" through the streets of Pompeii the other day), but perhaps the next step is finding a way to incorporate the people that make a place alive.Go to virtual New Orleans and experience the jazz. Wander Stonehenge on the solstice. Go anywhere and hang with locals who actually want to talk with tourists, share their stories, learn about where you came from.
Is it too far fetched? About eight years ago, I had the chance to visit Angkor Wat - it was stunning, incredible, I recommend it to anyone except that's the problem. Carvings that had survived for centuries slowing getting rubbed away, the infrastructure and energy needed to support multitudes, etc.
That said, the drive to open it to tourism helped get the landmines cleared ...
What's the answer? I'm not sure, but Bing Maps, Google Earth, and their descendants may let us trend lightly, but far ...