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Wanderlust: a strong desire to travel

Wanderlust is a word I had never heard before I discovered Pinterest. But today, you can find it everywhere. Everybody wants to travel. Well… not everybody.

“Wanderlust” is a term that does not apply to me. I’ve never had the travel bug. Both my parents loved to travel — though they never ventured farther than the United States. But like me, my grandma doesn’t enjoy travelling either. She says I must have inherited my desire to stay put from her. Since our birthdays are only a day apart, I can believe that.

Having said this, I will admit that there ARE a few countries I’d like to visit before I die. Italy for the art, Egypt for the ancient culture, and France, England and Russia to do some genealogy/family research. But anything beyond that? Nah. I’m not really interested.

There are also a few smaller scale places I’d like to go though. Not surprising, I love museums and art galleries. And thanks to the internet, today, you don’t always HAVE to travel to see what treasures places like The Metropolitan Museum of Art have hidden inside.

Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

If you’re not keen on a trip to overcrowded New York, I have great news. You can browse much of the MET’s extensive collection online for free on “The MET: The Collection Online“. Currently, there are over 400,000 records to search through. Search by artist, time period, geographic location, or type of artwork. There are paintings and sculptures for every taste and preference.

Now yes, I’ll admit that there’s really no substitute for seeing “the real thing”, up close and in person, but this is an incredible resource and truly the next best thing. We’re not talking about low resolution thumbnails here. Many of the works catalogued are of the highest quality. And the best part is, you can also see a lot of the works that aren’t on display at the museum. Something you couldn’t do if you just walked through the front doors.

Lucas Cranach the Elder, "Christ before Herod", Woodblock (Not on view)

Lucas Cranach the Elder, “Christ before Herod”, Woodblock (Not on view)

As you can well imagine, there are hundreds of millions of artifacts and artwork gathered in museums and galleries worldwide. But every building can only display so many things at a time. There are wonderful treasures hidden in every single one of them, locked away from admiring eyes, and collecting dust in some stuffy old vault or storehouse.

Well, I for one, would like to see some of them. And thanks to the dedicated stewards of antiquity and art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I can. And you can too.

So how about you work in a little art appreciation today by paying the MET’s “The Online Collection” a visit. And while taking in all the beauty and opulence that history has to offer, you can also marvel at the fact that you travelled to New York, Paris, and Italy… without ever having to leave your couch.

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