Do you dream of being a travel writer? Do you long for adventure and the discovery of all things new and unusual, but lack the budget to make the trip? If so, Google Earth is the app for you!

Recently I took on a writing assignment requiring me to identify various “best of” locations in a city and country not my own. I am currently unable to travel, and was concerned this assignment was beyond my grasp.

I wasn’t willing to give it up, so I made a list of my resources. First on the list were my well-traveled friends. I made multiple calls, conducted interviews and came away with some tremendous information.

From there I opened Safari to research my chosen destination. Between the interviews and online research, I had a good idea the direction I would take with my article.

As I wrote it, I realized the story lacked a familiarity one can only discover by walking the streets of a city. I mentioned my conundrum to my husband, who then asked if I was using Google Earth in my research. The thought hadn’t crossed my mind.

With his help, I downloaded the app, then proceeded to find Google Earth’s incredible 3D, street-view perspective. I could tap the screen of my iPad and the app literally dropped me in the middle of the street.

For hours I walked the streets of the city from the privacy of my writing room. I came way with a fresh familiarity of the destination, despite never leaving my home. Google Earth made the city come to life, giving my story a vibrancy it otherwise lacked.

Robin Aldrich is the author of Bootstrapped! Creating a Small Business on a Budget. Robin founded the Boomerang Business Project in 2015 to help entrepreneurs thrive through personal and professional development. For more information visit her website,

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