If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to grow up in a completely different society, there’s a fun way to find out using Google Earth. With the latest update to Google’s “This is Home” project, you can take a look into twenty-two “traditional” homes around the world.
Using the Street View feature, you can step inside a fascinating assortment of dwellings, from mud huts to farmhouses. It’s an eye-opening experience that lets you look around the house, study the various objects and furniture, and read all about the people who live there.
Some of the images offer insight into people’s struggle to maintain their traditional homes and lifestyles amid environmental, political and, economical challenges while others give a history lesson on places you probably don’t know much about. The virtual tour is great for anyone with an itch to travel, and it makes a great learning experience for children who are curious about how other fellow Earthlings live.
And the best part is, you don’t need to buy a plane ticket to visit.
Check out some of the world’s most remarkable homes:
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This home belongs to Tej Bai and her family. They are part of the Garasia tribe, and their home was built in traditional Garasia style with local materials.
These homes float on the island of Uros Titimarka in Lake Titicaca. People have been living on the lake's 87 islands for hundreds of years, and didn't come into contact with the modern world until the mid-1960s.
This is the home of Nasser Awwad Nasser Al Zalabiyah and his family. The area is one of the first protected regions in Jordan that allowed its original inhabitants to stay on their lands. A drought dried up all but four of the areas 40 natural springs, and homes like this are becoming rare as people are forced to move into more modern houses.
This is an example of a tulou, a type of building the Hakka people built when they first settled in the area. Residents live in the large outer ring, and the center structure serves as a place for meetings and rituals.
This is entrance to Adiyasuren Jambalsuren's 'ger', or dwelling place. The people of the Mongolian countryside are nomadic, and Jambalsuren and his family disassemble and move their home every season. The ger itself is a seriously hardy structure. It keeps the family cool in summer temperatures that can reach 104 degrees and warm in minus 40 degree winter temperatures.
This home belongs to Salmini, her mother, and five siblings. Salmini and her family are part of the indigenous Sasak people, and they can trace their ancestry in the region back 700 years. Their home is built in the traditional Sasak style with bamboo from the surrounding area.
The town of Namche Bazaar lies at the foot of Mt. Everest, and the Sherpa people who have lived there for generations welcome visitors from around the world. This is the exterior of Kancha Sherpa's home. He is the only remaining survivor of the expedition that went out with Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa on the first ever successful summit of Mt. Everest.
Malene Egede and her husband live in this house and are two of thirty residents that live in Igaliku. The sheep population far exceeds the human one, residents estimate that between 2000 and 3000 sheep roam the area.
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