With many of us housebound for the past several months, the opportunity to experience new locales has literally disappeared.
But thanks to a couple from Singapore, such opportunities have not virtually disappeared.
Sonali Ranjit and Vaishnav Balasubramaniam created WindowSwap, a site that lets armchair travelers peaceably gaze at the view through hundreds of windows world-wide.
Here’s a brief blurb about the site from the Wall Street Journal:
The site launched in June with 16 videos, each one a view out the window sent by far-flung friends. The pair has now received more than 10,000 submissions from around the world. Aiming to provide “a little break from the Covid blues,” the couple can upload between 70 and 150 a week and have heard from teachers using the site to teach geography and from hospice workers using it to divert patients. Intentionally simple and free of ratings or likes, the site offers an antidote to the dopamine rush of the click fix, and the surprise of how unexpected the world really looks. In our current straitened circumstances, swapping windows encourages daydreaming while reinforcing one of travel’s most enduring benefits: the realization that new prospects are indeed almost infinite.
The photo at the top of this post is a screenshot from a video from someone’s window in Phuket, Thailand.
And the screenshot below is from a window in Amsterdam.
And while these are just screenshots in this post, please note that on the WindowSwap web site, you are actually watching recorded videos from someone’s window, from all around the globe.
Besides Phuket and Amsterdam, I’ve watched videos from the UK, Australia, Russia, and the U.S., to name a few.
I found the website to be mesmerizing and calming, and potentially addictive.
You may want to set a time limit for yourself because it is so easy, and enjoyable, to just keep pressing the next window button to see what part of the world is next.
Talk about living vicariously…