The view outside Denny’s window is something of a screensaver.
The Pacific Ocean is flat and blue to the horizon. The tide flows gently to the palm-lined shoreline. Homes of a Honolulu suburb stretch between his window and the shore, and grey and red roofs loom between the trees.
There are large tufts of white clouds in the light-blue sky. The potted plants lined up on the windowsill rock with the breeze.
I don’t know who Denny is, but I’m grateful he’s put the view from his window up online. Frankly, I’m a bit sick of mine – which is at ground level and looks out to the car park – so this Hawaiian landscape is a bit of a dream.
It may still be a while before we find ourselves with enough courage and access to go somewhere we haven’t been before so we can have our morning coffee while looking at a new, soul-inflating view. But Window Swap may offer our wanderlust some respite.
The website lets you look out of the windows of others, all over the world, so you can experience new sights while staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
The stay-at-home measures put in place mean many of us have become armchair globetrotters. In the past few months, we’ve perused the exhibition spaces in Saint Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, walked down Las Ramblas in Barcelona, explored the Jardin Majorelle botanical garden in Marrakesh, and even gone on 4K Machu Picchu tours.
Window Swap, developed by a husband-and-wife team in Singapore, is the latest addition to our virtual travel itinerary.
The website was the quarantine project of Sonali Ranjit and Vaishnav Balasubramaniam.
“Let's face it, it's going to be a while before we travel again and wake up to a new view outside our windows," the description on the couple's website reads. “Window Swap is here to fill that deep void in our wanderlust hearts by allowing us to look through someone else's window, somewhere in the world, for a while.”
You don’t need to download or subscribe to anything to access Window Swap. Simply go to the website and click on “Open a new window somewhere in the world” to look at sights out windows in Bangalore, Yerevan, Argentina, London or anywhere else really.
If you want, you can even submit your own view to the website.
There are some guidelines, though. Videos need to be about 10 minutes long, shot in horizontal HD quality, and include your window and frame. Submissions must include your first name and location for credits.
“All kinds of windows are welcome,” the site reads. “Let’s travel without moving for now. Let’s window swap."