Most of us have spent the past few months stuck at home because of the pandemic, but some people have been taking a journey around the world through photos on social media. A Facebook group called "View From My Window" has inspired members to submit photos showing what they see from their homes.
"View From My Window" is the creation of Barbara Duriau, a Belgian graphic designer living in Amsterdam. She started the group back in March, and its popularity skyrocketed to more than two million members within weeks.
Duriau says she's received hundreds of thousands of photos from 160 countries. "By the time we were approving one post, one photo, ten photos were arriving at the same time,” she says.
Some of the images are breathtaking, like photos of the Swiss Alps, the Australia coastline, and a moose visiting a front door in Alaska, but others are more mundane.
Josh Bancroft-Wilson lives on a quiet street in Reading, England. "I thought, oh, I'll post mine as well because mine's just rubbish in comparison,” he says. “I thought it would be funny, and loads of people started saying, ‘Oh, I'm actually glad that not everyone's got an amazing view.’"
Retired teacher Carolyn Nowlin of Lexington, Indiana, says the group has given her wanderlust. "Oh, it's made a real bucket list for me!" she chuckles. Nowlin says she looks forward to the time she spends each day viewing photos and posting comments. "I think it's great to be able to see what other people are doing around the world, how things are really going, what a small world we live in, actually," she says.
The page isn't accepting new submissions or members but remains public, and Duriau is still sifting through the backlog as she posts new photos each day. "It's the reality of the world, and the world is made with all of these kinds of views," she says.
Duriau has a Kickstarter campaign to ultimately create a book, website and traveling exhibition planned for next year. It has raised more than $115,000 so far.