10 Places WindowSwap Took Me From the Comfort of My Kitchen Table
Tired of being stuck inside looking out your window? Try looking out someone else’s for a change.
Imagine sitting at your desk or reclined in your favorite chair as you gaze out your window at the familiar exterior. Maybe you’re looking at a distant tree-line or the alleyway. But after a little while, you decide you’d like to be looking at something else. And then, with the click of a mouse, the scene on the other side of your window is a sprawling cityscape or a cozy garden. That’s what WindowSwap gives you the ability to do. The site was created as a quarantine project by Sonali Ranjit and Vaishnav Balasubramaniam as a way for people to quell their wanderlust without leaving their homes. People from all over the world submit 10-minute, horizontal videos that show the view from their respective windows. Users then click to move on to a new random window and a new random view. It’s an ingenious way to quite literally see the world through another person’s eyes without traveling any further than your kitchen table. Here is where WindowSwap took us.
The first window looks out over what appears to be part of an apartment complex and a field in Minerbio, about nine miles north of Bologna, Italy. It looks to be a warm day with a clear, blue sky in the background. At one point a tractor goes by in the field. There are occasionally the sounds of footsteps and the open windowpane shows the reflection of a gently swaying plant. It’s a warm, bucolic scene you can imagine lulling you into the embrace of a mid-afternoon nap.
Next, we’re off to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. If you had to describe the initial impression this window makes in two words it’s “chill vibes.” The window looks out at the side of the building across the way, which has been anointed with a color-blocked mural of a silver horse and moon. The song Ayaya by Bratia Stereo plays faintly in the background along as someone either cooks or does dishes.
From Stockholm we’re taken to Bavaria where the view is of an utterly charming garden. A small pond acts of the centerpiece of this little oasis. A blue pinwheel spins in what looks like one of those unexpectedly cool breezes that come through on otherwise pleasantly warm days but then subsides just as quickly as they appeared. It’s everything you dream of when you dream of a perfect little backyard garden—a butterfly fluttering about, the sing-song of birds chirping nearby.
The next window opens up on a neighborhood in the western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk. There’s a glimpse of some clouds overhead that get a little darker the further away they stretch—like at any moment you might start to hear the patter of raindrops. Except for the dog barking (and what might be a rooster crowing) in the background, it looks like a quiet neighborhood street.
Bandar Sunway, Malaysia
We depart Europe for the first time, as the next window looks out over Bandar Sunway in Malaysia, a town located approximately 9 miles southwest of Kuala Lumpur. It’s also the highest vantage point thus far. Below is a highway, rows and rows of houses, and then beyond those are pockets of other highrises. Like the window in Stockholm, this window comes with a playlist, as Finding Parking by Joe Pecoraro plays in the background. This window has a very pristine feeling, with its neatly potted plants arranged on a shiny white countertop.
The next window takes us back to Germany. This time we’re in the town of Lüneberg, located in the state of Lower Saxony. Though the view is somewhat obscured by the window and the part of a lower story jutting out, but that’s part of what it makes it so cozy. A pocket of dark clouds can be seen just beyond the neighboring houses but the foreground is awash in a soft, golden glow like when the sun has broken through at the end of a rainstorm.
Dudelange Country, Luxembourg
The window has a little more mystery to it. While you can’t see the street, yard, or neighboring buildings, you do have a view of lots and lots of greenery. Which, what can be better than looking out your window and feeling like you’re being cradled in a verdant cocoon? Very few things.
Speaking of being surrounded by lots and lots of greenery, the next window looks out on the countryside in the village of Glanamman, Wales. You can’t help but feel completely tranquil when gazing out at such a quintessentially bucolic scene—it seems like any moment, a flock of doe-eyed lambs will come prancing across the field.
And we’re back in Germany. And not only are we back in Germany, but we’re back in Bavaria, specifically. But you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that. Because we’re met with another cozy scene. Rain falls steadily but gently and the sound mixes with the rustling of the leaves as the nearby trees sway in harmony with the storm. Occasionally you can hear the faintest hint of thunder.
Reggio Emilia, Italy
Finally, we come full circle, concluding our journey back in Italy. In fact, we’re only about an hour-long drive away from where we started in Minerbio. As opposed to the fields from the first window though, this one looks out on an intimate patio space that’s outfitted with potted plants and a table. It’s also the first onscreen appearance of a pet, despite hearing the occasional bird or dog, we’re greeted by a cat perched on a patio, just under an orange umbrella (which they occasionally paw at).
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