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This agoraphobic traveller now has a photo exhibit in NY, thanks to Google Street View

The Agoraphobic traveller

Meet the artist who photographed the world… without leaving home.

What is Agoraphobia?

For those who have never heard of Agoraphobia before, it is an anxiety disorder in which you have a constant fear of busy, public areas and see the environment around you to be unsafe outside of the home.

The Agoraphobic Traveller

Jacqui Kenny is one of the thousands of people around the world who experiences agoraphobia. The thought of leaving the house is enough to make her feel extremely stressed, resulting in frequent panic attacks. It makes everyday activities like work and grocery shopping very difficult, often impossible to do. Her home is her safe haven, and Google Street View eventually became the catalyst for an idea that allowed her to move beyond her fears and find another way of seeing the world.

Deeply intrigued by the parallel universe of street view, Jacqui captured everything from remote towns to dusty landscapes, architectural landmarks, and anonymous people who remain unknown to the world. These moments that are often overlooked by the majority often call out to her, as she began to find the frames that spoke to her agoraphobia.

So far, she has taken over 27,000 screenshots from around the world. She says it can take anywhere from a few days to a week to find a good screenshot. But despite her fears, her photos evoke the remoteness that she herself longs for. Virtual travel through Google has given her the ability to go to places that she never could otherwise, helping her find a voice.

Now, she has amassed 50,000 followers on Instagram, driving awareness of her mental illness with her first solo gallery, The Agoraphobic Traveller, in Manhattan. She knows the road is long but is keen to develop her photography further.

Also related: Travel helped me overcome depression and anxiety and it can do the same for you 

All this month of six-two, we’re talking everything mental health. Have you got a story you’d like to share that allowed you to overcome a personal challenge? Share you stories with us here and help make a difference.