Cool Society

Travel the world from your desk

Bookmarked Travel Remotely (

Immersive walking videos from all over the world. I wound up at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul.

The palace is beautiful, but I couldn’t stop looking at the tourists. It makes me smile to see how tourists are the same everywhere, and to imagine tourists in the past being just the same. The selfies and smiling photos in front of the most striking setting, cluelessly self-absorbed as they contort their hand to get the best angle, always taking a little longer than they realize. The gawking at people in historic costumes. Dressed-up couples, there for a photo op. The standing and milling around, waiting for a gap in the crowd for your turn to get a look. The swarming to where everyone else is because there must be something good to see there. The wandering around, the same slow-paced saunter. Schoolkids flocking after a teacher, tour groups flocking after a guide. People finding a quiet spot to sit and take a break. The relief of finding a spot to yourself. The aimless flipping through guidebooks to figure out what else there is to see. Was that it? Was that it?

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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