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Agoraphobic Artist Travels the World without Leaving Her House

Jacqui Kenny has always wanted to travel the world, meet new people and discover different cultures, but she suffers from agoraphobia – an anxiety disorder characterized by fear of public spaces, public transportation, open spaces and/or large crowds – so she rarely gets to leave her house. Luckily, modern technology allows her to live out her dream, sort of.

Jacqui was diagnosed with agoraphobia 8 years ago, but she has been dealing with extreme anxiety and panic attacks for over 20 years now. Last year was a particularly trying time, as a company  that she had co-founded for many years had just closed, and dealing with the stress of it, on top of her mental issues, was tough. She didn’t know what she was going to do with her life, and leaving the house to face the world was not an option. She needed something to keep her busy, and somehow, she discovered Google Street View.

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Woman Travels the World to Meet All Her 325 Facebook Friends

ArLynn Presser is a 51-year-old woman who lives in Winnetka, Illinois. It’s normal for ArLynn to stay indoors all the time. In fact, for most of her adult life, she hardly ever left the confines of her home, and most certainly did not venture out of her home town. Her career as a writer ensured that she could spend her life indoors and still get things done. If this sounds strange to you, you must know that ArLynn suffers from agoraphobia – the fear of crowded places or enclosed public spaces.

Like most introverts, ArLynn interacts with people online and she has 325 friends she chats with on Facebook. Last year, she went and did something that no one could have ever expected. On 31st of Dec, 2010, she made a resolution to meet all 325 of her Facebook friends in person, the following year. She wrote a blog post about it and then set about achieving her goal. She called her project “Face to Facebook”. For a person who was terrified of flying and could never get on a plane before, this was certainly a daunting task. In the end, she did a great job, traveling over 13 countries and taking over 39 flights. By the end of 2011, she had met 292 friends, about 90% of what she had intended to. ArLynn had been to Taiwan, Korea, Philippines, Dubai, Italy, Malaysia, Ireland, England, Germany and four other countries.

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