But as the camera pulls back, the scene coming into full view, you see Gortworst, sitting in front of a makeshift tray table, on the floor of his laundry room, his washing machine covered to look like an interior cabin wall. His phone is illuminated inside of it, playing a video shot from a plane’s window passenger as it lands.
With nonessential travel restricted, the Internet’s #travelfromhome trend — with nearly 30 million TikTok views as of Tuesday afternoon — is the closest most can come to boarding a plane. And optical illusions like Gortworst’s are a staple of it.
On Instagram, a user named Sherilyn Carter shared a photo of herself seemingly gazing out of a plane window at crystal-blue water; in the next, it’s revealed that the scene is set in a room in her house, with her “Instagram Boyfriend” holding up a toilet seat in front of a YouTube video of the ocean.
The British contributor to the community Travel Addicts has documented her recent travel “fix” in posts that show her stay-at-home “adventures,” including a pretend vacation in a pool and a photo mimicking looking at airport departure displays, with her passport and travel gear at the ready — that’s really on her TV.
Another video shared to TikTok shows a plane-window perspective above the clouds. When the camera zooms out, it shows a scene of a woman in a flight attendant’s uniform holding a toilet seat in front of her living-room TV, welcoming viewers to their flight to “absolutely nowhere.”
Beyond such sights, however, travelers appear to miss even the mundane.
One Twitter user designed a custom boarding pass for a FaceTime call; another tried to re-create the Delta experience at home with a purchase of its famous Biscoff cookies.
But the trend isn’t just trained on flying.
One TikTok video, for instance, shows a woman in full camping gear as she takes viewers farther on a “hike.” She lingers in front of the “wilderness” shrubbery on her property, warning of bears, then steps inside the front door of her home to find the “campsite,” complete with a cozy tent.
She pans back to the view of her living room couch. The words “Stay Home” can be seen on her sweatpants.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported the origin of a popular social media post about a re-created plane scene. This version has been updated.