Gazing at breathtaking landscapes is one of the highlights of travel. Many of the pictures that we take have a beautiful background as its focus. When we describe these landscapes, we use words like breathtaking vistas, lush green mountains, thundering waterfalls, glistening glaciers and vibrant cities. We choose our destinations based on our desired landscape. Our bucket lists are filled with places like the Grand Canyon, Paris, New York City, seeing the Aurora Borealis, Strokkur Geyser and the islands of Hawaii.
So when I asked my ambassadors about their favorite landscape, they did more than describe the beauty of the place. My team of travel writers responded with stories about how traveling to their favorite landscape also speaks to where they are on their life journey. It turns out our favorite landscape is more than purely visual it's a vital part of your experience.
I often find myself in the mountains when I am seeking rest from my busy schedule. Sometimes I am there for a family ski trip or on holiday with friends, but I find that I gravitate towards this refuge when I need stillness in my life, whether I know it or not. To me, the mountains are a place of rest, meditation, and solitude. Its grandiose landscape reminds me of how truly small I am in a world where every activity I do makes me feel like I play a significant role.
My favorite thing to do when visiting the mountains is to walk to a place where no one else is in sight and then stand completely still. Introspective quiet washes over me as fresh air fills my lungs, the trees rustle in the soft wind, and surrounding noise is reserved for the wildlife of the area. It is a place where I find peace and confidence. It is a place where I find solitude and rest. It is a place I call a second home. There is a reason that people escape to this vastly beautiful landscape: it provides us with what we need to carry-on. The mountains prepare me for the hectic schedule awaiting my return to reality. But, even in my busiest times, I find my heart wandering to the slow and intentional lifestyle of being in the mountains…to being home. ~ by Emma Toland
My favorite landscape has always been the beach. The older I get, the more mountains grow on me though. Still, the beach calls to me like a siren. I can't say exactly what it is about the beach, perhaps the memory of years past when my family would spend our vacations on St. George Island in Florida. The endless blue water, the grainy sand, the sound of the waves crashing..all of it calms me. At the beach, the sunsets are bolder, the food is more flavorful, and the naps are better. ~by Katy Matello
On vacation, my favorite setting will always be the beach. As much as I love mountains and busy cities, everything about the ocean fills me with a deep joy and peace. From the smell of the beach and the warm sun overhead, to the salt water drying in my hair and the wind whipping the sand into tiny sandstorms, I could spend all day long and late into the evening on the beach, and have done so on many occasions. I love especially to walk along the shore line, dipping my toes in the sand and looking for unique seashells, enjoying the sounds of the waves crashing and the wind blowing, and looking out towards an uninterrupted horizon line. The irony of this love for the beach that I now have is that, as a child, I used to be petrified of even stepping foot on it!" ~by Stokes OShields
I love all types of landscapes, but I am partial to lighthouses, the beach and the luscious rolling hills of the European countryside dotted with an abundance of grazing sheep. However, having to choose just one, my favorite landscape is the upside down city skyline reflected through a glass ball. I know what you’re thinking of, the Upside Down of StrangerThings. But, my glass filled city skyline is not to be confused with the dark and monster filled parallel world in this popular Netflix series. I favor this unique city landscape because it reminds me that I don't always have to follow the usual itinerary. If I take my time exploring a new city, I may discover something unexpected. Going off the beaten path I have explored the unique art of Houston, a street festival in London and Highland games in Scotland. On these journeys I learn something about myself that I can take with me on the way back to right side up and home.
~ by Gina Duncan
The world is full of stunning and breathtaking landscapes. Some landscapes provoke powerful reflections of nature and others emerge us immediately into the history and culture of a place. Landscapes are really worth traveling to. We have shared some of our favorites. What's your favorite landscape?
Written by Emma Toland, Katy Matello, Stokes O'Shields and Gina Duncan