Happy Earth Day, friends!! I haven’t blogged at all during Quarantine, been so active with my branding course for photographers and helping couples navigate this time! But I was so inspired today when I saw it was Earth Day!
One of the things I started doing during this time was editing some of my old personal vacation photos. I think I’m nostalgic to take a vacation, because Derek and I were going to take one of my bucket list trips in August (and now it’s probably not happening). So I’m just itching for ADVENTURE! Looking through these photos makes me feel connected to all of these places, and all of these moments – and I hope it does the same for you, too
I thought I would share my 6 FAVORITE PLACES on Earth – thus far – with you, and hope it inspires you, too!
I went in 2015 to Denali National Park in Anchorage with some of my high school girlfriends, and then we rented a car and drove to the coastal town, Seward. We saw SO MUCH during that trip, hiked on glaciers, kayaked through glaciers, saw whales breach the most still calm waters I’ve ever seen, saw views of Mt Denali (aka Mt McKinley), and drove through a forest fire!! (that’s a story for another day). I honestly need to find all those old photos on my hard drive, but here are 2 that I have because they’re just SO EPIC.
A view of Mt McKinley behind me on this Alpine hike – it was 1000 ft elevation gain and a serious hike, but I was NOT at 23,000 feet like it looks here. Also, a God blessing – usually Mt McKinley is so socked in with clouds that you can’t see it! What a crystal clear bluebird skies day!!
This is Seward at 9 or 10 PM, the sun sets SO late there in the summer! (We went in June!)
My husband Derek is from Colorado (he was born in Boulder!) and his dad still lives there – so we take a trek to Boulder every couple of years at least, and go on crazy awesome adventures to the mountain towns there! Here are some a few of my favorite images from our trips in 2016 & 2019!
This just screams “I love the earth” for Earth day! Look at these mountains, wildflowers…such diversity I love it!
This was hands down the most epic hike I’ve ever done! Derek and I traveled to the wilderness in 2016 when we were engaged!
This past summer…my most epic sunset I’ve ever taken in Colorado! I studied when the light hit the mountain face the night before (called alpenglow!!) and it only lasts 20 minutes! The very next day we drove up the crazy zigzag roads to this view…and wow was it worth it!
Couldn’t post about Colorado without including my FAVORITE trees, aspens!!! Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE birch and aspen trees! And they have groves of them everywhere!
Italy I think is by far my favorite place on earth!!!! I don’t know why, but I think what I discovered when Derek and I honeymooned (see #4) is that I love places that have a blend of amazing scenery, amazing people, and amazing food. Most places can only give 2/3 – but Italy is one of those that is just ALL the things! (for me). I also love it’s relaxed atmosphere and I feel strangely at home there. My mom is Italian and I definitely grew up with a lot of my Italian heritage, and I also studied Italian in school for 6 years! When I hear the romantic language all that comes back for me too. I just LOVE it. I’ve been there twice, once when I was in high school – to 5 cities: Venice, Florence, Siena, Sorrento & Rome. Then again in 2016, to Cinque Terre (we stayed in Santa Margherita Ligure and traveled to Cinque Terre by train) and the French Riviera. Here are some of my favorites from my 2016 trip (but there are SO MANY MORE, I may want to blog this trip separately!)
This hike from Romaggiore to Vernazza was exactly as I imagined and more!! I did this hike with my dad while my mom and cousin waited for us, so I didn’t get to complete all 5 cities (“Cinque Terre”) – so, I want to come back with Derek one day and do it!!! My favorite part of this hike was seeing a guy squeezing HUGE fresh lemons on the side of the “road” we hiked and buying a cup as we trekked with our hiking sticks. I will never forget it!
Another highlight of the trip was literally WALKING from our hotel in Santa Margherita Ligure to Positano! This famous little town is often sketched for pizza shops, so it was so surreal to actually be here!
And this view is actually of the French Riviera, but it has the same colorful, mediterranean vibes that I love so much about this area!!h
Derek and I travelled to Thailand (and Bali) 2 years ago on our honeymoon!! We truly loved both places, but both felt there was something SO magical about Thailand that we would come back here one day. We felt that in one week we only scratched the surface of it’s beauty! Thailand was also a country with all 3, stunning landscapes, beautiful people and delicious food. We ate pad Thai everywhere we went and compared it to other places. Thailand is called the “land of smiles,” and it really was. We will never forget our driver Kai who picked us up twice and talked to us…he was so happy just to come pick us up when we needed him. Here are some of my favorite pictures from Phi Phi Island and from Nai Yang Beach, our two favorite places!
The coolest thing about Thailand (to us) was these amazing boats called long tails! So colorful with a propeller that drops right into the green-blue waters, it was out of this world amazing and like something we never experienced!
Derek and I took a 5 hour day tour around the Phi Phi Islands, we snorkeled, ate lunch, swam, and literally had the best day ever!
Couldn’t resist this sunset photo from the Phi Phi Islands when we returned that night! (or, the one with my honeymoon hat!)
Derek and I loved staying at Nai Yang Beach – there was a national park literally in walking distance from our hotel, but also amazing local markets, restaurants, and unbelievable beach sunsets. SO glad we found this magical place!
This place is close to home. We have a million photos from the Adirondacks, as Derek and I travel here many times a year. Our favorite thing is going canoeing, camping, and photographing sunrises/sunsets on mountain tops. It’s a place we unwind, find rest together and God space in nature. So glad this place is practically in our backyard, we do not take it for granted!!
This photo is so pure Adirondacks I can’t even handle it! I took this one from a firetower of my brother and sister in law (they joined us for a camping trip during their visit last summer!)
An amazing sunrise we photographed in the fall a year or two ago!
And my dream was to paddle in the Raquette River which we passed so many times during our travels to the Adirondacks. God outdid himself with this sunset and Derek captured it SO magically!
When I was in college I took a family trip to Yosemite National Park (along with Lake Tahoe) in California. California is such a beautiful state, especially Northern (in my opinion!) and this park just captured my heart. So much stillness and peace, rivers and wildflowers but also majestic mountains and waterfalls. I took a nature photography workshop while I was here too and hiked some unknown paths and roads which was so much fun! I need to go through my hard drives to find more photographs from here, but this one is my favorite and also the last one I took in the park, with a long shutter speed of the Merced River. I truly hope to be back one day and capture more of this magical place!
I hope you enjoyed this post – share with me YOUR favorite places! And, if you want me to blog one of these places more in detail!