Here is an article I wrote for the company, Globe Of Love. This article focuses on some of the inspiring places I have visited in the world, that either naturally or man made magnificent. This company is an online magazine that provides inspiration and positive messages around the globe for everyone.
There are a number of places scattered around the world that inspire me, whether it be because of their history, culture, or their natural or man-made beauty. Some of these places make me smile, gasp or give me goose bumps and that reaction I have, for me, that place is special. When thinking of inspiring places in the world the first to spring to mind were greats such as; the Great Wall of China, which I have yet to see (and skateboard along as my bucket list states) and Iceland for the phenomenal display of Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights, which is another one on my bucket list. There are so many more places I want to go and see in the world; however I wanted to make a list of the most inspiring places I have been to, so far. I have gone to them all at various points in my life for various reasons, but all share the common effect of astounding me to silence.
Hoi An, Vietnam
This UNESCO world heritage site is postcard perfect. Walking the streets filled with tailors and cute artisan shops you question what time period you are in. Shopkeepers beckon you to try on their clothes with warm smiles, and all are showering you with questions about your individual styles and how they can fulfil your needs. The most influential moment that I had there was their “full moon party” – not at all like the one in Koh Phangnan, Thailand. Here the whole town turns off all their electricity and everything is lit by candlelight, the flowing river is adorned with lilies, and floating candles where people release them on to the water whilst releasing their worries. A beautiful, sensory and therapeutic experience.
Madrid is full of welcoming people, delicious food and fantastic culture; family, relaxation and religion. Art museums such as Reina Sofia and Prado are dotted around the city, reminding the public of their artistic roots. I saw a Dali exhibition in Madrid which was swarmed with local families illustrating to their young children how instrumental and significant the work of Dali is in the art world. Most inspiring of all is their casual attitude towards life. Locals party till late (not the usual 3am late, but rather the ‘next morning, 7am’ late), get changed and go to work. Where do they find the energy to do that?
Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
Waitomo is an area of the North Island in New Zealand which many tourists go to for one sole reason. The Waitomo caves. The cavernous caves are filled with waterfalls, stalagmites, stalactites and dangerous rock faces on every corner. But the most beautiful aspect of this wondrous labyrinth of tunnels and deep dark waters are the millions of glow-worms that live there. They cover all of the ceilings of the caves glowing en masse in perfect unison as if imitating a mirage of a night sky, a powerful image. You can explore the caves in a number of ways, either by single boat, a boat filled with other tourists, rock climbing, or like I did, tubing in the dark.
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is has survived wars, evolution and eventual erosion. The strength of this temple as well as the faith of the local people towards this sight makes this place even more inspiring, you are constantly asked if “You seen Angkor Wat?” Although it might not be the most picturesque temple, thousands of tourists flock to this sight every year and Buddhist monks looking for enlightenment. Angkor Wat has become a symbol for the local community of Siem Reap as well as Cambodia, adorning a picture of the temple on t-shirts, beer and even soap.
Cape Tribulation, Queensland, Australia
Travelling to every state in Australia, I felt I had seen a number of significant tourist “hotspots”. My instinctive reaction towards Cape Tribulation was envy. Envy that I wasn’t shown this place before and envy that on our day trip there we only had thirty minutes to look around, when I easily could have lived there. Cape Tribulation is where the Great Barrier Reef, a metamorphosis of colour and life, meets the rainforest, a haven of nature and noise, with just a white strip of sand in between. A perfect example of nature at its best.
Sistine Chapel, Vatican City, Rome
I recently visited Rome for the first time this summer and found the city unlike I imagined. I expected it to be similar to cultural and picturesque Florence rather than similar to hectic and polluted Milan. Expensive shops and lost tourists were on every street corner. However, the Sistine Chapel made our trip worthwhile. Staring up at the ceiling which took many years for Michelangelo to complete with detailed and accurate shading of such a vast picture is breath-taking. Ignoring the request for 12 works of art, Michelangelo created 300 highlighting to all that your own imagination and creativity has no bounds.
“Without having seen the Sistine Chapel one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving”- Johann Wolfgang Goethe 23rd August 1787.
Massai Mara, Kenya
Massai Mara is one of the most incredible and most spectacular viewing eco-systems. Here is one of the largest game reserves and many from around the world reject zoos and what they stand for, to see the animals in their own habitat, giving a sense of realism to the tourist of whom was here first, and who we should adhere too. Another inspiring aspect of the Massai Mara is the tribespeople of Massai. They welcome visitors from the outside community to view their lives and culture, and although the Massai have faced much hindrance from the government, trying to shape the Massai into ordinary people, the Massai are not discouraged from their own culture in a modern world.
Hollywood, LA, California
Don’t be inspired by the rich and famous people who live in Beverly Hills. Rather focus on the hope and optimism which the sign itself represents and how a large proportion of Americans give up their day job and move here to chase their dreams.
For many years Paris, like Rome and Madrid, has attracted a number of tourists for a variety of reasons; to share creativity, educate or inspire themselves, and even find love. At the mention of Paris thoughts of love, fashion and style envelop because of the number of famous art museums such as Musee D’Orsay and The Louvre which homes the Mona Lisa, and landscapes that have inspired many the writer, artist and actor. Paris, although similar to London with the avoidance of eye contact on public transport and no friendly conversation between strangers, all that come and visit Paris are blown away by the beauty of the place.
My final inspiring place might seem unusual to many. Brighton is a vibrant and enthusiastic community. The area is full of individual and personal shops that highlight the originality of the place. Local bands are pushed to their limits in venues all over the area and people have this “anything goes attitude” that more of the UK should live by. Plus Brighton is most widely known for their large LGBT community who for years ignored laws and legislation and lived the life they wanted to, widely supported by the general public in Brighton.