“Oh, the view!” she said. “They always say something beautiful is breathtaking, but it ought to be breathgiving, oughtn’t it?”
~ Eva Ibbotson, A Company of Swans
For this Friday Daydreams post, I’m remembering places and moments that have taken my breath away. I recently read this gorgeous article in National Geographic Travel, and it brought me back to some travel memories that have “held” me, akin to the author’s experience in Auckland.
“What seems important to me now,” Warne writes, “is not just to be aware of my place, but to be alive in it.”
A memory is made special not only by the place but by the people with you at the time. I think that’s why so many of these places are special to me. I saw them with friends, family – people that I loved. Some of these places I experienced by myself, and that was important too. To be alive in a place is to also accept the importance of your presence in it. This is still something I’m working on. It takes courage to own your space in the world, to state “I have something to offer to the world that no one else can.”
When I was debating my qualifications for a certain position and feeling overwhelmed by the possibility of rejection, my dear friend said to me: “Sit at the table. Stop questioning your rightful spot. You belong there. Show them that you do.”
This time of “soul-searching” and job-hunting and so much uncertainty has taught me that some chairs will be uncomfortable, some tables too high, and even if you have a spot at the table, it might not be the right one for you. And that’s okay. The lesson is to keep trying, learning, and exploring.
Here are some places that made me feel ever-so-alive:
- Late afternoon at Cannon Beach, OR
What I remember most: The nostalgic mist that surrounded the area. Sand that felt like silk.
- Driving along Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, MT
What I remember most: The river in the valley below reflecting all of the colours of the sunset. Streaks of gold-lined clouds ushering in the nighttime.
- Dusk at The Acropolis, Athens, Greece
What I remember most: Running up all of the steps with my friend so we could reach The Parthenon in time for sunset. The white buildings of Athens spread out below us, donning violet and pink shades as the sun set behind the ruins.
- Il Duomo and Evening Gelato, Florence, Italy
What I remember most: Sitting on the steps outside of an old church having our first taste of gelato in Florence. Italian men in leather jackets and sunglasses revving their red Vespas up and down the square. And then gelato again at night, because Florence will put a spell on you.
- Going Over Independence Pass Coming Back from Aspen, CO
What I remember most: Feeling like I was holding the entire world in my hands. The golden sun setting behind the mountains.
- Afternoon Sunlight Inside La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
What I remember most: All the colours of the rainbow reflected on the inside of the church. Falling in love with the lifestyle in Spain, replete with an afternoon siesta, lazy tapas in the evening, and a brilliant night-life that pulsed throughout the entire city of Barcelona.
- The Brilliant Blue of Lake Louise, Banff, Albert
What I remember most: The impossible blue of the water. The rugged, jagged peaks lining the highway. The painter’s palette of snow, iron, slate, and and every shade of blue possible.
- The Rocky Cliffs of Acadia National Park, ME
What I remember most: Sitting on the cliffs at Golden Hours, waves crashing up against the shore. The black-and-white lighthouses on the coast that are the quintessential Maine and East Coast image.
What are some of your breath-taking moments and places? I’d love to know.
Leave a comment below, and Happy Friday!