It’s not hard to admit—disconnecting from the day to day grind is difficult. We live in an age where devices, people and things are fighting for every second of our attention, and with email notifications and an onslaught of text messages arriving every couple minutes, it can be hard to put the devices down, get outside and enjoy the beautiful world we live in. Perspective is everything, and if you visit any of the spots on this list, you are sure to get just that.
Visiting the Maldives will undoubtedly put a lot of things into perspective. As you stand on their calm, clear and small atolls, it will really hit home as you realize you are just one speck in the middle of the giant Indian Ocean. Dipping below their crystal clear waters, you’ll be truly put in your place as the world’s largest fish glides silently by you. Reaching up to 12m long, whale sharks are gentle giants that limit their diet to plankton, making it safe to snorkel alongside them. As you float in the waters with these enormous creatures in the middle of the ocean, there’s no doubt you’ll feel very small indeed.
Located in Hunan Province, China you will find narrow, towering pillars of sandstone shooting almost 200m into the sky. They are a part of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, and were deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1992. When you visit this part of China, you’ll get true perspective on the size of these monstrous pillars. If you are a movie fanatic, they may even look familiar to you. Director James Cameron took inspiration from these “floating peaks” to design parts of the Pandora city landscape in his 3D blockbuster Avatar movie.
Also known as the Pulpit Rock, Preikestolen, is the most famous tourist attraction in Ryfylke. This flat mountain plateau towers an incredible 604m over the Lysefjord and was most likely formed with melting frost over 10,000 years ago. There is a trail to the Pulpit Rock, where visitors will climb 350 metres up uneven and sometimes rocky terrain. Thankfully, there are picnic areas and bathing locations all along the trail, so you can take a break as needed during your ascent or decent. Once you’re at the top, you’ll be greeted with unmatched views of the Lysefjord. This hike is not for the faint of heart, or those with concerns or fears about height. With plenty of active options beyond hiking to Pulpit Rock like swimming, fishing, and picking berries, the Preikestol area offers plenty of adventure for the young and young at heart.
Located along the western coast of the United States within the borders of California stand the Earth’s tallest living things: the Redwood Forest. The Redwood National Forest preservers the remnants of a forest that once covered a full 2 million acres. Then, as development coursed through the United States, loggers started taking their toll on the trees. After significant efforts the trees have been nationally protected and continue to stand tall, reaching towards the heavens. Year-round the park is a continual draw for tourists looking to be dwarfed by the massive trees. Participate in a visitor rite of passage by stretching your arms around the base of a tree and see how many people it takes to encircle these trees that can live to be 2,000 years old and over 90m tall!
The Atacama Desert in Chile is considered the driest place on earth. It gets four inches of rain—every one thousand years! Stretching for 106,000km2 it isn’t hard to see how small you are in comparison to expanse of desert that will unfold before you. The desert is completely barren without one spot of grass or critter exploring the terrain. You may be shocked then to find out that more than a million people live in Atacama today. Settlements are limited to oases and mining towns where copper is extracted, and the way they capture water is incredible. It’s a location you won’t soon forget after a visit.
It’s hard to worry about a nonessential work email or a Facebook notification when you are sprawled on the grass at night looking up at the universe, and the universe is looking right back at you. Disconnect from the day-to-day grind and remember how you fit into the grander scheme of things by visiting any of the places on our list above. Protect your holiday with an adventure travel insurance plan from Cover-More Australia.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Julien.