First Light, Last Light

Each morning is marked by the appearance of the sun over the horizon. As it steadily climbs out of the darkness of the preceding night, it radiates warmth—providing all living things with energy. It has signified birth and renewal to humankind since as far back as we know and without it there would be no life at all. When rising in its silent and stately manner it carries with it all the possibilities of a new day. As its light becomes brighter, we continue ahead on our personal journeys. We take on challenges, surmount obstacles, and try reach our goals to the best of our abilities until the fiery orb has completed its voyage through the sky. As it disappears once again, sinking into the abyss of blackness, it urges us to reflect on how we spent the time. Did we use it wisely? Did we do what we wanted to do? Did we move forward? Like each day, no sunrise or sunset is exactly the same as another. … More First Light, Last Light

Inspiring Scenery

Earth is a very special place. It is an undisputable fact that the planet we live on is unique. The scope of scenic delights it offers is so vast that no one of us can ever hope to experience them all in one lifetime. If we don’t have the desire to get up, get out, and get away from our usual daily routines we can expect to see very little of it at all. However, with strong will, sufficient opportunity, and the all-important variable of luck, we may be able to visit enough places to feel that we have a relatively firm grasp on just what it is that makes our home so magical. After all, it is the sensory overload provided by direct experience that unlocks the door of comprehension to Earth’s majesty faster than any other key. Regardless of an adventure’s goal or a journey’s intended destination, taking the time to consider the awe-inspiring scenery can provide us with moments of peaceful solitude, quiet contemplation, and uplifting wonderment. … More Inspiring Scenery

The Natural World

Despite our variety, we are just one of the species that inhabit this amazing planet. Meeting other living organisms—be they sentient or not—can lead to renewed appreciation for the vast amount of biological diversity we share Earth with. Different parts of the world have different climates, habitats, flora, and fauna. We might already be familiar with some of the animals and plant life we encounter along the road of adventure. Others will be more novel to us, and in certain cases seem exotic or even downright strange. Observing and interacting with the other species that make up the natural world teaches us important lessons about life in general and we are reminded of the wonder that exists outside of humanity. Unfortunately, as much of it is under threat it deserves more attention and protection. We must maintain a mutually sustainable balance in order to ensure the survival of everyone and everything here. … More The Natural World

The Japan Alps

In a few weeks athletes from all over the world will compete across more than thirty events at the Tokyo Olympics. Recently we have taken it upon ourselves to introduce readers to some little-known adventures that can be found outside of Japan’s capital, and in the final article of this series we head to the majestic mountains of the Japan Alps. When one thinks of Japanese mountains, only one image is likely to come to mind—that of Mount Fuji, which is the country’s tallest and most famous. It dominates the surrounding landscape and when seen from afar, it is easy to understand how it has gained its iconic status. However, some people who have scaled its slopes will tell you that it isn’t a very pretty mountain up close, nor is it a particularly enjoyable hike. The truth is that Japan’s most beautiful, dramatic, and rewarding mountain adventures are waiting elsewhere, amongst its other 3,000-metre peaks. … More The Japan Alps

Calderas, Shrines & Mythology

As the Olympics draw ever closer, we continue our quest to introduce readers to some less frequented parts of Japan and to a few adventurous experiences that can’t be found in the world’s largest city. Tokyo has its merits but the Japanese provinces possess a different kind of richness that can be more endearing. Far away from the seething masses of the big cities, and seemingly even further removed in terms of pace of life, Kyushu’s countryside exudes a certain organised purity. Public transport is reliable and even the smallest of villages has a post office but the air smells more wholesome, the water is cleaner, and the food tastier. The colour green dominates, forcing grey concrete to take a distant second place to nature in more ways than one. There is an idyllic existence to be found in these parts, but it comes hand in hand with a sense of impermanence. … More Calderas, Shrines & Mythology

Sources of Inspiration – Natural & Built Heritage

Heritage can be described as anything that has been left to us, whether intentionally or not, by our predecessors or by the past. It can be quite local and might only seem relevant to particular groups, cultures, or communities. However, as it all represents some aspect of humanity or the planet we share, we are all the receivers of this legacy. We may even think of it as a global inheritance that encompasses a broad range of items and concepts—archaeological remains, works of art, landscapes, habitats, traditions, customs, value systems, and much more. Differentiations are often made between types of heritage, like the ‘tangible’ and ‘intangible’ varieties. Other examples include ‘natural’ vs ‘cultural’ and ‘movable’ vs ‘immovable’ heritage. Regardless of its classification, the protection and conservation of all of it is of the utmost importance. … More Sources of Inspiration – Natural & Built Heritage