A couple of years ago, in honor of Earth Day, I wrote a post about my all-time favorite place in the world: the Cliffs of Moher. I shared my experiences in visiting the magnificent cliffs, and my hope that it would help others understand the importance of taking care of our planet. I was lucky enough to visit the Cliffs of Moher once again—this time, for a summery cliffside picnic with two of my closest friends. While the popular Irish landscape still remains very close to my heart, I had the opportunity to explore even more of the world.
Last winter, I embarked on an excursion with two more of my closest friends and crossed three new countries off my list. My favorite, by far, was the tiny Thai island we trekked to in the Chumphon Archipelago on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand: Koh Tao. I knew absolutely nothing about the island before we planned our trip, but quickly fell in love. Maybe it was because we had traveled for a week straight and I was exhausted, or because it was February and I was in flip flops, or simply because I was on a new adventure with good friends.
We wandered along beaches, up and down (and up) mountains, by dirt roads, and through clear waters. We ate the freshest tropical fruits and befriended the local dogs. It wasn’t necessarily the perfect vacation—I lost a pair of shoes two miles from our resort and walked barefoot the rest of the day; the weather was hot, humid, and heavy at every hour of the day; and we nearly died many times climbing the hills and stairs to our room. Koh Tao was magical though. The people, from locals to expats to tourists, were always full of smiles. The food was always delicious. The environment was especially memorable though, and we explored as much land and sea as we could. It’s hard to put into words how happy I was surrounded by all of the island’s beauty (despite all those little things that went wrong).
More than a year later, I still dream of the freshest pineapples, coconuts, and bananas. Of the aqua oceans and green palm trees. Of breathing beside fish on the ocean floor and splashing my feet through the water. I may have lost a pair of flip flops, but Koh Tao gave me so much more. Confidence. Curiosity. Wonder. Fearlessness. Joy. I am not sure how many more months or years it will be before I will find myself back there, but I look forward to exploring more of this beautiful place one day.
Why should you care about my favorite places in the world though? Maybe you’ve visited these same places yourself. Maybe you’ve dreamed of seeing them all your life. And maybe you haven’t. But there must be at least one place that pulls at your heart the same way Koh Tao, or the Cliffs of Moher, does for me. As I’ve mentioned many times, I love to explore and have found so much through my many adventures. Since today is Earth Day, I thought it was important to highlight some of the beauty I have personally found. I don’t want to get preachy about how to protect or save the planet, but it is absolutely necessary. There’s no better way to do that than to share some of Mother Earth’s magic. Because there is no Planet B.
Where is your favorite place in the world? Where is somewhere you dream of exploring one day?
Don’t forget to check out today’s Google Doodle too! It may be the cutest little illustration I’ve ever seen—and it comes complete with a comic about a fox who wants to save the planet.