beautifulmatters

BEAUTIFUL MATTERS

Inspiring travel with stories that matter. Get out there and spread some positivity today.

As the sun rises over the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve β€” the UAE’s first national park β€” onlookers in vibrantly-hued hot air balloons take in the vastness of the landscape as morning light illuminates the sandy scene. Dubai has taken groundbreaking steps in preserving this unique and beautiful desert habitat, especially when it comes to its endangered animals and threatened flora and fauna species. Photographer @loganstrongarms shares his experience of the reserve, reminding us how important it is to care for the planet we call home. "Meeting the employees of the reserve really helped us understand how passionate Dubai is about environmental conservation. Overlooking the divide between the desolate dunes and the habitable reserve was an incredibly impactful part of my hot air balloon experience β€” to me, the sight signified the important role conservation efforts play in the preservation of our beautiful planet." How do you help preserve the beauty of the world? (@visit.dubai, πŸ“: Dubai)

As the sun rises over the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve β€” the UAE’s first national park β€” onlookers in vibrantly-hued hot air balloons take in the vastness of the landscape as morning light illuminates the sandy scene. Dubai has taken groundbreaking steps in preserving this unique and beautiful desert habitat, especially when it comes to its endangered animals and threatened flora and fauna species. Photographer @loganstrongarms shares his experience of the reserve, reminding us how important it is to care for the planet we call home. "Meeting the employees of the reserve really helped us understand how passionate Dubai is about environmental conservation. Overlooking the divide between the desolate dunes and the habitable reserve was an incredibly impactful part of my hot air balloon experience β€” to me, the sight signified the important role conservation efforts play in the preservation of our beautiful planet." How do you help preserve the beauty of the world? (@visit.dubai , : Dubai) - 1 day ago

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β€œDon’t let language barriers be the reason you don’t connect.” Photographer and #BDTeam member @cory.s.martin examines the instinctual craving for human connection β€” one that travel allows us to explore by dissolving the notion of conceived barriers β€” by looking through a closer lens during his trips. In one of his recent projects, he captured a series of individuals in their homes and hometowns to show the beauty in observing a destination through a local’s view. He ventured to far-flung corners of the world, including the location featured in this shot, Jerash, Jordan, to inspire the desire for people to seek out those local connections while traveling. In this portrait, a man stands stoically next to his horse, their bond β€” epitomized by the touching of their heads β€” is quite moving. How do you explore human connection when you travel? (πŸ“·: @cory.s.martin πŸ“: Jerash, Jordan)

β€œDon’t let language barriers be the reason you don’t connect.” Photographer and #BDTeam member @cory.s.martin examines the instinctual craving for human connection β€” one that travel allows us to explore by dissolving the notion of conceived barriers β€” by looking through a closer lens during his trips. In one of his recent projects, he captured a series of individuals in their homes and hometowns to show the beauty in observing a destination through a local’s view. He ventured to far-flung corners of the world, including the location featured in this shot, Jerash, Jordan, to inspire the desire for people to seek out those local connections while traveling. In this portrait, a man stands stoically next to his horse, their bond β€” epitomized by the touching of their heads β€” is quite moving. How do you explore human connection when you travel? (: @cory.s.martin : Jerash, Jordan) - 5 days ago

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Arachnocampa Luminosa glows in electric glimmers β€” speckling the vast, pitch-black underground caves of Waitomo with a turquoise luminescence. In their home on the North Island of New Zealand, thousands of these tiny glowworms radiate their distinctly-hued light into complete darkness to lure prey β€” small insects, snails, and slugs β€” by tricking them into believing the cave walls are actually the night sky. The #BDTeam members who captured this shot were struck by the dazzling site and oddity that nature had created β€” a fun reminder that some of the strangest circumstances can create some of the most beautiful outcomes. (πŸ“·: @storyofsage πŸ“: New Zealand)

Arachnocampa Luminosa glows in electric glimmers β€” speckling the vast, pitch-black underground caves of Waitomo with a turquoise luminescence. In their home on the North Island of New Zealand, thousands of these tiny glowworms radiate their distinctly-hued light into complete darkness to lure prey β€” small insects, snails, and slugs β€” by tricking them into believing the cave walls are actually the night sky. The #BDTeam members who captured this shot were struck by the dazzling site and oddity that nature had created β€” a fun reminder that some of the strangest circumstances can create some of the most beautiful outcomes. (: @storyofsage : New Zealand) - 12 days ago

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Black asphalt snakes through a quiet road as the dusty light from the setting sun burns a brilliant red against the Aztec Sandstone of this state park in Nevada. With its blazing shades of vermilion and scarlet, it’s not hard to see why the park is known as the Valley of Fire. The members of park services are the unsung heroes of treasures like this β€” they play an essential role in protecting and preserving the integrity of these natural wonders. Let’s do our part to help them and keep Mother Nature safe and clean. What is one of your favorite national parks? (πŸ“·: @karl_shakur πŸ“ : Valley of Fire State Park - Overton, Nevada)

Black asphalt snakes through a quiet road as the dusty light from the setting sun burns a brilliant red against the Aztec Sandstone of this state park in Nevada. With its blazing shades of vermilion and scarlet, it’s not hard to see why the park is known as the Valley of Fire. The members of park services are the unsung heroes of treasures like this β€” they play an essential role in protecting and preserving the integrity of these natural wonders. Let’s do our part to help them and keep Mother Nature safe and clean. What is one of your favorite national parks? (: @karl_shakur : Valley of Fire State Park - Overton, Nevada) - 17 days ago

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A chorus of beluga whales trails alongside photographer Tiffany Nguyen during a recent kayak trip in Manitoba, Canada. β€œThese curious creatures swam right alongside us as we paddled on the Hudson Bay β€” it’s one experience I’ll be thinking about for years to come!” These gentle giants are one of the ocean’s most magnificent and friendliest creatures, yet environmental factors and stresses threaten their previously peaceful existence. Pollution is one of their top adversaries β€” still seeping into their environments despite certain protections that are currently in place. Take a moment today to think about how you can reduce your impact on the environment and how you can get involved. Whether it’s focusing on recycling more, supporting movements that enforce important policies, or supporting organizations that advocate for the preservation of our oceans and seas, let’s come together to protect our seabirds so that we can continue to swim alongside them well into the future. (πŸ“·: @tiffpenguin πŸ“: Manitoba - Canada)

A chorus of beluga whales trails alongside photographer Tiffany Nguyen during a recent kayak trip in Manitoba, Canada. β€œThese curious creatures swam right alongside us as we paddled on the Hudson Bay β€” it’s one experience I’ll be thinking about for years to come!” These gentle giants are one of the ocean’s most magnificent and friendliest creatures, yet environmental factors and stresses threaten their previously peaceful existence. Pollution is one of their top adversaries β€” still seeping into their environments despite certain protections that are currently in place. Take a moment today to think about how you can reduce your impact on the environment and how you can get involved. Whether it’s focusing on recycling more, supporting movements that enforce important policies, or supporting organizations that advocate for the preservation of our oceans and seas, let’s come together to protect our seabirds so that we can continue to swim alongside them well into the future. (: @tiffpenguin : Manitoba - Canada) - 26 days ago

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A waterfall cascades elegantly into the abundant greenery of the landscape below, traversing along a vast sports field as it stretches out under the open air. On a trip to Iceland this past summer, #BDTeam’s @cory.s.martin got to experience these two characterizing facets of the country in this stunning setting. Much like the nation itself, football and nature are two fundamental aspects of his life β€” and there was something very humbling about getting the chance to play a sport he loved in a country whose small, yet mighty, team made it so far in the 2018 World Cup. It's incredible how β€” no matter where in the world we are or how differently we may have grown up from those in another nation β€” something as simple as a game can unite and bond us with one another. And just like that, we can feel a little more at home in the world. (πŸ“·: @cory.s.martin πŸ“: #Iceland )

A waterfall cascades elegantly into the abundant greenery of the landscape below, traversing along a vast sports field as it stretches out under the open air. On a trip to Iceland this past summer, #BDTeam ’s @cory.s.martin got to experience these two characterizing facets of the country in this stunning setting. Much like the nation itself, football and nature are two fundamental aspects of his life β€” and there was something very humbling about getting the chance to play a sport he loved in a country whose small, yet mighty, team made it so far in the 2018 World Cup. It's incredible how β€” no matter where in the world we are or how differently we may have grown up from those in another nation β€” something as simple as a game can unite and bond us with one another. And just like that, we can feel a little more at home in the world. (: @cory.s.martin : #Iceland ) - 1 month ago

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Travel is such a beautiful gift. For some, it's an opportunity to relax, kickback, and mentally reset. For others, it's a chance to connect with locals, to learn from one another, and to grow as individuals and cultures. And, in certain instances, it's an opportunity for travelers to support communities heavily impacted by natural disasters through volunteering or giving back to the local economy. @beckyvandijk recalls, "Over the past few years I've spent a lot of time in Indonesia, where volcanic eruptions and earthquakes have rocked Bali and its neighboring Indonesian islands. I visited Lombok the day after their second massive earthquake in mid-August, and I was saddened to find that tourism on all of Lombok had stopped, restaurants only opened on specific days, hotels were laying off their staff, and anyone selling souvenirs was desperate to sell to you. Lombok urgently needs to recover." This island full of ancient temples, beautiful culture, and a stunning landscape can't just be a place of escape for us; we need to be there for these places as much as we want them there for us. What are your favorite ways to help support a community in need? (πŸ“·: @beckyvandijk πŸ“: Tamblingan Lake - Bali, Indonesia)

Travel is such a beautiful gift. For some, it's an opportunity to relax, kickback, and mentally reset. For others, it's a chance to connect with locals, to learn from one another, and to grow as individuals and cultures. And, in certain instances, it's an opportunity for travelers to support communities heavily impacted by natural disasters through volunteering or giving back to the local economy. @beckyvandijk recalls, "Over the past few years I've spent a lot of time in Indonesia, where volcanic eruptions and earthquakes have rocked Bali and its neighboring Indonesian islands. I visited Lombok the day after their second massive earthquake in mid-August, and I was saddened to find that tourism on all of Lombok had stopped, restaurants only opened on specific days, hotels were laying off their staff, and anyone selling souvenirs was desperate to sell to you. Lombok urgently needs to recover." This island full of ancient temples, beautiful culture, and a stunning landscape can't just be a place of escape for us; we need to be there for these places as much as we want them there for us. What are your favorite ways to help support a community in need? (: @beckyvandijk : Tamblingan Lake - Bali, Indonesia) - 1 month ago

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While foraging through the icy waters of Greenland by ship, photographer @chrisbukard found himself in moments of forced stillness as their barge stalled to navigate the dense glaciers and ice-packed waters of the area. β€œAll we could do was wait, and take in all of our surroundings. That’s the beauty of this method of travel, you become a part of the environment, even if just for a moment.” Where have you been that has made you take a ruminative pause? (πŸ“·: @chrisburkard πŸ“: Greenland)

While foraging through the icy waters of Greenland by ship, photographer @chrisbukard found himself in moments of forced stillness as their barge stalled to navigate the dense glaciers and ice-packed waters of the area. β€œAll we could do was wait, and take in all of our surroundings. That’s the beauty of this method of travel, you become a part of the environment, even if just for a moment.” Where have you been that has made you take a ruminative pause? (: @chrisburkard : Greenland) - 2 months ago

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Iceland: one small island, infinite beauty. This Nordic nation may only be 40,000 square miles, but it's also home to over 10,000 waterfalls, 800 hot springs, and 35 active volcanoes. Take a tip from Mother Nature and follow the flow of your heart β€” the universe may just fall perfectly into place. (πŸ“·: @aleporte πŸ“: Iceland)

Iceland: one small island, infinite beauty. This Nordic nation may only be 40,000 square miles, but it's also home to over 10,000 waterfalls, 800 hot springs, and 35 active volcanoes. Take a tip from Mother Nature and follow the flow of your heart β€” the universe may just fall perfectly into place. (: @aleporte : Iceland) - 2 months ago

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Ole Shikuku regularly introduces himself as "Jonathan" to any tourist or traveler who visits his hometown in Kenya. While he may do this to avoid confusion around or mispronunciation of his name, as a "third culture kid" photographer Lee Litumbe can relate. A third culture kid is raised in a culture different from his or her parents, and may often take on a name that is more easily recognized by that culture. "I smiled and asked him if he’d be comfortable with telling me his real name. At first, he looked confused, so I reassured him that I would not mispronounce his name β€” and then he smiled and told me." No matter the distances we travel, there are things on a binary level that we all can relate to β€” things that we all have in common. Recognizing and exploring these topics is something that helps us all remember that we are one in the same. Try to think about that the next time you meet someone on the road β€” what is a hardship or something you both can celebrate and relate to? How can we all do a little more to break down barriers and connect on a deeper level? (πŸ“·: @spiritedpursuit πŸ“: Watamu, Kenya)

Ole Shikuku regularly introduces himself as "Jonathan" to any tourist or traveler who visits his hometown in Kenya. While he may do this to avoid confusion around or mispronunciation of his name, as a "third culture kid" photographer Lee Litumbe can relate. A third culture kid is raised in a culture different from his or her parents, and may often take on a name that is more easily recognized by that culture. "I smiled and asked him if he’d be comfortable with telling me his real name. At first, he looked confused, so I reassured him that I would not mispronounce his name β€” and then he smiled and told me." No matter the distances we travel, there are things on a binary level that we all can relate to β€” things that we all have in common. Recognizing and exploring these topics is something that helps us all remember that we are one in the same. Try to think about that the next time you meet someone on the road β€” what is a hardship or something you both can celebrate and relate to? How can we all do a little more to break down barriers and connect on a deeper level? (: @spiritedpursuit : Watamu, Kenya) - 2 months ago

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Nestled below the South Tyrolean Dolomites in Northern Italy, the calm waters of the Pragser Wildsee lake reflect the density of the forest in waves of ivory and evergreen ripples. The lake, also known as Lago di Braies, sits at an elevation of 1,496 meters above sea level and offers visitors a magnificent panoramic view of the mountain scenery. The surrounding Prags Dolomites are a UNESCO World Heritage site, so the area deserves increased awareness and respect from its growing visitor population each year β€” but regardless of whether a destination is a protected nature reserve or famed Heritage site, we all need to do our part when it comes to being respectful guests of this earth. As Chief Seattle β€” a Suquamish and Duwamish chief in Washington state β€” once said, "Take only memories, leave only footprints." (πŸ“·: @marisahampe πŸ“: Pragser Wildsee - South Tyrol, Italy)

Nestled below the South Tyrolean Dolomites in Northern Italy, the calm waters of the Pragser Wildsee lake reflect the density of the forest in waves of ivory and evergreen ripples. The lake, also known as Lago di Braies, sits at an elevation of 1,496 meters above sea level and offers visitors a magnificent panoramic view of the mountain scenery. The surrounding Prags Dolomites are a UNESCO World Heritage site, so the area deserves increased awareness and respect from its growing visitor population each year β€” but regardless of whether a destination is a protected nature reserve or famed Heritage site, we all need to do our part when it comes to being respectful guests of this earth. As Chief Seattle β€” a Suquamish and Duwamish chief in Washington state β€” once said, "Take only memories, leave only footprints." (: @marisahampe : Pragser Wildsee - South Tyrol, Italy) - 2 months ago

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Pink beaches, dragons, and tropical waters β€” it sounds like the setting of a fairytale, but in the country of Indonesia, this enchanting scene is very real. On the island of Komodo, real-life dragons β€” Komodo dragons β€” do roam, and the sand at Pantai Merah beach emanates hues of playful pink. For visitors, the color of the sand may seem dreamlike, but in reality, it's an optical illusion created by remnant shells of a minuscule sea creature, Foraminifera, that leave behind red, calcified deposits that mix with the sand and produce the beach’s pink color. Science? Magic? We think both. What's your favorite fairytale-style locale? (πŸ“·: @jordhammond πŸ“: Komodo National Park - Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia)

Pink beaches, dragons, and tropical waters β€” it sounds like the setting of a fairytale, but in the country of Indonesia, this enchanting scene is very real. On the island of Komodo, real-life dragons β€” Komodo dragons β€” do roam, and the sand at Pantai Merah beach emanates hues of playful pink. For visitors, the color of the sand may seem dreamlike, but in reality, it's an optical illusion created by remnant shells of a minuscule sea creature, Foraminifera, that leave behind red, calcified deposits that mix with the sand and produce the beach’s pink color. Science? Magic? We think both. What's your favorite fairytale-style locale? (: @jordhammond : Komodo National Park - Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia) - 3 months ago

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