Many people have that one place or person that absolutely takes their breath away. That makes them feel at home, at peace and like they can be themselves completely. I feel most secure and free while in nature. Nature has so many elements of beauty, it is hard to pick a favorite. If I had to, I would probably say out of the places I’ve traveled, Montana, Switzerland, Utah, the west coast; anywhere with mountains has made me feel happiest to be on Earth.
Ever since I went to Whitefish, Montana, in 2018, I found myself slowly becoming more and more of a mountain lover. Given that I’m from Louisville, Kentucky, I never really knew anything other than city life and suburbs. I always knew I wanted to travel because I knew that the world had so much more to offer. At 20, I am very blessed to say that I’ve seen many elements of this world, including some of my favorites: San Francisco, California, Manhattan, New York, Nashville, Tennessee, Hilton Head, South Carolina, Grindelwald, Switzerland, Prague and you guessed it—Whitefish, Montana.
When I tell my friends about how that is one of my favorite places I’ve traveled, they look at me with confusion. They say they think it’s random, which, I will admit, it kind of is. However, I just know that they have never known the way it feels to see the snow lay on the mountains, the buffalo roaming freely in the roads on a warm summer day, the sounds and sights of the waterfalls on a hike in Essex, the thousands of green trees that seem to go on forever and the cozy wooden cabins with a fireplace to make you feel like you are home; most importantly, the uber amount of fresh air that will quite literally make you believe you’re breathing the freshest oxygen on planet Earth. That is why I love Montana.
Naturally, I couldn’t wait to go back to a place with so much organic and fresh energy. This past June, I got that opportunity again when my family planned a trip to Zion, Utah, and let me tell you; it did not disappoint. Driving through the mountains to our hotel, I already felt the same feeling at Whitefish of comfort and freedom. Driving through the curves of the mountains to our hotel was breathtaking as the sun was setting on the plateaus, creating an orange-ish pink color with the background of pure blue. The air felt like it was bringing me to life. While in Utah, we decided to go on a Jeep cruise through the mountains at sunset. This is where I saw the most gorgeous sights and felt like I might be in heaven. The mountains were a combination of pink, orange and purple as the sun set on them, while the trees were perfectly green. Pictures almost make it look like a backdrop. The red dirt roads seemed to go on for miles, and I couldn’t get enough.
All in all, I was ecstatic to be back in the mountains. Though the salt and the sand of the beach are relaxing and much needed, I find the mountains to be where I find the most inner peace and self-acceptance. Frankly, I could stay there forever.
Dear Utah, thank you for bringing me heaven on Earth.