SITTING SEQUESTERED in rooms, in neighborhoods, in big cities can make you feel small and insignificant…but it’s a claustrophobic smallness. A feeling that human-made mechanisms beyond your control are ‘closing in on you.’
Then you pack a bag and get out. To the forest, the mountains, the open plains. Walls and fences recede, and suddenly you realize how small and insignificant city life is. Out here in the world you get a taste of true distance, a hint of the reality of your existence as a speck of nothing in an incomprehensibly vast and beautiful universe.
And if you’re lucky, when you’re back in your little room, typing it out on your computer…maybe you’ve brought a slice of that reality back with you.
This volcano just south of Quito reaches an elevation of 5,897m (19,347ft) -- often higher than the clouds. Photo: david_rombaut
Spelunking in Ponoras Cave, Romania
Things can get large underground too. Here, spelunkers from CSA explore Mammoth Hall in Romania's Transylvania region. The light trail was produced by a fast-moving caver with a headlamp.
Photo: Bela Nagy
Sea kayaking, solo
Big water, small boat. Shot taken walking the Southwest Coast Path from Land's End to Plymouth, England. Photo: nixwilliams
Desert near Ica, southern Peru
Sand accumulates into massive dunes in one of the driest deserts on Earth. Notice the city of Ica in the distance -- also dwarfed.
Photo: guilherme cecÃlio