After graduating college, I had the unique privilege to travel the globe and film videos for nonprofits around the world with Join the Lights. Our goal was to lift up remarkable organizations through the power of film, giving them a tool that they can use to raise support. On top of hearing countless stories of empowerment, we were also able to explore the beauty behind each country. These are my top 5 landscapes we were able to see on our journey.
Mt. Meru - Although most have heard of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, many overlook its next door neighbor. Mt. Meru towers at almost 15,000 feet and not only has stunning views of Kilimanjaro, but also has a breathtaking (and scary) ascent. With an almost 3000 foot straight down drop at the peak, Mt. Meru is hard to beat.
Capones Island, Philippines - I hopped on a bus, a little unsure of where I was headed. I asked some locals where to go and ended up at Capones Island near Pundaquit Beach. I paid for a ride, a tent, and a return pick up the next day; then they left. It was all mine, a small little island, beautiful and magical. It was a restful, solitary experience where I was completely surrounded by beauty to explore.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia - We were filming in a nearby village across from Phnom Penh when we saw the sky light up. We drove as fast as we could on a small motorcycle to get to the water’s edge. Fortunately, we made it just in time to capture this beautiful sunset. It's an experience I'll never forget.
Gorkha, Nepal - We were filming a women empowerment group in the hills of Nepal. We arrived that evening and they told us that on a clear day you could see the Himalayas overlooking the valley from the east. We arose early the next morning to this beautiful mountain in the distance. Despite being at 8,000 feet ourselves, these mountains towered over us, even at such a distance.
Meteora, Greece - We took a day trip to the famous monasteries perched in the cliffs in Greece. I was blown away by the design and scale of each of the monasteries. It was easy to see how each monk found beauty, wonder, and worship within their breathtaking surroundings.
From Venezuela, to Myanmar, to Kenya, to Dominican Republic, we had the opportunity to see so much beauty in so many different countries. Each of these vistas represents only a glimpse of the amazing sights we were able to see on our year long journey. While we went to help organizations serving the poor in the developing world, we found that each country, despite its economic situation, held incredible beauty not only in the land but also the people.