Travel Theme: Horizon


Railroad Park in Birmingham, Alabama

I don’t know what it is about new horizons that thrills me so much.  It’s the excitement of something new, whether learning or seeing or just an experience of some sort.

Wikipedia defines horizon as:

The horizon (or skyline) is the apparent line that separates earth from sky, the line that divides all visible directions into two categories: those that intersect the Earth’s surface, and those that do not. At many locations, the true horizon is obscured by trees, buildings, mountains, etc., and the resulting intersection of earth and sky is called the visible horizon.

The first photo was taken at Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham, Alabama.  I was there for a seminar, having spent the first few days of that week visiting a manufacturing location of my employer and then talking with state government officials in Mongtomery, Alabama, also on behalf of my employer.

I’d not been to Birmingham before and this park was several blocks from my hotel.  It had a nice walking path around the perimeter and as you can see, gave an excellent view of the skyline of downtown Birmingham.  It was also busy, so I felt safe walking there.


Smoky Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina

The next photo was taken in Asheville, North Carolina.  Those are the Smoky Mountains in the distance, appropriately named for the haze that perpetually surrounds them.  I went to Asheville for vacation this summer and stayed at the Biltmore Hotel on the grounds of the Biltmore Mansion.  I had a wonderful time exploring the grounds and gardens, eating in the restaurants, and enjoying some solitude.  My favorite boy toy had gone an on extended photography expedition (by himself – vacation for me is NOT getting up at 4 am to take sunrise pictures).  This was my little getaway to reward myself for staying home, taking care of the dogs, and going to work everyday like a good girl.

I’d been to Asheville about 15 years earlier for a conference but hadn’t taken time to explore much of it.  I wanted someplace with lots of outdoors for me to explore, where I didn’t have to worry about mundane details like where to park and eat, and that was nice. . . very, very nice.  In fact, I purposefully kept my vacation shorter in order to stay someplace so nice.


Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, Virginia

Last is a horizon from one of my favorite places, the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond, Virginia.  I took this from high up in the tree house earlier this spring and got a great sweeping vista of the grounds.  Aren’t the blooming cherry trees just gorgeous?  I love going to Ginter.  Each time, I find something new to look at and from year-to-year, my photos are different.  So while not a new place for me to explore, I stay alert for what will be new on this visit.

So. . . did I cover it?  New places to visit and new experiences to have.  I’d also mentioned learning something new.  And I did!  I learned to be more comfortable traveling by myself.  I do drive back and forth to Atlanta to see my daughter, but I don’t stay in a hotel nor am I on my own.  But in both Alabama and Asheville, I not only traveled alone, but I was on my own.

I had to be careful with my security, observant to enjoy and appreciate what was around me without someone to point things out to me (as I tend to miss things), and not feel guilty for leaving my favorite boy toy behind.  In fact, he came home about 12 hours before I left for Asheville.  I offered to bring him with, but after being gone for six weeks, he just wanted to stay home and unpack.  I had a great time and he encouraged me to go alone, but it was weird and different.  I’m so used to him being with me.  But I did relax and enjoy the trip and was glad that I did it.

I have other pictures to share at from Railroad Park and Asheville both.  I wanted to share these though for Ailsa’s weekly travel theme over at Where’s my backpack?  All kinds of bloggers have linked up to the theme – go check it out and see all kinds of great shots of the horizon!

I leave you with this final thought:

The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences,
and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon,
for each day to have a new and different sun.

Christopher McCandless