4 Places that are Perfect for Getting Back In Touch With Nature
The ancient Greeks called her Gaia; to the Incas and present-day Andeans, she is Pachamama. Throughout history and across different civilizations, people have celebrated Mother Earth for her spirituality and splendor. With Earth Day coming up this weekend, there’s no better time for you to get back in touch with nature. If you’re traveling or studying English at one of our schools around the world, you’ll have the benefit of being near some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world. We’ve put together a list of our favorites, all within reach of Kaplan International schools.
1. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Australia’s most famous natural wonder and the largest coral reef system in the world, the Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is so great, it’s visible from outer space. But, rather than taking a space shuttle to see it, we suggest you get a better view from under water. Just a 60-minute boat journey from Cairns, you can go scuba diving or snorkeling and get up close to – among other amazing marine life – whales, dolphins, sharks, dugongs, stingrays, sea turtles, and everyone’s favorite, Nemo. Or clownfish, to give them their proper name.
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2. The Jurassic Coast, United Kingdom
Sticking with the coastal theme, and another World Heritage Site, is this 154 km stretch of spectacular bays, beaches, and cliffs, on the southern shore of England, near our Bournemouth English school. As the name suggests, it’s pretty old – its rocks have been recorded as dating back 185 million years. And yes, you really can find dinosaurs here. It’s one of the best places in the world to collect fossils. In fact, one amateur fossil hunter, Steve Etches, has collected over 2,500 Jurassic specimens here over the past 30 years. We challenge you to beat that!
3. Vancouver Island, Canada
If you want dramatic scenery and outdoor activities, then there are few better places than Vancouver Island, just across the bay from the city of Vancouver. Black bears, cougars, wolves, and elk, roam the forests and hills of the Pacific Rim National Park, where there are many scenic hiking trails to take in the best views. Or go kayaking in the gentle waters around the island to spot sea otters, sea lions, and even killer whales. Add to that outstanding beaches and the eye-catching Mount Washington, and it’s easy to see why indigenous people for thousands of years, as well as present-day tourists, admire the island’s natural beauty so much.
4. Redwood Forest National Park, USA
Redwoods are the tallest trees on Earth – comfortably reaching over 100 meters in height, which is twice the height of the world’s first skyscraper. Our buildings might be taller now, but that’s still a mind-boggling feat of natural engineering. These mighty trees can live to be an astonishing 2,000 years old, and have existed in this spot for 20 million years or more. The trees aren’t the only impressive feature of the park, which is a 7-hour drive from San Francisco. It also hosts an array of wildlife, including the bald eagle, the national bird (and animal) of the USA.
Have you been to any of these destinations? Or are there any places near your Kaplan school that you feel should go on the list? Share your comments below, or even better, show us your photos on social media with the hashtag #KaplanExperience.
To learn more about Kaplan International schools and to discover the many great destinations on offer, get in touch with one of our advisors today.