Explore The Elements

Explore The Elements

I don’t often participate in travel competitions but the Thomas Cook Explore the Elements photo blogging challenge seemed like an amazing one. I got a chance to browse through photographs from my travels and publish 4 that best capture the essence of nature’s 4 elements – Earth, Water, Fire and Air.

Tough as it was to make these selections, I had fun exploring the elements, and this is my entry.


Earth - Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud

Earth – Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud

Earth symbolizes stability, strength and growth. A major nourishment that the Earth provides is rice. Thus for this element, I’ve chosen a shot from the picturesque Tegallalang Rice Terrace in Ubud, on the Indonesian island of Bali. Rice terraces cascading down across the valley make for a green and peaceful scene, and have been designed for efficient irrigation and agriculture. Although man-made, they work in confluence with nature by sustaining soil conservation and flood control.


Water - Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, Iceland

Water – Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, Iceland

We all know that two thirds of our planet is covered with water. I’ve seen some beautiful beaches, powerful waterfalls and exceptional scenes of snow covered landscapes. But the most remarkable body of water I have seen was in the form of glaciers. A moment that stands out and that I will forever cherish is when I saw floating icebergs in Jokulsarlon, a glacier lagoon in Iceland. Some icebergs had black stripes because of volcanic ash that has been mixed with the ice.


Fire - An Arabian Sunset at Rub Al Khali, UAE

Fire – An Arabian Sunset at Rub Al Khali, UAE

For this element, what could be more apt that the gigantic ball of fire that is our sun? Like most people, I am a fan of sunsets. And I recently witnessed a special one in the Liwa Desert, on the northern edge of Rub Al’ Khali (The Empty Quarter), which is the world’s largest uninterrupted sand desert. I climbed a high sand dune and was treated to an extraordinary sight. Seated on the cushion that was the soft fine sand, I looked out at the iridescent sand dunes that stretched out far and wide, and watched in awe as the bright beautiful sun finally disappeared into the horizon.


Air - Icelandic Horse

Air – Icelandic Horse

Air is something we can’t see but it is powerful. It has a huge impact and it gives life. It leaves a mark on objects and living things. We breathe it in and we feel it on our skin. This is a photograph of Icelandic horses and I think it well represents this element because air is life. So air is these graceful horses. It is also the wind in their hair. The presence of air is clearly felt as their manes move according to motions of the wind. Air is freedom too, and that is what I felt seeing these charming creatures in the vast Icelandic landscape.

It has been rewarding to relive such priceless moments and take a trip down travel memory lane. Do you have a favorite element? Which of the above pictures do you like best?

Thanks to the lovely and equally sweet-toothed Shikha from Why Waste Annual Leave? for nominating me to take part. The competition requires us to challenge 5 other bloggers to participate, so I nominate these fantastic bloggers:

Ayla – Mrs. Ayla’s Adventures

Kasha – Lines of Escape

Jenny – A Taste of Travel

Allane – Packing my Suitcase

Diana – Browsing Italy

The deadline is only a few days away (March 16th, 2015) but do try to take part. I look forward to see your entries!


Comments: 12

  1. That glacier is just breathtaking Nita – really stunning. I completely agree with you that despite seeing some amazing waterfalls and beaches, there was something about seeing these kind of beautiful glaciers that completely took my breath away but…my favourite photo here has to be the one you’ve chosen for air – it’s such an interesting choice and the description you’ve given really makes me see it in a different light – I really see that sense of being out in the wild, living, wandering and having space and freedom out in the open air. You’ve seen some really beautiful places on your travels :)

    • Nita Mar 14 at 6:53 pm Reply

      Appreciate your kind words, Shikha! Those glaciers are really something else, aren’t they? Glad you love the Air picture too. Thank you again for nominating me to do this. Your pictures are gorgeous as well and good luck to you :)

  2. Packing my Suitcase Mar 13 at 7:01 pm Reply

    Amazing Nita!! Loved your pictures! Especially the glacier one… I always wanted to see one… one day I hope!
    Thank you so much for nominating me <3
    I wish you good luck!!

    • Nita Mar 14 at 6:54 pm Reply

      Thanks, Allane :) I’m sure you will get to see some glaciers soon. All the best to you!

  3. Katie Featherstone Mar 13 at 8:07 pm Reply

    Lovely photos. The rice terraces are such an amazing feat of engineering- much better for the environment than using machines to pump water around.

    • Nita Mar 14 at 6:55 pm Reply

      Absolutely! They work in beautiful harmony with the environment. Thank you, Katie :)

  4. gin Mar 13 at 8:48 pm Reply

    I love this challenge, it allows me to discover amazing blogs :-) I love the rice terraces:-)

    • Nita Mar 14 at 6:56 pm Reply

      Me too! I’ve seen such amazing pictures and interpretations of these elements. Thank you for stopping by :)

  5. jenny@atasteoftravel Mar 14 at 9:17 pm Reply

    Fabulous photos Nita. I love your photo of the glacier in Iceland. It’s a country that I really must think about going to. Thanks for the nomination. It should be fun going through the photos!

    • Nita Mar 15 at 1:29 am Reply

      Thank you so much, Jenny :) I absolutely loved watching the glaciers; it was a surreal sight. Iceland is extremely photogenic and you should definitely go soon. You’d love it too. Can’t wait to check out your pictures!

  6. Jess Mar 19 at 9:32 pm Reply

    The image with the glacier in Iceland is truly awesome, even if the ice is melting every day and our glaciers become smaller and smaller.

    • Nita Mar 20 at 2:40 pm Reply

      Thanks Jess! A shame, right? They’re incredibly beautiful :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *