How I Define Travel: Hidden Treasures

June 26, 2017

Travel. Most people define it as the act of going around the world and making a journey. Most people think of traveling as bathing in the sun in the Waikiki beach, looking at the vast landscapes of the Grand Canyon, or walking through the ancient doors of the Colosseum. Yes, these places are very intriguing in a way, but also very typical. I myself like to think of travel in a different way. I find it as an opportunity to discover the concealed treasures of the world. I think of the world as a sketch, waiting to be colored. I feel the world has so many things to give and yet, no one seems to discover them. Here are my top three of the hidden treasures of the world.

The first one of my top three is located in Atacama Desert, Chile. It is called “Mano del Desierto”, or The Hand in the Desert. This “hand” in the desert is literally a massive sculpture of a hand in the middle of nowhere, where the nearest tourist spot is 60km away. This sculpture started its construction 25 years ago and finished in 1992. It was built by sculptor Mario Irarr?zabal, a sculptor who studied philosophy and art at Notre Dame, later learned sculpture at Berlin, in honor of the victims of the military regime in Chile. What makes this sculpture so amazing is that it is about 11 meters tall, and is taller than the NFL goalpost. Unfortunately today, the base of the monument in covered with graffiti and the city gathers employees to scrub off these twice a year. Nevertheless, “The Hand in the Desert” is considered to be one of the most peculiar yet fascinating destinations of the world.

The second one of my top three is located in the Oregon coast and it is called “Thor’s Well”. The name itself makes it very interesting as it is one of the most dangerous and extraordinary sites of the world. Thor’s Well is a giant hole about 20 feet deep paved in a rock located on the edge of the Oregon coast. On the regular, water flows in and out of the massive hole as a slight fog surrounds it. However, it is most spectacular during high tides or storms, where people can see water washing violently around the rocks and funneling into the hole, which hence makes the site dangerous and awesome at the same time. Darren White said to, “The big waves come in like you see in the distance, they fill the hole with water and whoosh, it flies out of there… not every wave does this, it’s a matter of timing and wave size. I would guess this hole is about 20 feet deep and anyone who were to fall in would never EVER survive.”

The last one of my top three is located in Panjin, China. It is called “The Red Beach”. The name speaks for itself as every autumn, 26km of the largest wetland and reed marsh in the world turns red, attracting many tourists and migrating birds. It is said to attract about 236 different species of birds as they stop at this destination while migrating from Asia to Australia. This landscape is the definition of Panjin’s unusual and impressive landscape of the city. This incredible work of nature is open to tourists, as there are bridges that allow people to walk along the beach path, and there are also buses and trains from Beijing to Tianjin that allows tourists to admire the striking view of nature.

As you can see, the Earth holds numerous hidden treasures and these are just a few of them. This is how I define travel, and I hope more people will crave to seek new and hidden sites of the world that are just waiting to be found by the public.

<Jun Lee KIS 9th grade>


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