Grantourismo June Competition - Winning Entries

Theme: Your Perfect Vista



By Stephen Chapman

My perfect vista

Stephen Chapman Feelings of independence and isolation, yet also of being together and connected is why this scene stirred my emotions. Early encounters like this with the day are rare, despite being such a predictable and accessible occurrence. It was the beginning of a six-month trip away from home for us.

A cool 45-minute walk through the darkness, bleary eyed, and excited – the novelty of being up so early, ahead of the world in such a special place on your travels, always kickstarts the system. It’s like being let in on a secret by Mother Nature.

The sandy path meandered loosely through a forest of native pohutukawa trees, easing gently down to the deserted sandstone cove. The soothing sound of water lapped against the shore, patiently respecting the tranquillity and half-light of dawn. These are the moments I live for...

Continue reading on Stephen's blog




By Akila from The Road Forks

The perfect vista; breathtaking

Akila"I can't do it."  I hunched over, hugging my arms around my chest, as my lungs called wearily for air.  We were on the Key Summit hike in Milford Sound and my respiratory system felt the combination of a fast ascent on an uphill climb and the pollen blowing from the spring wildflowers that dotted the lush ferns and trees.  As we sat on a log, debating whether we should continue, a backpack laden Kiwi stopped by us.  “Keep going.  You have another 45 minutes to the top and the sky is clear.”

I remember resting more than hiking.  I scrutinized the seconds on my watch like I did on my final days of high school.  “It's been five minutes.  Let's rest,” I called.  We stopped and unscrewed the top to our plastic bottle and dipped it into the glacier-fed streams against the obsidian walls.  We drank and wiped sweat from our brows.  Patrick heaved the pack over his shoulders and we kept climbing.  “Five minutes,” I called, and we rested again, climbing and resting, until we reached that hard-fought overlook...

Continue reading on Akila's blog




By Lauren, from Sean & Lauren

Tulum, Mexico: Lauren's Perfect Vista

LaurenMaybe I take “slow travel” too literally. Take Tulum, Mexico. Beholding this view with my own eyes required a 12 year journey. It’s true. The photographic evidence still leaves me awestruck, and I know it was worth every moment of anticipation.

As a teenager, I was captivated when a friend mentioned her recent trip to southern Mexico. I was slack-jawed at her descriptions of pristine beaches lapping their clear blue waters on powdery sand. She scribbled “Tulum” on a scrap of paper and promised I would love it. This was years before the Internet was useful in any real capacity. In hope, I clung to the paper, knowing that someday I would find my jungle paradise and those perpetually warm waters...

Continue reading on Lauren's blog


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