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10 magical forest moments (captured in a photograph)

by Emiel Van Den Boomen

A forest is magic. At least to me. The smell, the sounds (or sometimes just the pure silence) and the colors. That magic is enhanced by the (quarterly) change of color, fog, and sometimes a wild animal. For people following me on Instagram, my change of perspective has been evident: from travel to forest photography. Discovering the sheer beauty of nature parks and forests near my hometown. Places I never visited before because my focus was always on international traveling. But maybe now it’s time to say: the best journey takes you home?

Mysterious greens
Bike path pine forest

Forest photography

I have not been the only one. Many people have started hiking during the pandemic. Escapism. Freedom. The only way to get outdoors when everything else was closed or forbidden. For me personally, the forest was also the sword with which I defeated a many-headed monster. A dormant monster awakened by the pandemic, showing its heads in the form of stress and gloominess. But Mother Nature has the power to defeat!

I think my moment of revelation was somewhere in July, 2020. The first lockdown was upon us. I decided to visit the Dutch Natural Park the Veluwe. I never really considered exploring that area in the past, but man how wrong I was. How could I have forgotten how beautiful my own country actually is! Since that day I have not stopped hiking.

Dancing trees
Sunrise nature park Het Loo

Fast forward to now. At this moment I have over 1000 photos on my laptop of all the hikes done since July. Some of them I share via my Instagram account. Most of them I just look at and remember that particular moment in the forest. Sometimes it was like meditation (forest bathing), amazement or just pure joy. I have discovered areas I had forgotten about or never heard of. Many hikes made me marvel at the beauty of nature, no matter what season.

Power of Nature

It also made me realize that nature does me good. For me, a day in the woods is the perfect escape from working at home all the time, the fatigue and stress. Nature energizes me. On the other hand, walking has made me realize that we have to be incredibly careful with the natural areas around us. Nature is under pressure and it is our job to protect it. If you are Dutch, consider supporting Natuurmonumenten, an organization that is making a case for all the nature that is still left. And for the new nature that is still to come in the Netherlands. Thanks!

Sunrise in pinewood forest
Forest in the mist

So now I am sharing my most magical forest photographs. The ones I took so far. As soon as the trees turn green again after a long and dark winter, I am back with my camera. What would you like to see and read here on Act of Traveling? Maybe just more forest photos? Or also some suggestions for great hiking routes? Let me know in the comments below.

Capturing the sun
Autumn forest
Early morning mist
Tree reflection

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Bama May 6, 2021 - 09:29

One thing I’ve noticed since last year is the fact that most people are rediscovering the nature that has been on their doorstep all these years. The pandemic which has made international travels mostly not possible these days has pushed us to look elsewhere, and many of us turn to the forests, the lakes, the rivers, the mountains, the hills around us. It’s nice that you found time to explore this part of your country, Emiel. I should do the same to explore the many hiking trails to the south of Jakarta. So far I’ve only been to my hometown during the pandemic, and boy, I do miss traveling so much! I hope you and your loved ones are doing well.

Emiel Van Den Boomen May 10, 2021 - 12:22

Thanks Bama and the thing you wrote is exactly what is happening all over the globe. We are doing fine over here. I am just happy to have discovered nature as my go-to place when i feel stressed or experience anxiety. Meantime i am addicted to hiking and discovering hidden trails in the forest! 🙂 There is no turning back. My next challenge will be hiking a long-distance trail crossing the whole country (although ours is small, it’s still over 200kms).


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