|[sorry, this one and the remaining pics are from Google Images; I saved them|
on my phone and neglected to keep the URLS, so I can't give proper credit]
Trees. I'm not a super outdoorsy person, I'm not into camping (though I love the idea of being capable of roughing it), but there's something about a forest that draws me in. Green everywhere. A quiet thrumming of insect wings and birdcalls and paws rustling in the undergrowth and life growing. In a forest, it feels like an adventure could be hiding around any given corner, but it's also a place to pause and drink in the peacefulness.
Water. Not being in it so much as being near it. Put me on the shore of a lake or the bank of a river; send me on a wild goose chase to track down a trickle of water, and I'm happy. The sheer bigness of a body of water whose opposite shore is somewhere unseen past the horizon fills me with awe. Even the sound of snowmelt running down the drainpipes in springtime awakens hope in me.
Mountains. These crop up in my stories all. the. time. and I don't even live near any. I've been amongst mountains so few times I can count them on one hand, but they fill my imagination and utterly fascinate me. Just like forests, they practically sing adventure; and just like water, they are awe-inspiring.
Someplace in the middle of nowhere, on a clear night when the stars are bright and close and the Milky Way breathes brilliant dust across the sky. Living in the city, I don't get to experience this much, and sometimes I stare longingly upward and wish to be away from streetlights. But there was one night in particular, at a tiny cabin with my family, when we lay on the grass and just gazed at the stars for a while. I felt so small. So at peace. So full of wonder.
Cutesy coffee shops awaken a little bit of hipster in me. The smell of coffee grinds . . . the hum of conversation . . . the clink of dishes . . . oftentimes, the rustic timber and adorable knick knacks and the atmosphere of people pausing long enough to enjoy each other's company. Plus, it's kind of the picture-perfect place for a writer to pen those words. (At least, the romanticized writer that proooobably doesn't exist in real life.)
Great architecture & history. Preferably a castle (I've never visited one YET), but I'll settle for legislative buildings, museum buildings, cathedrals, anything made out of stone, anything with arches or domes or spires or tall, skinny windows. Yep. Take me there, and let me stay a good long while to soak in the stories seeping through the walls.
Whichever place on my list I visit, once I'm there, I want to be there long enough to enjoy it. These are the places that make my heart sing, that seem to speak a language without words. Somehow, they fill me with inspiration--magic tingling in my fingertips and fire glowing in my chest.