Plitvice Lakes, Croatia - Jennifer Wyatt
Classical elements (earth, water, fire, air) have always been a fascination of mine and water, in all of its forms, are awe inspiring and calming, as well as energizing and tempestuous. From kayaking in the Atlantic Ocean and experiencing a whale breach not ten feet away to white water rafting along the Ottawa River and in Costa Rica, bodies of water have challenged me physically and intellectually; it is water that is in control, not us.
Over the summer, while travelling with my best friend, I experienced what might be the most beautiful bodies of water, the Plitvice Lakes, located in the oldest and largest national park in the Republic of Croatia and a designated UNESCO World Heritage location. The Croatian government enforces strict rules in terms of how many visitors can be in the park at once and how the environment should be treated to protect this national treasure. The shades of blue, the countless waterfalls, and the quiet trails were enough to imprint on my mind and soul forever, and they are something that I experienced with someone dear to me, while on an adventure. Water should sustain the particular biodiversity of an area, the various species and habitats, and it should fill observers with awe, inspiring them to rethink how to preserve beauty. Just when I thought there could be no other shade of blue, there was, clear, crisp and clean.
Many times, when I travel, I have images that strike me or symbols that represent a moment, place or time tattooed. The colours of the lakes and waterfalls have been captured as the backdrop to the tree of life which represents all of the beauty of nature and life that I experienced while travelling through Croatia, and the realization, that nature can be preserved if everyone shows the respect they should.