Lost Valley, Arkansas ~ Kate Hart

Near Big Four Mountain, Snohomish County, Washington: I could not stop staring at this ice cave. I’d read warnings online before doing this hike that several years ago, a few people were killed in an avalanche in this cave. Along the hike were signs warning not to go in. But there was no fence, nothing to stop me from doing it. The blackness was hypnotizing. . ~ Michelle Schusterman, travel writer & author of I HEART BAND

Cornmarket Street, Oxford, England: Antique and modern and something unexpected around every corner. ~Kate Hart

Someplace near the border of Utah/Arizona: We took a dirt road off another road off the highway, ignored a few warning signs, endured the bumpiest 20 minutes in the history of driving, climbed a small rock, found this view, and were literally stunned into silence. I’d never seen landscape in these colors before (sans Photoshopping). ~ Michelle Schusterman, travel writer & author of I HEART BAND

This is Wright’s Lake in the Sierra Nevada—crystal clear lake and the channels winding through the encroaching meadow. Even people who come to fish end up leaning over the side, trailing a hand through the water and watching their shadow play on the sandy bottom, rather than dropping a line in. ~ Angelica R. Jackson,

Petit Jean State Park, Arkansas ~ Josh Hart

Oysterville, Washington: I visited the last oyster station in Oysterville last spring. I think the reason this place left a strong impression on me was how much it reminded me of where I grew up – New Orleans. Washington and Louisiana are by no means similar states, but something about the salty smell of shellfish in the air, the swamp-like look of the oyster beds, the run-down equipment and hardworking fisherman…it was like finding home in an unexpected place. ~ Michelle Schusterman, travel writer & author of I HEART BAND

Cannon Beach, Oregon: The impression this place left on me was created by two admittedly superficial reasons. One, look at that GIANT ROCK. In the ocean! It just looks cool. And two, this is where The Goonies was filmed! That aside, this was also the first night of a week-long road trip through Oregon with some great friends. This photo gives me that awesome first-day-of-a-trip-life-is-rad feeling every time I see it. ~ Michelle Schusterman, travel writer & author of I HEART BAND

There is a small cafe in my town that is set into the woods, almost as if it’s contained in its own private world. When you exit the cafe building, steps lead down to a clearing with a few tables and chairs and fairy lights strung throughout the trees. The two steps beyond the clearing, and it’s a straight drop down into a valley landscape of trees and woods and who knows what beyond. Coming here to read makes the literary escape all the more visceral because I can feel the wonder of my own life colliding with that of the characters whose minds I’m temporarily visiting.
I couldn’t hope to capture the aura of this space with a mere photo, but here’s to hoping you’ve found your own spot that makes the joy of reading all the greater. ~
Samantha Reichle

This is a photo of me hiking back in 2008. The area is the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area in South Carolina.~ Kara Malinczak

Wanderlove places: The Mayan ruins of Tikal are some of Latin America’s best-preserved. Though they’re stunning at any time of day, they’re most spectacular at sunrise – especially from atop Tikal’s highest temple. A picture of Tikal in a travel pamphlet is what prompts Bria to choose Central America in the first place.

photo by kirsten hubbard

This is a picture taken on Giglio, an Italian island. It’s been on the news recently because there has been a stupid accident with a ship quite close to the island and now its beautiful nature is in danger, which makes me very sad. I have problems with depression and when I visited the island in my final year of grammar school with some of my friends, I could finally breathe again - which was such a fascinating experience, I could cry thinking about it. Now the island and it’s beautiful nature remind me to take chances, that life is short but also that everyone, even people with problems like me, can experience completely joyful moments. This is why I hope to return to Giglio somewhen and that it’s nature can be saved as best as possible from this catastrophe.

(If you don’t know the island, I have to tell you that this ship accident is really tragic for Giglio because it is an island that tried to secure its nature by keeping tourism away and preventing too much human activity on its land. - I went there with my biology course to study the sea and its animals, you see.) ~ Lena Böse