So many things to be thankful for in the past year: good health, good friends, loving people in my life and the beautiful places where I’ve spent time.

It’s not hard to say thank you to the people in your life. But how do you show gratitude to the outdoor places you’ve gone to find peace, joy or maybe strength?

Sharing these beautiful, pristine natural places seems one good way. Many are in the mountains, some along the coast and some I can even bike to around Portland.

Others are way up north, buried in Maine’s working forestland near the Canadian border. To spend time in these special places and soak up the powerful, quiet energy, you need time.

But rare as these trips are, these places stay with you.

However, whether it’s a rocky peninsula in busy southern Maine, a remote trout pond four hours away, a much-photographed mountain or even a quiet logging road that got you there, Vacationland for me is the way life should be.