Everyone has their favourite place in the world. A place where you feel safe or inspired. A place where you feel calm or energised. What about the people who have gone on to change or influence the lives of millions of people? We hold these people up to the point where they almost become mythical beasts of some sort. But just like everyone else, they have a favourite place to retreat to or that shaped their career.
These illustrations from Berkeley Build show some of these influential people and their favourite place in the world. This isn’t supposed to be inferred as a guide to what your favourite place should be.
If anything, it demonstrates that our favourite places can be as unique to us as our fingerprints. For example, what is someone’s favourite place, could be another person’s least favourite place. It is our own perception and relation to these places that make it so special to us.
Love him or hate him, there are few people that have impacted the course of civilisation as much as Steve Jobs has. Jobs’ favourite place was the Kona Village Resort in Hawaii. A man of many quirks, Steve Jobs had a house on retainer in the resort, so he could show up at a moment’s notice. He was so immersed in the world of modern technology, himself being at the cutting edge of it, that Kona Village represented a welcome change and escape from it all.
Jobs was a known minimalist and Kona Village is a minimalist paradise. No phones, no television, this was a place to get back to the bare bones of life. When you’re a high-powered tech executive, a place like this offers balance to your life. The resort was destroyed by a tsunami in 2011 but is set to re-open next year.
The People’s Princess redefined what it meant to be a royal. Undertaking extensive humanitarian work and being an exemplary representative of the monarchy won over the hearts of millions. Diana was an inspiration for so many people and a good role model for everyone.
Her favourite place was the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace. It was her favourite place on the palace grounds and had a special place in her heart. After her death, the White Garden was created in its place. It commemorates Diana and can be visited by the public. For a fee, you can go and see the place which inspired Diana so much.
Oprah Winfrey has shaped American culture more than she may care to admit or even realise. If you follow her on social media, you may already be aware of her favourite place: her own back garden. She grows all manners of fruit and veg in her garden as well as having decorative trees, plants and bushes. At home, in her garden, with her dogs, is where she feels safe.
It just goes to show, that if you’re lucky enough to have a garden and have the time and resources to turn it into a place you would really enjoy, then you should go for it. It’s a real privilege if your favourite place in the world is your own home and garden.
Bill Gates is another pioneer in the tech industry. His impact on the computing world has been huge and to this day, remains one of the richest people in the world from his software success. Bill’s favourite place is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Croatia. The Dalmatian Coast is where he likes to spend his downtime. In particular, a small town called Skradin is his go-to destination on the coast. With a population of 4,000, it offers a welcome change of pace and setting than he has become accustomed to as a multi-billionaire.
Barack Obama was born on the Oahu island of Hawaii. The place never left his heart throughout his life, which saw him move to Chicago and eventually to Washington D.C as the 44th President of the United States. A job that no one is ever really prepared for, he would holiday at Kailua Bay even during his presidency.
Obama channelled Hawaii’s ‘aloha’ spirit throughout his career. It’s what shaped him as a person. For many people, their favourite place can be a place of pure comfort. Despite his ambition and moving to big cities for a big career, there was no place like home for Obama.
She was immortalised after her turn as Princess Leia in one of the biggest movie franchises of all-time. She lived a turbulent life and through it all, her favourite place to visit was London. She felt comfortable there, mostly because it’s where all of her friends were. She came to the UK to go to drama school in London and this school was her favourite place. She went to the Central School of Speech and Drama in Swiss Cottage. On top of it being the location of her friends, she was enamoured with the rich history of London, its architecture and its antique markets.
David Bowie changed the shape of pop culture and music forever. He was outspoken, daring and wasn’t prepared to wear the labels that society gave him. He taught people it was okay to be your wonderful, weird self and much of his inspiration came from his favourite place. Washington Square Park in New York City was special to David Bowie. It was just around the corner from where he recorded his first US number one. But also, the park was a place where people of all walks and backgrounds came to mix and meet. This is what made it such a special place for David, and perhaps had a large bearing on his career.
As you can see, your favourite place is a reflection of yourself. There’s so much variety in the different places. A common theme is they are a place of peace. Another theme is that it means something to them personally. Like Carrie Fisher’s drama school or the island that Barack Obama grew up on.
You can develop a deep connection with a place that is made stronger through happy memories. Or in the case of Oprah Winfrey, a place you have developed and worked on yourself. Visiting your favourite place is a welcome reboot for the mind. A place to unwind and clear the cobwebs out of the brain. It can leave you feeling restored, ready to take on whatever life throws at you next.
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