This 23-year-old travels the world to show how big it is. Here are 7 of his photos.
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Growing up, Andrew Ling didn't have a fear of heights or the dark or even spiders like a lot of other kids.

He was more afraid of his life passing him by.

"What I feared was that I might run out of time and how everything seemed to go by far too quickly," he said.


Now at 23 years old, Andrew  is putting the world — and our place in it — back into perspective.

W Circuit Las Torres, Torres del Paine National Park. Image via Andrew Ling, used with permission.

It's easy to get caught up in the digital minutia of everyday life and everyone's life around us too. The comment threads, the partisan politics, the opinions flying everywhere. Nonstop information is coming at us in every direction.

What are we missing by trying to focus on so much?

Our planet, with its mountains, valleys, rivers, and seas — not to mention cities and other urban spaces — is genuinely big, sometimes mind-bogglingly so.

Andrew travels to places around the world and zooms out of them for a second, using silhouettes of people for scale.

When we view life through our screens, it can be easy to feel like the world is smaller than it really is. It's easy to forget how small we are in it, too.

We are so small.

Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park, California.  Image via Andrew Ling, used with permission.

And sometimes we have to remind ourselves how small we are before we can truly appreciate the wonder of the places around us.

It puts a lot of the things we get worked up about in a different light. One that shows how insignificant many of our "problems" actually are.

North Cascades National Park, Washington. Image via Andrew Ling, used with permission.

"Growing up, I had never seen anything like these beautiful places before," he said. "So when I did, it was life-changing ... literally."

The pictures he takes are usually of himself or of travelers he meets along the way who are also soaking in the views.

Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland. Image via Andrew Ling, used with permission.

Taking a step back to view the world around us can help us to refocus our energy and goals in life.

Julia Pfeiffer State Park, Big Sur, California. Image via Andrew Ling, used with permission.

There's so much to see.

Mount Pilchuck, Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington. Image via Andrew Ling, used with permission.

While Andrew's Instagram is full of majestic landscapes, it's the people he meets along the way that make the experiences what they are.

"To think that people actually spend their daily lives in a place that we often travel thousands of miles to see is mind-blowing," he said. "In Chile, I found some of the most genuine and beautiful people I have ever met. Directly and indirectly, they reminded me not to just create things in life, but to create memories and experiences as well."

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland. Image via Andrew Ling, used with permission.

Andrew uses photography as a way to freeze time but also as motivation to keep exploring new places, trying new things, and meeting new people.

"One day you will wake up, and there will not be enough time to do the things you have always wanted to do," he said.

"Do them now; you'll never be as young again as you are in this very moment. "

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.