Picture this: traveling the world while recording stunning visual images of your adventures – and then being rewarded for your efforts. It’s what the winners of our seventh-annual Virtuoso Traveler Photo & Video Contest did. Narrowing our list of finalists from 2,300-plus entries was no simple task, but congratulations are in order for this year’s four winners – including the recipient of our People’s Choice award, voted for by fellow travelers – along with five of our favorite honorable mentions. From Idaho to Indonesia, here are their big shots.

FIRST PLACE
Award: $2,000
Traveler:
 Catherine Kumpf
Location: Bagan, Myanmar
Background: Kumpf rose early to see this morning ascent of hot-air balloons above Bagan’s pagodas. “It was one of the most incredible experiences,” she says, “and an amazing way to start off one of my favorite days of traveling while learning about the culture of Myanmar.”

SECOND PLACE
Award:
$1,500
Traveler:
Eugene NG
Location: Québec City, Canada
Background: Bundle up. This wintry video chronicles NG’s “unique family adventure in white Québec.”

THIRD PLACE
Award:
$1,000
Traveler:
Caroline Hermes
Location: Ngorongoro, Tanzania
Background: “We visited a Maasai village, where the local kids didn‰’t need much persuasion to get in a selfie with my son Andrew,” says Hermes. “Tanzania was awesome.”

PEOPLE’S CHOICE
Award:
$500
Traveler:
Carlos Espino
Location: Pisa, Italy
Background: Espino’s photo reveals a timeless scene of “love captured at the Torre di Pisa.”

HONORABLE MENTION
Traveler:
Callie Dundas
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho
Background: “There’s one in every crowd,” says Dundas, referring to the one sibling who turned in midair to pose for this shot. Dundas’ photo captures the very moment her family kicked off their “happy summer holiday” in Sandpoint.

HONORABLE MENTION
Traveler:
Justin Morris
Locations: U.S., Egypt, Thailand, Greece, Switzerland
Background: “This video is a culmination of what is most important to me in life: exploration,” says Morris. “When you’re exploring the world, you’re simultaneously exploring internally as well.”

HONORABLE MENTION
Traveler:
Kathy Chislett
Location: Kjerag Mountain, Norway
Background: “Hiking in Norway is the ultimate travel adventure,” says Chislett. Added bonus: The experience also helped her face her fear of heights. Her advice for fellow acrophobes: “Don‰’t look down!” 

HONORABLE MENTION
Traveler:
Greg Bond
Location: Maasai Mara, Kenya
Background: Of this scene, Bond says, “We were enjoying amazing traditional Kenyan food and drink, surrounded by animals and fire while watching a beautiful sunset.” Sounds perfect.

HONORABLE MENTION
Traveler:
Yasa Sidik Permana
Location: Java, Indonesia
Background: Simply “looking at paddy fields backed by Nglanggeran volcano makes the day so relaxing,” says Permana. Sign us up.

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