In a year without a global pandemic dominating the zeitgeist, it seemed that the usual suspects — war, economic hardship and climate change — took center stage once again. In front of this backdrop, our interviewees this year gave a lot of advice for living a good life and paying attention to the things that matter most. Here are some of the best 20 Questions responses in 2023.

How can photography help people become aware of nature’s fragility and the need to protect it? As nature photographers, we observe the environment very closely, so we act as a bridge between humans and nature. We’re also artists who express beauty, and when people see something beautiful, it moves them. The act of seeing an image — and it doesn’t have to be a negative one but even something beautiful that showcases the harmony of nature — makes us feel something and makes us think. And photography is more than just about images, it’s about stories. — Junji Takasago, photographer, Jan. 12

What advice do you have for people who want to open a ski lodge? Provide warm rooms, serve delicious food and choose comfortable beds. Those three things are what people who are tired of skiing and snowboarding need. Although it is very simple, I feel that there are many hotels that do not have these three. — Justin and Kaori Sereni, hotel owners, Feb. 10