Travel theme: Symbol

I’ve been sitting here listening to  tributes pour in from world leaders for Nelson Mandela and the word I hear used over and over is symbol – a symbol of peace, freedom, humility, unity, transformation and hope. As a tribute to an extraordinary man and a life well lived, let’s give the week over to all things symbolic.

One of my favourite symbols, the flute-playing Kokopelli, is depicted in petroglyphs all over the southwest and on pottery dating as far back as 850AD. He bestows fertility and rainfall, overseeing childbirth and agriculture. This piece was created by an artist I met in Canyon de Chelly last summer.

kokopelli, southwest, ancient pueblo, god of fertility, agriculture deity, travel, travelogue, photography, ailsa prideaux-mooney, canyon de chelly, navajo

Ancestral Puebloans left their mark on the walls of their cliff dwellings at Spruce Tree House in Mesa Verde.

mesa verde, spruce tree house, colorado, travel, travelogue, photography, ailsa prideaux-mooney, Ancestral Puebloans,

Sitting on a New York rooftop by candlelight watching the city dim during Earth Hour. Turning off the lights for an hour won’t solve the environmental issues we face; rather it is meant as a symbolic gesture to be more aware year round. I was pleasantly surprised to see quite a number of lights turn off in the Big Apple, including the Empire State Building.

earth hour new york city us usa america travel

If you would like to make your mark with your own interpretation of this week’s theme (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Symbol
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS

xxx Ailsa

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela  RIP

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About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue wheresmybackpack.com Remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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151 Responses to Travel theme: Symbol

  1. That’s a great theme! I was just watching a documentary on Mayas and their symbols! I’ll come back later with my entry! Thanks Ailsa!

  2. shreejacob says:

    Cool! I just followed your blog and it’s time for one of these challenges! I saw the one on Skies before :)
    I’ll try to come up with something…sounds like fun!

  3. aj vosse says:

    Yes, Nelson Mandela symbolised so much of what is right in the magnificent country of my birth! He was indeed a great man among men so we should remember the good and not forget that he was also human with failings just like every other South African and for that matter, everyone else on the planet!
    Let his symbol of HOPE for a better future live long! ;-)

  4. Pingback: Travel Theme : Symbol | Moments In Life

  5. Pingback: Travel Theme: Symbol | Ese' s Voice

  6. Ese' s Voice says:

    I am really drawn to the Kokopelli but the darkness and lights of the Big Apple are magical!
    Here’s my interpretation: http://esengasvoice.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/travel-theme-symbol/

    • ailsapm says:

      Beautiful post, Ese, and wonderful quotes, those horses are magnificent. I adore the Kokopelli, there’s something about the simplicity of the curves that is quite magical. The artist I met in Canyon de Chelly gave me a gift of a Kokopelli – I have him with me now. :)

  7. Yes Nelson Mandela was such a great example to us all… As I published my post last night (in europe) I wrote a little poem dedicated to him… http://memymagnificentself.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/i-feel-and-see-magic-everywhere
    Thankyou for your thoughtful post and great idea…

  8. Amy says:

    Very cool theme, Ailsa! These are great selections for symbols.

  9. Pingback: Travel Theme: Symbol | Wind Against Current

  10. Our travel on the water, no less than on land, is governed by symbols… http://windagainstcurrent.com/2013/12/06/travel-theme-symbol/

    • ailsapm says:

      Aha, I was wondering who might be the first to post a photo of a lighthouse! Wonderful post, Vlad, that first photograph is positively sumptuous, those great splashes of red against the blue are spectacular. Every time I see the tip of your canoe in a photo now I think about that post you did about assembling it in your living room. :)

  11. Marianne says:

    Excellent symbols, Ailsa :)

  12. Pingback: Symbol | @vannilla

  13. Such a pretty photo of the flute player, Ailsa, I love this week’s theme.
    Here are my symbols: http://drieskewrites.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/travel-theme-symbol/

  14. Pingback: Travel theme – Symbol | jansideas

  15. loganbruin says:

    I once spoke to a rock art expert at UCLA about a comparitve study of symbols around the world, because when I first saw the banner photo I thought Australia, even though I’ve seen so many petroglyphs in the Southwest. ;o)

    • ailsapm says:

      There are extraordinary similarities between ancient cultures on opposite sides of the world, aren’t there? It just goes to show, we’re really not all that different wherever we come from! :)

  16. Pingback: Travel Theme: Symbol | travelicius

  17. Pingback: Weekly Travel Theme: Symbol | Lillie-Put

  18. Pingback: Travel theme: Symbol | Without Strings Tied

  19. brucethomasw says:

    Each of these symbols are extremely powerful, Ailsa. In Mesa Verda – the natural solar elements of the cliff dwellings are amazing. And I do want to visit Canyon de Chelly, a sacred place. Seeing the lights turned of in the earth hour, is the most powerful symbol to me – we can live with less.

    Symbol is important to humanity – like peace and love.

    “The kings and leaders don’t make history – it is the masses.” Mandela!!

  20. Pingback: Travel Theme: Symbol | Postcards from

  21. Heyjude says:

    I love your first choice Ailsa. Mine is a very simple symbol in tribute to a man who showed a lot of both: http://smallbluegreenfotos.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/travel-theme-symbol/
    Jude xx

  22. ailsapm says:

    Beautiful, Jude, here’s to lots more love and compassion in this world. xxx

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  24. Pingback: 12-6-13 Travel Theme – Symbol | The Quotidian Hudson

  25. This is a good one Ailsa ! Your photos are remarkably tactile!

  26. Pingback: Travel Theme: Symbol | Chronicles of a Public Transit User

  27. Pingback: Travel Theme: Symbol | Edge of the Forest

  28. Pingback: Travel Theme: Symbol | Patchwork Ponderings

  29. Pingback: Grand Symbols Over Maui | Jaspa's Journal

  30. Jaspa says:

    Love the photos as always, Ailsa, especially the one with the lantern. Here’s my contribution, all with photos I took today: http://jaspasjourney.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1795&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2

  31. Pingback: Symbol | Ouch!! My back hurts!!

  32. Pingback: Travel theme: Symbol | Stefano Scheda

  33. The symbolism of the unity of three worlds that a human faces: http://wp.me/p16tta-u6
    Ciao :)

  34. Pingback: Travel Theme: Symbol from Sardinia | My Sardinian Life

  35. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand & Travel Theme: Symbol | wordsvisual

  36. suej says:

    Time is of the essence, and I’m running out of essence, but here’s mine, combined with WordPress Photo Challenge: http://suejudd.com/2013/12/07/weekly-photo-challenge-grand-travel-theme-symbol/

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  38. Pingback: Travel Theme: Symbol | Lucid Gypsy

  39. Pingback: Travel theme: Symbol « Leya

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