Travel theme: Unexpected

After my unexpected encounter with killer black flies on Sauk Mountain, I’m looking at other places that turned out to be something other than expected. First up, Arches National Park. Every photo I’ve seen of this amazing park is filled with glowing red rocks and bright blue skies, so it was with confusion that my pal Sylvia and I encountered flash floods and unholy thunderstorms on our trip to Utah. Unbeknownst to us, Utah has a monsoon season and we had landed bang smack in the middle of it. Arches was shrouded in fog and filled with pools of rainwater the entire time we were there – but it looked all the lovelier for it. arches national park, windows, utah, road trip, us, usa, america, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney

The most unexpected place to find something secret is the epicenter of one of the world’s busiest cities. In the heart of Times Square lies a secret sound installation, lurking under the grates in the sidewalk. The work of Max Neuhaus; it is an amplification of resonances already present in the subway tunnels that run under the city, and it is appropriately titled ‘Times Square‘. If you’re in the area, listen out for the sound of bells or gongs resonating; at points the wall of sound is so thick it drowns out the sound of the surrounding traffic.

Times Square's secret sound installation, sound installation, max neuhaus, times square

One of my favourite unexpected encounters took place high up in Ireland’s Featherbeds a couple of Christmas Eves ago. Driving along a winding road through expanses of bog and forest and heathers, I turned a corner and found, miles from anywhere, a fully decorated Christmas tree. The random act of some stranger or strangers unknown filled me with holiday cheer.

featherbeds, wicklow mountains, ireland, wicklow, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney

What are your favourite unexected memories? If you would like to join in this week’s travel theme and share something unexpected, here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Unexpected
  • 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

You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen. – Paul Coelho

Creativity comes from looking for the unexpected and stepping outside your own experience. – Masaru Ibuka

If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail. – Heraclitus

About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. 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 - - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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160 Responses to Travel theme: Unexpected

  1. Pingback: Travel Theme: Unexpected | Rewired and Retired in Nicaragua

  2. Pingback: Travel Theme: Unexpected | Tim Wolverson – Photography

  3. When traveling through Ecuador, we encountered many unexpected surprises…some good, some not so good. Enjoy!

  4. Pingback: Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Unexpected | anotherdayinparadise

  5. Pingback: Travel Theme-Unexpected | WoollyMuses

  6. Arches in shadows, unexpected indeed. Love this theme, Ailsa!
    Here’s my entry:

    Have a lovely and unexpected weekend.

  7. Pingback: WILDROSES BY THE ROADSIDE (for Travel Theme: Unexpected) | MY WALL

  8. Lynne Ayers says:

    I love the Christmas tree and the cheer that put it there.

  9. Pingback: Travel Theme: Unexpected | That Montreal Girl

  10. Pingback: Travel Theme: Unexpected | Across the Bored

  11. Pingback: Travel theme: Unexpected: Goats in a Tree (Morocco) | The Mad Woman in the Attic

  12. Pingback: Travel theme: Unexpected | ILEANA PARTENIE

  13. Pingback: Unexpected with bells, sticks and hankies at the Sweeps Festival | Tish Farrell

  14. Tish Farrell says:

    I especially like your wet Utah, Ailsa. My ‘unexpected’ is some very dotty English activity at the Sweeps Festival, Rochester UK:

  15. Pingback: Travel Theme: Unexpected | A New Life Wandering

  16. Pingback: Travel Theme: Unexpected | decocraftsdigicrafts

  17. Pingback: Unexpected-weekly Travel Themed Photo Challenge | Third Person Travel

  18. Pingback: Travel Theme: Unexpected | Tvor Travels

  19. Tvor says:

    Here’s something unexpected I discovered in a cemetery

  20. Pingback: Roman Surprise at Spud U Like | Travel with Intent

  21. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected | 2far2shout

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  23. Pingback: Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Unexpected | Stephen Kelly Creative

  24. Pingback: Surprise! | Pretty Packed

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  27. Pingback: Unexpected | @vannilla

  28. Pingback: Travel theme: unexpected shoe post | Have you ever…

  29. Madoqua says:

    I love the Christmas Tree – someone had fun!
    I found a number of shoes attached to a street light in Sydney! Has anyone lost a shoe ? 🙂

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  33. angelocrux says:

    We definitely did not expect that there’s going to be a tribal war in the mountain that we were supposed to climb. And it’s the Philippines’ second highest mountain. What a shame. (I’ll come back for it in the future, for sure!)

  34. Pingback: A Drive-By Shooting in Detroit | Writing Between the Lines

  35. Hi Ailsa,
    Thank you for another great challenge. Here is unexpected: A Drive-by Shooting in Detroit.

  36. Pingback: Garmin’s revenge | Taking a Deep Breath

  37. Pingback: Weekly Travel Theme: Unexpected | 2 Geeks @ 3 Knots

  38. China always surprises me. I’ve been teaching here for 9 months now. See the giant fake flowers and dragon boats from the recent Dragon Boat Festival along the Songhua River:

  39. Pingback: Travel Theme: Unexpected | Taking One Day At A Time

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