Travel theme: Enlightened

No matter where you are in the world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the cesspit of filth currently masquerading as a presidential election in the US. It is downright depressing to be bombarded daily with examples of how low mankind can sink, and frankly bewildering that such a base, unevolved, malignant individual has been allowed access to a world stage from which to disseminate and normalize his poisonous views. I have of late found myself drifting towards cynicism of humanity at large, guilty by association by simply belonging to a species capable of producing such monsters. To counteract this bleakness, I have resolved to actively seek out all that is enlightened, noble and beautiful about being human – and that’s what this week’s travel theme is about. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the joy of the human condition, and where better to start than with: Dance – a secret tango in Seattle.

seattle, dance, waterfront, washington, travel, photography, ailsa prideaux-mooney

Friendship – two dads building sandcastles for their kids at Tramore in Ireland.

tramore, waterford, ireland, tramore strand, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney

Wonder – a winter carousel in Waterford.

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Compassion – furry friends’ final resting place at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah.

best friends animal society kanab utah sanctuary road trip

Freedom of expression – at the Figment Festival on Governors Island.

figment festival new york governor's island

Laughter – bright colours and even brighter smiles celebrating Holi.

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Play – traditional May Day celebrations.

may day, maypole. seattle, washington, travel, ailsa prideaux-mooney, photography

Teamwork – a tug o’ war at the Sheep Olympics.

sheep olympics, golden shears, gorey, wexford, ireland, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney

Art – Michelangelo’s Pieta in Vatican City.

vatican city, st peter's basilica, rome, italy, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney, la pieta, michelangelo

Dignity – on the mural trail in Philly.


Resilience – hard work in Guatemala.

guatemala, logs, burden, travel, travelogue, lake atitlan, ailsa prideaux-mooney

Love. At Lincoln Center.

silhouette fountain lincoln center new york

Love. Swinging in Charleston.

seafront porch swing, charleston, south carolina, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney

Love. About to kiss in Rome.

rome, italy, forum, circus maximus, romance, love, travel, travelogue, ailsa prideaux-mooney

Love. A father holds his son’s hand in a deserted Grand Central Terminal.



oregon coast beach sunset children boy girl


holi, holi festival, festival of color, festival of colour, travel, ailsa prideaux-mooney, maple valley, travelogue, photography


martin luther king memorial washington dc




seattle washington valentine's day holiday tree phinney ridge

That is how you make a nation great.

There is so much that is noble, brave, generous, gentle and wise about the human spirit, so join me in shining a light on it by creating your interpretation of this week’s theme. If you would like to join in (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Enlightened
  • 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.

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a lot better now.

xxx Ailsa

The true grandeur of humanity is in moral elevation, sustained, enlightened and decorated by the intellect of man. – Charles Sumner

There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. – Henry David Thoreau



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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51 Responses to Travel theme: Enlightened

  1. aj vosse says:

    It seems the more choice we’re given the more diverse the opinions will be! How do you fight and overcome corruption? Corruption of morals and ethics? Corruption of values and belief? If I was American I would wonder about it all… once the powerhouse of the free world… now, on a massive slide into the inevitable!!
    One lot want to give it away… the other want to fight that lot and so we have the never-ending tirade of trash!! Sorry… I’m as confused by it all as many others are.
    Yes… LOVE, tolerance and understanding… acceptance that we are all unique and entitled to respect and dignity! The basics of human rights!
    I love the fairy!! I wonder if I’d be that carefree and bold!! Maybe…
    Great post… you got us going!! I hope in the right direction!!! 😉

    • ailsapm says:

      The fairy was magnificent, and I bet you could be that bold. 😉 Glad this post got you going, Vossie, I couldn’t suppress my feelings about the current culture of hate for one more second.

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  4. Lovely happy photos, Ailsa. A balance for all the madness in today’s world. Thank you for the light you shed on us.
    Much love,

    And here’s my choice:

  5. What a wonderful enlightening post. Thanks!

  6. Leya says:

    Ailsa, thank you for this theme…right now this is what we all need. In fact I shed a tear when i saw your photos. I do not know how to stand this world and its folly. The election in the US, Putin bombarding Syria and all the helpless people fleeing…they even try to destroy all hospitals. My heart and soul is low these days, just like you describe. I am happy to join in trying to find some enlightenment. Big hug to you.

    • ailsapm says:

      Hugs right back, Leya. I figure the more the haters try to spread hate, the more I will share love. The more the fearmongers spread fear, the more I will share love. The more the warmongers wage war, the more I will share love. And one by one, they will falter and fall, and love will prevail. ❤

  7. CarolynEliason says:

    Wonderful examples of the love and perseverance around us. Never in my like have I witnessed so much hate in this world, I fear for the generations to come. I try to remember what God taught us “Love one another” and find joy in the simple things.

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  10. ardysez says:

    I’m with you Ailsa. Every day I try to put my bit of positivity and love out into the world. Beautiful photos, and I applaud your thoughts and efforts. 💕

  11. This is wonderful Ailsa and so very timely. I’ll be sure and participate because like you, I need too.

  12. Francesca says:

    what an inspiring post Ailsa. I loved your opening comments about the madness of a world that allows such a nasty, cretinous and dangerous individual to run for an election. My heart bleeds for America, but then I think- they must like him, they must think like that, as he does stand a good chance of success. And knowing this make my heart bleed for all of us. I will find a photo to contribute.

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  16. DailyMusings says:

    Your photos are a welcome breath of fresh air for all the reasons you stated. Thank you for sharing them 🙂

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  21. A truly enlightened post. 😘

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  23. travelrat says:

    My contribution at I was really hard put to find a picture to illustrate it, but I hope you find the one I did choose amusing, even if not exactly relevant 😀

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  29. An exceptional post, Ailsa, and I am in complete agreement with you. Here is my response:

  30. Mae says:

    Your idea of blogging images meaning “enlightenment” is a very inspiring one. As an American and a voter, I hope our election proves that we aren’t as bad as we seem for having 40% of our population attracted by such a potentially dangerous despot.

    My contribution is here:

    best… mae at

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  34. Miriam says:

    Ailsa, these are absolutely stunning visual examples of enlightenment. What a beautiful theme you’ve set this week.

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