Travel Quote Tuesday | The Bizarre

“Wherever we go, across the Pacific or Atlantic, we meet, not similarity so much as ‘the bizarre’. Things astonish us, when we travel, that surprise nobody else.” ~ Mary Ritter Beard

This quote brings to mind a thought from Vera Nazarian, which I shared back in May; the reminder to consider that, wherever we are, it is “someone’s home and backyard”. Sometimes I am comforted by how similar the details are to what is familiar to me from my own home; at other times I’m mesmerised by the differences… occasionally to the extent that it triggers a complete re-evaluation of what I had previously thought of as the norm. Other times, I am struck by wonderment at something that seems utterly bizarre to me!

It’s funny the little details that catch our attention when we’re somewhere far from home…

A good example is the beauty of Japanese kusari doi, chains of beautifully shaped metal cups that direct the rain from rooftop to ground, instead of the more familiar tubular drainpipe.

What bizarre things have surprised you on your travels?

(c) Kavita Favelle - Mary Ritter Beard - Taiwan

This beautiful view is of the Quingshui Cliffs in Taiwan’s Taroko Gorge National Park.

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21 Comments to "Travel Quote Tuesday | The Bizarre"

  1. Sandy N Vyjay

    Many times when we are traveling and I am in another city or country which looks exotic and strange to me, I look at the locals hurrying about their day to day life and pause for a while to think what is extraordinary for me is ordinary and run of the mill for these people. It is all got to do with relativity and where you are and when.

  2. Agness of a Tuk Tuk

    This quote is so true and on point. Due to a culture shock, I am often surprised when I discover some new habits of the locals which they consider quite normal. It’s all about on which side you’re looking at.

  3. Susan R

    For me, the joy of travel is coming across these different ways of doing things. I hadn’t heard of Japanese kusari doi, but we’re going there in a few weeks so I will keep a look out for them!

  4. Julia

    The most amazing and bizarre thing that strikes me about the world: no matter where I go, we all seem to be driven by some sort of force trying to make ends meet but especially finding our peace and happiness!

  5. Tanvi

    I completely agree. When one travels they realize how similar yet different things are country to country and i guess that’s the beauty of travel after all

  6. Anne Slater-Brooks

    Definitely one of my favourite things about travel is the fact that we are so much more observant. I really notice all the details as though my mind is trying to imprint it forever. The great thing about blogging is you always have a reference to remind you of those small things.

  7. PossesstheWorld

    It is true we find some differences but I am more often struck by how similar people are all over the world. We all really are going about our lives trying to make the best of it day to day

  8. Aditi

    I agree that everything seems a tad different and bizarre in a new zone when we travel. This quote conveys so much in a few words. Cheers!!

  9. Michael

    That quote is so true – I can do nothing more than just agree. Your style of writing is really inspiring though. Hope to see more in the future.

  10. Niels Thomas

    Interesting quote. Might agree with all of it but it is great to hear different views and opinions on why we travel and why we like it so much.

  11. Jitaditya

    Yes… but that’s the good part…
    Every place is someone’s backyard but we need that feeling of seeing and doing something new… this is the essence of life. That is why I also don’t like hotels that promise to make me “feel home”… lol… that is not at all the point.

  12. FS Page

    It is a very interesting quote and the thoughts by others in the comments section are equally intriguing. But as already said, i too agree and wonder how something is beautiful and heart stopping for one while others pass by without a notice. I guess repetition in anything, not just travel makes man want it less. Familiarity kills the curiousity.

  13. RedFedoraDiary

    I completely agree with you, sometimes I find the similarities and sometimes I am utterly shocked by the difference. I love finding such cultural or traditional differences, I learn something new all the time I travel

  14. Nisha

    Quite an interesting quote. When they travel most people tend to compare the places and are always looking for similarities. The differences , sort of come out and grab you to say, yes all places are not the same and that’s what makes the world so unique”

  15. Anna

    ah i miss Taiwan and it’s beautiful nature. And that quote carries such a deep meaning. I love it!

  16. Anita Hendrieka

    Lovely quote! It can be things that are so small that catch our eye and seem different and unusual to us. I’m currently living in Albania and there are a lot of things that seem bizarre to me like the lack of carpet in all the houses or the fact that when pouring a raki you never get a new glass. Apparently, this means that you will have a new partner so they always pour the shot of raki from a new glass straight into your used glass, so fascinating!

  17. Paige W

    This quote is so beautiful. I love finding the ‘bizarre’ in any destination – even ones that don’t require me to cross an ocean! I’ve had a lot of things surprise me on my travels, even just lifestyle can be a shock. It’s a great, wide world full of a million ways to do one thing. I just want to see it all!

  18. James

    Your post suns it all! It’s so perfect when you dont know where to travel next! Thanks a lot for the wide range of destinations. A lot of ideas in here I haven’t thought of for my next trip!


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