A Bit of Sunday Philosophy

Whenever I look at this picture, the red color reminds me of Australia.

But this view is actually from Patagonia.

El Calafate, Argentina

It’s often said that the more you travel, the better you realise how huge the world is and how much there is to see. That’s true, but I also think the opposite is true!

My mind often associates new places I visit with somewhere I’ve already been, giving me a familiar feeling and making it easy to quickly feel at home.

Granted, I haven’t been to any remote African or Amazonian villages, Antarctica, or Machu Picchu and I doubt I would get any sense of déjà vu in such unique spots of the globe. But in their nearest towns I might.

I was surprised to feel at home in such exotic-sounding places as Buenos Aires (just like Paris!), Uruguay’s Punta del Este (just like Spain!) or Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego (the weather was just like our weather at home!)

All this just makes me think that we’re all pretty similar, after all. We all drive cars, keep pets, value family, work hard, and wish for a peaceful life.

It feels pretty random how we all call one place home and other places foreign.

This is all at first glance, of course – the casual visitor’s point of view. Sometimes you don’t notice all the adorable cultural quirks until you’ve been somewhere long enough and managed to take a peek under the surface.

That’s when seemingly familiar places start feeling excitingly exotic. And that’s when I feel like I’m really traveling.

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16 responses to “A Bit of Sunday Philosophy

  1. I went through a phase of associating new places with ones I’ve already experienced. It was a little depressing, but then I snapped out of it. Not exactly sure how…I think it was when I stopped being so frantic about traveling to as many places as possible.

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    • It’s a strange feeling, isn’t it?! I guess it does go away once you concentrate on one particular place or area… the mind can’t keep up, or something…!

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  2. Truly, traveling lets us see how much different and how much alike we all are – making us realize how huge the world is and at the same time how small it really is. Amazingly ironic 🙂 Great posts you have here! Loved going through them 🙂

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  3. I do this all the time in this huge, small world of ours! From the mountain scenery and textiles of seemingly distant Peru and Tibet, to the fairly close sun-baked shores of Israel and Greece, to geologically similar lands like Iceland and Scotland, or Arizona and Jordan, my mind reaches for similarities even as it relishes differences both large and small as I travel.

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    • Well said! It absolutely doesn’t mean that I don’t relish the differences or that I’m not excited. It’s just an automatic thing, I guess. And while I was mostly talking about nature, towns, and general scenery, maybe the globalisation of the biggest consumption product brands has its own impact, too..!

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  4. This is so true…I have often had that feeling while passing through the villages and cities in India at night…even though one state in India is as different from the other as would a country in Africa be different from a country in Europe!

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  5. A nice bit of philosophising. What you say about how alike places are, is really interesting. 🙂 I suppose people are basically the same wherever we go, although different languages make us all seem so different. I can see how some Spanish-speaking countries in South America may remind you of Spain – which isn’t the point you were making, I know.

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