Travel the World Through Sound

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Are you stuck at home this weekend? Tired of flipping through travel magazines and Pinterest photos of must-see destinations good for a vacation? Need to find inspiration for your next adventure?

Here’s a new twist on virtual touring – travel the world through sound.

When I first heard this piece on NPR a few weeks ago, I was intrigued.  I bookmarked the transcript so I’d remember to check it out later.

SoundTransit features various audio recordings from travelers around the world.  Just like a photo can often transport you to a place you’ve never been (or somewhere you wish to go) this site aims to achieve the same via sound.

I sat tonight listening to sounds from a Balinese market, the train station in Warsaw, and revelry at Tivoli Gardens amusement park in Copenhagen.

Tivoli Gardens, June 2014.

Tivoli Gardens, June 2014.

The site allows users to search for sound files by country or to construct a virtual itinerary from one place to another via connecting sound points along the geographic way.  As an example, I journeyed from a dinner conversation in Austin to Singaporean street noise via a call to prayer in Istanbul, all compressed in one MP3 file.

I tend to be a sensory traveler.  Many of my memories of favorite places are not of sights but of smell, noises, tastes, and sensory reactions – a feeling fish pedicure in Cambodia or the smells of spices in an exotic market or the brine of a freshly shucked oyster on the Gulf Coast can all embed a travel memory for me.

I am inspired by this site to do two things – to listen for clues as to where I might enjoy my next adventure and to challenge myself to catalog some of the place sounds on my next journey.

Readers… do you have destinations that are memorable by their sounds or other sensory stimuli? Share them in the comments….

About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last nineteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 48.5 US states. Once an "every week" road warrior, she now only travels around 100 days a year. She resides in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and playing with her Border Collie/Great Pyreness mix puppy Harley Quinn.

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