Monthly Archives: May 2010

Travel the World by Sound

When you’re traveling do you tend to notice yourself always looking around — your eyes darting from site to site, monument to monument, from paintings to statues and the picturesque landscapes? You’re seeing this new state, country or city with excited eyes and, let’s be honest, most of the time through the lens of a camera.

However, one of the other best parts about traveling and experiencing another culture (besides the food) is being able to listen.

I believe most tourists and travelers, yes, there is a difference, tend to forget about the other senses that make their adventure all the more enjoyable. Sure you get to taste the authentic version of the native cuisine or see sites you would never see at home but you need to hear the country as well.

Whether you’re in the jungle or on a mountain, listen to the calls of animals around you. If you’re in a street, listen to the cars, people communicating and the natural noises that call this part of the planet their home. And my most favorite sound is the music of that particular culture: the drumming, the strumming, the beats and tones, and the lyrics in that country’s language. The instruments that you rarely see or hear where you’re from.

These are all sounds that you won’t be able to take back in pictures. However, you may be lucky to find a CD.

Right now, I am into the sounds of Africa and Hawaii.

These two albums have been on repeat in my iTunes recently.

The flutes, the drums and the native chants make you wish you were absorbed in the painted texture of the African deserts letting your body dance itself across the land.

I can say that you have never heard the brilliance of a guitar until you heard the sounds that strum off a slack key guitar, especially when it is accompanied by the rich, deep tone of the Hawaiian language. You feel as if you are on some remote beach, under the shade of the palm trees watching the waves roll in and brush over your feet while listening to this music.


Next on my list of places to travel to instrumentally: Asia & New Zealand.

Do you have any music from a place you’ve traveled or would like to travel to that you admire?
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