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How to HEAR Your Travel Memories

Ever listen to a radio program or podcast episode you’d heard once before?

As you listen, do you strangely recall exactly what you were doing the first time you heard it?

try this today

Pop in your ear buds and take a walk through some ordinary place.

Listen to an engaging podcast or audio book—something that’s enjoyable and easy to follow.

Take in the atmosphere, but don’t go out of your way to study your surroundings.

Tomorrow afternoon, play back exactly what you listened to.

Did you recall certain details of your walk that you'd made no effort to remember?

the ears have it

If a podcast can help you remember an uneventful stroll, imagine replaying the words of a golden-voiced travel writer who gleefully guided you through the streets of Paris.

Yes, that example is very specific—and for good reason.

city of lights (and sounds!)

I visited Paris in 2007. Travel writer Rick Steves had just begun releasing free audio tours of European cities.

On his tours, Rick personally escorts you on delightful walks, pointing out noteworthy sites and telling stories along the way.

One afternoon, I fired up Rick’s Historic Paris Walk on my iPod Nano (4 gig hard drive…whoa!).

Rick narrated as I strode from the Notre Dame across the Seine.

After a charming visit to the Latin Quarter, we re-crossed the river to St. Chapelle and concluded at Pont Neuf (map below).

It was a delightful walk, and I was grateful for Rick's audio companionship.

back to reality...and gone again

Several months later, I was back in Sacramento stocking shelves at Trader Joe's.

I was scrolling my Nano, desperate for something cool to listen to, when I noticed the Historic Paris Walk—right there where I’d left it.

I pushed play.

Rick’s voice again filled my ears, and damn it I was back at the Notre Dame.

I listened to the entire tour, nearly as captivated as I was the first time. Every detail of that walk come flooding back in an instant.

That day, I began to appreciate the power of my own memory.

The details I'd recalled from the Paris walk were in there the whole time—they just needed to be dragged out and dusted off.

Thanks for dusting off my memories, Rick!

sound off!

Next time you travel, try to track down an audio tour of the place you’re visiting.

If you can’t find an audio tour, make one!

Find a walking tour in a guidebook and read it into your favorite recording device.

Better yet, have a friend record it for you!

That does it for part one of “How to capture your travel memories without writing a journal”.

In part two, we'll be sticking with the senses. Working titles are "The Nosey Traveler" and "This Youth Hostel Smells like Fun!"

Please share YOUR experiences using sound to re-live travel memories in the comments!

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About the author, Aaron Schlein

Aaron's personal mission is to create a freedom-filled life for his family.
His professional mission is to help others do the same.

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