Travel Notes 07: Voices

Travel Notes 07 – A series of daily musings on being abroad for 60 days.


On a Sunday in Spain, the place slumbers, doors remained closed and perhaps in true Sabbath fashion, the day is composed of rest and silence. Morning tranquility accompanies a walk down the river where roads are closed curiously. It makes sense when hundreds of runners soon turn a corner and pass me on their 10 km run. I smile, wishing I had the luggage space to fit my running shoes in.

The saunter down the banks of Leon’s river provides the opportunity to listen to some great podcasts, as I rediscover Debbie Millman’s Design Matters and Krista Tippett’s On Being. They are both wonderful interviewers, and their respective conversations with Simon Sinek and Elizabeth Gilbert leaves me with poignant thoughts of awe and wonder. I listen intently as they shape thoughts with the mere utterance of their voices.

Podcasts and discovering a new city on foot are two combinations that go very well together. The sights, smells and touch of foreign soil is permeable and tangible; and with a soundtrack of storytelling percolating in your mind, it makes for thoughtful observations in the immediacy of your environment.

I wonder if this is the simple pleasure of bringing books or other mediums of storytelling on your holidays. They become forever linked because you experienced them in a place there wasn’t home. In this, there is a romanticism that is hard to replicate. I read by the river on my Kindle, finishing Adam Grant’s Give and Take as I contemplate these thoughts.

A Sunday market where shopkeepers are selling everything from perfume, underwear, food and old shower heads stretches for a mile (literally) and I enjoy the vibe of walking through it though nothing catches my eye.

The last day of the St Froilan festival provides a bagpipe band marching through the streets which I unwittingly follow as I seem to walk in a zigzag and intersect with them on several occasions. They finish their performance in a square where a young girl waltzes to the sound of the pipes, happy and smiling as she dances. It’s a wonderful thing to behold.


Notes from Sunday, 9 October, 2016