29 May 2010

Music Can Teach Travel

I love online Music.

Like most people I spend a lot of time in front of my PC

My first love has been Pandora - but of late, Pandora has been failing me. It now limits my sessions to 40 hours a month. So I have been using LastFM, also pretty good. So now I am with Jango and I switch between all 3 but in essence I have created my own set of music on these stations. I have 4 types of music in general I can listen to, it depends on my mood.

And this reflects the way I think that nuance can apply to Travel and inspiration. Both Music and Travel appeal to the left brain. We always seek inspiration. Every year I try to take at least one trip that will inspire me. I find that Asia does that and I have some interesting Travelista friends who are pretty good at helping me to do that. For someone who is as right brain heavy as I am - this is good centering activity.

One person I admire for his work in this area is Professor Martin Collings his recent posts on TNooz should be required reading as well as checking out his own blog - Sheerwater. It is interesting as a fellow right brainer how he manages to weave in the good stuff.

But returning to Music, of late my journey to Search Utopia has had me thinking about how much we could learn from Music. So let me give ways.

Music Genres are more easily identified than Travel Genres. I was chatting to my son the other day and we had an interesting dialogue that says with iTunes and basically our ability to define our own music there is a distinct lack of music which defines the now generation. We could not think of anything that really encapsulates the mood of the Oughts or the Teens in the same way that Soul (Motown) and Rock defined the 60s and 70s. Surprisingly (he is a head banger) we both felt that this was a loss to society.

Travel Genres are harder to specify. They typically are defined by very generic terms (beach, culture, food, ski etc) and by location. But as I have written before unlike Music - Travel and location are not automatically linked. Despite our global village view of the world and the dreaded homogenization - different places can mean vastly different things. Let me give you some examples.

People in the First and Second World look at Bali as one of the most exotic locations to travel to. Yet for Aussies and Singaporeans - its a trip for a quick weekend getaway. While we can easily see that Las Vegas is pretty much the same for everyone - Glitz, Neon and Gambling - Spain has vastly connotations for Northern Europeans and North Americans. The former see it as Sun Sand Sea Sex and Beer!!! the latter see Spain as culture and cuisine.

So far I have yet to see anyone who has done a really good job at inspiring me to think of travel in the same way I see music. I see all travel sites as an explicit and largely tedious interface experience. I long for someone who can inspire and suggest and let me lean back and enjoy the process as much as I do music.

The experience I think I lack is a way to browse travel. Oh how I long for something like that....


And Special Thanks to Kate Bush for letting me use her album cover. If only she would put out another recording.

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