Everyone has a reason to travel beyond all the clichéd shit you hear. Yes, it might be curiosity but what drives that curiosity always has a number of unique things driving it. For me, my parents always bought me an atlas for my birthday. I suppose it was sort of essential during the 90s with about six new countries showing up every year. I used to gaze at them for hours looking at who they bordered and what their shape looked like. I’d look at the statistics, bewildered at that amount of Catholics everywhere. Who knew Lithuanians weren’t that different from Spanish? I was just amazed by the gulf of diversity that existed around the world.
Sensing my curiosity, my parents send me down to the library everyday with some lady to encourage me to read every imaginable book this shit library had about different countries that interested me. For some reason, Latvia seemed so distant and intriguing at the time. However, I constantly felt somewhat unfulfilled. Like, it was brilliant to know all these obscure statistics and intriguing facts about whatever country but I wasn’t finding the answers I was curious about. All these articles of information seemed to only reveal some macro understanding that seemed completely unrelated to my understanding life.
I was like eight. I conceptualized countries not as distinctive governments and places of major historical events but places where other people my age lived. Places where kids went to bed at different times. Places where math classes happened in the afternoon instead of the morning. Places where they ate something other than peanut butter for lunch. I envisioned these countries as compositions of a million small details like bed times, lunch menus, and homework assignments. It was these seemingly insignificant details and their distinctions from country to country that fascinated me.
It is this curiosity in small, seemingly monotonous details that keeps me curious about traveling. I spent most of my time ambling about different places in Europe looking at un-noteworthy street art, exploring supermarkets, and getting drunk in far too many bars. In some attempt to document what I was exploring, I decided impulsively to start documenting roughly 30 seconds sound clips of just what made me curious. I guess I liked the fact that they were disassociated with their context that it would be difficult to associate with some major narrative. Of course, some certainly play into some of the larger narratives surrounding a city but I largely attempted to avoid that. In any hope, perhaps you’ll envision a city as a space of millions of sounds, stories, and rules that contradict and make very little sense.