Bling For Your Soul
Have you ever wanted to tour Paris with a fine arts painter? Moscow with an acclaimed journalist? Chicago with the former leader of a counter-cultural movement?
Or how about The Bone Church of Kutna Hora with an author of historical spy fiction?
Cold readers, I know I don’t shower you with diamonds and champagne cocktails. Nor do I buy you designer dresses or expensive watches. And it’s true – I don’t think I’ve ever once treated you to dinner at the fancy new restaurant in town.
But after today, you can’t say I’ve never taken you anywhere.
A couple of months ago, I was contacted by a company called Voice Map. Voice Map is an app for iPhones and Android devices that provides immersive audio tours written and performed by bestselling authors, artists, photographers, seasoned travelers, educators and journalists. You might hear about murder on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, nostalgia for the vanishing hutongs of old Beijing, or about a Gothic church in the Czech Republic that’s been adorned with the bones of some 30,000 dead Christians.
Voice Map asked me if I would be interested in writing and voicing some tours of my own and I gave them a resounding yes! Not only do I love to travel, but I love to share my adventures, tell my stories, and incite in my friends a passion for the places that have clawed their way into my heart and set up camp.
My first tour – one of many, I hope – centers around (you guessed it) The Bone Church of Kutna Hora, also known as the Ossuary at Sedlec. My thirty-six minute audio tour packs in a lot. I take you to The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and John the Baptist – one of the great Gothic cathedrals in the region; we walk past a large Philip Morris outpost and I tell you all about the Czech Republic’s change from a communist country to a free market parliamentary republic, and then meander down the suburban streets of Sedlec, where I wax nostalgic about drinking too much Czech beer, sleeping under the stars at my father’s farm and translating a tragically comic communist propaganda play. We finish up at the Playboy Centerfold of my tour, savoring the eerie wonder of a sacred Gothic chapel decorated entirely in human bone.
I hope to provide you with the sort of travel experience that I would have killed for had it been available to me when I was still a world traveler. Before love and kids and soccer games and slumber parties took me on a whole different journey.
And don’t worry – you don’t have to pick my tour! I understand that a trip to the Czech Republic may not be on your immediate horizon. Voice Map has tours all over the world and are adding new ones at an astonishing rate.
All you have to do is leave a comment here on this blog post, briefly telling me about your favorite travel story – maybe it’s strolling under a full moon by the river Seine, floating in the Dead Sea or just hiking a trail on the outskirts of your home town. At the end of your story, you must provide me with your email address. THIS IS CRUCIAL, as I can only send you the link to your free tour if you give me a place to send it.
Trust me, this is better than a pair of earrings, or a new electronic gizmo.
This is bling for your soul!