We ran a TaoTronics writing competition during June 2019, asking people to write about their headphone journey. Congratulations to our winner Jessica, who wrote this lovely entry on how she feels wearing TaoTronics ANC headphones.
Arriving in Lisbon
Travelling by boat across the Tajo river towards Lisbon city center, a passenger boat passes by in the opposite direction. Undulating waves, covered in deep blue mosaic patterns emerge from its path and I feel the gentle motion of them through my body as they make their way, one by one, to our boat. Reaching the city centre and crossing the road, I notice the layers of the city.
Houses of pastel colours, high up and far away upon the Lisbon hills, frame my view. One layer down, modern architecture with pointy, dramatic edges reflects the bright blue sky and the intermittent clouds, shining bright amongst its more traditional backdrop. Waiting at the traffic lights, I move my focus to look directly in front of me, where twenty people wait to cross the road towards me, all their attention focused on one thought: can I cross this road even though the little man is red? One person makes the bold move and like sheep, the rest follow, their heads turning left and right repeatedly and their bodies moving quickly as if they have a bus to catch. Maybe they do. Sweet aromas of cinnamon and sugar drift out of the Time Out food market in front of me where stalls sell Pastel de Nata to hungry tourists.
Walking into the depths of the city my attention to detail continues. I feel completely consumed by my own consciousness, yet highly alert to the things going on around me. I feel anonymous and its uplifting. I feel like an observer and I’m aware of everything going on around me.
Simultaneously, a bubble of sound surrounds me, taking me away from the outside world. I’m here in the center of Lisbon, but I’m also somewhere else inside my mind. The deep, slow, steady beat of Nicolas Jaar fills my ears and as I wander around the city I create my own story, through my selection of the sounds I crave. Is it the lyrics I desire, the beats, or the mood of the music that made me choose this genre to match this particular moment? I’m never sure, but as I put on one of my favourite playlists, I just know it’s exactly what I was looking for. Each piece of music becomes a soundtrack to the places that emerge around each corner. Flicking the switch up to cancel the noise, my senses are further heightened, sharpened.
Turning a corner away from the main road, I walk past a stranger on a narrow, cobbled street and as I do, a particular lyric resonates with me and takes me to a different time, forcing an involuntary beam across my face. My attention abruptly returns to my presence in the streets of Lisbon, as the confused stranger glances back at me. I wonder what he thinks I might be listening to.
Travelling alone and wandering the streets of a new city ignites in me a certain confidence and elation that not much can top. There is no destination and no end goal for my day, just pure sensual stimulation and an empowering sense of complete anonymity. No one knows where I’m going. But with music in my ears and a bubble of sound around me – no distractions – I mould my own unique experience of the city. I notice the things I might not otherwise.
The noises of a new city are undeniably part of its unique essence and chaotic composition. However when I’m travelling, just for a moment each day, that state of complete solitude amongst thousands of people that I get from my Taotronics headphones, gives me a boost of confidence and energy I can’t go without. Travelling alone has never felt more empowering.
Check out TaoTronics range of ANC headphones, including SoundSurge 46 and SoundSurge 60, if you want to experience traveling like Jessica! And keep an eye out for our next installment – runners up of the TaoTronics writing competition!
Alone in a Crowd, written for TaoTronics Writing Competition by Jessica Beaumont
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