Nonvisual memories

In its “Power of Travel” issue, AFAR magazine published some answers from its Facebook query “What nonvisual memories do you have of places?”

Árboles de naranjos en Sevilla, España

One reader wrote in, “The scent of oranges as the sun goes down in Sevilla.”

Others said, “The smell of jasmine in the air on a fresh April morning in Dubrovnik” and “The feeling of mist on my face while walking in green, green, green County Kerry, Ireland.”

One of my most indelible memories is of being in Istanbul one summer and hearing the muezzin call to prayer echoing from mosques all over the city at dusk. Incredibly powerful and haunting.

The Istanbul skyline at dusk reminds me of the Bay Area.

I also love the scent of wet earth, because when I was a kid my dad used to pile up all of the neighborhood young people into the back of his Datsun pickup (back when this was legal) and take us for a ride through the summer countryside at night, past the orchards and vineyards. I remember the crickets chirping and cicadas droning, balmy wind through our hair, and that loamy scent from the orchards being irrigated.

What are your favorite sensory memories?

(Photos: Birch Blooms and The Cycling Tour Review)


2 thoughts on “Nonvisual memories

  1. Aw, such a great story, Loosh! I totally remember falling asleep in the summers with my window open to the slap-slap of the sprinklers watering the front lawn too. And the best thing was on Saturday mornings when my dad would be up early making “nice, criiiiispy bacon” and a veggie frittata for breakfast, and the smell would (yup) waft into our rooms as the sunlight streamed in, nudging us from sleep.

    I forgot to mention I also love the scent of freshly cut grass and the smell of woodsmoke on bitterly cold air.

  2. My most vivid sensory memories involve the sound of sprinklers in an orchard. My father piled my 3 sisters and i as children onto the back of a four wheeler and drove through our orchard checking the sprinklers as he irrigated. We giggled endlessly using each others bodies as shields if we got cold. We came home muddy, tired and smelling like dirt. Aaahhh the good old days
    the only thing better than that was laying in bed in the mornings as the scent of bacon, coffee and whatever else my mom was cooking wafted into our rooms begging us to get up. Having parents who cooked and did it well was an incredibly lucky gift.

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