You have heard people say “I could listen to them read the phonebook!” Ok, a millennial might not get that reference but Gen X’ers and previous generations know what I’m talking about. Well, your prayers have been answered! Kevin Costner is one of the storytellers on a new app called Autio (formerly HearHere).
Have a listen to Kevin narrate a splendid travel story.
Pre-internet, the way we travelled was to experience it with all of our senses and then sharing their stories with family and friends. I remember rushing back from Black’s a now-defunct camera shop that also processed your photographs. Yes, before the digital days! I would buy a roll of 24 colour exposures and each shot was thought out, “how can I best capture this moment, this trip in a roll or two of film?”
Returning from Black’s with the photos in hands was the visual to accompany the vibrant story that followed. This new app co-founded by Kevin Costner, Bill Werlin and Woody Sears.
Along with Kevin Costner, other orators include NBA Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson.
Kevin Costner shares…
“I love stories. I am the guy that stops at the historical markers along the highway – usually bringing moans from everyone in the car. But it was this continuing curiosity that I began to think Autio could satisfy without anyone having to leave the car. Why couldn’t we replicate every marker along the highway – even expanding from the usual paragraph in bronze that always left me wanting more.” Costner shares.
“I am in love with history. I am in love with Country. I am in love with all the edges, all the disappointments, all the progress – all worth knowing. The truth will always be more interesting than the lie – and Autio gives us the opportunity to reveal it.” Costner shares.
What if these roads could talk?
“For me, it was driving through Colorado and New Mexico with my grandfather back in the early ’60s. As a miner, rancher and State Director of Penal Institutions, he had an amazing knowledge of Colorado history, geology, current events in various towns and was a terrific speaker and storyteller. “
“My experience of the passing landscape or cresting a hill and seeing a town laid out before us was completely altered and enhanced as I heard a variety of stories and explanations about what I was seeing. I could envision the battles, see the miners working the veins, hear about how the town came to be and how it got its name while being in the spot where it happened.” shared Bill Werlin.
Where did the idea for Autio come from?
Co-founder Woody Sears shares, “We created this product because we are travellers and we’re big fans of the American road-trip. Learning about the places we travel is also part of the fun. Often, while on a highway or interstate, we’re curious about what we’re seeing out the window. We’ve set out to answer these questions (what’s the name of that mountain peak? what do people do here? etc) and make the travelling experience more enriching and further connect us to these places. It is important that the stories are easily accessible and engaging which is why the stories are the right length and played at exactly the right time.”
Try the free trial
Autio is currently available with a free trial. Though the stories only feature events, people, and places from Washington, Oregon, and California, the company is quickly expanding to cover the rest of the country.
The app has a yearly subscription of $49.99 USD.
If you want to explore more road trip related articles, click here.
Travel responsibly taking only memories and leaving a near to zero carbon footprint. We are all visitors on this beautiful planet of ours. Let’s treat it and all inhabitants with love and respect!
A Governor-General Award recipient, Helen Hatzis was also voted as one of Canada's Nicest People! A xenophile at heart, she lives to travel and loves to share her experience on Trip Jaunt (formerly Weekend Jaunt), an online travel community and hub she founded in 2010. She hopes that you will feel inspired to discover the world as well! Helen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association and the Academy of Canadian Film and Television.