By Jan Jackson –
At long last, you can have your own tour guide when you travel through Oregon’s McKenzie and Santiam scenic highways. A new travel company called Together Anywhere has launched a GPS Audio Guide mobile phone app that allows you to download roundtrip narration over the beautiful McKenzie Highway from Eugene to Bend and one that narrates your route from Salem to Bend.
The Together Everywhere GPS Audio Guide App (available both for iPhones and Androids) is free. The individual tours sell for $5 each and are yours to keep. The narration that automatically plays as you cross each point of interest, doesn’t require wi-fi or mobile Internet. It’s like having your own personal on-demand tour guide.
The voice behind the app
Andrew Hussey is the narrator and storyteller who writes and records what you are seeing. Born, raised and still living in the Willamette Valley, he is the third-generation member of his family to be in the travel business.
“I’ve loved anything to do with travel my whole life,” Andrew said about his excitement of being a part of the Together Anywhere team. “When I started my band (Jamalia) I thought maybe I could be a travelling rock star – at least that was going to be my excuse. Now to be physically checking out places, researching them and telling their story is a dream-come-true.”
How the app came about
The idea for Together Anywhere started two years ago when Travel Anywhere principals Christy Hey and Arnaud Verstuyf went traveling in search of a business that would combine her love of storytelling, his technical knowledge and their combined love of travel. Christy takes care of the company’s business and content development and Arnaud develops the technology.
“Christy is a talented musician and shortly after we met, she joined my band as a singer,” Andrew said. “We worked jointly on a band tour to Alaska, so we knew we worked well together. “We started with the McKenzie Highway which was easy for me because it is one of my favorite drives in the world.
“A lot of companies in Europe have audio guides but unlike the others, we are actually telling the story and not reading pages out of a book. I’m the everyman. Christy gives me 75-minutes-worth of content that I have to get down into two-minute clips. If I’m bored, I figure you will be too, and I cut it out. My goal is to talk like I am in the car with you.”
For more information, visit www.togetheranywhere.com.
Photos by Jan Jackson