One of the first things I do when making my final preparations for my next trip is make a playlist. Having a good selection of songs with me when I travel is a necessity and I’m sure most of you agree.
From my first big trip overseas across Europe where I loaded my iPod with hundreds of songs to listen to while on the train. When I moved to London with a hard drive loaded with thousands of songs to enjoy and share with my new friends. Or our two week road trip through the top of New Zealand’s north island with my iPhone loaded with Triple M’s (Aussie rock radio station) top 1,000 rock songs to play through the car’s bluetooth. I never leave home without music.
I can, at times, become obsessed with a certain artist or song for the duration of a trip or while i’m in a particular town, city or region. So it would be no surprise that some of the songs I have listened to over the years have stuck with me. When I listen to them now, I’m transported back in time to the places where I listened to them and I become flooded with happy memories.
As you will discover from the nine songs below, I have quite a diverse taste in music. To be honest I love anything as long as it has a catchy beat or I can sing (badly) to it.
So here are the 9 Songs from My Travels that invoke happy memories and inspire me to keep on travelling.
Somebody That I Use To Know – Goyte (feat. Kimbra)
Back in 2012 we travelled from London, where we were living, over to Orlando to meet our best friends from home for 10 days of theme park fun to celebrate our 30th birthdays.
For 10 days, just about every time we got in a taxi or walked into a supermarket or outlet store we were greeted with the sound of Goyte. It became the theme song to our trip.
The song had been out in Australia for a few years and was old news to most of us. But the reworked version that was just hitting the airwaves in the US was at number one on the charts and being obsessively played on the radio.
Gotye continued to stalk us as we made out way to New York but a great city deserves a great song……..
Empire State of Mind (Part II) – Alicia Keys
Having dreamed of visiting New York for a very long time, the first time I heard Alicia Keys’s Empire State of Mind I was in love. I was already a big fan of her music but with this song she cemented her place in my top five artists of all time.
In preparation for my trip to the “concert jungle where dreams are made of” I listened to this song obsessively for weeks before and was so psyched up that I was afraid the city would disappoint me. You will be glad to know that it most certainly didn’t disappoint, making me more obsessed with the city (and the song) than ever.
Now when I hear it I get goosebumps and remember walking the streets and feeling like I was on my very own movie set, looking up at the skyscrapers and down at the pavement walked by millions of New Yorkers and visiters everyday.
Dog Days – Florence and the Machine
I was a bit late to catch onto the Florence and the Machine craze that hit Australia a while back. Last year before my trip to Japan I was looking for some new artists to fill my iPhone as I was getting bored of the same old artists I’d been listening to for the past few years.
My sister has always been a fan of Florence and the Machine and I had heard a few of their songs through her and on the radio occasional over the years. So I downloaded all of their albums and once I got on the train in Japan began listening exclusively to them.
I love the soft but strong tone, Florence’s incredible voice and the powerful lyrics. I found this type of music perfectly suited to train travel because the beat of some of the songs remind me of the train travelling over the tracks. Have a listen, do you agree?
A Foggy Day (in London Town) – Michael Buble
If your a regular to this website you will know that I am a pretty big fan of Michael Buble. The Canadian crooner could sing the phone book and I’d probably still love it.
A Foggy Day was originally sung by Fred Astaire in the 1937 movie A Damsel in Distress and has been covered by over a dozen artists since, including Michael Buble.
I had heard the song a bunch of times before visiting London for the first time back in 2010 but it was while I was there that I started to become obsessed. Every time I hear it now I think of walking London’s streets on a misty day surrounded by grand architecture with black cabs and iconic red buses driving past.
Foreign Land – Eskimo Joe
Eskimo Joe’s Inshalla album came our while I was planning out first epic adventure to Europe back in 2010. I spent most of my train trips each day to and from work listening to this album with my head buried in my Lonely Planet Europe on a Shoestring guidebook.
So by the time we were ready to set off to Moscow and then across Europe to London I was hooked on the song Foreign Land. While the song contains elements of traditional Turkish folk music I associated it with Eastern Europe, particularly Prague, as the song has a distinctly bohemian sound.
When it starts playing now I can picture myself walking across Charles Bridge in the shadows of the many structures lining the bridge and looking up to Prague Castle and St Vitus Cathedral sitting high above the city.
Kiss from a Rose – Seal
This song is a big blast from the past. Picture me as a teenager on a family holiday I totally didn’t want to be on to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland and probably missing whatever boy I was crushing on at the time. I’m in the back of the car with my walkman (it was 1995!) playing Kiss From a Rose on repeat for two whole weeks driving my parents and sister nuts with my constant mopping about and uncooperative attitude.
I spent most of my teenage years wasting so much energy on hating the fact that I had to go on holiday with my family when really I should have been appreciating the amazing places that I was lucky enough to visit. Teenagers, right!
Slow Night, So Long – Kings of Leon
Our first big adventure after moving to London was two months in Central Europe. We spent hours on tour buses in Italy and France and travelled by train through the incredibly scenic countries of Switzerland, Germany and Austria.
My obsession at the time was Kings of Leon. I added their new release album Come Around Sundown to my iPod along with all of their others and set off across Europe. Memories of towering snow capped mountains, scenic train rides and relaxing on the beaches of the French Riviera all come flooding back whenever I hear any of the KOL songs now.
Good Feeling – Flo Rida
I only usually listen to R’n’B and dance music when I’m at a club and out with friends. Living in London, I spent a lot (maybe too much) time at clubs and pubs enjoying drinks with new friends from all across the world. You’d usually find me on the dance floor dancing and singing loudly by midnight most weekends.
One of the most popular songs of that time was Florida’s Good Feeling. It was always the song that got everyone up on the dance floor and really put us all in the party mood. I have so many fun memories connected to this song that when I hear it I feel like knocking back a few shots and having a dance.
Hello – Oasis
Just before we set off for two weeks road tripping around the coast of the top of New Zealand’s north island we loaded my iPhone with Triple M’s (Aussie radio station) top 1,000 rock songs countdown playlist. You see Mick loves heavy metal and hates Michael Buble (I think he’s really missing out!) so listening to this playlist was the best compromise we could come up with.
Think ACDC’s Highway to Hell, Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit and one of my favourites Oasis. We linked my phone through the bluetooth in our rental car and set off on one of the best trips we have had to the soundtrack of the best rock songs in the world. The only word I can possibly use to describe it is EPIC!
Over to you!
So there you have it, my nine songs that stir up the memories from travels past.
What songs do you listen to when you travel and do listening to them when your at home bring back happy memories for you too?
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