The power that music can have on your travel experiences

As I write this, I’m listening to some of the cheesiest pop you could imagine!

Although I’m currently on the road with my husband, I’ve done the solo travel thing and found companionship and comfort in my headphones at times when I’ve felt unsociable, insecure or unsure of my surroundings.

In the same way that some sights, sounds, smells and tastes can bring back vivid memories of your travels and adventures, what you listen to as you travel can enhance the experience and ensure you remember it for years to come.

For me, there was the time when I was inter-railing around Europe with a friend. We arrived, after a 4 week stint of staying in the cheapest hostels and camp grounds, at the apartment of a relative’s distant relative in Berlin.

Barely able to contain ourselves at the thought of a clean bathroom, a proper bed and some good old home comforts, our host opened the door with music blaring from the radio and led us into the apartment which was not quite as we expected…

Huge, bare rooms with a massive palm tree in one room and nothing else; no hot water unless she stoked the boiler with wood; and no bed just a mattress on the floor covered in a sheepskin rug. That plus the fact that she got up naked every morning, walked round the flat and did her stretches. The saving grace? She’d made us home-made soup and bread rolls.

And the music on the radio when we arrived? OMCs “How Bizarre” – so, so apt.

What are some of the favourite tunes you’ve traveled with that bring the memories flooding back?

By the way in case you’re interested, I’m actually listening to Nelly Furtado. Must find something more memorable to accompany my time in South Africa.

Posted by | Comments (3)  | January 31, 2008
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

3 Responses to “The power that music can have on your travel experiences”

  1. Frank Says:

    I have always found it important to have music with me. But now it is easily done with mp3 files. I’d recommend that all travelers carry around their favorite music on an mp3 enabled GSM cell phone with at least 1GB (ideally, 4GB) of extra memory available (via a microSD slot).

  2. j Says:

    I remember finally discovering the greatness of Van Morrison while traveling about Australia in 2006. I’ll always associate him with that beautiful country.

  3. Beth Whitman Says:

    I’ve gotten hooked on audio books while I’m traveling. Last year while in India, I listened to Holy Cow and thoroughly enjoyed it. On my most recent trip to India, last month, I listened to The Places in Between by Rory Stewart. I was traveling solo on this last trip and I was comforted in hearing Rory’s voice as I drifted off to sleep at night or lounged by the pool in Kerala.