Best Travel Music

So I’ve been thinking about doing a post about this for a while. Music is something very important to pretty much everyone on the planet, and given that I spend a lot of hours alone on buses, my iPod has been one of my best friends this entire trip.

Before coming out here I uploaded a fair few songs which I thought would be uplifting to a solo traveler. A lot of them are classics, but I’ve thrown some of my random favourites in – I should add the disclaimer that I have what I would call a very “unique” taste in music.

On the Road Again, Willie Nelson

I’ve Been Everywhere, Johnny Cash

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), The Proclaimers – I absolutely love this song, not least because it reminds me of How I Met your Mother when it gets stuck in their car record player. So very uplifting!

Forever Young, Alphaville – I get unreasonably emotional when I listen to this; it reminds me how the present is fleeting and something I have to appreciate now in all its entirety, whether good or bad.

The Cave, Mumford and Sons – quite a recent song and not particularly related to travelling, but it reminds me of the philosophical problem of Plato’s about – when prisoners inside a cave think that shadows they see on the cave wall are real and only when they are released are they able to understand that reality is far more complex beyond the cave. Dare I employ a parallel between coming out of a cave and leaving one’s country to experience the many different realities which are lived by people all over the world?

Don’t Look Back in Anger, Oasis – I had to include it; I am one to ruminate and forever regret my past choices. Travelling is a very personal time where you are able to put at least some things in your mind into perspective. This song reminds me that I needed treat my past self with anger – it can’t be changed and maybe it really was the best decision for myself at the time.

Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Greenday – I cannot explain how important I feel it is for one to understand themselves and be connected with themselves before they can connect truly with other people. A quote from The Picture of Dorian Gray which I have been reading whilst travelling explains this beautifully – ‘ This song is great for reminding me that it is ok to be alone, that it isn’t strange that I’m halfway across the world without friends or a boyfriend and that understanding oneself is something hugely important.

Leaving on a Jet Plane, John Denver

Sweet Disposition, The Temper Trap – I will always associate this with wide spanning movie shots of a sunny open road, I don’t know why.

Fast Car, Tracy Chapman – A classic, I remember listening to this trying to get to sleep in my dorm room in the first year of university. It always reminds me what it’s all about.

I Miss You, Blink-182 – just reminds me of my friends and how much I miss them sometimes – and how that is good because it means they mean a lot to me.

Pure Shores, All Saints – This song will forever remind me of The Beach, how much I love Leonardo DiCaprio and how much I want to go to Thailand.

How Far I’ll Go, Auli’i Cravalho – another cheesy one from the recent movie Moana, but this song has a depth to it about following your heart even if everyone around you is telling you not to.

A Horse with No Name, America – Just reminds me of GTA

The Day we Caught the Train, Ocean Colour Scheme

Livin’ on a Prayer, Bon Jovi

Dog Days are Over, Florence and the Machine

When You Were Young, The Killers

Mr Brightside, The Killers – one of my favourite songs of all time

Every Breath You Take, The Police

Creep, Radiohead – cannot explain how much I empathise with this song!

Youth, The Naked and Famous – A bit random, but I find this song always puts me in a good mood.

Closer, The Chainsmokers – I got addicted to this song travelling through Croatia last October, it always reminds me of travelling ever since.

Get Lucky, Daft Punk – Likewise, this song was all the rage back in mainland Europe 2013 when I was interrailing with school friends. It has reminded me of that time in my life ever since.

Hurt, Johnny Cash – Again not particularly applicable to travelling, but I truly identify with this song and feel it has been so important for me to listen to out here on my own for my personal growth

The Zephyr Song, Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Just because sometimes I really wish I had a zephyr to carry me away

Demons, Imagine Dragons – Again, not really about travelling, but I identify so much

Bailando, Enrique Iglesias – reminds me of a summer I spent in Spain between my first and second year of uni and is always guaranteed to get me in a party mood, even if that means getting up the courage to go to a bar on my own…

Wuthering Heights, Kate Bush – I adore Kate Bush, make of that what you will…..

Cake by the Ocean, DNCE – reminds me of one of my best friends from uni, and of being by the ocean

Life Itself and Youth, Glass Animals – always upbeat and these songs never fail to cheer me up

Have Love, Will Travel, The Sonics

Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey

Big Jet Plane, Angus and Julia Stone

Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Cyndi Lauper

I’d better stop now, I could go on forever. The take home message is that music can be very personal to a traveler, especially when you are on our own and it is the only one who can keep you company on a cramped shuttle bus from Lago de Atitlan to Flores. One can find meaning in songs far deeper than they ever supposed and this in itself can be rewarding and very fulfilling.

Oh but wait, just one more thing! In case anyone is interested in getting a taste of the music in Central America, please give the following a listen – they play on repeat ALL the time, EVERYWHERE you go…

Despacito, Luis Fanis & Daddi Yankee feat. Justin Bieber

Adios Amor,  Christian Nodal

Reggaeton Lento, CNCO

Dile tu me Quieres, Ozuna

El Amante, Nicky Jam

And now I really must stop, because alas, the Cancun nightlife is calling me.



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E.Q. Lever is the pseudonym of a hopeful young writer living in London, England.

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