For me, music is an integral part of my life. It helps me move through workouts, it helps recharge my creativity, it gets me through tough times, and most of all helps me a set a mood for my day. I have a very close relationship with music, and wanted to share with you the songs that keep me going before, during, and after travel, in the hope they may inspire you to get out there and explore.
Gypsy- Fleetwood Mac
Reader, this is such a good song. If I had a theme song, this would be it. This one helps get my creative juices flowing, and is the first song I turn on when I am sitting down to write about travel…EVERY. DAMN. TIME. I live my life like a gypsy, and I let the wind take me where it wants. Turn this one on when you have a mental block, and see where it takes you.
Cecelia and the Satellite- Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness
I can guarantee with great certainty that when it is my turn to board the plane, that this song is turned up on blast in my headphones. Its upbeat tone gives me so much hope for my trip, and gets me excited to explore. Not to mention, it mentions café crawling through Amsterdam, so how could I not love it?
I Lived- OneRepublic
This song encapsulates everything that is important to me about travel. Travel is about getting out there, seeing shit nobody else has the balls to see, tasting life the way you want to and in a way that bucks all tradition. Do I own a house? Nope. Do I have kids? Nope. Am I living a life I am proud of, and from which I am squeezing every ounce of experience with zero regrets? You better flippin’ believe it.
Put a Light On- Generationals
This song is just so fun to listen to, and pulls me out of the funk of waiting in a security line.
I seriously love this song. I do not speak Spanish, but still opt for the Spanish version. This song immediately transports me to the beach and makes me wish I had a margarita in hand, so you better believe I am listening to this when I touch down in a beach town. Listen to this one and try not to dance, or at least shimmy a little bit…I challenge you.
San Francisco- The Mowgli’s
San Fran is my home base, and I am always happy to see it when I’m landing from a trip. That Golden Gate Bridge, those overstuffed Mission-style burritos, the insistence on recycling everything and leaving no waste makes this city an amazing place to rest my head, and this song always reminds me how great home can be.
California- Phantom Planet
Call me nostalgic. Call me corny. Call me lame. I really don’t care. However, you WILL hear this blaring out of my car windows as I drive down the California coast to my next day hike that will inevitably end at the beach. Wearing my aviators while doing so is never optional.
Laura Non C’e- NEK
This one has sentimental value for me. When I was studying Italian, our professor introduced us to Italian music to get us more excited about the language, to practice pronunciation, and to work on our listening skills. My friend and I quickly became obsessed with this song, and would sing it to each other all the time (yep, we were those girls). We still find ourselves texting lyrics to each other to this day, and it reminds me of how much fun she and I had studying together a Roma.
Carry On Wayward Son- Kansas
I cannot think of a more quintessential road trip song than this one. I am always able to sing every part, play air drums, and still find my way down the highway when this comes on my radio. Oh wait, there is one other song that has this same effect on me as well…
Bohemian Rhapsody- Queen
Do I really need to explain this one? I think this song is one of the most widely loved songs out there, and is essential to any car/hotel jam session. I’m actually singing it as I type at this very moment.
A Sky Full of Stars- Coldplay
At the risk of sounding a little clichéd, this song seriously gives me so much hope. It is so positive, and gets me excited for my day. This is a great one to listen to right after you leave security (yes, I time songs for my journey through an airport…I know it makes me weird). One lyric says “I don’t care, go on and tear me apart, and I don’t care, if you do” which is completely how I feel about travel. Some people see my excursions as a diversion from starting my “real life”, but I say, this is real life for me, and I love it.
Shake It Out- Florence and the Machine
This one is so inspiring to me, and gives me permission to love my life. It taught me how to shake off whatever stupid social norms are placed on me, and go out and do me. That’s all we can do in this life.
Cleopatra- The Lumineers
I have always envisioned making a really cool GoPro video with this song set as the background. I love it, it always puts me in such a good mood, and fuels long layover jam sessions in my head.
It’s Time- Imagine Dragons
“Now don’t you understand, I’m never changing who I am”. This one gets me through those tough times when people give me that sad look when I tell them I am a travel blogger. I am on an awesome path, and I will never look back.
Disparate Youth- Santigold
This song is the ultimate travel sound to have in your headphones when you are on vacation. It talks about how people may underestimate us, but we know we want “…a life worth fighting for…”. Travel does just that, creates this amazingly colorful life that I would fight for any day. This song always gets me pumped to hop on a plane and explore.
These are 15 songs that get me pumped for travel, and instantly put me in a good mood on any trip. I hope you love them as much as I do, and that I was able to put together a pretty kickass travel soundtrack for your next adventure. I’ll know who has read this post, because I will notice that wanderlust look in your eye as you bop your head to the sound coming out of your earbuds at baggage claim. And I’ll be right there with you.