Music that will make you want to travel

January 25, 2017



Music has a lot of power over us, it can make us cry like a baby, or make us feel deliriously happy. Music can conjure up memories, motivate us and provide inspiration. Throughout all of my travels and mostly any journey I will listen to music. There is a clear link that listening to a certain song can make you think of a certain time in your life. I like to make a connection between a song and a destination so that when I return, I can listen to that song and think about that journey. 


I would consider my music collection to be eclectic and definitely an acquired taste. I wouldn't consider myself an up-to-date listener of music, I don't follow the charts and when it comes to going out into nightclubs, if the music isn't old, cheesy or throwback then I pretty much don't have a clue.


The more I travel, the more my spotify playlists grow, travel and music for me goes hand in hand and I couldn't imagine a bus, train or plane journey without it. 


Below you'll find some songs that inspire me to travel (not that I need encouragement) and some that instantly make me want to be elsewhere in the world. 


If you're interested, I've compiled a spotify playlist dedicated to just travel music.   



 1. The Undercover Hippy 


This song name in particular is pretty self explanatory of where I'd like to be... However, I feel that quite a lot of The Undercover Hippy's music is very influential and gets your travel mojo up. If you listen to his lyrics you'll soon see why. His song writing is relevant and is the sort of music that makes you think about world wide issues such as corruption, war, and our materialistic world. 

The Undercover Hippie - "Coming to the Gambia"



2. Fleetwood Mac


I was brought up listening to Fleetwood Mac and in my eyes they are timeless. I cannot decide 100% on what my favourite album would be, but "Rumours" would be a strong contender. I don't have an all time favourite Fleetwood Mac song either, I have a collection which I really love. However, the song "Tusk" makes me think of Canada. Whilst on the road, I get repeating this song over and over again and I can't help but think of Canada every time I hear it. 

 Fleetwood Mac - "Tusk" 



3. Paolo Nutini


I am a huge Paolo fan, and have enjoyed listening to his three albums. My utmost favourite album has to be his second one "Sunny Side Up", which has the song "Candy". I'll admit this song doesn't have any reference to travel in the lyrics. Yet when listening to it it makes me think of a road trip, on a sunny day somewhere.. perhaps this has something to do with the video. This song is an uplifting one if you're hitting your 5th hour on a bus and need a boost. 


Paolo Nutini- "Candy" 



4. M.I.A 


This is about one particular song "Paper Planes", this song just makes me feel like I should be in a faraway place in Asia. I came across this song after watching "Slumdog Millionaire" The song makes me want to really travel to India and explore that part of the world. Films that have a travel theme have a strong influence on me and they can be picked up on in my playlist. 

I was really into the music from "The Last King of Scotland" for a while, and also "Forrest Gump" when he was in Vietnam. Before I went to Vietnam, I think I purposefully searched for the movie soundtracks. 



 M.I.A. - "Paper Planes"


5. Paul Simon


Again I was brought up listening to Paul Simon and still to this day love his music. I have a fondness for his album "Graceland" because he collaborated with South African Ladysmith Black Mambazo and other African musicians. Therefore this album, to me is very inspiring and makes me think of travelling through Africa and has led me onto listening to other styles of African music. I've added two songs from Paul Simon, one from "Graceland" and the other from the album "Paul Simon". 


 "Mother and Child Reunion" - Paul Simon. 


 "Diamonds On the Soles of Her Shoes" - Paul Simon. 



6. Baaba Maal


Continuing on with African style music, the song "Traveller" by Senegalese artist Baaba Maal is an upbeat, fast paced tune and is a song that would be great to listen somewhere sunny and bright, the rest of his album which is also called "Traveller" is varied and has elements of electronic music into some of the songs. 

 "Traveller" - Baaba Maal. 


7. Buffalo Springfield 


As previously mentioned, before I set out to travel in Vietnam I searched for the song tracks from "Forrest Gump" and came across "For What it's Worth".  When I finally got to Vietnam I was staying in a rural area in the north and a party was ensuing, whilst the loud speaker was playing music this song came on and that's when the rain started. It was an appallingly hot humid day and the rain was welcome. Since then, this song reminds me of essentially "singing in the rain"  and was one of those travel experiences that you don't forget and it will always remind me of that wonderful country. 


 "For What it's Worth" - Buffalo Springfield 


8. The Verve


This British band had a few great songs with the classics such as "Bittersweet Sympthony" and "Lucky Man", the one that gives me the travel feels is "Love is Noise". This song reminds me of first moving out and living in the big city. This song to me is my motivational "get your act together" song and when I am travelling it just generally makes me feel good. 

 "Love is Noise" - The Verve. 


9. Toploader


I have to be honest, this song is the only piece of music from "Toploader" that I know and that is "Dancing in the Moonlight". Through my teens I overplayed this song and friends of mine would agree to that. However, it is a cheery song and I remember once hearing this in a bar abroad and  it instantly transported me back to being a teenager in high school again. This song is essentially a party outside classic and is great if you're in a warm country dancing in the moonlight. .... too much? ;) 


 "Dancing in the moonlight" - Toploader.



10. Utangarosmenn


This Icelandic band were discovered whilst watching the Icelandic comedy show "The Night Shift" and although I can't understand a word, or let alone attempt to say the name of this song it is a piece of music that makes me want to go back to Iceland. I've travelled solo a reasonable amount, however for my current partner and I, Iceland was our first vacation. Therefore, I have a soft spot for Iceland and Icelandic music. Before our trip, we (I mostly) obsessively researched all things Icelandic and this band was one of those discoveries. 


 "Utangarosmenn"  - Kyrrlatt Kvold 




Wow, thanks for making it to the end of this article and I did warn you that my music taste was eclectic. I've compiled a playlist for when you're travelling, in the mood to travel or what inspiration. Search for it on spotify below. "A travel addict's playlist


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