The Soundtrack of Travel

The third day of the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project and I’m feeling chuffed that I’ve been able to complete two blog posts back to back, and on a school night no less! So when I left the office and pulled out my iPad, imagine my delight in seeing today’s prompt – music. Since this blog is relatively new and many of you don’t actually know me, you probably weren’t aware that I’m a reformed music junkie. Yep, that’s right. While I’ve always loved travel, music was my obsession. In college, if I wasn’t saving my hard-earned Body Shop paycheck for my backpacking trip, I was “on the Hill” in Boulder perusing the bins at Wax Trax records in search of rare b-sides and new indie gems.

As a writer, lyrics were my thing — songwriters putting their journals on display for public commiseration that ultimately allow these songs to become a part of the soundtrack to your life. To this day, there is something about buying a new album, listening to each track and finding that one song that gets stuck on repeat inside your head. It sets off that twinge and you know…someday, somewhere this song will have significant meaning in your life and be added to the soundtrack.

So here goes…

Day 3: Music

Music and travel memories often go hand in hand. A song can inspire our explorations, or take us back to a special place and time. Tell us about your travel playlist and what it means to you.

The best travel playlist I ever created centered around my backpacking trip to Europe. It was such a seminal trip in my life, I suppose it’s no surprise that I refer to it…a LOT. As previously explained, my musical obsession made it nearly impossible for me to decide what songs to select for the three cassette tapes that would be worn out during the course of my three-month adventure. If I do say so myself, the tapes were quite brilliant: some current faves (Radiohead, Pulp, Luna, Morcheeba), my trusty standby (the Beatles) and the truly eclectic (Music for TV Dinners, anyone?).

The songs gave me plenty to ponder as Zuri and careened through the European countryside by rail. Most notable, Radiohead’s OK Computer. It had just come out, and prior to leaving it had been on heavy rotation and two songs struck me as future soundtrackers: Karma Police and No Surprises.

Fast forward to the end of the trip, sitting in a pub in London; a pub I had frequented many moons ago when I lived in London for a summer. I was perusing my latest b-side finds when a friendly Irishman asked me about my selection. We struck up a conversation and ended up spending several days hanging out in London together. A wicked sense of humor, well-read and cute to boot – Sam was the perfect denouement. As our trip rapidly came to an end, we found ourselves across the table from one another, when we decided that we should stay in touch because, “hey, you never know where life will end up.” He took the notebook where I had accumulated addresses of fellow travelers along the way. He made me promise not to look until after we had said good-bye. How could I not oblige?

The next day, as Zuri and I boarded the plane, half-crushed knowing the trip was over and half-excited to return home, I opened the notebook. There was his distinct scrawl with his parents address in Cork. Aside from the smiley doodle in the corner, I couldn’t figure out why it was imperative that I wait to read this. Slightly deflated, but with one flicker of hope, I turned the page and there it was.

“For a minute there, I lost myself…”

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2 thoughts on “The Soundtrack of Travel

  1. Pingback: Lucky #7 « erin graves

  2. Pingback: You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go « erin graves

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