Sound of travel

Music, the great mood setter. For every moment there is a song that matches or enhances it. Not much in my world is constant these days, but playing music absolutely is. Whether walking the streets, writing a blog post or cooking dinner, I've always got music serenading me.

I love how music can put you in the right mindset almost instantly. Bouncy beats for a walk around town, mellow jazz as you watch sunset from a balcony or upbeat jams for that 5km run around town.

I'm working on a few more music related posts (coming soon), but today I wanted to share a playlist that makes me feel the same way my adventures do.


If someone were to ask me what my travels sounds like, this is what I’d give them. When I close my eyes and think about this adventure, this is the soundtrack playing in my head. I've titled this playlist "resonate" because each of these 17 tracks meet the definition.

res·o·nate, verb • produce or be filled with a deep, full, reverberating sound • evoke or suggest images, memories, and emotions
New Oxford American Dictionary
the sound of travel

Here's a little insight on why each of these songs resonates with my adventures so much.

Road of the Gypsy - Adrenalin

I sometimes feel like a gypsy out here on the road. A song about overcoming the struggles of a life on the road. From the soundtrack to one of my childhood favorite movies, Iron Eagle. The soundtrack was one of three cassettes I had on my first European vacation, with my family in the late 80s.

Like an eagle, I fly With this dream rushin' through my head On the streets that I ride With a feelin' of pride And a life I will never regret (The road of the gypsy)

Alive Again - Trey Anastasio

Because in some ways it’s exactly how I feel right now. It connects me to my Phish tour days ... another time when I felt most alive.

Quietly you say to me The time has come for you to be alive again

Montana - Tycho

Something about this track … I don’t know how to describe it, but if travel had an essence, this is the sound it would make. It sounds like perpetual movement, of hot days in the sun and cool evening sunsets.

Balancê - Sara Tavares

Many of the tracks on this playlist are songs I’ve used when making compilation videos from old travels, and I used this song for my Açores video. I love the way the song swings along, relaxing and soothing you as it goes. It gives you permission to be a child again, much like travel.

We are free to celebrate We are free to set ourselves free like children playing children smiling Children being children... ah!

Kashmir - Led Zeppelin

Ahh, all the mysticism of far off lands rolled sublimely into a single track. I’ve loved this song since I was a kid, and it still gives me the wanderlust for mysterious places not yet discovered.

Talk and song from tongues of lilting grace Whose sounds caress my ear But not a word I heard could I relate The story was quite clear

Gobbledigook - Sigur Rós

No band so perfectly and completely personifies their homeland quite like Sigur Rós. Iceland, the land of fire and ice, is my forever travel love. I imagine cold, Atlantic waves crashing on volcanic, black rock, and fresh Icelandic air on my skin, when I hear this song.

Love like a Sunset, pt.1 & pt. 2 - Phoenix

I’m finding that sunsets are something that are connecting all my travels together. Seeing a sunset in Montenegro, reminds me of a sunset in Barcelona, which sends me back to a sunset in Scotland.

Sunsets have a breathtaking way of showing us how vast this planet is, and how small we are. I like to imagine all the other people watching at the same time all over the planet.

Acres A visible horizon Right where it starts and ends Oh, when did we start the end? Acres A visible illusion Oh, where it starts, it ends Love like a sunset

Awake - Tycho

I could easily add this entire album to the playlist, such is the resonance to travel it gives me. The album is a go-to, must-have during any transit situation, whether by plane, train, ferry or bus.

Once in my Life - The Decemberists

I’ve been in love with this band since I first heard them. Two of their albums would definitely be in my “deserted island” collection. I love the way Colin Meloy makes you want to sing along with him on every one of their songs.

However, this track is a nod, not to my travels, but to darker days when I was so low. When I could feel my depression closing in around me, threatening my very existence. When I never thought the life I have now would be possible. When all I wanted was for something to go right.

Perspective is important in every situation. Perspective to hope for a better future during the low tide. And perspective to appreciate that low while riding high on the crest of a wave. I wouldn't be where I am today without having been where I was yesterday.

La Isla Bonita - Madonna

Another childhood favorite! I loved Madonna as a kid and True Blue was one of my favorite albums forever (still is). And this track always gave me such wanderlust. It just sounds like "island life."

I want to be where the sun warms the sky When it's time for siesta, you can watch them go by

Meridian Getaway - Satin Jackets

One more track from a travel compilation video, this time from my trip to Bali in 2019. The mellow, yet incessant forward progress of the track gives me the vibe of a day spent in transit. Go, go, go … ok, now wait … now go, go, go again.

The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy) - Simon & Garfunkel

I always get this giddy feeling walking around a new city for the first time. Happens every time, without fail ... at some point, I literally stop and look around, and say “holy shit, I’m in {insert location} right now, who would have thunk it.” Brings a smile to my face, and gives me goosebumps, every time.

Slow down, you move too fast You got to make the morning last Just kicking down the cobblestones Looking for fun and feeling groovy

Skeletons - Travis Scott

You might find this one an odd addition to this playlist, and it sort of is. There’s no real travel theme to it, but no other song on this list transports me to a time and place quite like this one. Eli played this album while we floated through the canals of Copenhagen, on our first international father/son trip in 2018.

The easy going beat by Tame Impala and sparse vocals from Frank Ocean captures our vibe there. That trip remains one of my all-time favorite adventures.

Midnight Sky - Miley Cyrus

I'm pretty sure Miley might be my spirit animal, lol. This one is not travel related either, but it dropped right around the time I committed to choosing this adventure, so its forever connected to me. I listened to it everyday as I walked in the park by my apartment, imagining all the places I'd soon go. It helped me push through those last 365 days of my previous chapter in life.

Brazilian Soul - The Knocks

Ah Brazil, you have my heart. This song brings me back to the time I snuck off to São Paulo in the depths of a cold Minnesota winter. It reminds me of how alive I felt ... so full of life, I could burst.

It's the sound of travels imagined and not yet realized.

My tambourine in the rhythm of samba In the heat of December Oh, Brazil is where I'll go I think I've got a case of Brazilian soul I'll always remember Oh, in the heat of December When we let our hearts grow close

Inní mér syngur vitleysingur - Sigur Rós

The relentless, upbeat happiness and joy this song transmits always makes me want to get up and dance. It also has an epic sonic climax and I love it as the closing track on this playlist.

Have a listen, I hope you enjoy. I'm probably sitting on a beach somewhere, sipping an Aperol Spritz, listening to the same playlist ... actually that's totally not true, I'm completely sweating my ass off in 98º heat in the capital of Montenegro ... not everyday is glamorous!