A song that played constantly through a trip to Europe still unleashes a flood of memories. I spent a fortnight eating lavish pizzas in hole-in-the-wall diners in Venice, traveling by train through the breath-taking Bavarian countryside and walking along the Champs Elysee. And Green Day was my constant companion. 21st-century breakdown was a song I liked, grew to hate and then learners to love, because listening to it now brings back inescapable memories from the European holiday. I can just put it on and be transported to our hotel room in Paris, feasting on a box of Macarons and planning how to spend the next couple of days.
Music and travel go together like sun-kissed beaches and Pina Coladas; like fish chips; like warm jackets and hot chocolate- and you probably get the picture. Basically, travel is incomplete without music. Music, in all its forms, is an essential part of the travel experience, whether it be coming from the local radio, burnt CDs or even background music in an elevator.
As a solo traveller, music can be as important to you as a good read or even a new found friend. Music litters travel moments with wonder, as the Backstreet Boys did for me as the makers of the backing track to hours of gushing ravines and peeping castles on a train from Munich to Slovenia. Music can often feel like it’s everywhere, playing hundreds of times on the same radio station, or MTV or even in your hotel lobby, but listening to that particular beat years later triggers a flow of memories you cherish. When you may come across a mundane moment during your travels, which may sound rare but isn’t, music can give you the energy to persevere, to explore and to take on the unexpected.
Listening to a particular song, for me, is often more evocative than going through the gallery of my phone or flipping through a dusty photo album. A picture may say a thousand words, but the right song triggers a million feelings. Hearing a particular song takes me back to a certain time and place.
When I hear Alan Walker’s faded, I get immediately transported to a roadside restaurant in Bangkok. It’s powerful enough that I can almost smell the scent of a bowl of pho and the mint in a mojito. One of the most deceitful moments of my trip last year was when I got stuck on a six-hour bus to Kumarakom with seven percent battery on my iPod and no charger in my bag.
I have found that music and travel are the two things which people find utterly irresistible, and I am no exception.
This article is written by Aarushi Bhardwaj.