There are so many ingredients that ‘make’ a road trip, the country you are in, the roads you’re traveling, the people you are with and the sites you see. Many of these will be set in stone when you set off, or will come and go as you make your journey. Some you will have full control of and others you won’t (every group road trip has that one person).
Over long and bumpy roads, music is a vital ingredient to any road trip. Looking back, once we are home and settled in to the everyday, music has the power to transport us. To take us back to a time, an experience and an emotion, whether that’s in the middle of the South African outback or the Brazilian rain forest. I asked a few Travel Bloggers to share their musical memories of a road trip they have taken.
One of our best road trips was in Romania during fall time when trees and landscapes colours are so red, yellow and brown that you feel like you’re inside a Canadian postcard! We took an amazing road trip from Timisoara, the western Romanian city, to Bucharest, passing by Sibiu, Sighisoara, Brasov, Viscri and many more little cities and small villages. So just close your eyes and imagine a couple in a rented car in the middle of a colourful wood going from Dracula city to Bucharest and listening to Hotel California by The Eagles. Is there any better song or situation?
Our road trip was through Mexico and almost all the countries of Central America. We did the trip in a 25 year old toyota that we spent $3000 USD on and just prayed she’d hold up (she did! like a champ!) We wanted to travel the popular backpacking area on our own terms, by our own roads and see what different experiences we could have, not to mention to force a reset on a life that was going down a rough path. The trip was 5 months and we took almost a year to plan, 6 months of very serious planning.
The song that reminds me the most of this trip is Bailando by Enrique Iglesias (the Spanish version). The song was released while we were on the trip and seemed to be the anthem for anyone traveling the area at the time. The beat is a classic Latin beat that permeates every single bar, shop, house throughout the warm days – the bass echoes through every street, whether it be this specific song or not – it all sounds the same. But this song was on everyone’s lips and every time you hear it you would put your cerveza down to dance with friends you met just minutes before. It brought everyone together. I still don’t know the song in English.
My two best friends and I took a road trip throughout the American West. We traversed 4,500 miles in 10 days through 9 states, driving from Minnesota to California and back, and touched everything in between. We saw mountains for the first time, ate grilled mac & cheese sandwiches on the boardwalk on a San Diego evening, and were nearly killed in reservation country but stopped to stare at the stars anyway in that lightless night. Our trip was narrated by The Shouting Matches’ album “Grownass Man,” and the song I’ll Be True still makes me feel like I’m back behind the wheel of our car on the open road, my two best friends beside me, carefree and with the world ahead of me.
I Want It That Way by the Backstreet Boys reminds me of the time I was visiting my cousins who live in San Fran at the time and we decided to just take a couple days to visit LA. We didn’t take the Pacific Coast Highway but now that I know how pretty that route is, I definitely want to take that one next time! My cousins and I grew up with Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, Brittany Spears so we always like to listen to their old albums. We know almost all of the lyrics and they just bring back memories of us growing up. It’s also fun to roll down the window during traffic and see if anyone will sing with us. 😁
When I hear Fourfiveseconds by Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul Mccartney, I immediately come back to summer of 2015 in Italy. I remember I was lying near the sea reading a book about India when I heard this song. I started listening to it, to the words, to the meaning. And I thought, why? Why is “all of my kindness taken for weakness”? Why do we feel so trapped in our worlds? But of course, it is also a love song so I thought also about love and how I would never do some of the things they described the woman was did. Especially because nobody would want me, haha. But then I met this guy and I turned into EXACTLY this woman. It happened within few days and I just could not understand how it was possible. The only explanation for me was that this song cursed me and there was nothing I could do. I still kind of feel cursed 🙂