Some people prefer the peace and quiet of their own thoughts as they gaze out of a nondescript window on some form of overcrowded transportation. Others like to read, watch a movie or, if they are feeling particularly wild that day, maybe even strike up a conversation with the person next to them. I myself, love to listen to music. I am part of the generation that has taken ignoring one another on public transport to a whole new level of sensory deprivation. I am also British which makes this kind of behaviour miles worse; head down, eyes closed, headphones in, music on and no communication of any kind for risk of appearing crazy. I know many people, mainly my Grandma, who can’t stand this kind of thing and would much rather go back to a world in which we all talked to one another as we traveled about. However, I find that generally the people who want to talk to you on a train/bus/whatever, aren’t usually the kind of people you would necessarily want to talk to.
In my opinion not much can top the feeling of gazing out of a window, with the right song on, visualizing your thoughts and allowing them to wander. The right song of course is entirely subjective to personality as much as mood; just because one person chooses to live their life-like some indie wet dream, doesn’t mean that your gangsters paradise is all wrong. If Hollywood has taught us anything it is the power of a soundtrack. I’m sure we all wish that we had our own perfectly tailored musical accompaniment for our every move, instead of what usually happens: our least favourite (but awfully catchy) song playing on repeat all day. Whether you’re commuting or exploring, the changing of a song can bring up memories from the past or fill you with anticipation for what is to come. Your imagination is powerful, limitless and combined with music it becomes something beautiful.
I do not believe that I can provide you with a perfect playlist for wherever it is you are traveling. Whereas I may think I have the best music taste around, you dear reader, can be forgiven for being wrong and for disagreeing with that opinion. However, I can at least share my own insight into a topic thought long and hard about on 13 hour bus journeys across this beautiful country and (a shortened) subsequent playlist. My personal playlist never changed as I traveled about. Stuck with the 900 songs I had on my phone, some may have got annoying and deletable, while others remained constant fixtures. Many songs never left with me when I moved on to another city and hearing them will always bring that memory back. Emotive songs are good; especially the sad songs, no use in never listening to ”that” song again cause it won’t work, it’s best to face your demons. So to are the songs that don’t interrupt that train of thought.
When I think of traveling and more specifically my time in Canada; I think of Bon Iver and being tired but always happy. England and home with The Cure – ”Friday I’m In Love”. I think of mornings spent listening to Alt J’s cover of ”Lovely Day” and then the Bill Withers original. Of Wendy Rene’s – ”After Laughter” and a voice that defies description. Plane journeys of jittery nervous energy with The Who – ”Baba O’Reilly” and then nights in Toronto with Alvvays – ”Archie, Marry Me”. It is an endless stream of music that crosses genres and doesn’t respect boundaries; it was my personal playlist and soundtrack to my travels and I’m sure yours is a damn sight better.