By Lauren Basra 

Don’t we all wish we could have our musical number on our commute to work that reflects the mood and feeling we are in at that moment á la Joseph Gordon Levitt in 500 Days of Summer? Well, I certainly do!

But what would be even better than feeling like your worldview is set to music on your daily commute than enhancing your enjoyment of new places via the comfort of your favourite tunes?

Music Is Memory

Travelling with a great playlist can make those unique places even more memorable. It lets those once-in-a-lifetime experiences return to you at the push of a button.

Many of my favourite holiday memories come back to me when listening to the specific album I was obsessed with at the time. Even a walk through a sun-drenched street can be invoked in the middle of a grey British morning as the notes of Ai Se Eu Te Pego by Michel Telo fill my ear, thanks to a family holiday spent on the Costa Del Sol where this song was blasted by the hotel bar speakers. 

At 17, I was seduced by the strong beat and the joy of those around me who seemed to become raucous at the outset of this song, asking for it multiple times before I even knew the lyrics. 

This song pushes right back to when I was there, and even now, I feel like I am right back at that beachside resort pool bar when that song starts. My mum and sister smile and stumble over the Brazilian lyrics when they hear it too! 

The Power Of Music And Emotion 

Music and memory are thought of in the same breath within the scientific community. Researchers at Alzheimer’s UK and Harvard are exploring how music can activate areas of the brain that aid in memory. 

The research shows that some songs pull you back to a place and time in your life: whether that is on holiday with family or even your first dance at your wedding. Music is tied to emotional and even physical memory

I know personally that the power of music can bring a person to life and make them happy no matter where they are in the world. My grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s, but her passion in life was music. She adored it. And when she no longer knew who or where she was, when she heard the beautiful strains of Tchaikovsky, she was transported to a happier time in her life. And now, when I hear that music, I think of car rides with her on school holidays, and I can feel her with me. 

Since music can evoke strong and lasting emotions within us, it stands to reason that your travelling will be made even more spectacular and impactful if you curate a playlist that makes your heart sing. 

Meeting Through Music

One surefire way to meet people whilst travelling is to go to a place with music and dancing. As a species, humans love to dance and enjoy some great tunes. I mean, everyone likes something! Be it straightforward sugary pop or Ethiopian Jazz like my sister’s boyfriend, there is truly something for everyone (By the way, I recommend Ethio-jazz, it will surprise you)! 

Music is also a great way to signal that you are open to meeting people even if you do not speak a word of the local language. Sharing a line from your favourite song along with a smile can break the ice when making travel buddies.

A bar with local music can also enhance the authenticity of your travels. You can return to your dry everyday routine and inject a splash of the exotic and upbeat when you play your newly found Chilean band on a random Tuesday when you are given control of the Bluetooth stereo in the carpool.

And, of course, you can brag about this newly discovered musical jewel and casually show how worldly and cultured you are, making your colleagues and friends positively green with envy.

Calming And Invigorating 

Music is so valuable when travelling on long journeys, on a plane, train or even by bus. An arduous trip can feel more peaceful and enhanced by your favourite songs, even making a traffic jam seem romantic. And if you are an anxious flyer like me, then a calming playlist of soothing songs can make that long trip in the air seem less terrifying. 

Music makes experiencing the world more fun and allows you to make even the to and from—the mundane of getting from A to B—a part of your epic travel experience.
So what are you waiting for? Download Spotify, Apple Music or Youtube Music right now and make that perfect travel playlist. The one that would be set to your travel montage section in the movie of your life!