I have kind of a soundtrack of my travels. It started accidentally. Before our first trip in 2001 Lady Marmalade was on the radio a lot. Because of the bit of French in it I latched onto it. I also Napsterred every version of Leaving on a Jet Plane because it was my first big flying trip. I listened to those songs over and over in the weeks before the trip and they became firmly embedded alongside memories of the trip itself.
Other tracks have come from music heard while there. When we went to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay we heard Darshan by B21 at the festival. Hearing that music while feeling the rhythmic bass as the snow swirled around us on a cold Scottish winter night is the cover of my mental scrapbook about that trip. Never can I hear that song without feeling myself deliciously shivering in Scotland again.
On an early morning train from Budapest to Bratislava last year we found ourselves the only diners in the breakfast car. Our burly waiter blasted some great fun Eurotrash music. We turned on our video camera to capture the song and I found it as soon as we returned home — Daddy Cool by Boney M. Whenever I want to be back on that train rolling towards Slovakia breakfasting on cheese and cappuccino I bring out Daddy Cool.
Before our trip to Italy this past March I overdosed on Tu Vuo’ Fa L’Americano. By this point I had recognized the role music played in my travel memories and I purposely chose a song to rev up the pre-trip excitement. Though I did it by artificial means I successfully implanted it.
I have found I don’t have to hear a song numerous times for it to land on the Dana’s Travels, the Album. A bit of Beautiful by James Blunt in a taxi in Rome, Dancing on the Ceiling while we drove out of Krakow, even The Time of My Life playing at a bar in Budapest all evoke a moment in a trip.
I’m leaving October 4 for the next trip, and found myself drawn to Green Day’s Wake Me Up When September Ends. I’m on the far side of the month right now counting the days until we leave, and I take a different meaning from the song than was the intent (obviously, I mean it’s a sad song). As the trip draws closer and my world of trip planning and preparations curls more closely around me I hear the song and think of the new adventures waiting for me when September ends.