One of the most essential things you can bring with you on an epic adventure of self-discovery? Music.
When I was living abroad, I made a playlist of all the music that reminded me of Ireland. From U2 and Kodaline to Dropkick Murphys and even Omi, each song held a particular significance for me. What’s better? Now, when I listen to these same songs, I’m transported back to a land I love dearly, to a time when I felt fearless and adventurous, and to some of the most crazy and inspiring moments of my life.
Music holds extreme power, and its link with long-term memory is tremendously strong.
Scientifically speaking, when we listen to music, we activate three very large parts of our brain: the auditory, motor and limbic regions. The motor areas process the rhythm, the auditory areas process the sound, while the limbic areas associate with our emotions. When listening to a familiar song, these three regions work together and our brain recalls the thoughts, feelings and experiences we had while listening to this tune. This is why some songs will forever be associated with specific moments, like your first love, graduating college or going on a road trip with your best friend. Memories are involuntarily stored inside of music.
When you pair songs to these moments in your life, you are essentially creating a soundtrack for the mental movie that plays in your head. Your brain kicks into action and starts to call back the people, places and images associated with these moments, allowing you to remember more of the experience.
So, when you’re about to jet off to exciting new parts of the world, it is beneficial to plan ahead and prepare a playlist of music that will help authenticate your journey. When traveling, I find it helps to pair music styles to the places you are visiting: Irish music when traveling to Ireland, French music when traveling to France – this allows the experience to be pinned-point more easily upon recall. But when all is said and done, anything will do.
To help get you started, here is a list of the best songs to travel the world to. Whether you’re in Italy, Greece or Canada, these songs will invoke a deep desire to chase your dreams, explore the unknown and, above all, seek adventure.
- Zac Brown Band – Tomorrow Never Comes
- Coldplay feat, Beyonce – Hymn for the Weekend
- Imagine Dragons – Trouble
- American Authors – Best Day of My Life
- Wintersleep – Weighty Ghost
- Kodaline – Coming Alive
- The Black Keys – Gotta Get Away
- Shakira – Gypsy
- Rascal Flatts – Life is a Highway
- Mumford & Sons – Hopeless Wanderer
- George Ezra – Budapest
- Avicii – The Nights
- Capital Cities – Safe and Sound
- Take That – These Days
- Journey – Don’t Stop Believing
- Zac Brown Band – Jump Right In
- Imagine Dragons – On Top of the World
- Coldplay – Paradise
- Andy Grammar – Red Eye
- One Republic – Counting Stars
- Avicii Feat. Aloe Blacc – Wake Me Up
- U2 – Where the Streets Have No Name
- Kodaline – Ready
- Flogging Molly – The Wanderlust
- The Script – Hail, Rain or Sunshine
- Asaf Avidan – One Day
- Paper Lions – Travelling
- We Are Augustines – Headlong Into the Abyss
- Death Cab for Cutie – You Are a Tourist
- Take That – If You Want It
- Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams
- U2 – Beautiful Day
- Kodaline – Brand New Day
- Shakira – Waka Waka
- Zac Brown Band – Quiet Your Mind
- Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird
- Imagine Dragons – I Bet My Life