I have always been a huge music buff. I may not be musically inclined, but in high school I was very often referred to as ‘the girl with the headphones on’. I’ve been to over 100 concerts in my life. Music festivals are one of my favourite places to be. I just feel as though music really has this way of speaking to me. It comforts me when I am sad. Pumps me up for a night out. And I noticed this more than ever on my drive across Canada a few weeks ago. When you are driving alone, your music choice is especially important, as these musicians become your company. They sing to you and only you. And I noticed that I played a few songs numerous times throughout my drive, because their lyrics spoke to my traveling soul in a way that seemed so much more apparent as I was in the midst of my solo travels.
The first is the most important lyric to my life and the way I choose to live.
You are a Tourist by Death Cab for Cutie
And if you feel just like a tourist
In the city you were born
Then it’s time to go
And define your destination,
There’s so many different places to call home.
On my drive to Whitehorse, I listened to this song first thing every morning when I got into my car. These lyrics are exactly how I feel. There are so many places to call home. I have already made ‘homes’ in two other countries (Australia and Thailand), another part of my own country (Yukon), and soon to be another country again (Marshall Islands). Sometimes you just need to go and live somewhere else for awhile, and that’s okay. It isn’t written anywhere that you can’t have more than one home. Home isn’t where you were born. It isn’t where you grew up. Home is where you choose to make your life. And it never has to be permanent. You can constantly define a new destination, so long as you are willing.
The second one is super cheese, but I can’t help loving these lyrics.
Cups by Anna Kendrick
I’ve got my ticket for the long way ’round.
The one with the prettiest of views.
It’s got mountains, it’s got rivers.
It’s got sights to give you shivers.
But it sure would be prettier with you.
On my drive down the Sea to Sky Highway in British Columbia, Canada, I couldn’t help listening to this song over and over. Even someone who thrives on solo travel, I can’t help but relate. There are moments in my travels, where no matter how okay I am with being in these beautiful places by myself, I find myself thinking of certain others who would enjoy this mountain/river/beautiful scenery and how the trip could be slightly improved with their presence. That’s life. Doesn’t make the views less enjoyable, just flickering, passing moments of thoughts of another being that would make it even slightly more enjoyable.
This one is little more depressing, but still speaks to my wandering soul.
The Passenger by Stars
Here comes another strange town.
Here comes another breakdown.
And you can run forever.
They’ll catch you now or never.
Not all my solo travels have been out of completely positive motivations. When I moved to the Yukon, I felt I was running away. And sometimes, you can be running away from something bad and it ends up taking you towards something better than you ever imagined. But the journey to get there isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. I remember waking up in Dryden, Ontario, on my third day of my drive from Toronto to Whitehorse, thinking to myself, how long can I run away? Will everything catch up to me? How many towns will I make it to before my car breaks down? Before I break down? My drive back from Whitehorse to Toronto was much less dramatic and depressing, by the way.
The lyrics to the bars of music I have tattooed on my side.
All at Once by Jack Johnson
There’s a world we’ve never seen.
There’s still hope between the dreams.
I remember the first time I heard these lyrics, I knew it wasn’t meant to really be about travel per se, but to me the lyrics spoke of traveling. There is always more places to explore out there in the world. Adventures are limitless if you have the audacity to just go find them. It’s nice to dream, but what good is dreaming without the willingness to make those dreams a reality? Jack says he wants to take the ‘preconceived out from underneath your feet‘, and that’s kind of how I feel about moving to new places. It makes you take every thing you thought you knew about what’s ‘normal’ and flips it on its head. I love that no matter how much you read, research, and look at pictures, about the place you are going, when you get somewhere, it’s a whole other story. You can never fully prepare yourself for ‘culture shock’ and I thrive on that. I love learning to adapt to a new place. Figuring out how things are done in my new home and live life accordingly. Jack is a wise man.
I had never heard this song before, but my roommate put it on a USB for my road trip and I am sure glad she did.
Back Home by Andy Grammer
And no matter where we go
We always find our way back home.
Nothing could be more true. I have moved across oceans, across the country, but I always find my way back home. Because home is truly where your family and friends are. And though I love moving, I love travel, I don’t know if I could ever truly leave for good. I will always find my way back home. Even if it’s for a short time, like right now I am back home for a month before I take off again. Or if it’s a couple years, like it was between Australia and Thailand, or Thailand and Yukon. I always find my way back to Toronto.
Last but not least, a new favourite of mine, recently sent to me by my best friend.
Little Wanderer by Death Cab for Cutie
Always fall asleep when you’re waking
I count the hours on my hands
Doing the math to the time zone you’re at
Is an unseen part of the plan.
So even though my best friend sent me this song, one of my first thoughts while hearing this song is this was how I felt about my ex-boyfriend, before we broke up. He never got time zones right. When I lived in Thailand for four months of our relationship, he could never remember what time it was for me (even though for most of that time it was fairly simple, 12 hours, just change am to pm). A lot of the song still reminds me of our relationship, as I had always had plans to move around the world with or without him.
But someone’s gotta be the lighthouse
And that someone’s gotta be me.
Like I said, my best friend sent this to me. And she said she will always be my lighthouse. This made me tear up like a baby. As I prepare to take off for my fourth time leaving home for far off destinations, I feel lucky to have friends like her. Friends who you know will always be there for you no matter how far you go. Every time you come back, whether gone for 6 months, a year or two years. They are still your best friends, and she guides me back and reminds me that no matter how many ‘homes’ I have, my home is really where my family and friends are.
I am sure there are many more to add to the list. But right now, and during my solo road trip, these are the ones that spoke to me and I chose to listen to over and over again during my 25 days of driving across Canada.