This month BootsnAll is hosting a project encouraging bloggers to look back on a year of travel and share stories of travel and fun. Sometimes we forget about the great places we go or the fabulous experiences we have; or perhaps there is some travel that we don’t at first consider to be ‘travel’. This is a great way to re-envision what travel means to us and realize that we all travel more than we think!

Todays Topic: Music

Although we brought a fully loaded iPod on our trip, we actually did not listen to that much music while on the road.

I don’t like being disconnected from my surroundings. I like to listen to all the conversations around me – even if I can’t understand a word! I love hearing the sounds of different languages; their cadence, tone, and pronunciations are a form of music to me. Disconnected and retreated into my own world in not how I want to see the world. I want to be engaged and immersed…even on a 17 hour bus ride! I want to hear the music that is spilling into the street from the cafe. I want to hear children laugh as they play. I want to hear the multitude of cow bells in the meadow. I want to hear the call to prayer.

I often did not want to hear the North American music that seems to have invaded every corner of the world! Expecting local music I was often disappointed to find that, especially in tourist areas, it was the same old North American standards being played over and over and over again. Please! No more Tracy Chapman. No more Jack Johnson. No more Bob Marley. Give me more German drinking songs, more Chinese influenced Vietnamese music, more table-side Turkish tunes.

Music can define a time, or a place, and certainly that is true for us too but it is the sounds that come from that place rather than what we carried with us that took us on the trip. Many of them I will never hear again and others I will hear and they will take me back to that exact moment in time. What a powerful medium.

How do you manage music when you travel? Is it an escape? A way to get through the boring bits? Or a way to remember a place and time?

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