Throughout my life, certain songs have inspired some of my travel decisions – lyrics that determined which road I should take or what travel ticket I should buy.
Here’s a selection of a few that have stood out for me over the years:
- Billy Joel – ‘Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)’. As a four-year-old on a family trip at a fancy hotel, we were all sitting around the table having breakfast. I got bored and, slipping out of the sight of my parents, soon found the PA system. I somehow got the mic and belted out the only song I knew by heart – a song that’s been driving me for years. “If that’s what it’s all about, I’m moving out.” My mom choked on her eggs as she heard my voice over the hotel speakers.
- Steve Miller – ‘Rock’n Me’. One of my earliest adventures was when, as a seventeen-year-old kid, I convinced my parents that I needed to visit colleges before making a choice. I followed the itinerary in the song, tracking my way from Phoenix, Arizona, all the way to Tacoma, Philadelphia, Atlanta and L.A. in a 1973 Volkswagen bus.
- Willie Nelson – ‘On the Road Again’. This was played at the first concert I ever went to. Willie captured something that I’ve felt at various points in my life. Even when I heard the song live for the first time I knew that there would come a time where I’d be setting off on a road trip to destination unknown.
- Three Dog Night – ‘Never Been To Spain’. Before I walked the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in 2012, I researched the logistics of what was involved. This song seemed to stick in my head during that period.
- Bob Seger – ‘Katmandu’. Seger really, really wanted to go here. I could see the appeal and my time there was marked by a bungee which, for a guy afraid of heights, was a leap out of my comfort zone in more ways than one.
- Gladys Knight & The Pips – ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’. In Eastern Turkey, we sang this song while trying to figure out how to get to Tbilisi. The detour through Azerbaijan was too long, so we ended up on a bus.
- Led Zeppelin – ‘Kashmir’. This song inspired me to visit the region where I spent time on a houseboat in Dal Lake. Imagine my disappointment when I found out that Led Zeppelin hadn’t actually been there – turns out Kashmir rhymes better than Morocco.
- Murray Head – ‘One Night in Bangkok’. It was only one night but all I needed. I knocked myself out on a glass door before later being shown the master penmanship from a local performer who didn’t use her hands. Sign here Miss.
What songs have inspired your travels?
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