Music has always held a place in my heart while traveling. I was just starting to get into radio when we took the cross country trip in 1995. Once we got out of LA, my sister and I became obsessed with the 10 cd’s we owned at the time. We would listen to them all every single day and then that was it. It wasn’t until about 3 weeks into our trip (and we were on our way home) that I realized, duh! There are radio stations outside of LA! And I could have spent my time listening to them instead of our lame cd’s! I felt like such an idiot at that point. 3 weeks down the drain! The upside of it, is that we can’t put on Green Day (Dookie, everyones first cd), Sheryl Crow or Boyz II Men to this day without the two of us thinking of that trip. There is a song on the 2nd Boyz cd that lists a bunch of town and country names and as they would list off the US city names, I would always count the ones that we had been too, thanks to that trip. By the end, it was more then half!
The trip to Italy in 1997 was changing for me, music wise. What is with all this music that they play in Italy that we had never heard in the US?! How does that happen? It was my first dream job to be the person that brings all the European music over and introduce it to the US. That trip can be summed up by the following songs: Bittersweet Symphony (whatevs, I totally heard it a month before any of y’all), I’ll be Missing You (the Puffy version), some Coolio song that they never played in the US and Where’s the Love from Hanson (yay!). That was the beginning of my obsessive radio phase (which lasted nearly 10 years).
Songs of our 1999 trip to Italy included “Vamos a la Playa” (never played in the US, obviously), “Mambo Number 5” (heard it on LA radio about 2 weeks after returning to the US) and that “Blue” song which made it to the US about 6 months later and I nearly had a heart attack when I heard it on KIIS the following November. It brought me right back to singing it in the car with the whole Villa crew, Italy in mid summer. LOVE IT!
I love that certain music just brings me back to a certain vacation or trip. Things have gotten a lot faster moving, thanks to the internet. But of course, there is still music that is wicked popular overseas and just never makes a dent in the US. There are loads of New Zealand songs that I “discovered” while I was over there and I can sing every word to this day and if it was to play in the US, I wouldn’t even blink for about a minute, till I would realize that, wait a minute! I know this song because I heard it in NZ every day! And even some Aussie stuff. There was this Ricki Lee song that was in the SEX AND THE CITY II commercial earlier this year and I jammed every time it came on the TV and I was like, why do I know this song? Because it was hugely popular when I was in Australia. 2 YEARS AGO!!! And it still shocks me that I would then never hear it on the radio.
Also, theme songs of certain trips. The theme cd for my semester at Umass was some Eminim CD. There wasn’t a car that drove by that wasn’t BLASTING that cd. Apparently, every year on the backpackers bullshit tour, there becomes a CD that you can’t go one day without hearing. The CD for my trip the latter half of 2008 was that last Kings of Leon CD. Thankgod, I was kind of meh on it. The cons were that it was played all the time and it’s only like 30 minutes long, so you hear it a lot. The pros where that it didn’t annoy me too much and every song sounded the same to me, so it was like listening to the same song over and over again, which if the song isn’t too annoying, surprisingly doesn’t annoy me too much. KOL will always remind me of Australia.
Moral: One of the things I look forward to when traveling is flipping on the radio and hitting scan. I think that is one of the reasons why I love to incorporate driving into a lot of my trips, is to turn on the radio and see what’s on. I always look forward to that part! Plus, I always try to buy cd’s of the music I hear and that reminds me of that certain country because besides supporting local artists, it’s my version of a great souvenir!
**I apologize if the YouTube videos aren’t working as I linked them right from the website and copyright laws and therefore links change all the time. Let me know what song you want to hear and I’ll find it for you.**