What’s On Your Travel Playlist?


Music is essential for any trip. It entrances us on long journeys by bus or rail, occupying the conscious mind and allowing insight to float up from the depths. You listen to those same songs over and over, and they soak up the landscape, the smells and the very feeling of the place. They colour the way you see it just like different shades of glass colour a sunny day.

Here’s what’s on my travel playlist right now:

Won’t Leave Home Without It

These albums have been on my travel ipod for years. Each has formed the backdrop to many trips. And each—for whatever reason—has earned a permanent place on all my journeys.

Some provide exactly the right atmosphere. Some make me think. Some are upbeat. And some are ambient and perfect to write to.

Priest=Aura – The Church
Damaged / Controlled – GB3
Kenotic – Hammock
Somersault – Decoder Ring
Swordfishtrombones – Tom Waits
Remindlessness – Steve Kilbey
…Because I Can – Mice
Deadman’s Hand EP – The Church
Untitled #23 – The Church
Greatest Hits – The Cure
Happy Unbirthday EP – Brix Smith
My Way Vol 1 – Frank Sinatra
Operetta EP – The Church
What Are You Going To Do With Your Life? – Echo & The Bunnymen

Current Rotation

In addition to the “permanent content” above, I rotate a few other favourites through the mix, depending on the type of journey I’m about to set off on. Most of these albums have been there for the past 6 months. And a couple just came out and were recently added.

The Wilderness Years – David Neil
Life Somewhere Else – Isidore
Rubber Soul – The Beatles
Abbey Road – The Beatles
Bellavista Terrace – The Go-Betweens
Born Sandy Devotional – The Triffids
Disintegration – The Cure
Sonic Temple – The Cult
Infidels – Bob Dylan
Greetings From Asbury Park – Bruce Springsteen
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie
Sticky Fingers – The Rolling Stones
White Magic – Steve Kilbey & Martin Kennedy
Darklands – The Jesus & Mary Chain
Doubt Seeds – Bluebottle Kiss
Unknown Pleasures – Joy Division

So tell me, what music forms the background of your vagabond dreams? What essential albums do you never leave home without?

Please share YOUR favorite travel music in the comments below.


About the author

Ryan Murdock

Author of A Sunny Place for Shady People and Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Host of Personal Landscapes podcast. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Writer at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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