Across the length and breadth of New Zealand, up the eastern coast of Australia and a 26,000km trek across Canada - I’ve done some hard road trip time in the past few years. Driving in and out of radio signals and wrestling with iPod adapters, I’ve belted rap, soul and pop out of car windows with no one to hear but mountains and tundra. I’ve been pulled over by the police listening to Get Low, an embarrassing occurrence that I think endeared us to the cop in question, since he let us off.
When road tripping a long haul, or a short one, the music makes the experience and gives one an association for the rest of their lives. Whenever I hear What Would You Do by City High, I’ll remember the Great Ocean Road in Australia, where a friend and I rediscovered the song and played it on repeat. I still know all the words.
This past summer, two friends and I embarked on the journey of a lifetime: a trek across Canada from Toronto to the Yukon, to the Pacific coast, then back across to the Atlantic, and finally home to Ontario. We covered the distance in a Chevy Astro van, sleeping on floors and forests, and in Wal-Mart parking lots.
Needless to say, many hours of our lives were spent trundling across country without radio signals. Being a good road trip DJ means you have to feel the moments for a good energy boost or drift softly into a time for introspection. Driving, or travelling in general, gives one time to think, and lots of it. Music can soothe us into thoughts and reflections necessary to enrich our experiences - time to gaze out the window at the world rushing by, and contemplate life.
After a summer of ups and downs, we crafted a short play list that any traveler should have on an adventure. There are classic songs that every road trip needs, and, of course, ones that were discovered along the way. Here it is:
Tom Morello- The Road I Must Travel (in my opinion, the best travel song, guaranteed to make you travel with more vigour and pump you up for any experience. Do not leave home without this on your iPod.)
Willie Nelson- On the Road Again (a classic)
Rusted Root- Send Me On My Way
Flogging Molly- Drunken Lullabies
Musical Youth- Pass the Dutchie (you need a little reggae in any mix.)
Classified- O Canada (substitute it for a patriotic song from your country.)
Eminem- Without Me (perfect for dealing with road rage)
Ace of Base- Cruel Summer
Train- Meet Virginia (the perfect sing-along song)
Pitbull- Give Me Everything (can be interchangeable with any summer anthem)
One Republic- Good Life (a newer song and a great one, just for lifting any mood)