Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude: Travel Soundtracks

May 6, 2008

Brave New Traveler has an excellent list of the thirty songs that capture the spirt of travel, and while they’ve got most of the great ones – Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude by Jimmy Buffett (actually, any Jimmy Buffet works), Marrakesh Express by Crosby, Stills & Nash, America by Simon & Garfunkel, and many more (along videos for all of them), there are a few that I just have to add.

Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills & Nash – How could they not include this one?  I consider the ultimate inspiring traveller’s anthem (to point out the obvious).

Running Down A Dream by Tom Petty– Because some of the best moments happen when “you’re workin’ on a mystery, going where ever it leads”.  Perfect for those who wander are but are not lost.

Buenos Aires from Evita – I know, I know, it’s from a campy musical, but just listen – it is filled with anticipation and the delicious excitement of arriving in a big new city that you’ve been dreaming of visiting for years. 

Boots of Spanish Leather by Bob Dylan– On a more melancholy note, this song captures the sadness of separation and the feeling of leaving loved ones behind, in that sparsely beautiful way only Bob Dylan can.

End of the Line by the Traveling Wilburies – Its just a great feel good road-or-train trip song.  And any group that has George Harrison, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan is worth a listen. 

I Can See For Miles by The Who – It calls to mind epic vistas and miles of stunning scenery (yes, I know that is not really what it is about).  Quick story: the last time I listened to this song was in Spain, on a train speeding towards Granada, and I woke up just as the sun was rising over the fields.  There were miles and miles of lush olive trees in every direction framed by the still snowcapped Sierra Nevadas.  It was just a perfect moment.

Mexico by James Taylor – This one should be self-explanatory.

A Horse With No Name by America – This song always reminds me of being out in the Sahara desert exploring and channeling Indiana Jones, or driving through the Badlands in South Dakota.

Desolation Row by Bob Dylan – No other reason except that it’s a simply incredible song.  And if you’re on a long flight or ride, you can try to interpret the lyrics.  A song and an activity.  Brilliant.

Peace Train by Cat Stevens – It is not so much about travel per se, but it seems to go with the idea of traveling and learning about other lands and cultures. 

What songs would you add to the playlist?

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2 Responses to “Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude: Travel Soundtracks”

  1. Theresa said

    Good additions! I’ve loved reading what everyone else has added to the list. I wrote the Brave New Traveler article, and I was trying to avoid duplicate artists, which is why Mexico, Running Down a Dream, and Southern Cross didn’t end up on it. It was a tough choice. A lot of artists that sing one good traveling song, sing another. I sort of, kind of, sneaked Paul Simon in twice, but I decided that since one of them was just him and one was him & Garfunkel it was allowed. Of course, the rules were completely arbitrary and made up by me but I felt I needed something to keep me structured!

  2. Jacqueline Zenn said

    That would be a tough list to make without duplicate artists!

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