Songs that bring back travel memories

and Madeleine Rosie Strom

We have all experienced the remarkable connection between music and our memories. You might have unexpectedly come across a song on a playlist that makes you recall a specific time, place, or event. The memory can be so vivid that you even relive the feelings associated with that moment, whether it’s a rush of adrenaline, or a sensation of complete calm.

Music can provide a welcome escape to far away climes, evoking nostalgia of past holidays. While we are unable to travel at the moment under the current restrictions, with a pair of headphones firmly planted on our heads, we can let our imagination wander from the comfort of our own sofas.

“There are two songs in particular which take me back to Summer 2019 in which I travelled across Europe, beginning in Paris and ending in Copenhagen. The first song is ‘I Like The Way’ by Against the Current, a band I have supported since I was fifteen, meeting numerous times across the years. ‘I Like The Way’ stuck with me after a sweaty Milan club show in the early June sun. An anthem of summer and youthful freedom, this quickly became a backdrop for my summer of new experiences.

The second song, ‘In Color’ by Hunger, I listened to increasingly after passing through Vienna, the city in which the band is from. Their electronic alt sound became background noise to the final cities on my trip, in particular my Copenhagen nights, spent with a group of newly gained friends, from various nations who made every moment feel like a scene from a coming of age movie. My heart was full even if Copenhagen was making sure my bank account wasn’t.

The music I listened to that summer connected me to so many people along my trip, across many nations, and through many beautiful experiences. ‘In Colour’ and ‘I Like The Way’ can still make me feel the way I did that summer, living in wild vibrant colours, outside the black and white frames of our 2021 lockdown lives.”

“In my last summer before University, I decided to bid farewell to A-Levels by travelling around Italy with my best friend from secondary school. Starting in Pisa and based in Florence, we spent our days exploring art galleries and museums, tucking into some exquisitely made pasta and, of course, seeing what the Italian nightlife was like. As soon as it became dark, with makeup slapped on and heels strutting the pavements of Firenze – we were on a mission: to find a club with a low admission fee and a sizable dancefloor. After many failed attempts, we stumbled upon Red Garter.

Little did we know, that after every day of racking up our step count walking down hills and feeling ever so cultured, we would double these by dancing the nights away here. A bar, nightclub, restaurant and a karaoke haunt – this place had it all. On our first (of many) nights at Red Garter, as we patiently queued to perform a botched version of ‘Wannabe’ By Spice Girls, 3 Norwegian boys serenaded us with perhaps, the most tear-jerkingly romantic song of all time: ‘Kiss From a Rose’. We could not contain our laughter and ended up having a good old boogie with them on the dancefloor after.

“Norwegian boys serenaded us with perhaps, the most tear-jerkingly romantic song of all time”

It had such a lasting memory that we even created a playlist on Spotify after our trip, with all the songs that had featured in Red Garter. I am ashamed to admit it, but I listened to ‘Kiss From a Rose’ so much after the holiday, it appeared in my most listened to songs of 2018.”

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